WUTK is proud to sponsor the College of Communication and Information’s third annual Diversity and Inclusion Week

WUTK is proud to sponsor the College of Communication and Information’s third annual Diversity and Inclusion Week.  This weeklong event begins Monday, October 1st and concludes on Thursday, October 4th with the Diversity Festival in Circle Park.  Diversity and Inclusion week will highlight the importance of diversity in the world today as well as investigating the barriers that divide us.

This year’s event includes panels discussing the importance of diversity in politics, sexuality, study abroad, sports, and many more.  Each panel will be conducted by students, faculty, and local professionals.  All events will be moderated at a variety of locations on the U-T campus.

Monday, October 1st – Our Civic World

Morning Session

Topic:  “Politics and Diversity”

Moderator:  Hubert Smith, Lecturer, School of Journalism and Electronic Media and Host of WUTK’s “Hubert Smith Radio Show”


  • Vanderbilt Brabson IV, member, Knox County Republican Party
  • Zach Dean, Vice President, UTK Students for Liberty
  • Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, Baker Center Fellow and Professor of Political Science
  • Susan “Flower” Parker, Sullivan County Public Schools Substitute Teacher and Green Party Candidate for Tennessee House of Representatives District 3 
  • Doug Veum, 1st Vice-Chairman, Knox County Democratic Party

Location:  Scripps Convergence Lab

Time:  10:10 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

Afternoon Session

Topic:  “Latino Issues in East Tennessee”

Workshop Facilitator:  Dr. Margie Morrison, Director, School of Advertising and Public Relations


  • Dr. Martha Buchanan, Director, Knox County Health Department
  • Marilyn Cobble, COO, East Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Karla McKanders, Associate Professor, College of Law 

Location:  Alumni Auditorium (AMB 27)

Time:  1:25 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.

Tuesday, October 2nd – Our Personal World

Morning Session

Topic:  “Diversity and Health”

Moderator:  Dr. John Haas, Director, School of Communication Studies


  • Le Mont Bennett, student, former Captain in the U.S. military, medic in Iraq, disabled vet
  • Gordon Bonnyman, Jr., Executive Director, Tennessee Justice Center
  • Dr. Laura Miller, Assistant Professor, School of Communication Studies
  • Dr. Mark Prather, Epidemiologist, Knox County Public Health Department

Location: Scripps Convergence Lab

Time: 9:40 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.

Afternoon Session

Topic:  “Diversity and Sexuality”

Moderator:  Dr. Bharat Mehra, Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences


·         Rick Curry, UT Communication and Information Doctoral Student

·         Juliet Meggs, UT Psychology Doctoral Student

·         Caitlin Miller, President, UT Lambda Student Union

·         Jenny Moshak, UT Associate Director of Sports Medicine and Past Co-Chair, UT Commission for LGBT People

·         Rick Sawyer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Moderator, Gay Men’s Discussion Group, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church

Location: Scripps Convergence Lab

Time: 3:40 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.  

Evening Session

Topic: “Open Forum on Diversity and Inclusion” 

Moderator:   Kelly Teg, member, CCI Diversity Student Leaders Society

Location: Scripps Convergence Lab

Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, October 3rd – Our Work World

Morning Session

Topic: “Generational Differences in the Workplace” 

Moderator:  Lisa Fall, Associate Professor, School of Advertising and Public Relations


·         Kirk Graves, Human Resources Manager, EnerNex Corporation

·         Mike Murray, General Manager, Knoxville Ice Bears

·         Justin Thompson, Owner/Operator, America Heroes

·         Nicole VanScoten Denton, Director of Digital Communications, Pyxl Digital Marketing and Seymour Firefighter

Location: Scripps Convergence Lab

Time: 9:05 a.m. - 10:05 a.m.

Afternoon Session

Topic: “Exploring Diversity through Study Abroad” 

Moderator: Dr. Sam Swan, Director of CCI’s Internationalization and Outreach Program and Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media


·         Greg Dowell, Communication Studies undergraduate

·         Anne Hulse, Programs Abroad Coordinator, Center for International Education

·         Julia Lyons, Undergraduate Exchange Student from Amsterdam

·         Jodie McGroaty, UTK Master’s Student from the U.K.

·         Andrea Tucker, Journalism and Electronic Media undergraduate

·         Roston Willis, Public Relations undergraduate

·         Ren Yi, Master’s Student from China

·         Amanda Yates, Advertising undergraduate

Location: Scripps Convergence Lab

Time: 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.  

Thursday, October 4th – Our Communal World

Morning Session

Topic: “Does Skin Color Really Matter in Our Diverse World?” 

Moderator:  Alice Bowling Wirth, Lecturer, School of Communication Studies and Director, CCI Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS)


·         Rita Geier, Civil Rights Pioneer & retired Baker Center Fellow and Assistant to the Chancellor

·         John Gill, Assistant District Attorney, Knoxville, Tennessee

·         Dr. Stan Guffey, Course Director – Biology, UT Governor’s Schools for Science & Engineering

·         Phyllis Nichols, President & CEO, Knoxville Area Urban League

Location: CCI Auditorium

Time: 11:10 p.m. - 12:25 p.m.

Afternoon Session

Topic: “Diversity and Sports” 

Moderator: Dr. Erin Whiteside, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism & Electronic Media


·         Kris Budden, Sports Reporter, WBIR-TV

·         Dr. Fritz Polite, Clinical Assistant Professor, Sport Management

·         Jenny Richter, Associate Director, UT Office of Equity and Diversity & UT Title IX Coordinator

·         Donna Thomas, Senior Associate Athletics Director, University of Tennessee

Location: CCI Auditorium

Time: 2:10 p.m. - 3:25 p.m.

Evening Festival

CCI Diversity & Inclusion Festival - An all-campus barbecue with diverse music, dance, and dramatic performances, all CCI student organizations will be participating including: Ad Club, Communication Studies Club, Diversity Student Leaders Society, Public Relations Student Society of America, Society of Professional Journalists.

Organizer: Alice Wirth, CCI Diversity & Inclusion Week Chair and Director, CCI Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS)

Location: Circle Park

Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.