Nomination Form for 2018 Chancellor’s Excellence in Advising/Mentoring Award

The following is from Pat Rutenberg, Co-Chair of the Teaching and Learning Council for the Faculty Senate. You are encouraged to share not only with faculty, but students, as well. Questions can be directed to

Nomination Form for 2018 Chancellor’s Excellence in Advising/Mentoring Award   
As a part of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s “Vol Vision 2020” plan, the Chancellor desires to recognize advisors of students who you believe have distinguished themselves as highly committed to the advising and mentoring of students on this campus. Two awards will be given to professional college advisors/advising administrators for undergraduate advising and two awards to faculty for either undergraduate advising or graduate mentoring, for a total of four awards.


professional college advisor/advising administrator is defined as staff serving within one of the nine colleges’ advising centers/offices whose primary role is undergraduate advising or leading undergraduate college-based advising programs. Nominations should be for those staff members who have demonstrated the ability to guide and encourage students to reach their goals and go beyond what they otherwise might have achieved. The nominee will be an individual who has excelled in these responsibilities for a minimum of three years. Other academic support/enhancement staff are not eligible for this particular award.


Faculty who advise and mentor undergraduate and/or graduate students are eligible for this award. Nominations should be for those faculty who have demonstrated the ability to guide and encourage students to reach their goals and go beyond what they otherwise might have achieved. The nominee will be an individual who has excelled in these responsibilities for a minimum of three years.


We encourage you to nominate an individual who has excelled in these responsibilities over the past three years. In order to do this, please complete the nomination form here Nominations must be received by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, December 15, 2017.  Those nominating someone are asked to provide at least three references for the nominee from the nominee’s director/department head, colleagues at UTK, and students.

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Stipend for research on work, rehabilitation and disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is granting graduate students $10,000 stipends to research work, rehabilitation and disability issues through the Analyzing Relationships between Disability, Rehabilitation and Work (ARDRAW) Small Grant Program. According to the website, “the objective of ARDRAW is to foster new analysis of work, rehabilitation, and disability issues, which may develop innovative and fresh perspectives on disability by providing research stipends to a broad spectrum of graduate students.” The deadline for applications is March 1, 2018.

To be eligible, applicants must be masters, doctoral, or post-doctoral-level part-time or full-time graduate students in fall 2018. Selected students will receive a stipend of $10,000 for the one-year program.

The granting agency is planning to have two informational conference calls on January 31, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. and February 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Interested students and faculty mentors are invited to attend. Any students interested in applying and faculty mentors are invited to attend the call, which will provide a brief introduction to the program, review the elements of a successful application and answer any questions. To attend, register for the January or February conference call. If you have any questions, contact the granting agency at

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GTA@OIT Grant Opens

Spring deadline:
Friday, February 21, 2018

Do you know of a Graduate Teaching Associate interested in reworking the content of a course for delivery in Online@UT (Canvas)?

Twice a year (fall and spring), OIT offers GTAs an opportunity to receive a GTA@OIT Grant, which includes one-on-one instructional design consulting, classroom technology training, and help in using Canvas features such as communication, assessment, and evaluation.

Recipients of this grant also receive a monetary award to be used for travel and/or professional development purposes.

For more information, visit GTA@OIT.

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Graduate Hooding Ceremony

Just a reminder that the Fall 2017 Graduate Hooding Ceremony will be on December 14th, at 4:30 at Thompson-Boling Arena. Participants are requested to be there by 3:30. Doctoral candidates and their hooding faculty should meet in the Ray Mears Room, with candidates wearing their robe and carrying their hood. Master’s and Specialist in Education candidates should register at the Master’s Check-In area, which will be located in the East Hallway nearest to the G-10 garage. Master’s and Specialist in Education candidates will wear their hoods for the entire duration of the ceremony.

Be aware of the security protocols at Thompson-Boling, to avoid delays getting into the arena. This means particularly that the Clear-Bag Policy is in effect (if you’re not sure what that is, read the security protocols). And participants should be aware that there will not be a place to secure personal items, so only essential items should be brought to the event.

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Thornton Center looking for Academic Mentors

Dear Gradaute Students,

before you consider the opportunity advertised below, keep in mind that if you already have an Assistantship with a one-half (50%) time appointment (i.e., 20 hours per week), the department does not support requests for additional, on-goining pay. Thus you would not receive the neccessary approval from the Dean of the Graduate School to take the position advertised below (see more details see the KRSS Graduate Handbook).

If you do not have an assistantship or have a one- fourth (25%) time appointment (i.e., 10 hours per week), you may consider this opportunity:

The Thornton Center is seeking graduate students or those who have already earned a Master’s degree with the following characteristics:

  • Effective communication skills
  • Strong academic background
  • Enthusiastic

What is an Academic Mentor?

  • Mentors are assigned to student-athletes during their first semester at the University of Tennessee to help them develop various skills, including organization, time management, communication, and study strategies.
  • Mentors encourage student-athletes to improve self-responsibility, self-directedness, and other necessary skills to achieve their goals both in the classroom and in life.
  • Mentors foster student-athletes’ long term academic progress by guiding them in the development of effective study and communication skills.

Interested in Becoming an Academic Mentor?

  • Check out the Thornton Center website at
  • Under ‘Interested in Becoming a Mentor’, select ‘Click here.’
  • Be prepared to submit the following application materials:
    • Cover letter, Resume, and Transcripts
    • Contact information for two professional references


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Message from Faculty Senate President, Beauvais Lyons

The President of the Faculty Senate sent the message below to all faculty members. It does, however, also pertain to gradute students and anyone interested in higher education.

Message from Faculty Senate President, Beauvais Lyons

Dear Colleagues:

Early Saturday morning, the US Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As the House passed its own version of the tax bill in mid-November, the House and Senate will now nominate members for a conference committee to reconcile the two versions of the bill.

I am writing today to encourage you to take action on this issue as someone who is committed to education. The US House bill includes language that would make tuition waivers for graduate students and dependents of campus employees subject to income tax, significantly increasing the tax liability of hundreds of thousands of students. This would make access to higher education difficult for many, and would hurt the University of Tennessee, especially for our graduate students who receive tuition waivers. In addition, the House version of the bill does not allow interest paid on student loans to be tax deductible. The Senate bill does not include either of these provisions. Here are articles about the impact of this bill on higher education from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

I hope that everyone who cares about higher education will express your opposition to the House version of the Tax Bill. Graduate students in particular are key to our teaching and research mission, and access to graduate education is critical to the economic, social and cultural well-being of our state. Tax reform does not serve our country if it hurts access to and support for higher education.

The most effective method of expressing your concern is by contacting Congressman Duncan, and Senators Corker and Alexander directly on this issue. Below are links to their web sites:

Congressman Jimmy Duncan

Senator Lamar Alexander

Senator Bob Corker

Please take a moment to do this today. Thanks for helping to take a stand on this important issue.

Beauvais Lyons

Faculty Senate President and Chancellor’s Professor

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Office of Undergraduate Research: Graduate Research Assistant

The Office of Undergraduate Research is accepting applications for a Graduate Research Assistant. This position is responsible for assisting with the coordination, implementation, and assessment of student activities and programming within undergraduate research. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Get details about this position and how to apply.

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