Saturday, May 11, we bid farewell to another class of graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences. Thank you for the role you played in their education and experiences during their time as a student at UT. I look forward to seeing the impact they make on the world.
Part of our vision as a college within a land-grant institution is providing our students with opportunities to apply what they learn by working with faculty engaged in community outreach locally and around the world. In our spring edition of Higher Ground, we focused on outreach as a mission and featured activities our students, faculty, and staff engage in throughout the year.
The impact members of our college have on the university – both on and off campus – continues to amaze me.
During the annual Chancellor’s Honors Banquet, Jasmine Blue, Jack Larimer, Maddie Stephens, and Mickayla Stogsdill received the honor of Torchbearer, and two of our faculty received top faculty awards. Alison Vacca received the Jefferson Prize for significant contributions through research and creative activity, and Marianne Breinig received the L.R. Hesler Award for exceptional teaching and service.
Several of our students received funding to study languages and experience the culture of countries considered crucial to the future stability and security of the United States.
Sue Choi, Meghan Gragg, and Mateos Hayes, all three rising seniors, received fully funded Critical Language Scholarships to travel abroad this summer and study Chinese, Arabic, and Russian, respectively. Brooklyn Battle and Ryan White received Boren Scholarships, which the Institute of International Education awards on behalf of the National Security Education Program. Battle will study Mandarin, and White will study Russian while immersed in the Belarusian culture.
During the summer, we are working to develop opportunities for increased online education and look forward to implementing those during the following academic year. As we approach 2020 and begin our review of the goals we set out to accomplish in our strategic plan, a key initiative we are focusing on this summer is how to infuse education about inclusiveness and embracing diversity within our college’s culture and our curriculum. We will be sharing some new ideas, but will also look to you – our community – to help us carry this torch for inclusivity and diversity in everything we accomplish as a college.
Finally, if you have not heard the news, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville turns 225 years old September 10, 2019 – a milestone we will celebrate throughout the 2019-20 academic year at all levels of the university. More details are forthcoming, so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to join in the celebration of what it means to be a Volunteer.
Thank you for your work. I hope you have a wonderful summer!
Theresa M. Lee
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences