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Michael Camponovo has been recognized for this work with electromagnetic radiation, but it’s his work as director of UT’s GIS Outreach & Engagement Laboratory that has earned him the recognition of Campus Career Champion by the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration. As director, Camponovo fosters interest and excitement about GIS and geospatial technologies while encouraging Vols to pursue a career in geography. 

As a partner with the CCDAE, Camponovo plans the Geography Career Mingle each fall and utilizes alumni connections and his professional network to find employer partners willing to discuss their career with students to highlight the variety of career options in the industry. He researches and utilizes connections to find internships/jobs for students and shares them via email and a Microsoft Teams channel that he created for students. 

Alexis Andershock, the CCDAE’s senior career coach who nominated Camponovo, said his willingness and desire to help students is inspiring. “He is a creative colleague that is always looking to improve career success for his students and ensuring every sub-industry of geography is included in the career mingle,” Andershock said. “I value our partnership and am honored to call him a colleague and friend.” 

On the academic side, Camponovo coordinates the employer partners and projects for the GIS in the Community course (GEOG 420) creating real-world examples for students to apply their geography knowledge and get experience in the industry. He teaches Practicing Geography (GEOG 499), which is a career course that outlines how students can turn their degree into a career and prepares them for that process through resume and interview activities, doing so only after collaborating with the CCDAE to ensure the course outline and assignments matched their philosophy. In addition, during teaching, he utilizes “You Majored in What?” by Katharine Brooks, which is used in the career course taught by the CCDAE.  

Camponovo is the second member of the Volunteer community to be recognized as a Campus Career Champion. Lisa Parker, a distinguished lecturer of Hispanic Studies and director of the Language and World Business Program in the College of Arts & Sciences, was the first in November 2021. Campus Career Champions exemplify UT’s Strategic Vision, specifically Goal One of Cultivating the Volunteer Experience, by promoting career readiness in and outside the classroom. 

The Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA), led by Undergraduate Research & Fellowships in the Division of Student Success, took place on April 25, 2023.

This year’s event was hosted in UT’s Student Union with 1,179 students showing 868 projects from a wide range of disciplines and methodologies. On May 4 during a closing awards ceremony, participating colleges presented a total of 161 awards for excellence in undergraduate research and creative achievement. Nine colleges and the Baker Center for Public Policy were represented with students from over 56 departments participating. 

Sarah Lange, a senior majoring in addiction and behavioral neuroscience in the College Scholars program, was one of the undergraduate Vols to present two research projects. “For the past three years, research has been my outlet for inquiry and critical thinking, my space for creativity, and my celebration of innovation,” Lange said. “My experience at the University of Tennessee has opened my eyes to the depth of material that research can explore, and I am exceptionally grateful for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships for this opportunity!” 

In addition, the 2023 Faculty Research Mentor Award Winners, sponsored by URF, were announced. This award recognizes UT faculty who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers. At least two undergraduate students must nominate them, with at least one having participated in the recent EURēCA. 

Since 1997, EURēCA has become one of UT’s premier undergraduate research events and is an annual spring event that showcases research and creative activities across all disciplines by currently enrolled undergraduate students in collaboration with a faculty mentor. This year, student research was overseen by 331 faculty mentors, as well as postdocs and graduate students helping to mentor undergraduates in their research groups. In addition, 224 campus and industry judges participated, and division representatives worked with Undergraduate Research & Fellowships for the entire academic year to provide this opportunity for students. 

Tyler Myers, a senior majoring in microbiology and neuroscience and 2023 Goldwater Scholar, said, “”EURēCA gave me an opportunity to showcase my own research while celebrating the hard work of my peers. Participating in such an interdisciplinary event as EURēCA helps unify our campus through a shared interest in academic exploration and creative endeavors.”

Nathaniel Bradley with members of the CCDAE team receiving his award.

One undergraduate and one graduate student recently received the Lumsden-Greenberg Excellence in Career Management award. Nathaniel Bradley is a senior in English with a concentration in technical writing and a Wildlife and Fisheries management minor. The graduate student awardee was Ekramul H. Ehite, a graduating PhD student in biosystems engineering.

This award recognizes students who have demonstrated success in their career development journey and engaged with relevant resources/experiences. These students utilized Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration (CCDAE) services, including individual appointments or classes, gained direct skills through internships or other experiential learning, and attended career workshops, events, or fairs. Additionally, these students have developed a personal brand and have been able to articulate their skills, knowledge, and abilities with confidence through the job search or graduate school admissions process.

