Updates and news for the week of November 22 – November 28, 2022

The UTC Campus Weekly newsletter is distributed every Tuesday morning. If you have news, events or announcements you would like shared with campus, please submit your information to chuck-wasserstrom@utc.edu in the Division of Communications and Marketing by 3 p.m. on Friday for placement in the following Tuesday’s newsletter.

Campus Updates  University Events Master Calendar  |  UTC News

Two SGA Campus Safety Walks Today

Mocs Flock Together Safety Walks logo

Students from UTC SGA, University administration and campus and city safety officials will participate in two SGA “Safety Walk” events today—at noon and at 8 p.m. Both begin in the University Center Raccoon Mountain Room, where participants are asked to gather for a background briefing before setting out on foot. Both groups of participants will return to the UC Raccoon Mountain Room to share feedback and get information on next steps toward resolving any problems discovered.

Both outings are expected to take 45 minutes to one hour. Whether surface hazards, intersections without crosswalks, exterior lighting needs or another area for suggestions, participants will be encouraged to share their observations and thoughts on safety enhancements.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a reminder that there are no classes Wednesday (November 23), otherwise known as Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Day.

Thanks to the extended break, please submit all items for next Tuesday’s edition of UTC Campus Weekly newsletter no later than noon on Monday (November 28).

Fall Commencement Info: Students

Graduates throwing caps in the air (2022 spring commencement ceremony)

UTC is excited to host Fall 2022 Commencement ceremonies December 16-17 to celebrate graduates’ achievements. McKenzie Arena is undergoing construction, which limits attendance capacity; in order to accommodate guests, tickets will be required for entry.

Every person entering the arena will be required to present a valid ticket. Graduates will be able to claim 15 tickets (one for themselves and 14 for guests) through November 30. Beginning Reading Day (December 6), if there are still tickets available, graduates will be able to request additional tickets on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing the Arena Box office at mocsticketing@utc.edu.

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Attention Graduates: Scrappy’s Cupboard Cap and Gown loan program available

Scrappy's Cupboard logo

Scrappy’s Cupboard is happy to offer cap and gown academic regalia loans to any UTC student who has been approved to participate in a UTC graduation ceremony and cannot afford to purchase the regalia required to participate. Academic regalia is available for loan up to five (5) days prior to the graduation ceremony and must be returned no later than five (5) days after the graduation ceremony.

To request a cap and gown loan for fall 2022 graduation ceremonies, please complete the request form no later than 5 p.m. on December 12.

If you have any questions, contact the Office of Student Outreach and Support at (423) 425-2299 or scrappyscupboard@utc.edu.

Fall Commencement Info: Faculty

Faculty seating will be available on the arena floor as was the case pre-pandemic. Every person entering the arena will be required to present a valid ticket. Due to space limitations, it is vital to have an accurate account of the faculty that will be participating. If you would like to attend any ceremony, please use this link.

If you sign up to attend a ceremony, please make every effort to attend; since capacity is limited, there is a finite number of tickets. 

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The outstanding people of UTC

Professor Ben Stein works with student Zayda Dominick Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Grote Hall.

Dr. Ben Stein works with student Zayda Dominick in Grote Hall.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ben Stein was awarded a $322,375 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the project entitled, “Characterization of non-canonical regulatory pathways in the Caulobacter NtrYX signaling system.” The NIH Research Enhancement Award, known as an R15, is only the second received by a UTC faculty member in recent years—and came in his first attempt at applying for a grant of any kind.

Check out these Mocs making a difference:

  • Senior offensive lineman McClendon Curtis is headed to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, in January. Curtis will try to follow in the footsteps of fellow Mocs offensive linemen and Senior Bowl alums Cole Strange (New England Patriots) and Corey Levin (Tennessee Titans) in playing in the NFL.
  • Director of Safety and Risk Management Bob Jackson was featured as part of a Local 3 News segment about campus safety.
  • UC Foundation Political Science Professor Irina Khmelko was interviewed by Local 3 News after a Russian missile struck a Polish village near the border of Ukraine.
  • Kody Cooper, UC Foundation Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Service, wrote an article called “Putting Affirmative Action to the Question” that appeared in Citizens Journal.
  • UTC volleyball player and communication major Niah Davis was recently featured in a collegefashionista.com story titled, “Everything You Need To Know About Starting A Podcast.”

New Scholarship Honors Dr. Richard Brown

During the 2022-2023 academic year, 30 UTC students from the Chattanooga region are benefiting from the Richard Brown Inclusive Access Scholarship. Photo by Lorraine Brown.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, 30 UTC students from the Chattanooga region are benefiting from the Richard Brown Inclusive Access Scholarship. Photo by Lorraine Brown.

