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Strategic Initiatives Team

The Strategic Initiatives Team is committed to enhancing the educational experience of our undergraduate students.

Our team strives to foster student growth, engagement, and achievement by identifying and addressing key challenges and opportunities that directly impact student success.

By collaborating across departments and leveraging data-driven insights, we aim to implement innovative strategies and initiatives that empower our diverse student body to thrive academically, personally, and professionally.

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Dr. Krystyne Savarese

Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success and Chief Strategist

Dr. Krystyne Savarese spearheads the endeavors of the Volunteer Experience, forging a scholarly path towards cultivating a thriving campus environment centered on holistic well-being. Her leadership drives a profound commitment to empowering every student’s journey to success.

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Dr. Sally Hunter 

Volunteer Experience Faculty Director

Dr. Sally B. Hunter holds a clinical faculty role in the Department of Child and Family Studies, where she also serves as the Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising and Student Support. Dr. Hunter’s work with the Division of Student Success focuses on enhanced integration of well-being practices in UTK’s classrooms.

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Dr. Patrick Biddix Director of Research & Assessment

Dr. J. Patrick Biddix is Professor of Higher Education and Associate Director of the Postsecondary Education Research Center (PERC) in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK). He teaches graduate courses in research, assessment and evaluation, and special topics in higher education and student affairs. 

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Doug Porter

Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives

Doug Porter is the Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives in the Division of Student Success. In this role he focuses on lifting the Vol Edge, a campus-wide career readiness program designed to support all students in building the skills and experience they need for success in life and career.

Dr. Cheri Green

Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives


Dr. Cheri Green serves as the Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives within the Division of Student Success. In this capacity, Cheri will assist in ensuring the execution of the Vol Edge program, overseeing key project milestones, vendor relationships, and contributing to event planning and outreach initiatives.

Brooke Squires

Manager for Training and Development


Brooke Squires serves as the manager for training and development in the Division of Student Success. In this role, she leads strength-based professional development initiatives and new team member onboarding division-wide to enhance staff understanding of well-being, and campus-wide professional development relevant to the success of the Volunteer Experience initiative.

Sam Kilgore

Data Analyst

Sam Kilgore is a data analyst in the Division of Student Success. He works on providing data for the department to use in its many projects aimed at increasing student success.