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Community Engagement Academy Celebrates Fourth Cohort Graduation

On October 25, 2022, the Division of Diversity and Engagement’s Office of Community Engagement and Outreach celebrated the completion of the Community Engagement Academy (CEA) by eight UTK emerging engagement scholars. These scholars are a part of the fourth cohort of graduates. During the six-week program, emerging scholars learned from some of the university’s most experienced and engaged faculty and staff.

The 2022 Fall Cohort included the following scholars:

  • Phoebe Tran, Assistant Professor, Public Health
  • Ji Youn Yoo, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Dominque Bulgin, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Anujit Sarkar, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Jessie Tanner, Assistant Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Jun Ai, Assistant Professor, Child & Family Studies
  • Christopher Rogers, PhD Candidate, Sociology
  • Kimberly Hill, Director, Project Excellence

“I am proud of the dedication and these significant accomplishments from our fourth cohort of the Community Engagement Academy. This robust program demands excellence and perseverance from participants, and our scholars exceeded expectations,“ stated Javiette Samuel, Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach. “I am confident these scholars will help the university fulfill our mission as a modern land-grant institution, focusing on often overlooked, underserved, and marginalized communities. Their impact will changes lives.”

The CEA is an interdisciplinary professional development program designed for early career UTK faculty, postdocs, and graduate students who want to learn the foundations of community engagement and engaged scholarship and apply knowledge to research and practice. CEA provides background literature, facilitated discussion, mentoring, and presentations designed to increase their knowledge and enhance their practice of community engaged scholarship throughout Knoxville and East Tennessee by creating new partnerships and/or building upon existing ones. 

Program discussions centered on best practices of community engagement, engaged scholarship, working with diverse audiences focusing on cultural competency and humility, building partnerships with social capital, evaluation and assessment, and engagement for promotion and tenure. The cohort Participated in sessions on campus and in the community at such historical places as the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. Graduates are now eligible for community-engaged scholarship funding.

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