After a nationwide search, Dr. John “Trey” Straussberger has been selected as director of the Office of National Scholarships at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The announcement was made by Dr. Linda Frost, dean of the UTC Honors College.
Founded in 2018, the Office of National Scholarships provides information and support for UTC students and recent graduates across disciplines interested in pursuing nationally competitive merit awards funded by non-profits, foundations and government agencies to support specific missions. Although physically housed in the Honors College, Straussberger will work with students, faculty and staff in all academic departments across campus.
Straussberger comes to UTC after serving in a similar role as interim director of the Office of Competitive Fellowships at Florida Gulf Coast University, an institution he joined in 2017 as assistant professor of African Studies in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.
“His history of engagement with the faculty and offices on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus—and, of course, his mentoring of students—has been extensive,” Frost said. “While he has supported students applying for Fulbright, Goldwater, Truman and other scholarships, his mentorship goes beyond simply competitive awards.
“As a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Trey advises students broadly on the profound impact of post-graduate opportunities on their life trajectories. He has helped students prepare applications for the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year and Teach for America, among others. He also served as a Faculty Fellow in the Florida Gulf Coast University Honors College.”
Before joining Florida Gulf Coast University, Straussberger was a discipline lecturer at Columbia University in New York and a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Puget Sound in Washington.
“I’m excited to work with students to help them have experiences that are truly life-changing and transforming and support their personal and professional goals,” Straussberger said, “and I’m excited to work in a town and at an institution that I know well—and that I know is really impactful on students’ lives. This office can play a central role in making those impacts.”
A native of Chattanooga, Straussberger attended nearby Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences for elementary and middle school and graduated from McCallie High School.
“This will be both a personal and professional homecoming. I’m excited to return to a growing city and a vibrant university like UTC,” he said, “and I’m thrilled to leverage some of the connections I have in the community to help students achieve their goals.”
Straussberger received a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology from Davidson College in North Carolina in 2005, followed by a trio of degrees from Columbia University: M.A. in History (2010), M.Phil in History (2012) and Ph.D. in African History (2015).
He will be joining UTC on Dec. 19.