Updates and news for the week of October 10 – 16, 2023

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.

UTC News  UTC Events Calendar  |  Campus Updates

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It’s Open Enrollment Season

The annual enrollment period for 2024 health insurance benefits continues through Friday (Oct. 13).

Click here for the Campus Updates post about annual enrollment, which includes links to the annual enrollment newsletter, annual enrollment videos and PartnersForHealth.

WUTC Fall Pledge Drive

WUTC’s Fall Pledge Drive continues through Friday (Oct. 13).

A public service of the University, WUTC is home to National Public Radio programming in our area; local hosts Richard Winham, Ray Bassett and Haley Solomon; and learning opportunities for students on the UTC campus.

More than half of WUTC’s funding comes from the community here in Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley.  Please support WUTC at wutc.org and click the Donate button.

Calling all students!

Mocs students, you should have received an email about the Student Experience Survey. This survey is administered to all 54,000 students across the UT system to learn about your current needs, well-being and preferences, and we need everyone’s help in completing the two-minute questionnaire. Click here to go to the survey. Student feedback informs us about the Mocs experience and helps identify opportunities for the future.

Homecoming Coronation

Dominique Harris and Tred Hill, the 2023 Mocs Homecoming Queen and King

Dominique Harris and Tred Hill, the 2023 Mocs Homecoming Queen and King

A memorable Homecoming Week came to a close with the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen—seniors Tred Hill (majoring in graphic design) and Dominique Harris (exercise science). Hill is involved in several campus organizations, including Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and First Gen Mocs. Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Ladies of Gold dance team and the UTC NAACP.

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From left: Public Service Award recipient Emma Sprayberry, Interim Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Stacie Grisham, UTC Alumni Board President Ken Jones and Public Service Award recipient Anna Shrum.

From left: Public Service Award recipient Emma Sprayberry, Interim Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Stacie Grisham, UTC Alumni Board President Ken Jones and Public Service Award recipient Anna Shrum during recognition ceremonies at halftime of Saturday’s Homecoming football game.

The UTC Alumni Board of Directors and the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs announced the two student recipients of Public Service Awards. Senior Anna Shrum (business management/human resource management) and junior Emma Sprayberry (Spanish/international studies/Innovations in Honors) were recognized for their distinguished service to UTC and the Chattanooga community.

Fall Family Weekend 2023

The Office of Student and Family Engagement is gearing up to welcome over 300 families to campus for Fall Family Weekend on Oct. 20-22. To provide the best possible experience for our attending families, we need your help. We are seeking volunteers for various roles over that weekend to help welcome, check-in, engage and serve the families of our current students.

Please visit our volunteer sign-up form to review the roles and sign up to volunteer with us. We appreciate your support.

Hispanic Heritage Month

The final week of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month event calendar includes:

  • Today (Oct. 10): Study Abroad Spotlight, Lupton Hall first floor, 3:30 p.m.
  • Today (Oct. 10): Guest Lecturer Cynthia Orozco, University Center Auditorium, 5 p.m.
  • All Month Long: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with UTC Library, click here to see electronic collections

The outstanding people of UTC

Dr. Brooke Epperson, center, talks with UTC nursing students Mia Robinson, Dean Zeitouni, Katelyn Nash and Abby Walsh in the nursing lab.

Dr. Brooke Epperson, center, talks with UTC nursing students Mia Robinson, Dean Zeitouni, Katelyn Nash and Abby Walsh in the nursing lab.

A $1.4-million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration has been awarded to the UTC School of Nursing to prepare undergraduate students to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations. Dr. Brooke Epperson, assistant professor and undergraduate coordinator in the School of Nursing, is the principal investigator—landing a three-year grant through the HRSA NEPQR-SET program.

Check out these Mocs making a difference:

  • Mocs volleyball’s Julie Torbett recorded her 500th career head coaching victory Friday night when UTC earned a 3-0 sweep against Furman.
  • Mocs softball outfielder Olivia Lipari, a junior from Oviedo, Florida, was named vice chair of the Southern Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
  • Mocs women’s golfer Makenzie Cooper captured medalist honors at the Evie Odom Invitational in Virginia Beach, Virginia, leading UTC to a third-place finish.
  • Dr. Dawn Ford, a member of the Biology, Geology and Environmental Science faculty and the Hamilton County Health Department’s epidemiology department manager, is the new president of the Tennessee Public Health Association.
  • UC Foundation Associate Professor of Anthropology Morgan Smith was interviewed for a story appearing in online publications across North America about archaeologists digging underwater.
  • UC Foundation Professor Hope Klug was interviewed for a Scientific American magazine feature titled “Cannibalistic Dads May Be Contributing to Hellbender Salamander Declines.”
  • UC Foundation Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Rick Dierenfeldt was interviewed by NewsChannel 9 about a well-publicized local arrest.

