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Chancellor’s Update

Just a friendly reminder that UTC will observe the Spring Holiday tomorrow (April 7).  I hope everyone enjoys a much-needed three-day weekend!

Thank you to all the faculty, staff and students who helped at Saturday’s Blue and Gold Preview Day.  The University Center was buzzing with excitement, as the event brought approximately 465 prospective students to campus—along with their guests.  Our UTC visitors had a great time and appreciated the friendly welcome from our student services groups, student organizations, academic department representatives and admissions staff.  Thank you to Lee Pierce and her outstanding team in admissions!  Great job to everyone involved!

Mayor Tim Kelly’s “Gig City Goes Quantum” initiative to prepare for education, jobs and business opportunities in the emerging quantum technology sector is coming to UTC.  Three lunch-hour events will be hosted at the Center for Professional Education in the Mapp Building and all will be livestreamed: Monday, April 17 (quantum computing), Wednesday, April 19 (quantum networking), and Friday, April 21 (quantum sensing).  Assistant Professor of Physics Tian Li will lead the Friday session.  Details will be announced soon.

Best of luck to Rollins College of Business SMILE Fund students Jacob Barber (senior/finance/Chattanooga), Grant Fetters (junior/finance and accounting/Mt. Juliet, TN), Claire Hoeke (junior/finance/Greeneville, TN) and Nick Morris (junior/accounting/Alpharetta, GA), who are competing today (April 6) in the regional semifinals round of the CFA Institute Research Challenge.  The UTC group is one of 42 teams remaining in the global competition, which started with nearly 1,300 university teams and 6,400 student participants.

Congratulations to the UTC Mock Trial students on advancing to the American Mock Trial Association national championship tournament in Memphis on April 14-16.  This is the fourth time in eight years that UTC has gone to nationals.  Kudos to faculty advisor Mike Giglio and the eight undergraduate students— political science and public service majors Taylor Johnson, Sophia Kennan, Jalil Bowler, Sam Kline and Lauren Igoni; history and philosophy of law, ethics and justice major Stacy Cunningham; criminal justice major Nicole Knight-Fallon; and history major Giuliano Duva.

What exciting news to share from a pair of recent graduates!  Oleander Reagan-Artemis, a May 2022 graduate with a degree in modern and classical languages and literatures: Latin, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Romania.  Gus Gaston, a December 2022 graduate with a fine arts degree, has received a one-year fellowship to Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals.  Seeing our young alums get these opportunities reminds us of why we are here.

UTC will be the newest institution participating in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, an initiative supported by the National Academy of Engineering to educate a new generation of engineers expressly equipped to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing society in the 21st century.  A big round of applause goes to Honors College Dean Linda Frost, College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Daniel Pack, Guerry Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Daniel Loveless and UC Foundation Professor of Mechanical Engineering Cecelia Wigal for leading the charge.

The UTC Spring Research and Arts Conference, the largest academic conference on campus, will take place on April 12.  The event showcases the research and creative works of UTC undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff.  Special thanks to Lisa Piazza and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor staff for all the hard work in organizing this conference.

The 2nd annual Fly for Researchers Pitch Competition for UTC faculty and graduate student innovators will take place on April 19.  The competition spotlights ideas that have the potential to be commercialized or licensed, and a total of $35,000 in internal grants will be awarded.  This is a terrific opportunity to highlight the work of our researchers to the Chattanooga business and entrepreneurial communities.

Congratulations to Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton and Mocs women’s basketball coach Shawn Poppie.  Wharton was selected for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics’ Cushman and Wakefield Athletics Director of the Year Award; under his guidance, the Mocs athletics program has continued to shine both on the playing field and in the classroom.  Poppie earned Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Mocs to their 19th Southern Conference Tournament title.  Go Mocs!

The Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science held a dedication ceremony in memory of Dr. Mark Schorr last week.  Some of the late Dr. Schorr’s students commissioned a painting of a Black Drum fish, which is now on display in Holt Hall.  The department also announced the creation of the Dr. Mark Schorr Endowed Fund, an award in his memory supporting graduate student research.

A huge “Thank You” to Dr. Tommie Brown for donating her personal papers to the UTC Library Special Collections.  Dr. Brown, who grew up in Chattanooga, was a professor of social work at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1971-1998 and a Democratic legislator in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1992-2012.  Her papers include letters, photographs, newspaper clippings and documents from her years in education and politics.  The Tommie F. Brown Academy on 8th St. bears her name.


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