Dr. Richard Brown, who provided more than 38 years of service to UTC and the UT System, is the namesake of the new Richard Brown Inclusive Access Scholarship at UTC.

When he was told about a new scholarship program named after him, “My first reaction to it was that I was humbled and honored to have such a prestigious honor and recognition by the University, but after that, I was really excited about it,” he said. “This will create an opportunity for access to some students who are underserved by access to higher education.”

The scholarship is a collaboration of the Division of Diversity and Engagement and the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs in conjunction with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Student Voices: Return of The Perch

The Perch "Rebirthed" logo

Haley Solomon, the faculty adviser of the Perch, with the help of dedicated students—including Station Manager Fay Aregai—has rebranded and rebuilt the UTC student radio station after COVID-19 pressed the pause button for this student organization in March 2020.

This fall, the Perch has returned with nine staff members and 20 hosts.

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One Small Step: You’re Invited

Ad for StoryCorps

Faculty, staff and students are invited to a listening party and celebration of Chattanooga’s role in “One Small Step.” One Small Step, an initiative of NPR’s StoryCorps project, is a response to increasing polarization in American society. Chattanooga is one of just six sites selected nationally, and Will Davis of UTC’s PodLab is leading local involvement. Will has recruited and recorded conversation participants who might not appear to have anything in common, toward encouraging listening to those with whom they disagree.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the free listening party, 6-8 p.m. on December 8 at Songbirds Guitar & Pop Culture Museum. Guests will meet conversation participants, hear excerpts of conversations being edited for a serial podcast, receive small commemorative items and enjoy a variety of beverages. Click here for more information.

UTC Road Trip: The Power C Tour Comes Home to Campus

UTC Chancellor Steven R. Angle and Scrappy present a $1,000 Power C scholarship to Kendall Townsend. The Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences senior was joined at the UTC Road Trip: The Power C Tour event by her mother, Yashika Ward. Photo by Angela Foster.

Chancellor Angle and Scrappy present a $1,000 Power C scholarship to Kendall Townsend. The Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences senior was joined at the UTC Road Trip: The Power C Tour event by her mother, Yashika Ward.

The inaugural UTC Road Trip: The Power C Tour returned home last Wednesday with a standing-room-only event in the University Center Tennessee Room. The final tour stop brought 206 total guests to campus, including 103 prospective students—with 32 qualified high school seniors who met admissions criteria being admitted on the spot.

During the tour, which also included stops in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville, UTC personnel visited with more than 500 prospective students and parents, awarded more than $15,000 in scholarships and stipends and admitted more than 100 students in person.

Mocs Set Program Record for Graduation Success Rate

Graph credit: Student-Athlete Academic Enhancement Center/GoMocs.com

Graph credit: Student-Athlete Academic Enhancement Center/GoMocs.com

The UTC Athletics Department has set another program record for classroom performance. The Mocs’ student-athlete Graduation Success Rate has reached an all-time high of 91%, based on information released by the NCAA last week. The NCAA began tracking GSR scores in 1998.

Ten of the Mocs’ 13 measured programs scored a perfect 100% graduation rate, while 11 beat the national average for their respective sport. Figures released last week reflect graduation numbers among student-athletes who entered school in 2015.

Campus Updates

Grateful Gobbler logoThe Annual Grateful Gobbler 5K Walk/Run will take place on Thanksgiving morning (November 24). Walkers will gather at Coolidge Park for festivities before the 8 a.m. start.

The Division of Diversity and Engagement is sponsoring Team UTC for this event. To register for the race and receive 50% off, click here and use the discount code 2022UTCTeam.

  • 100% of the proceeds from the walk will benefit the Maclellan Shelter for Families, an emergency homeless shelter located on site at the Community Kitchen on 11th Street in Chattanooga. The shelter, which features 13 units with 68 beds for families experiencing homelessness, provides a stable environment for families to remain together as they search for permanent housing solutions.

The Clarence T. Jones Observatory has reopened this fall, with Sunday events scheduled through December 4. The observatory, owned and operated by UTC, is free and open to the public. Gates open every Sunday at 5:30 p.m., with a lecture and Planetarium show beginning at 6 p.m. and telescope viewing until 8 p.m.

The SGA is hosting a clothing drive to gather donations to give to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, at the University Center. The charity is asking for clothes that are still in fairly good condition in any size for the winter months, such as jackets, pants, gloves, socks, shirts and shoes/boots.

