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Chancellor’s Update

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!  Seeing all the happy graduates and the excitement of their families and friends during five incredible commencement ceremonies served as a reminder of the impact each of us has on the lives of our students.  Thank you to the staff, faculty, volunteers, and five commencement speakers who worked so hard to make each ceremony a memorable occasion for our graduates.

Saying goodbye means saying hello to the next generation of Mocs.  Orientation sessions will take place throughout the summer, and Operation Move-In is set for August 16-19.  On behalf of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, I encourage all of you to volunteer to assist with welcoming our incoming first-year college students, transfer students and their families to UTC.

With numerous campus tours and camps over the next few months, this is an excellent opportunity to greet potential future students and their families and show off our Moc spirit!  Each student on a campus tour is given an iconic yellow bag with UTC swag to identify them as a tour participant.  I encourage you to say “Hi” and help with directions or answer questions.  We are all UTC ambassadors, and a little kindness goes a long way.

Congratulations to August 2022 graduate Sara Marc on being selected for the TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) and the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to France.  Sara, who became the third young UTC alum during the 2022-2023 award cycle to earn Fulbright recognition, will travel to Bordeaux, France, in the fall to be a teaching assistant and U.S. cultural ambassador.  Having three Fulbright recipients in one cycle is a fantastic accomplishment and speaks volumes about our people

After presenting at the recent National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Brock Scholar and mechanical engineering student David Brown (rising junior, Chattanooga) was selected to receive a Student Research Video Competition Award.  Between 3,000-5,000 undergraduate students from around the U.S. attend NCUR annually.  Way to go, David!

Congratulations to Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research Reinhold Mann and UTC Research Institute Executive Director Mina Sartipi for their roles with two grant-funded NSF Engines Development Award teams.  An alliance of Kentucky and Tennessee universities and partner entities comprise the Generate Advanced Manufacturing Excellence for Change (GAME Change) coalition, with Dr. Mann leading the University’s involvement.  UTC has a pivotal role as one of 90 organizations collaborating in a statewide coalition called Advancing Technology-Enabled Mobility Solutions (ATEMS-TN), and Dr. Sartipi serves as the coalition’s chief research officer.

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Danquah, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and professor of chemical engineering, on being selected as the recipient of the 2023 Joseph Cannon Award in Chemical Engineering by the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.  The award goes to a chemical engineering professional who has demonstrated excellence in their field.  What a marvelous achievement!

A huge round of applause goes to Dr. Ahad Nasab and the mechatronics faculty on the launch of the new Robotics, Intelligent Systems and Control Lab.  The fledgling program has grown from five students to nearly 100 in just five years.  The second mechatronics lab will continue to spur the program’s growth, focusing on artificial intelligence and mobile mechatronics.

The reception and support among community collaborators to the UTC Research Institute has been tremendous.  As part of introducing the new institute, a brown bag lunch is taking place from noon-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, to engage faculty and staff across campus in identifying opportunities for collaboration.  I hope you are able to attend.

It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Dr. Jennifer Boyd over the past year in her role as Faculty Senate president, and I want to express my gratitude for her service.  A big welcome to Dr. Donald Reising, who takes over as Faculty Senate president on July 1.

Congratulations to Mocs golfer and recent graduate Dorota Zalewska (exercise science/Szczecin, Poland) on winning the NCAA’s Raleigh (North Carolina) Regionals and earning a berth in the NCAA Championships—which start May 19 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dorota participated in commencement ceremonies before departing for Raleigh, recording the program’s first-ever NCAA Regionals victory.

What a tremendous year for the Mocs men’s golf team!  First-year Head Coach Blaine Woodruff has led the Mocs to the third NCAA Tournament finals appearance in school history, including a pair of individuals finishing in the Top 10 in the Auburn (Alabama) Regionals.  John Houk (junior/sport management/Athens, Tennessee) finished fifth, while Paul Conroy (junior/sport management/Enniscorthy, Ireland) tied for seventh.  Go Mocs!

We always look for ways to pay tribute to our campus’ many outstanding staff members.  Please continue to help recognize these employees who go the extra mile by submitting nominations for the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award.  All full and part-time non-faculty UTC or UC Foundation staff are eligible for the award.

This is the final C-Note of the spring.  On behalf of the Executive Leadership Team, we want to thank each and every one of you for your continuous dedication to putting students first through creativity, ingenuity, flexibility and hard work.  I hope you can relax and get recharged over the summer.  Have a wonderful summer!


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