Bradley, the first student awarded, participated in several career coaching appointments while changing his major, attended drop-in resume review hours, and attended one of the Career Conversations. He had also utilized Handshake to apply for positions. He is a member of the Student Disability Services Advisory Board and has participated in several experiential learning opportunities, including opportunities through the Departments of Wildlife and Fisheries and Anthropology. He has also worked part-time at a public library, which helped lead to his post-graduate goal of attending graduate school for library and information science.


Ehite attended 20 different career development events over the past year! These included numerous employer info sessions for engineering, Prepare for the Fair, job fairs, and the Memphis VOLTrek for engineering students. On a recent multi-day employer visit, Ehite researched and connected with the employers ahead of the trip, had thoughtful questions for each of the employers, and has connected with employers after he returned to campus. Multiple employers and the trip organizer commented on both Ehite’s skills and achievements, but also on how pleasant their interactions were with him throughout our visit. In addition to his graduate research, he interned at Johnson & Johnson in 2022. He is currently in the process of interviewing with several companies for engineering-related positions, including one he met on the CCDAE’s VOLTrek.

Goal area one of the university’s Strategic Vision, Cultivating the Volunteer Experience, calls for collaborative and experiential educational opportunities that are responsive to the needs of learners. While many efforts are being lifted to respond to this call, one unifying strategic investment that UT has named is a sustained focus on our scholars’ well-being.   

Following recommendations from the Strengths Advisory Council, the Office of the Provost and the Division of Student Success committed to extending UT’s investment in student well-being into the classroom. In August 2022, Dr. Sally Hunter began her appointment as the Volunteer Experience faculty director. In October 2022, faculty members were invited to apply to become Volunteer Experience Faculty Fellows. In January 2023, the 18 faculty fellows from all nine undergraduate colleges were announced to the university community.  

As spring 2023 comes to a close, these 18 Volunteer Experience Faculty Fellows are halfway through their fellowship. Over the course of the semester, through a partnership with Teaching and Learning Innovation, the fellows have engaged in workshops and sharing best practices regarding teaching pedagogies that support the well-being of students and faculty alike. One of the goals of this initiative is for the fellows to engage their colleagues in dialogue regarding practices that are best suited to their field and classroom type. Each fellow has submitted their tentative plans for fostering these discussions or creating resources for their own units.  

“Working with colleagues across campus and disciplines has helped me identify shared challenges we all face every day and develop straight-forward tools to make us better faculty and members of our shared community,” Laura Knight, assistant professor of practice in the Tickle College of Engineering, said. “Although generally, STEM students and faculty might demand a slightly different set of tools than those used in a humanities classroom, by working together, we are realizing the similarities and synergies of teaching with a shared PERMA model.” 

The fellows have had many discussions over the course of the semester on the importance of introducing tools and language that are an easy lift to support the excellent teaching that is already occurring on this campus.  

“Promoting and fostering the well-being of our students will enable better and more meaningful classroom experiences for all learners,” Jennifer Fowler, distinguished lecturer in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “Creating an environment where students feel connected to their classmates and teachers, and where they are engaged, motivated, feel valued and a sense of accomplishment, can make a real difference in their academic careers.” 


This group will reconvene in August 2023, and the faculty fellows will then work in small groups to: (a) create both general and field-specific toolkits of well-being resources; (b) host informal sessions to speak with small groups of colleagues about the resources that are available and share existing practices; and (c) present more formally in venues such as department retreats, department faculty meetings, and Faculty Senate. 

“While the focus of this initiative is on tending to the well-being of our students through their most common touchpoint on campus, it has been so rewarding to see the community being built amongst the fellows themselves,” Hunter said. At the final meeting of the semester, the fellows shared not only their tentative plans for fall 2023 but also the way they were affected by the opportunity to share interdisciplinary ideas and form relationships across colleges. 

Those interested in learning more about the PERMA Model of Well-Being and how to integrate an asset-based framework in the classroom can visit the Teaching and Learning Innovation resource page on Fostering the Volunteer Experience

Members of the Volunteer community gathered Friday, March 3 for the second annual Career Outcomes Summit in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Student Union.

Stephanie Kit, executive director of the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration, presented data from 2021-2022 graduates on their post-UT outcomes while Dr. Amber Williams, Vice Provost for Student Success, welcomed the panel while also offering closing remarks.

