The semester continues to fly by. Before we know it, Thanksgiving, final exams and fall commencement will be here. Graduate school commencement will be on Friday, December 10, and we will have two undergraduate ceremonies on Saturday, December 11 — with Arts and Sciences/CECS in the morning and Business/CHEPS in the afternoon. This schedule will allow each graduate to invite as many family and friends as they like to share in marking their milestone achievements. More details will be coming soon!
The new UTC strategic plan has received approval from the UT Board of Trustees, which is a significant achievement for our campus and cause for celebration. I want to thank Provost Hale for his leadership during the plan development process, as well as each of you for your time and dedication to this project. The process of implementation can now begin.
Veterans Day (November 11) is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the dedication and sacrifices made by the members of our armed forces and the service they provided to our country. With over 400 veterans, military-affiliated students, spouses and dependents of veterans enrolled at UTC, we are incredibly fortunate to have a vibrant military community on campus. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for everything we have because of those who were willing to fight for our way of life. Thank you!
The UTC men’s tennis program will be represented at the ITA Fall National Championships this weekend for the first time in program history. The doubles team of junior Tomas Rodriguez and sophomore Peyton Gatti earned an at-large berth into the national championship in San Diego after finishing as the runner-up at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships. What a tremendous accomplishment for Tomas, Peyton and the program. Go Mocs!
A big “Go Mocs” to three UTC teams getting ready to start their seasons. The men’s basketball team, which has been selected as the 2021-2022 Southern Conference preseason favorite in both the coaches and media polls, tips off with an exhibition contest against College of Wooster tonight (November 4) at McKenzie Arena. The women’s basketball team follows suit tomorrow (November 5), taking on Georgia College in a McKenzie Arena exhibition. Wrestling starts its season Saturday (November 6) vs. Cumberland University at Maclellan Gym.
Kudos go out to six women with UTC ties recently honored as 2021 Women of Distinction of Greater Chattanooga: Vice Provost for Academic Outreach Shewanee Howard-Baptiste; physical therapy professor emeritus Cathie Smith; Alumni Board past president Donna Lawrence; alumnae Becky Hansard and Daisy Maurya-Ballard; and former UTC elementary education major Amy Walden who, along with her husband, created the Michael and Amy Walden Endowed Fund for Veteran’s Entrepreneurship. This award honors women who set themselves apart through leadership and philanthropic activities in the Chattanooga area, and we are excited they were recognized for their accomplishments and dedication to our community.
Congratulations to Department of Mathematics assistant professor Eleni Panagiotou on receiving a five-year, $537,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study human cells. Working with undergraduate and graduate students, Eleni will use math to help understand how entanglement affects cell division. Her research could help in areas such as the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The UTC School of Nursing has been ranked 4th-best among Tennessee’s 29 public and private institutions by Nursing Schools Almanac. The national website says its 2021 rankings of prelicensure bachelor’s degree programs are based on its extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, and the UTC pass rate over the past 10 years is 96.3%.
The search for the vice chancellor of communications and marketing is underway. Information about the process, including search committee members and the timeline, can be found here. I want to thank Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement Stacy Lightfoot for serving as chair of the search committee and the dedicated faculty, staff, students and community members serving on the search committee.
Daylight saving time ends this Sunday (November 7). Turn your watches and clocks backward one hour at 2 a.m., which will give us additional light in the morning.