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KNOXVILLE – From working in the schools to working with nonprofit agencies, many faculty, staff and students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are engaged in addressing community issues and bringing about social change.

On Wednesday, April 22, the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy will bring together some of these people to talk about their projects, which range from launching nutrition and gardening projects at Inskip Elementary School, to running a Center on Grief at the Burlington Branch Library, to researching seniors living in Anderson County. The half-day event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Toyota Auditorium at the Baker Center, 1640 Cumberland Ave.

Parking is available for a fee in the University Center parking garage on Phillip Fulmer Way.

Here’s a look at the day’s schedule:

9 a.m. – Welcome by Nissa Dahlin-Brown, interim director of the Baker Center; Bob Rider, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; and Ileen Cheek.

9:10 a.m. – “The Economics of Engagement: Why the University of Tennessee Cannot Afford to Ignore the Surrounding Community,” a look at how civic engagement is linked to larger quality of life issues. Speaker is Matt Murray, professor of economics and associate director of the Center for Business and Economic Research.

9:25 a.m. – “Creating a Center for Civic Engagement,” a discussion of the Baker Center’s future plans, by Dahlin-Brown and Rita Geier, senior fellow at the Baker Center.

9:45 a.m. — “Several Examples of Civically Engaged Faculty & Students,” by Doug Blaze, dean of the College of Law; Susan Riechert, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; Tricia McClam, professor of educational psychology and counseling; Michael Handelsman, professor of Spanish; Bryan Patterson, assistant professor, Agricultural Leadership Education and Communications.

11 a.m. – “Center for Civic Engagement @ Work,” a look at some of the programs already in existence at UT Knoxville. Speakers include Bob Kronick, professor of educational psychology and counseling; Michael Catalana, graduate student in education; Shu-Li Chen, associate professor in the College of Nursing; Jill Baker of the United Way of Anderson Co.; Mark Brezina, director of the Knoxville office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Rider of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre; and Erin Bernstein, UT student active in Jazz for Justice.

11:40 a.m. – “Engaged Scholarship and Teaching,” a talk by David Schumann, of UT’s new Teaching and Learning Center.

11:50 a.m. – “Making it Real: UT Priority!” a talk about what UT Knoxville needs to do to make engagement part of its mission and institutional priorities, by Sarah Gardial, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,