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From: Vice Provost for Student Success
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2020 2:37 PM
To: SSS Scholars
Subject: Student Support Services Grant Update

UT Scholar,  

I hope your return to campus has been great. We’re excited to welcome you back. As UT’s vice provost for Student Success, I am committed to providing resources and tools to support you in your academic and personal journey. I am writing today to let you know of a change in how some of those resources will be delivered – transitioning students who are currently involved in the Student Support Services program to UT LEAD, a dynamic program designed to engage and support first-generation scholars. 

With a loss of federal TRiO funding that supports the SSS program, the university is increasing its commitment to the UT LEAD program. It is important to us that you don’t lose the benefits of SSS in this transition. Therefore, this fall, we will launch an exclusive cohort in UT LEAD to serve the 194 scholars currently enrolled in Student Support Services. I hope you will accept this invitation to join UT LEAD.  

You can sign-up for the UT LEAD—SSS cohort by completing this form. Through the UT LEAD—SSS cohort, you can participate in leadership opportunities and cultural and social activities. The Academic Success Center will assign you an academic coach to enhance your experience until you graduate from UT. The direct support payments you have received as part of the SSS grant will continue through your time at UT if you maintain eligibility—more details to follow.  

In the meantime, if you have any questions about what this transition means for you, please contact CortneyJo Sandidge, assistant vice provost, at or Dr. Talisha Adams, director of Academic Inclusive Initiatives, at


Amber Williams
Vice Provost for Student Success




Dear SSS Students,
Thank you for the many experiences we have shared during my tenure at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I have witnessed your growth and development, shared some ups and downs, and watched as many of you met and overcame some of the day-to-day challenges of the collegiate experience. As I think back about my undergraduate years, it was the best of times. I encourage each of you to relish this time in your lives. Make the best of it, continue to work hard to achieve your goals, make good choices, and, at all times, put forth your best effort. Wishing each of you the very best that life has to offer and more.

Celeste Brooks



My time in SSS was made great by each and every one of you. And I will take away fond memories in the growth I had the privilege of witnessing in each of you. Remember to celebrate the journey and strive for excellence.







Change is like breath. Growth is impossible without change. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You gain confidence and grow stronger by every
experience in which you truly push yourself to do something you didn’t think you could do.

Thank you, SSS TRiO scholars for the opportunity to be a part of your academic journey of success for the last 2 years and don’t forget to be awesome!

Kathleen Modica-Forster