Just a friendly reminder that UTC will observe the Spring Holiday tomorrow (April 2), and students, staff and faculty members will enjoy a much-needed three-day weekend. The mask mandate for Hamilton County was extended until April 29, so please continue to wear your mask and maintain health and safety protocols that have helped us control the spread of COVID-19.
As we move to the semester’s final month, I want to reaffirm our commitment to work together to build a safer, more equitable, and inclusive environment for all members of our campus community. UTC condemns racism and expressions of hate and discrimination in all forms. The recent attacks on Asians and Asian-Americans deeply affect all of us. We stand in solidarity with our Asian and Asian-American students, faculty and staff.
I want to thank Dean Valerie Rutledge and the members of the search committee for the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement for the great work they did in identifying outstanding candidates for this important position. We will invite one or two to campus for in-person discussions in the next couple of weeks. The plan is for the new Vice Chancellor to be announced before the end of April.
ReSEARCH Dialogues, the largest academic conference on the UTC campus, will take place as part of UTC Research and Creative Activities Week April 12-15. Presenters from across campus, local community colleges, and several local high schools will be exhibiting their research. The conference events schedule can be found on the ReSEARCH Dialogues webpage, and registration is required to access live events.
Exciting news! Thomas Wiegand, a graduate research assistant working with Professor Jennifer Boyd in the Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science, has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Thomas, who received a bachelor’s degree from UTC in 2020, is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental science.
Kudos to Marisa Colston, head of the Health and Human Performance department and professor of graduate athletic training, for being selected as the 2021 inductee into the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society Hall of Fame. What a tremendous honor for Marisa!
Congratulations to Akram Saad, a 2018 graduate of the Master of Electrical Engineering program, on receiving the General Robert Neyland Young Engineer of the Year Award. Akram, who works as a protection and design consultant at Patterson Power Engineers, was recognized for making outstanding contributions to engineering, public welfare and the community.
A big round of applause to Mocs men’s basketball coach Lamont Paris for being named a finalist for two different national coaching awards. Lamont was a finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year, a distinction that honors those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but display moral integrity off the floor. He also was a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, given to the nation’s top minority head coach. Lamont led the Mocs to an 18-8 record this season despite returning just one starter from last year’s 20-win campaign.
The UTC women’s track and field team recently opened the outdoor season by winning the Clark Atlanta University Panther Invitational. The Mocs had four first-place finishes: senior Nicole Buehrle in the 800-meter and 1500-meter events, sophomore McKenzie Williamson in the 200-meter dash and freshman Mikah Charley in the triple jump. Way to go, Mocs!
Congratulations to Zan Guerry and John “Thunder” Thornton on being named Life Trustees of the UC Foundation. Zan and John have been great friends and supporters of UTC.