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C-Note for November 2, 2023

Next Friday (Nov. 10) is Veterans Day, a day for us to reflect on the sacrifices and service our veterans and their families have made for our country.  UTC takes great pride in being a Veteran-friendly campus, with approximately 600 veterans, military-affiliated students, spouses and dependents of veterans enrolled.  We are incredibly fortunate to have a vibrant military community on campus.

As part of the day’s festivities, the University hosts a Veterans Day Luncheon for all students, faculty and staff who are veterans or active military.  Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Abeer Mustafa, who spent four years in the U.S. Army’s 56th Medical Battalion, will be the keynote speaker.

Leveraging Our Special Place as Chattanooga’s University

A huge thank you to Kennedy Foundation trustees Jim Kennedy III, Elizabeth Kennedy Spratlin and Molly Kennedy for helping bring the Dorothy and Jim Kennedy Health Sciences Building—the future home of the UTC School of Nursing—to life.  In addition to dramatically increasing the number of students in our nursing program and helping meet the critical need for nurses in our community, the new building will provide faculty with simulation space and collaborative learning areas to ensure our nursing graduates are ready for their demanding careers upon graduation.

Our final Power C Tour stop of the fall takes place on Wednesday (Nov. 8) in the University Center.  Recruitment of future UTC students is everyone’s job, so if a family member, friend or neighbor is thinking about college, talk to them about paying a visit to UTC to learn about our University.  Our admissions staff has done a great job organizing the Power C Tours, and I want to thank everyone on campus who has stepped up to help roll out the welcome mat to prospective students.  Our tour guides who travel with us on the Power C Tour deserve a special shout-out – GREAT JOB!!

Next Saturday (Nov. 11), the Undergraduate Admissions Office will host its largest campus recruitment event of the year, the annual Blue and Gold Preview Day for prospective students and their families.  Nearly 1,000 people are registered for the event, which includes a campus tour, an academic department fair, a student organization showcase and a residence hall open house.  We are all ambassadors of UTC, and on-campus events are a great way to give high school students, transfers, graduate students and their families a feel for the campus and to meet the people who are UTC.

Creating the Mocs Experience

UTC will celebrate all of our first-generation college students Nov. 6-10 during First Gen Week.  The weeklong series of events will recognize trailblazing Mocs creating their own unique path here at UTC as the first in their families to pursue college degrees.  Check out the UTC Events Calendar to stay updated on the week’s events.

A round of applause to members of the UTC NAACP student chapter on being selected for the 2023 Viola Mapp Membership Ruby Hurley Image Award from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County branch of the NAACP.  The student organization is led by President Samara Graves (junior/psychology/Nashville), while adviser Brandalyn Shropshire was one of the chapter’s charter members during her undergraduate days.  Being a meaningful community member is one of our missions at UTC, and awards of this magnitude are evidence that the efforts of our students are having an impact on the Chattanooga community.

Operating with Excellence

All UTC employees will soon be asked to anonymously share input regarding the ongoing Total Organizational Health initiative.  This initiative is being led by Dr. Chris Cunningham, a faculty member in Industrial and Organizational Psychology seeking to improve our personal health, safety, well-being and our organization’s overall resilience.  Help us make progress in these areas by taking the survey.

Mocs Give Day was a success for our students, our campus and the Division of Advancement!  The final numbers—$1,734,947 raised from 2,131 donors—were record-setting, exceeding the fundraising goals by nearly 73% and 42%, respectively.  Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to our advancement team for planning this event!

A share of the Southern Conference football title is on the line this Saturday (Nov. 4) when the Mocs take on Furman at Finley Stadium.  The Mocs are 7-2 overall and 6-1 in SoCon play, while Furman is 7-1 overall and 5-0 in league action.  Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m., so come on out and cheer on our Mocs!

A big “Go Mocs” to three UTC teams getting ready to start their seasons.  Coach Kyle Ruschell’s UTC wrestlers open the campaign on Saturday (Nov. 4) at the Southeast Open in Salem, VA.  The women’s basketball team, coached by Shawn Poppie, tips off on Monday (Nov. 6) with an 11 a.m. home contest against King University at McKenzie Arena.  The men’s basketball team, led by Dan Earl, also begins the season on Monday with a 7 p.m. tipoff vs. Covenant College at McKenzie Arena.

The UTC Symphony Orchestra and the Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts String Orchestra will present a free public concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Fine Arts Center’s Roland Hayes Concert Hall.  The performance will include “Carmen Suites 1 and 2” by Georges Bizet and “Tragic Overture” by Johannes Brahms.  The CCA String Orchestra will perform selections from “Bach and Roll,” including “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” by Johann Sebastian Bach and “Brandenburg” by Black Violin.

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation

Kudos to Dr. Stephanie Philipp, an assistant professor of education and interim director of the STEM Education Program, for her collaborative work with Tennessee STEM Explorers—a TV show broadcast in local markets throughout the state highlighting STEM news, career ideas and demonstrations to a middle school student audience.  Dr. Philipp and Dr. Erkan Kaplanoglu were recently featured in segments filmed in the STEM and mechatronics labs.  What a fun way to introduce middle school students around the state to work being done at UTC!

Congratulations to Dr. Zibin Guo on completing his seven-year-long journey of implementing the wheelchair/inclusive Tai Chi Chuan through a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grant.  Over the seven years, he conducted over 1,000 hours of classes nationwide for veterans with disabilities, partnered with 80 VA medical centers nationwide and conducted instructional training courses for nearly 1,500 health care providers in 46 starts.  What a way to make a difference!  Thank you, Dr. Guo, for the tremendous work!

Students, faculty and staff, if you are interested in learning more about GIS technology and its real-world applications that are making a difference, our UTC Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technologies Lab is hosting a workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Multidisciplinary Research Building.  I hope you can stop by to learn more about GIS.  You can find more information here.


Don’t forget!  Daylight saving time ends this Sunday (Nov. 5).  Clocks “fall behind” one hour at 2 a.m., giving us additional light in the morning and the added benefit of an extra hour of sleep.


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