“It was a pleasure to hear directly from our faculty about the nuanced ways they integrate career-readiness into their curriculum. These intentional moments help scholars connect their classroom experiences to their future careers.” said VPSS Williams.

Highlights included a 90% positive career outcome rate for the 2022 graduating class, the highest in UT history. Positive career outcomes are defined as obtaining employment, attending graduate or continuing education, performing military service, or working with a service organization.

Overall, 60% of students who did achieve employment are employed in-state, with a $56,624 mean salary, while 70% completed an internship or similar experience. Top employers include: The University of Tennessee, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, Pilot Flying J, UT Medical Center, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

During the summit each faculty member, from a variety of colleges and departments, shared ways in which they include career in their curriculum, ranging from hands-on projects that involve employers and community organizations to assignments that allow students to connect what they’re learning in their major classes to the career competencies they are building.

Ultimately the faculty panel’s main goals are helping students to be better prepared to solve the challenges they will encounter in the workforce.

The Faculty Panel consisted of:

• Dr. Leonard Clemons, Associate Vice Provost for Student Success
• Dr. Erin Darby, Associate Professor, Religious Studies and Faculty Director, Undergraduate Research & Fellowships
• Dr. Julie Ferrara, Assistant Department Head and Lecturer, Business Analytics & Statistics
• Dr. Laura Knight, Assistant Professor, Outreach & Engagement Coordinator, Industrial and Systems Engineering
• Ms. Ashleigh Powers, Coordinator of Academic Advising, Psychology
• Ms. Cary Staples, Professor, Graphic Design
• Dr. Liz Derryberry, Associate Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Sponsored by the Division of Student Success and the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration, the Summit connects faculty and staff at UT with information on students’ post-graduation outcomes to evaluate their success while at college. The data collected from the career profile enables UT to improve academic and student success initiatives that support scholars as they set and achieve their post-graduation goals, securing employment or continuing education. This strategy aligns with UT’s Strategic Vision, particularly Goal One of cultivating the Volunteer Experience. 

The Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration utilizes multiple outlets for getting career outcomes and collects this data for up to six months after graduation. These include attending on-campus events to gather information, participating in calling campaigns, and researching online outlets such as LinkedIn for post-graduation outcomes. National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) provides career outcomes guidelines for higher education institutions on collecting and reporting post-graduation career outcomes. 

The center also recently rebranded their What Can I Do With This Major? website. This additional resource features major-specific profiles with information on common career paths, employers in that field, and strategies to maximize opportunities.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, student scholars recently traveled to the Tennessee Capitol to present their undergraduate research projects to state legislators as part of the annual Posters at the Capitol. The event provides students exposure and access to state leaders and legislators, including Governor Bill Lee who addressed the students to open the poster exhibition.

“I expanded my network by meeting other undergraduate researchers while sharing incredibly important entomological research with Tennessee’s state representatives.” Kathleen Coffman, a senior majoring in plant sciences, said. “This opportunity inspired me to continue communicating science to people of all backgrounds and educational foundations.”

The student scholars who participated were:

  • Kathleen Coffman, Senior, Plant Sciences, Presented: Zombie Ant Fungus: It’s Now Among Us, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. J.F. Grant
  • Madlen Conley, Junior, Geography, Presented: Exploring the Dendrochronological Potential of Eastern Red Cedar Trees at the McGhee-Carson site, Vonore, Tennessee, Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Matthew Kerr & Dr. Jaqueline Kerr
  • Tony George, Senior, Biomedical Engineering, Presented: Experimental Study of Aspiration Catheter Removal for Ischemic Strokes, Faculty Sponsor: Bryan Good
  • Gillian Hertslet, Junior, Biological Sciences, Presented: Investigation into the Conformational Dynamics of Glucagon Receptor using Single-Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy, Faculty Sponsor: Rajan Lamichhane
  • Jada Laws, Senior, Psychology, Presented: Prenatal Wellness Interventions’ Influence on Postpartum Contraceptive Plans, Faculty Sponsor: Jill Maples
  • Hannah Morris, Senior, College Scholars (Education Reform and Policy), Presented: Play and the Built Environment: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Children’s Access to Play in Knoxville-Knox County, Faculty Sponsor: Professor Michael Camponovo & Dr. Margaret Quinn
  • Tyler Myers, Sophomore, Microbiology and Neuroscience, Presented: Investigating Dopamine Modulation by Bacterial Symbionts in Entomopathogenic Nematodes, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Heidi Goodrich-Blair
  • Caleb Napper, Senior, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Presented: Analysis of Alternate Binder Properties in Optimized Concrete, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. John Ma
  • Breanna Polen, Senior, Food Science, Presented: Listeria monocytogenes: Survival of the Fittest!, Faculty Sponsor: Doris D’Souza
  • Ellie Pritchard, Senior, Neuroscience, Presented: Advancing Neurodegenerative Disease Research using Brain Slice Culture, Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Rebecca A. Prosser
  • Skylar Sopko, Senior, Nursing, Presented: Correctional Nurses’ Perceptions of Substance Use Withdrawal Treatment for Pregnant Women in Jail in the South-Central Appalachia Region, Faculty Sponsor: Sadie Hutson & Dr. Carrie Lingerfelt

