Spring Semester 2020 is one for the record books. Violent storms that included several tornados struck our area Sunday night, demolishing complete neighborhoods and making roads impassable. Added to the impacts of the unprecedented novel coronavirus pandemic, we are left numb. Together, we will make it through this semester!
I know this is a tough time for everyone, especially those impacted by the tornados. On behalf of the members of the Executive Leadership Team, we appreciate the huge amount of time you have invested as we transitioned to online instruction, moved students out of housing, and are now dealing with storm damage while trying to work from home – knowing some no longer have a home. We thank you for your professionalism and what every one of you means to this University. You are UTC!
Pre-Tornado, the following items were in this C-Note, but they seem a bit too upbeat. In spite of what is going on, there are many good things happening.
A huge shout out to Chris Smith, the UTC chief health affairs officer and the director of the School of Nursing, and University Health Services Director Yasmine Key. We are so lucky to have such great professionals on our team. We appreciate how available both of you have been for the campus community—consulting, advising and working closely as partners with the county, region and state. Thank you for all that you do!
Trevor Elliott, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering, was recently a featured participant in US Ignite’s “Panelist Discussion on Community 3D Printing Options and COVID-19 Support.” Trevor has been using 3D printers to help make face shields for local health care workers to protect them from the coronavirus. Keep up the critical work!
Mackenzie Scott, a senior English major and a member of the Brock Scholars Program, has been accepted into the Columbia Publishing Course through Columbia Journalism School. Since its inception 73 years ago, the six-week Columbia Publishing Course has been recognized as the premier training ground for those aspiring to work in book, magazine and digital publishing. Cheers to Mackenzie and the many Department of English faculty and staff members who have assisted in her academic journey.
Congratulations to a pair of Innovations in Honors Program scholars, biology major Ximena Leon and chemical engineering major Dell Zimmerman, who were both awarded a 2020 Goldwater Scholarship. Ximena and Dell were the first UTC students to win the scholarship since 2008. The Goldwater Scholarship provides up to $7,500 for educational expenses and is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship for students studying the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in the United States. The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.
For a third consecutive cohort, the School of Nursing’s December 2019 graduating class achieved a 100% pass rate on their first attempt at the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). What a terrific accomplishment for the students, faculty and staff of the School of Nursing! Passing the NCLEX is required for a license to practice nursing in Tennessee.
Congratulations to Randy Boyd, who recently was selected by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees to serve as UT President for the next five years. We are all looking forward to working with him.