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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s inaugural Student Success Faculty Advisory Council is launching in September. The goal of the council is rooted in the success of the Volunteer Experience, a comprehensive university-wide approach to promoting student well-being and career readiness. By ensuring a robust communication and feedback pipeline, the council will be working with departments across the Division of Student Success to help increase undergraduate persistence and graduation rates, close achievement gaps and bolster postgraduation career outcomes.

The council will advise and provide feedback on critical initiatives facilitated by the Division of Student Success and on faculty engagement. The Student Success Grant program, the Volunteer Experience Faculty Fellows initiative and the Vol Edge program will be the focus of the 2023–24 advisory council cycle.

“Successful support for undergraduate students on campuses nationwide is founded upon a key element: radical collaboration between dedicated faculty and the academic services that provide assistance,” said Amber Williams, vice provost for student success. “While strides have been made in strengthening this connection at UT, I am grateful to the 15 esteemed faculty for serving as thought partners for the Division of Student Success. Their invaluable feedback will help propel and accelerate UT’s journey toward student excellence.”

In addition to Williams and Krystyne Savarese, assistant vice provost and chief strategist for student success, the council is made up of 15 faculty members, with 13 appointed by each undergraduate college, the University Libraries and the Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs, and two appointed by the Faculty Senate. Members will serve a two-year term.

Meet the Council

  • Chair: Amber Williams, Vice Provost for Student Success
  • Initiative Representative: Krystyne Savarese, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success
  • Scott Barnicle, Associate Professor of Practice in Sport Psychology
  • Lynn Beeler, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing and ABSN Program Chair
  • Alex Bentley, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Eric Boder, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Associate Department Head, and Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud, Associate Professor of English and Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Mary Cooper, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs
  • David Golden, Professor of Food Science and Faculty Fellow
  • Guy Harrison, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Bayyinah Jeffries, Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies and Associate Department Head, Faculty Senate appointee
  • Bill Lyons, Director of Policy Relationships
  • Robert Mindrup, Director and Clinical Associate Professor
  • Heather Sedges, Affiliated Associate Professor of Child and Family Studies, Faculty Senate appointee
  • Renée Tatum, Assistant Professor of Voice
  • Scott Wall, Professor of Architecture
  • Caroline Wienhold, Assistant Director of Biology Teaching and Learning


Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993,