“Beautiful Faces” to make Chattanooga premiere on UTC campus

In his documentary “Beautiful Faces,” 2012 UTC alum Dagan Beckett explores the journeys three young patients, their parents and local surgeon Dr. Larry Sargent took through multiple plastic surgeries to address their medical problems.

On Nov. 3, the Chattanooga premiere of “Beautiful Faces” will take place in the Fine Arts Center’s Roland Hayes Concert Hall. The film screening will take place at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the cast and filmmakers. Admission is free for students and $5 for non-students, but registration is required. Click here for the registration link.

Beginning Tai Chi for Mind and Body Wellness

This fall, the College of Arts and Sciences is offering UTC faculty and staff a Beginning Tai Chi for Mind and Body Wellness course, taught and led by Dr. Zibin Guo. The free course will meet from 12:20-1:20 p.m. on Tuesdays from Oct. 24 until Nov. 28. The program has only 15 spots available; click here for course registration.

What is Tai Chi? Sometimes described as “meditation in motion,” the martial art Tai Chi is widely recognized for its ability to improve physical and mental health without requiring special equipment or skill level.

Guo, funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, recently completed a seven-year journey implementing the wheelchair/Inclusive Tai Chi Chuan program within the U.S. VA health care system.

Mark your calendar

UTC’s bi-annual Bloodanooga Blood Drive, in collaboration with Blood Assurance, is taking place today and Wednesday (Oct. 10-11) from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the University Center Tennessee Room. A single blood donation will save three lives in our community.

Blood donors will receive free food and a special event T-shirt. As an extra incentive, all donors will be entered into a drawing to win a turntable sound system and vinyl starter pack. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to another successful event.

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Dr. Cynthia Orozco, an award-winning and best-selling author, historian, consultant and public speaker, is coming to UTC as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Orozco, professor emeritus in History and Humanities at Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso, will give a public lecture from 5-7 p.m. today (Oct. 10), in the University Center Auditorium. The free guest lecture is open to the public.

A book signing will follow the lecture. Attendees are asked to register for the event for a chance to win a free copy of one of Orozco’s books.

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An eight-week summer 2024 business research internship opportunity in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is available for up to five UTC students. Click here for information about the program.

An information session about the internship with Dr. Robert Dooley, dean of the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, will take place at noon on Wednesday (Oct. 11) in Fletcher Hall Room 109. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to COBInternational@utc.edu. The application deadline is Nov. 1; click here to apply.

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The next UTC Research Institute brown bag lunch will take place from 12:30-2 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 12) in the UTC Library Room 435. Each brown bag lunch is designed to engage faculty and staff across campus in identifying opportunities for collaboration.

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Human Resources provided a list of October staff development opportunities, including a 1 p.m. Zoom on Thursday (Oct. 12) titled “Overview of the Performance Management Cycle Session for Staff.” Register here for the online session.

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An Access and Engagement open forum will take place from 3-4 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 12) in the University Center Auditorium.

UTC, alongside our fellow UT system campuses, has been tasked to reimagine our strategies and structures supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. The open forum, dedicated to advancing access and engagement at UTC, is open to all, with a virtual livestream option for those who cannot meet in person.

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The UTC University Club welcomes all faculty, staff and their families for an open house from 5-7 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 13) at UTC’s Patten House, located at the corner of Oak and Palmetto (look for the cannons). Snacks will be provided. Members of the UTC Faculty Club and invited guests may bring their own drinks, with and without alcohol, to the gathering. We will have light fare, good conversation and a chance to meet one another in a social setting.

What is the University Club?  The University Club is a social club open to all UTC faculty, staff and retirees (and their families) and has existed in some form or fashion at UTC since the 1940s. Clubbers meet informally to share goodwill and society two Fridays a month. We hope you can join us! Email patrick-sweetman@utc.edu, the University Club president, if you have any questions.

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The Tasty Tidbit Leadership Lunch Series, a trio of sessions open to UTC students, faculty and staff, kicks off from noon-1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, when anxiety relief therapist Sheaba Chacko hosts “Understand What is Holding You Back” in the Aviary Room of the Stacy Town Center. Chacko will be talking about her complicated relationship with school and how she ended up running her own business here in Chattanooga. A light lunch will be provided. Click here to RSVP.

