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Chancellor’s Update

Welcome new Mocs!  Thank you to everyone helping to roll out the “red carpet” for our new Mocs with Operation Move In, Convocation, Welcome Week and the start of classes on Monday, August 21.  You can feel the energy on campus, and we are all looking forward to a great academic year. 

UTC will begin offering Spanish-speaking campus tours for potential students and their families.  The inaugural guided tour, led by UTC students, will take place next Friday, August 25.  Congratulations and thank you to Brandalyn Shropshire, associate director of engagement in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and Dr. Niky Tejero, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, for partnering to break down the language barrier. 

On August 29 we will recognize the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award recipients for the first half of 2023—Eddrick Brooks (Campus Recreation), Ruby Jordan (Facilities, Planning and Management), Steven Jackson (Facilities, Planning and Management), Leslie Tyler (Health and Human Performance), Shuntika Cox (Facilities, Planning and Management) and Chelsie Ewing (Facilities, Planning and Management)—with a luncheon in the University Center.  These individuals have gone above and beyond to promote a positive work environment and are a model for the campus by going the extra mile.  Congratulations to all the recipients!

Congratulations to UC Foundation Associate Professor Mengjun Xie and Professor of Computer Science and Department Head Hong Qin for their roles in UTC receiving a renewal award of $2.2 million from the National Science Foundation for “Collaborative Research: CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service: Strengthening the National Cybersecurity Workforce With Integrated Learning of AI/ML and Cybersecurity.”  UTC was one of seven American university programs selected for renewed funding for cybersecurity workforce development projects.

The School of Nursing has been awarded $2.6 million from the Tennessee Department of Health for a project titled ROAD MAP, which will enable the purchase of a mobile health vehicle that will regularly visit rural Southeast Tennessee senior centers to provide services to older adults.  Congratulations to Dr. Kristi Wick, UC Foundation assistant professor and Vicky B. Gregg Chair in Gerontology, and Professor and Vice Provost Shewanee Howard-Baptiste (co-principal investigators) and team members Dr. Sarah Treat (School of Nursing), Dr. Latisha Toney (School of Nursing), Dr. Amir Alakaam (Master of Public Health), Dr. Erin Melhorn (Occupational Therapy) and Dr. Cathy Scott (Social Work). 

The School of Nursing has also been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to prepare advanced practice nurses to meet the needs of rural and underserved communities in the Chattanooga region.  Dr. Amber Roaché, assistant professor and coordinator of the UTC Nurse Practitioner concentration, is the principal investigator.

A big round of applause to Vice Chancellor Kim White and the entire team in the Division of Advancement for raising more than $14 million from 6,100 donors during the 2022-2023 fiscal year.  This fundraising total represented a 38% increase from the previous fiscal year and a 115% increase from two years ago.  The Advancement team works to build connections between UTC and donors that leads to transformational gifts impacting our students and our campus.

Dr. Ahad Nasab has been appointed interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.  Dr. Nasab has been head of the Department of Engineering Management and Technology and Burkett Miller Chair of Excellence since coming to UTC in 2018. 

Theresa Liedtka, dean of the UTC Library, will transition out of her position in the Library to take on other responsibilities within Academic Affairs.  Liedtka, who has served as dean for 19 years, will remain in that role until a successor is named—with a national search scheduled to begin during the fall semester.

A big standing ovation to Head Coach Rusty Wright and the UTC football program for their work recruiting blood stem cell and marrow donations.  The team was recently recognized by the national Be The Match Registry for its work in adding 200 members of the campus community to the national registry this spring—and nearly 1,200 since 2011.  As a result, nine people added to the registry later provided life-saving donations.

Congratulations to UTC student-athletes, their coaches and the Student-Athlete Academic Enhancement Center staff for another terrific year in the classroom—including 34 student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs and 217 on the 2022-2023 Southern Conference Honor Roll.

As our fall teams prepare to start their 2023 seasons, a big “Go Mocs!” to all our student-athletes.

  • The defending Southern Conference regular-season champion soccer team officially opens its campaign at 8 p.m. tonight (August 17) at Vanderbilt—and plays its first home match of the season at Finley Stadium on August 31.
  • The volleyball team opens its season on August 25 with matches against New Orleans and South Carolina State at the Georgia State Tournament in Atlanta.
  • The track and field season commences for the women’s and men’s teams on September 1 at the Tennessee Cross Country Invitational.
  • The football team kicks off its season on September 2 at North Alabama.
  • The men’s golf team tees off for the first time September 3-5 at the Erin Hills Intercollegiate in Hartford, Wisconsin.

As a reminder, we will have a day off before the next C-Note, as UTC is closed for the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 4.

We are all looking forward to a great 2023-2024 school year.  Go Mocs!


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