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UT’s Faculty Senate, with the support of student–athletes and Student Government Association representatives, has joined forces with VFL Films and Phillip Fulmer, director of athletics, with this message: UT’s professors care about their students and believe in them as problem solvers.

According to Misty Anderson, professor of English and 2018–19 Faculty Senate president, a focus of the this year’s senate is to show the commitment of UT professors to their students, their research, and the state in a short series of social media videos.

“We wanted people to see how faculty as a group are working to make UT a truly excellent, welcoming, and engaging community,” she said.

Students in Candace White’s Public Relations 370 class talked through ideas for scripts. White is a professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

“Their feedback shaped the way we delivered the message and helped us understand how internal and external audiences might each receive it,” Anderson said. “VFL Films donated their time and Phillip Fulmer offered his voiceover talents to help us deliver the message. Cinema Studies sophomore Grey Mangan provided on-site direction.”

The video, “A Place at the Table,” features a diverse group of students and faculty:

  • Maddie Stephens, a senior majoring in English, who is student services director for the Student Government Association and an Ignite team leader with UT’s Center for Leadership and Service
  • Jade Arnold, who is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in theatre
  • Ryan Johnson, a redshirt sophomore and offensive lineman for the Vols, who is studying civil engineering
  • Caitlin Lloyd, a senior and College Scholar, who is majoring in film production studies with an emphasis in diversity and inclusion, and is active in the Student Government Association, Multicultural Student Life, and the Center for Health Education and Wellness
  • Maya Neal, a political science major, redshirt junior center back for the women’s soccer team, and two-time first-team All-SEC selection
  • Jed Diamond, associate professor in the Department of Theatre, who has taught acting at UT for 14 years
  • Anne Langendorfer, lecturer in the Department of English, whose work focuses on the role of emotion in late 19th-century American literature; African American literature; and narrative theory
  • Anne Ho, a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, who teaches cryptography, coding theory, and calculus, and serves on the Faculty Senate
  • Yanfei Gao, a joint professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UT and the Materials Science and Technology Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who studies plasticity at small length scales, thin-film growth, contact and friction, and modeling and simulation of deformation and failure mechanisms