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Thomas-DavisAn associate professor of architecture has received a national award for his exemplary engagement and outreach scholarship. This was one of eight granted in the nation.

Thomas K. Davis’s program, which focuses on outreach partnerships in greater Nashville, was selected by a panel of university engagement administrators through the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award and the Engagement Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award program. The awards program seeks colleges and universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement functions to become more involved with their communities.

Davis received a plaque at the National Outreach Scholarship Conference and was recognized during the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities’ annual meeting.

This is the third consecutive year UT has received an exemplary proposal award.

The first initiative of the partnership was producing “The Plan of Nashville,” a two-and-a-half-year project that developed a community-based vision and design principles for metropolitan Nashville’s urban core. The plan has been extended through Davis’ urban design courses, which, to date, have enrolled more than 200 students in addressing civic design issues in Middle Tennessee. The work was centered through the UT College of Architecture and Design’s partnership with the Nashville Civic Design Center.

“The work that professor Davis and the NCDC are doing around engaged community reinvention is remarkable,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek in his support letter. “We hope UT’s partnership with the NCDC may also be a model for other universities to follow as they seek to enrich their own students’ experiential learning and faculty scholarship while reinvesting in the greater community at the same time.”

The NCDC was founded by UT in 2000 and collaborates with Nashville community partners, engaging citizens to promote public education, participation and advocacy in civic design excellence. Davis, who was NCDC’s design director from 2004 to 2008, continues to be involved in the center. Through his course and summer program, he provides opportunities for students to learn about urban design, the priorities of developers, and the role of public advocacy to build “livable communities” in the rapidly growing Nashville area.

“UT supports an amazing array of community-campus partnerships,” said Elizabeth Burman, UT director of Community Engagement and Outreach. “It was a real pleasure working with Professor Davis to develop this proposal—it practically wrote itself.”

C O N T A C T :

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713,