Poster for Unmasking: Now we speak

Unmasking: Now We Speak is a Mark Making visual art, creative writing and performance project focusing on men and women with addiction and mental health issues. The participants’ art and stories are the result of a year-long workshop series in which they worked with storytellers and artists to tap into dark crevices and access the parts of themselves that house the pain and suffering both endured and committed. The project will culminate with a reception at ArtsBuild from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, where the participants’ art will be exhibited and their stories will be performed spontaneously by community actors. The event is free and the public is welcome.

The UTC Center for Wellbeing, Human Resources and Employee Wellness are sponsoring a campus visit by Dr. Garland Vance on Tuesday, December 6, on the topic shared by the title of his recent book, Gettin’ (Un)Busy. He will provide a workshop for supervisors in the morning (invitation to supervisors forthcoming), and a workshop for faculty and staff in the afternoon. Click here to register.

Jeff Flowers, Retirement Plan Advisor with Empower Retirement (aka Retire Ready Tennessee), will be on campus at the UTC Library Tuesday, December 13, for in-person 401k and 457 retirement planning meetings. These meetings are beneficial for employees at all stages of their careers. To schedule an appointment, please follow this link to see available times. Virtual meetings are also available on other days. 


  • UTC Parking Services announced that December 5 will be the first day to purchase parking permits for the spring 2023 semester.
  • The UT Concur Travel Team will be offering training on specific topics in November.  All sessions will be recorded and posted at Learn More About Concur and are eligible for HR128 credit. You can enroll by visiting the Concur Topics area of the K@TE learning management system; Zoom details, including the password, will be provided in the confirmation email. The list of topics and dates can be found by clicking here.
  • The Testing Center is looking for individuals interested in helping with the administration of the ACT at UTC. This is a paid position, and proctors and room supervisors are needed for the following 2023 dates: February 11, April 15, June 10 and July 15. If you are interested in working one session or all four, email cathy-jackson@utc.edu.
  • A Grant Writing Workshop set for February 2-3, 2023, will provide individual, technical assistance consultation sessions. This workshop is highly encouraged for new faculty or faculty who are new to federal proposal development. Click here to register for the workshop and here to register for 1:1 consultations.

Looking ahead

Yazz Wazeerud-Din (photo courtesy of Ray Soldano/GoMocs.com)

Yazz Wazeerud-Din (photo courtesy of Ray Soldano/GoMocs.com)

This week’s Mocs Athletics calendar:

  • Wednesday (11/23): Women’s Basketball at UNC Asheville (Asheville, N.C.), 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday (11/23): Men’s Basketball vs. Lipscomb (McKenzie Arena), 4 p.m.
  • Saturday (11/26): Women’s Basketball vs. King University (McKenzie Arena), 1 p.m.
  • Saturday (11/26): Men’s Basketball vs. Murray State (McKenzie Arena), 7 p.m.

Looking back

Sherreda Peggs, left, followed her older brother, Cinque, to UTC. “I encourage everyone to go to college with their big brother,” she said.

Sherreda Peggs, left, followed her older brother, Cinque, to UTC. “I encourage everyone to go to college with their big brother,” she said.

Sherreda Peggs knew just what she had to do after her brother, Cinque, announced he was the salutatorian at their high school: She had to be valedictorian. Their sibling rivalry continues today at UTC, where Cinque is a senior and Sherreda a junior.

Here are some other recent UTC stories featured in the Newsroom:

WUTC Spotlight

Musician Abraham Alexander. Photo credit: Nathan Zucker for Moon River.

Musician Abraham Alexander. Photo credit: Nathan Zucker for Moon River.

WUTC’s Haley Solomon sat down for a well-crafted and inspiring interview with musician Abraham Alexander. The interview took place as part of Moon River 2022.

Be Well Tip of the Week

‘Tis the season of religious and national celebrations, many of which involve food. Here are some tips to navigate healthy eating around the holidays (none of which involve starting a diet).

  • Be sure to make half of your plate nutritious fruits and veggies. Start your meal by eating those first.
  • Slow your pace during meals. Finish your plate, take a 10-minute break, then decide if you really need seconds. Think satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Don’t skip any meals before or after your big feast. Still eat breakfast, have a smaller lunch, and pack a snack before dinner. This avoids irregular fasting or binging behaviors.
  • Choose a couple holiday favorites (pumpkin pie) to splurge on instead of foods that you can have any other day of the year (mashed potatoes).
  • Don’t forget to exercise. Dance with Grandma during football commercials and take a walk between dinner and dessert.


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