Other series dates include:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 24: Aspire to INSPIRE with Taylor Tipton, West Campus Housing multipurpose room, noon, click here to RSVP.
  • Monday, Nov. 6: What Is Servant Leadership Anyway? A Discussion with Ken Jones, University Center Chattanooga Room C, noon, click here to RSVP.

Email Daniel-Grzesik@utc.edu, the director of Leadership Development and Programs, to learn more about the Tasty Tidbit series.

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Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin joins the Tennessee Democracy Forum on Thursday, Oct. 19, for the next “Conversation on Democracy,” sponsored by the Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Government, the Division of Diversity and Engagement and the Honors CollegeThe event will take place at 7 p.m. in the Guerry Center Reading Room and will also be available via Livestream.

Click here to register for the event.

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Clockwise from left: Colum McCann, Ishmael Beah, Felice Bell, Christian Collier and UTC Professor Sybil Baker.

Clockwise from left: Colum McCann, Ishmael Beah, Felice Bell, Christian J. Collier and Sybil Baker.

Can storytelling change the world? A pair of best-selling authors are coming to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for a conversation exploring how storytelling can broaden perspectives.

National Book Award winner Colum McCann, author of the New York Times bestseller “Let the Great World Spin,” and Ishmael Beah, a Quill Award-nominated author and human rights activist, will participate in a panel discussion called “Changing the World with Stories” from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the University Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. To register, visit the Changing the World with Stories website.

“Changing the World with Stories” panelists will also include UC Foundation Professor and Associate Department Head Sybil Baker and Christian J. Collier, a Chattanooga-based spoken word artist and musician.

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The UTC Online Criminal Justice Program is one of the sponsors of the Sinclair Broadcast Group of Chattanooga’s 5th Annual First Responders Salute from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the First Horizon Pavilion (1826 Reggie White Blvd.). Chattanooga area EMTs, EMS, firefighters, law enforcement and medical personnel will be provided breakfast and lunch to thank them for their service. For questions or to learn more, email sherah-basham@utc.edu in Social, Cultural and Justice Studies.

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Please join UTC Campus Recreation from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, for a Family Festival: Spooky Waters Pool Party. Tickets may be purchased by UTC Campus Recreation members and non-members. Our pool will be decorated and themed for a not-so-scary family night featuring trunk-or-treat-style booths, log-rolling music and much more.

Tickets are $10 per person in advance and $15 day of event and can be purchased through the  UTC Campus Recreation portal. Email campusrec@utc.edu with questions.

Notice of Final Defense: Upcoming Research Presentations

The UTC Graduate School announced that the following students will be presenting their final works of research as advanced degree candidates. Everyone is invited to attend.

Research and Networking Opportunity

The Vice Chancellor for Research and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) are planning to support a site visit and networking opportunities with researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute. We are seeking to gather information about faculty interests and preferences to help us plan for the visit and other potential activities in 2024.

Any UTC faculty member or researcher is eligible to participate. Please take a few moments to complete the brief survey here to help us schedule activities of interest to you.

Campus Updates

The Office of the University Registrar provided important upcoming registration dates and deadlines.

The list includes several important dates taking place this month:

  • Thursday (Oct. 12): Last day to register for Part of Term 2 courses
  • Friday (Oct. 13): Last day to drop a Part of Term 2 course before a W (withdrawal) is recorded
  • Monday, Oct. 30: Last day to withdraw from any Full term course on a course-by-course basis with a grade of W (one or more courses)

MyMocsNet will be unavailable for portions of Oct. 20-22 due to banner maintenance.

Online withdrawal is available through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 30.

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Important changes are on the horizon for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming 2024-25 school year. The FAFSA application will now become accessible by Jan. 1, 2024, a departure from the customary opening date of Oct. 1.

The changes come after the passage of the FAFSA Simplification Act, which “represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024-25 award year,” according to the U.S. Education Department’s FAFSA website.

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study funds and loans, students need to complete the FAFSA form.

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Senior Brock Scholar Katie Hopper is looking for students, faculty or staff to participate in a documentary about first-time hikers. The creative project will include a two-hour guided hike and an interview. Interested participants can sign up here. For more information, email jws712@mocs.utc.edu.

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Injured in intramurals? Tweaked something in the gym? Back and neck soreness from hours of studying? Just need guidance getting back to your favorite activities? Check out UTC’s free physical therapy clinic.

The Pro Bono Physical Therapy clinic, a part of University Health Services, is staffed by UTC Doctor of Physical Therapy students and professors and is 100% free. Clinic hours are 8 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays and 1-5 p.m. on Thursdays. Call University Health Services at 423-425-2266 or email ptclinic@utc.edu for more information.