Before traveling to Nashville, Undergraduate Research & Fellowships hosted an orientation to help scholars refine their posters and presentations. Christie Kennedy, director of research marketing and communications for UT’s Office of Communications & Marketing, presented to the scholars about how to effectively communicate their research to a broader audience. David Smith, director of external affairs for The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, advised the students about how the students can contribute to statewide efforts to translate academic research into real-world policymaking.

In addition to our Vols, students from the University of Tennessee at Martin, University of Memphis, Austin Peay University, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, and Middle Tennessee State University, the organizer of the event, also presented. The Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee System hosted the event.

UT’s New Student Orientation has announced the 2023-2024 orientation leaders. Orientation Leaders use their Volunteer Spirit and Big Orange pride to welcome New Vols and their family members to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, over the summer and throughout the first six weeks of each semester. The Orientation Leader experience is a rewarding experience that provides opportunities for personal and professional growth in areas such as team building, public speaking, communication and interpersonal skills, problem-solving, diversity and inclusion, conflict management, and building confidence as a leader.

2023-2024 Orientation Leaders

College of Architecture & Design
Leilani Tucker-Burgos – Interior Architecture

College of Arts & Sciences
Drake Coakieanos – Psychology
Riya Golden – Political Science
Hollister Hamlin – Pre-Law
Katie Kelton-Clark – Mathematics
Pandora Moss – Sociology
Peter Wilford – Political Science

College of Education, Health & Human Science
Cassidy Collins – Audiology & Speech Pathology
Susanna Digby – Kinesiology
Rebecca Elsner – Secondary Social Science Education
Ainsley McCurry – Special Education
Jehah McWhorter – Kinesiology
Jaylyn Rodger – Kinesiology
MarKasia Young – Elementary Education

Haslam College of Business
Namrata Ghare – Management
Jack Herrington – Marketing
Colin Zimmer – Management

Herbert College of Agriculture
Ava Trivanovic – Animal Science

Tickle College of Engineering
Sanya Shrivastava – Computer Science
Jackson Taylor – Aerospace Engineering

The Office of the Provost is continuing to lift initiatives related to the Volunteer Experience, as articulated in goal one of the Strategic Vision. This comprehensive, university-wide approach promotes student well-being inside and outside the classroom. One effort in that approach is establishing academic department Student Success Grants to support the integration of well-being pedagogy in priority, high-enrollment courses. 

The first grant, awarded in fall 2021, supported the Division of Biology’s Biology Booster Shot project and was submitted by co-applicants, Dr. Randall Small and Dr. Caroline Wienhold. The Biology Booster Shot project seeks to improve student success in the 100-level introductory biology courses, specifically BIOL 150 and 160, and the grant was funded for two years. 

In addition to continuing support for the Biology Booster Shot project, the Office of the Provost and the Division of Student Success have funded two additional Student Success Grants that launched in fall 2022, in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals and the Department of English.  

Co-led by Dr. Erin McCave and Dr. Darren Maczka, the Engineering Fundamentals department was awarded $30,000 to support the Developing Self-Efficacy and Confidence Among Pre-Calculus Engineering Students grant. The grant targets multiple goals, focusing first on increasing student scholars’ self-efficacy regarding math and physics concepts. Additionally, the faculty team seeks to develop students’ skills related to academic stress management, self-awareness regarding classroom performance, and self-regulated learning strategies.  

