It is hard to believe, but we are about to complete the third week of the semester. I want to thank everyone for their cooperation in making efforts to protect the safety of the campus community. Mocs helping Mocs is how we are going to continue to keep this campus safe, and it takes a total team effort. Now is not the time to slack off. We must control the number of COVID-19 cases if we are to continue face-to-face instruction. Keep wearing your face masks, maintain social distancing, wash your hands, disinfect your workstations. Remember Mocs, we are all in this together.
The UTC COVID-19 dashboard tracks the number of COVID-19 cases on campus and provides information on temporary facility closures. The dashboard is updated daily Monday-Friday around 5 p.m. The data is rapidly changing, and the dashboard provides a snapshot in time. The page also includes a link to the UT System COVID-19 situation dashboard (which has historical information for UTC) as well as regional and state COVID-19 information resources.
It is impossible to walk around campus without noticing the posters and signage illustrating COVID-19 safety measures. Kudos to the UTC Creative Services team, who thus far have designed more than 650 different messages that have been placed in strategic locations all around campus.
Students, I encourage you to visit MocSync, where you can learn about the many activities and organizations on campus and can even apply for leadership experiences. Getting involved in campus activities is even more important in the time of COVID-19. MocSync provides opportunities to meet new people, gain new skills, build a stronger tie to the University, support academic success, and help build a sense of community on campus. Please take advantage of the opportunities to get involved.
The theme for this year’s MOC Forward series is “Moving Forward Together to Dismantle Racism,” and the lead presenter is Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, a distinguished leader in higher education diversity and inclusion. The series kickoff will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 3:30 p.m. Ensuing sessions throughout the fall and spring semesters will be presented in bi-weekly one-hour lunch segments via Zoom. The MOC Forward series is open to faculty, staff and students. MOC Forward is organized by the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Diversity Advisory Council, with planning committee members from across the campus.
A big round of applause to Cindy Poole, assistant professor of occupational therapy, who was selected for the 2020 Educator of the Year Award by the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association. Cindy is the first UTC occupational therapy professor to be chosen for the award. What a tremendous honor!
Congratulations to the Master of Public Administration program, which has been accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration for six years with no monitoring—the best possible outcome in the accreditation process. The UTC MPA program is the only one in East Tennessee to receive accreditation. This is a testament to the excellent work of program coordinator Chris Horne and the faculty and staff in the MPA program.
Congratulations to our Mocs student-athletes as they posted a cumulative 3.42 GPA during the spring 2020 semester! More than 71% of UTC student-athletes were selected to the Dean’s List, while a school-record 195 Mocs earned a spot on the SOCON Honor Roll. Go Mocs!
This past Sunday afternoon, we held a virtual commencement to celebrate May and August 2020 graduates. It was an honor to commemorate the achievements of the Class of 2020. The energy and joy of commencement is the highlight of every semester for me, and I cannot tell you how much I missed congratulating each graduate in person.
Please remember UTC is open for business on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. This year, COVID-19 led the entire UT System to make Labor Day a normal instructional day for classes.