The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships hosted five FAFSA Friday events in October. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the office pivoted and offered this year’s events through Zoom. For several hours every Friday in October, staff members met with students and their families to answer questions and offer advice for completing the FAFSA.
University Health Services (UHS) continues to serve at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering testing with a 24 to 48-hour turnaround time and working closely with the university’s contact tracing team. In addition, UHS offered tele-health appointments to the UTC community and hosted several flu vaccine clinics this semester.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions launched creative ways to recruit and enroll students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The office hosted several events for prospective students and their families: ‘Admissions 101,’ a virtual event where admissions staff answered questions about applying to UTC and ‘Classes Without Quizzes,’ another virtual event that gave prospective students a preview of college life.
Several EMSA offices participated in these events, including the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships and Housing and Residence Life. With the help of the Office of Strategic Enrollment Technology, the Admissions Office also offered prospective students the ability to text their admissions counselors.
The Counseling Center provided tele-health and face-to-face appointments this semester. The center also focused on improving their work with underserved student populations. Staff recently attended trainings on racial trauma and cultural humility and has ongoing discussions on diversity topics at weekly meetings.
The center has formed a new student advisory board as well. Consisting of two undergraduate and two graduate students, the board advocates for all UTC students and helps staff ensure their policies and procedures provide the best care. In the spring, the center will provide increased support for student-athletes with the hiring of a part-time, sports-focused mental health provider.
To assist with slowing the spread of COVID-19, Housing and Residence Life reserved rooms for students living on campus who were required to quarantine or isolate during the fall semester. Housing and Residence Life provided daily meals for the students, organizing a volunteer program for meal delivery. Volunteers from 15 departments across campus delivered 5,646 meals this past semester.
Staff members from EMSA who volunteered for multiple shifts during critical times were Cindy Williams, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Dawn McFadden, Building Assistant for Stagmaier Hall and Jamie McLean, Coordinator of Intramurals and the UTC Sports Complex.
Donna Cooper, Associate Director in the Center of Career and Leadership Development, was invited to serve on the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) Board of Directors as the Director of Membership/Universities.
An article of hers that was previously published in the 2020 AAEE Job Search Handbook was selected for re-publishing in the 2021 edition. Donna also recently received her Associate Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation.
The Center for Career and Leadership Development and the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships collaborated to develop a new program to meet a need of students in the federal work study program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Called ‘Growing in Place,’ this new initiative allows quarantined students to continue to work for their departments and meet the requirements to maintain their aid.
Donna Cooper, Ashton Adams, Graduate Assistant in the Center of Career and Leadership Development and Endia Butler, Student Employment Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, spearheaded this project.
The Office of Strategic Enrollment Technology launched UTC Marketplace, an online portal for conference registration and payments for campus events. This portal can be used for virtual events and conference registrations, as well as in-person events in the future. Learn more about the marketplace on their website.
Theresa Blackman, Pre-Health Professions Advisor in the Center for Student Advisement and Success, was appointed to the leadership board of the Southeastern Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.
This semester, Theresa hosted more than a dozen virtual campus visits for graduate students, co-facilitated discussions on diversity in healthcare at the Mocs Move Forward conference and became the advisor for UTC’s newly formed Pre-PA Society.
The Center for Student Wellbeing launched ‘Getting Gritty,’ a six-week online resiliency program. Enrolled students worked through the program at their own pace and participated in a weekly Zoom groups facilitated by social work graduate students. 30 students participated in the program this past semester. ‘Getting Gritty’ will be offered in the spring.
Veteran Student Services hosted Boots to Suits, a virtual, state-wide veteran transition support conference in October. Faculty, staff, and administrators from Tennessee universities learned and shared best practices for supporting military and veteran students.
Celesta Palmer wasted no time defining the role of Clinical Case Manager in the UTC Counseling Center. Hired in July, Celesta reached out to someone in a similar role at one of UTC’s peer aspirant institutions to learn more about best practices, became a member of the Higher Education Case Managers Association (HECMA) and partnered with case managers in the Office of Student Outreach and Support.
In her role, Celesta works closely with students who need additional support beyond traditional therapy. She provides case management appointments to help students identify appropriate resources on and off campus, and she has played a critical role in supporting students of concern. Additionally, she provides individual therapy and co-facilitates our Students of Color support group. In November, she was granted her temporary license as a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider designation in Tennessee.
Appointments, Promotions and Retirements
- Laura Petrus was appointed the Interim Director of the Office of Student and Family Engagement.
- Lyndsey Johnson joined the Office of Career and Leadership Development as an Administrative Support Assistant.
- Hannah Barger is a new registered nurse in University Health Services.
- Keilan Rickard joined UTC as the Director of the Counseling Center.
- Marni Pearce accepted the position of Administrative Assistant in the Counseling Center.
- Rachel Tolliver joined the Counseling Center as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
- Celesta Palmer is the new Clinical Case Manager in the UTC Counseling Center.
- Evelyn Tallent is a new Loan Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid.
- Amanda Griffin joined the Office of the University Registrar as an Academic History Specialist.
- Joanne Tetzner is the new Banner Systems Coordinator in the Office of the University Registrar.
- Sherrell Jordan accepted the position of Graduation Coordinator in the Office of the University Registrar.
- Nick McCampbell is a new Curriculum Coordinator in the Office of the University Registrar.
- Jason Harville accepted the position of Assistant Director of Student Success Programs.
- Katrina Griffin joined the Office for Center of Academic Support and Advisement as an Administrative Support Assistant.
- Dana Adams was promoted to Assistant Director of Recruitment & Publications in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
- Terrence Banks was promoted to Assistant Director of Recruitment and Engagement in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
- Jay Freeman joined the division as an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
- Kaleb West accepted the position of Technology Specialist in the Office of Strategic Enrollment Technology.
Campus and Virtual Events
The Office of New Student & Family Programs is hosting virtual orientations for incoming freshmen and transfer students. The office hosted one Spring 2021 orientation on Thursday, December 3, 2020 and has another session planned on Thursday, January 7, 2021. You can find more info on orientation on their website.
In an effort to fill the space created by the adjusted Spring 2021 term, The Center of Career and Leadership Development is hosting ‘Mind the Gap,’ a professional development mini-conference from January 12 – 15, 2021. Participating students can attend dozens of sessions on career and professional development. More information about Mind the Gap can be found on the UTC website.
Winter Welcome is scheduled for January 19-22, 2021. If you have an event to welcome students back to spring semester, contact Elena-Grace Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs is looking for submissions of useful, engaging, and collaborative programs for Black History Month 2021. This year’s theme is “Achievement, Unity, Resilience, & Justice.” You can submit a proposal via MocSync.
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