According to McCave and Maczka, first-year engineering students face multiple hurdles and can be overwhelmed, especially with a lack of confidence while taking certain courses. “By directly supporting well-being skills and developing self-efficacy within the Engineering Fundamentals curriculum, we help this population of students thrive when previously many left the college before making it to their first engineering course,” they said. 

On behalf of the English department, Dr. Sean Morey, Dr. Jeff Ringer, and Doctoral Candidate Megan Von Bergen submitted a grant titled, Equitable Assessment in First-Year Composition. This grant, which was awarded $60,125, is designed to rethink grading practices in ways that reflect equitable approaches to writing assessment and to provide continuity for these practices in the writing program. An example of equitable writing assessment is labor-based grading, which bases grades partly on the labor students put into the course and assignments, such as drafting, revising, self-assessment, and reflection.  

“Equitable assessment practices go a long way towards meeting students where they are as learners and engaging them in practices –– metacognition and reflection –– that contribute to their growth, no matter where they start,” Dr. Morey said. 

The success grant initiative is a collaborative partnership across multiple units. Dr. Sally Hunter, faculty member in Child and Family Studies, serves as the Volunteer Experience faculty director, coordinating efforts related to the success grants as well as the Volunteer Experience faculty fellows program. Dr. Patrick Biddix, who serves as professor and program coordinator in the Higher Education and Administration program, leads the assessment and research activities relevant to the success grant program. Dr. Virginia Stormer, the associate director for curriculum development and design in the office of Teaching and Learning Innovation, serves as a key facilitator of the success grant project, providing professional development, curricular redesign support, and partnership on research initiatives. 

“Faculty-led success grants are helping us achieve our goal of seeing each student persist and graduate,” said Provost John Zomchick. “It’s great to see our Division of Student Success working together with faculty and departments to bring new approaches to learning and thriving to our student scholars.”

UT’s Academic Success Center and other campus support offices including One Stop Student Services and academic advising will host Pizza Pop-Ups on December 5 and 6 to offer assistance as our student scholars prepare for finals.

Each Pizza Pop-Up will be college specific and tailored toward fall 2022 first-year and transfer students. Below are the Pizza Pop-Ups for scholars within the Tickle College of Engineering, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Herbert College of Agriculture.

  • Arts & Sciences Pizza Pop-Up: Monday, December 5 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. (Strong Hall Atrium)
  • Herbert College of Agriculture Pizza Pop-Up: Tuesday, December 6 from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. (Brehm Animal Science Building)
  • Tickle College of Engineering Pizza Pop-Up: Tuesday, December 6 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. (178 Zeanah)


Kevin Reeves, director of Strategic Initiatives for the Division of Student Success, has been named one of 32 individuals to be selected for the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute (CTLI).  

The institute, a joint initiative of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and The Hunt Institute, selects leaders from higher education, K-12 education, government, business, and nonprofit organizations to a one-year program aimed at equipping leaders from across Tennessee with the strategies and knowledge to play a leading role in eliminating barriers to postsecondary education and completion in Tennessee. In partnership with The Hunt Institute, SCORE will provide learning opportunities for the 2022-23 CTLI participants and support cohort members in translating that learning into action. 

“We have a bold vision to enhance and reimagine the student experience so that every student thrives,” said Amber Williams, vice provost for student success. “We are thrilled Dr. Reeves has been selected for the CTLI. The knowledge he gains from the institute will foster our goals becoming reality.” 

Reeves joined the Division of Student Success in July 2021 having previously been the neighborhood director of Student Success at Michigan State University and with more than 15 years of professional experience, including at the University of Florida, Virginia Commonwealth, and Wayne State University.  

As the director of Strategic Initiatives, Reeves provides leadership for high-priority initiatives, including Summer @ Rock Top, Rocky Top Commuters, and the Vol Success Summit 

“I am honored to be selected to this prestigious role and look forward to sharing the Volunteer vision for providing access to all student scholars across the state and country,” Reeves said. 

Since 2019, SCORE has partnered with The Hunt Institute to not only engage deeply on solutions in Tennessee, but also to provide access to national perspectives, experts, and best practices for CTLI participants. Over the course of a year, cohort members will meet four times to expand their knowledge about postsecondary policy and practice, learn about best practices to improve postsecondary access and success, and build action plans to accelerate postsecondary success in their own communities. This diverse group of leaders will work to identify the barriers and equity gaps that exist in Tennessee’s postsecondary system and advocate within their own communities to drive change.