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All Recovery: Thursdays at 5 p.m. in University Center Room 154 (open to all; come share and be in community with others)

  • All Recovery is a weekly group of the Mocs Recovery Program. It is open to those in all stages, pathways and types of recovery including substance use, mental health, disordered eating/eating disorders, process addictions (gambling, social media, shopping, exercise, etc.) and those with loved ones navigating these concerns. This is a supportive space for all and a great starting place to get involved in other groups, social events and initiatives of Mocs Recovery.

SMART Recovery: Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in University Center Room 152

  • SMART Recovery is open to those who are sober, sober-curious or interested in reducing harm related to their substance use. All recovery pathways are honored here.

Healing Through Harmony—Mental Health Recovery: Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in University Center Room 154

  • Join us as we listen to songs and discuss how the lyrics mirror the struggles we often encounter today—and what we can do to recover from and overcome them. FYI: You don’t need to be able to play an instrument/sing to come. All that’s really required is that you like listening to music. We will sometimes have various other art/media-based activities, but there’s no skill required. This is just a place to talk, learn and meet others you can relate to.

LGBTQ+ All Recovery: Mondays at 5:30 p.m. in Prism Center (Lupton Hall Room 116)

  • Open to all but focused on LGBTQ+ students and allies. All types of recovery and pathways welcome.

Looking ahead

Makenzie Cooper, left claimed her first career win at the Evie Odom Invitational (photo credit: ODU Athletics).

Mocs golfer Makenzie Cooper, left, claimed her first career win at the Evie Odom Invitational Sunday in Virginia Beach, Virginia (photo credit: ODU Athletics).

This week’s Mocs home athletics calendar:

  • Wednesday (Oct. 11): Softball vs. Chattanooga State, Frost Stadium, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday (Oct. 12): Men’s Tennis at ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Champions Club, all day
  • Thursday (Oct. 12): Soccer vs. Wofford, Finley Stadium, 6 p.m.
  • Friday (Oct. 13): Men’s Tennis at ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Champions Club, all day
  • Friday (Oct. 13): Cross Country/Track & Field UTC home meet, Camp Jordan, 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday (Oct. 14): Men’s Tennis at ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Champions Club, all day
  • Sunday (Oct. 15): Men’s Tennis at ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Champions Club, all day
  • Monday (Oct. 16): Men’s Tennis at ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Champions Club, all day

Looking back

A long-awaited tribute to the legacy of the pioneering African American Greek-letter fraternities and sororities on the UTC campus has formally been unveiled. On Friday, a grand opening ceremony was held to introduce UTC Divine Nine Heritage Park, a monument and destination spot to educate the campus on the origins, history and purpose of the National Panhellenic Council’s “Divine Nine.”

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Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Vice President of Corporate Engagement Dionne Jenkins visited Advancement House on Mocs Gift Day to present a $10,000 gift toward MOC Academy.

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

Tales from the UTC PodLab

Shawn Kurrelmeier-Lee and Stephen Rumbaugh

Shawn Kurrelmeier-Lee and Stephen Rumbaugh

“Tennessee Valley Across the Table” is a student-led podcast that brings locals, often strangers with different views, together to learn who we are as people. It is inspired by StoryCorps’ One Small Step program.

In 2022, community members came to the UTC PodLab and opened their lives with stories about their families, their politics and their hopes for the future. This year, UTC Honors students, under the direction of Will Davis, studied the recordings and chose the material that most resonated with them. This episode by UTC elementary education student Mackenzie Longmire features a conversation between Shawn Kurrelmeier-Lee and Stephen Rumbaugh.

You can subscribe to “Tennessee Valley Across the Table” on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

WUTC Spotlight: Scenic Roots

Mike Bradshaw, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, recently was a guest on WUTC-FM’s Scenic Roots to talk about what’s going on at the CIE.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, part of the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, engages, equips and encourages innovators and entrepreneurs at UTC.

Be Well Tip: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, it is crucial for all individuals, regardless of gender identity, to be aware of breast and chest health. Watch for any breast/chest irregularities or symptoms such as lumps or masses (which may or may not be painful), swelling under arms or around the collarbone, general and/or nipple pain, redness/thickening/itching of the skin, discharge, and unusual warmth in the chest area.

We encourage everyone to incorporate monthly self-exams—in the shower, in front of a mirror or while lying down—both visually and by physically using the pads of your fingers in circular motions to feel for any noticeable changes.

  • Contact your health care provider immediately if you detect any changes.
  • For more information, visit us in the Center for Wellbeing (University Center Room 350) for a “how-to” self-exam tool as well as other breast and chest health resources.


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