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IARSLCE Call for Research Recognitions

Deadline: March 23

The International Association for Research on Service-Learning & Community Engagement (IARSLCE) will acknowledge and honor outstanding work in the field. The Recognitions Committee of the Board of Directors invites nominations and self-nominations for this year’s four IARSLCE awards are: Distinguished Career, Early Career, Dissertation, and Seminal Work.

Please consider nominating a colleague or nominating oneself for an award. Descriptions for each can be found on the website. Nominations will be reviewed by committees consisting of IARSLCE members and Board members. Decisions will be approved by the Board. All nominees will be notified by mid-May.

If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Howard ( or Trina Van Schyndel (

Innovative Building Promotes Meaningful Engagement at Beardsley Farm

Exterior design for the education center at Beardsley Farm

Exterior design for the education center at Beardsley Farm

Design-build teaching and learning is an innovative approach to educating architects and making architecture, with the potential to advance both the practice and the academy. Students and faculty from UT’s College of Architecture and Design worked in partnership with professionals and city officials to create an innovative public building for Beardsley Community Farm—a non-profit urban farm located in Knoxville’s Mechanicsville neighborhood. In designing an architecture to foster meaningful community engagement, students were able to deeply learn aspects of design, craft, and community with profound effect.

Beardsley Community Farm promotes food security and sustainable agriculture through education and community outreach. Their mission is “to educate people of all ages about the possibilities and methods of organic and sustainable urban gardening.” They have operated out of the Malcolm Martin Park in an economically-challenged urban neighborhood for almost 20 years, making do with very limited resources. Their new education center, which was designed and largely constructed by UT architecture students, includes interior spaces for a multipurpose classroom, administrative offices, and restrooms. The design minimized the conditioned building footprint to add sheltered exterior spaces serving as a welcome center, outdoor classroom, mudroom for vegetable processing, and a modest amphitheater for addressing the park.

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Lone Oaks Farm Project Promotes Youth Development and STEM Programs

Bob French, adjunct associate professor of architectureRobert French, adjunct associate professor of architecture, is leading the College of Architecture and Design’s involvement in a multi-year effort involving research, design, master plan development, and potential design-build opportunities in the future. The effort brings together students from architecture and landscape architecture along with top design professionals from across the country to envision a 4-H camp and conference center featuring STEM and agricultural programs at Lone Oaks Farm, a stunning 1,200-acre property in West Tennessee.
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Odd Fellows Cemetery Initiative

Social Justice Survey at the Odd Fellows CemeteryThe Odd Fellows Cemetery is a historically important and culturally relevant cemetery in East Knoxville. This six-acre burial ground was established in the 1880s by multiple African American fraternal and sororal community organizations, all of which disbanded in the 1930s.

Since then, approximately 90 percent of the estimated 6,000 burial markers have been lost to overgrown vegetation and vandalism. Sporadic clean-up efforts have done little to curb the ongoing deterioration. Currently without ownership, the cemetery reflects the neglect and disenfranchisement of the community and visually exhibits a lack of pride.

Katherine AmbroziakIn 2008, Katherine Ambroziak, associate professor of architecture and associate dean for academic affairs and research in the College of Architecture and design, began working with the Knoxville Re-Animation Coalition (KRC), a grass roots organization in East Knoxville that focuses on educating and creating social wealth among Knoxville’s African American communities through projects that illuminate and valorize its past achievements. The result of the collaboration was the award-winning Odd Fellows Cemetery Reclamation Program, an evolving, long-term research, design, and engagement initiative that addresses the potential for a deteriorating cultural landscape to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into the social and spiritual lives of the communities that surround it. Incorporating multidisciplinary research, creative activity, service, and practicum, it acts as a paradigm for academic scholarship and has become the focus or testing model for many socially and culturally geared courses and student activities coordinated through the College of Architecture and Design.
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UT Celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day

Several events are scheduled across campus this month to honor contemporary and historical figures in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Justice Cheri Beasley will be named an African American Trailblazer by the University of Tennessee March 22, 2018Justice Cheri Beasley, UT alumna, will receive the African American Trailblazer Award at the UT College of Law Thursday, March 22, at 5:30. The award is sponsored by the Commission for Blacks as part of the Trailblazer Series, and is designed to honor the accomplishments of African Americans affiliated with UT who are pioneers in their disciplines or within the fields of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Women's History Month

The Humanities Center Distinguished Lecture Series invites David Potter, Ronald W. Mellor Professor of Roman History at UCLA, to present Empress Theodora and the Management of Empire. Theodora was a Roman empress, wife of Emporer Justinian, and powerful ruler. Potter’s lecture will be held March 26 at 3:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

On International Women’s Day (March 8), the Women’s Coordinating Council and the UT Libraries Diversity Committee, facilitated a panel discussion, Having Difficult Conversations on Gender and Politics, with activists, politicians, and academics, focusing on the intersection of identity and politics.


Volunteers Help Uncover History of Black Civil War Troops

Over the past four years, students have endeavored to uncover the history of African American soldiers by helping to transcribe a Civil War-era handwritten text. Six leather-bound journals hold the story to the 1st Regiment United States Colored Troops Heavy Artillery that was formed in Knoxville in 1864.

So far, student volunteers have transcribed more than 2,100 pages of handwritten Civil War documents. The transcriptions will be digitized and made available so families can learn more about relatives who served in the regiment.

The project is made possible with funding provided by a Knoxville Community Action grant. The East Tennessee Civil War Alliance photographed the ledger pages and hosts transcribing sessions at UT’s McClung Museum of Natural Science and History. McClung Civil War Curator Joan Markel co-leads the transcribing effort. The transcribing project is expected to conclude in 2018 with the digital archive to follow at a later date.


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