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CCI Diversity & Inclusion Week 2012

College of Communication and Information 

Diversity & Inclusion Week: Expanding and Understanding Our Diverse World

October 1-4, 2012


Program Planning Committee: Alice Wirth, CCI Diversity & Inclusion Week Chair, Greg Dowell, Lisa Fall, John Haas, Catherine Luther, John McNair, Bharat Mehra, Margie Morrison, Chelsea Sanz, Hubert Smith, Kelly Teg, Erin Whiteside, Beth Cole and Mike Wirth

Diversity Festival Committee: Alice Wirth, Chair; Cassidy Duckett, Jeff Gonzalez, Morgan Gore, Melissa Munsey, Davis Porcari, Gustavo Quintero, Chelsea Sanz, Victoria Wright

 “CCI Diversity and Inclusion Week: Expanding and Understanding our Diverse World” is targeted at all members of the CCI community with specific focus on our 1,500 undergraduate majors. The 4-day event offers participants an opportunity to gain diversity skills and knowledge along with a chance to dialogue about diversity and inclusion issues and to share best practices by bringing together leaders and experts from inside and outside the college and university. This year’s Diversity and Inclusion Week theme is “Expanding and Understanding our Diverse World” along with daily sub-themes consisting of Understanding Diversity in: “Our Civic World,” “Our Personal World,” Our Work World” and “Our Communal World.” An open forum, eight panels and a diversity festival will provide our students, faculty, staff and the UTK community with an inspirational and informative week designed to advance their understanding of and appreciation for diversity and inclusion. The week was made possible through funding from UTK’s Ready for the World Initiative and CCI. The schedule for CCI Diversity and Inclusion Week is as follows.

Monday, October 1 – 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” 


  • Zach Dean, Vice President, UTK Students for Liberty
  • Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, Baker Center Fellow and Professor of Political Science
  • Dr. Jean Howard-Hill, National Republican African-American Caucus Chair
  • 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 – 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 Memorial Building (AMB 27)

Time: 1:25 – 2:25 p.m.

Tuesday, October 2 – Our Personal World

Morning Session

Topic: “Diversity and Health” 

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


  • Le Mont Bennett, CDE (Certified Diabetic Educator); student; former Captain in the U.S. military, served as medic in the Iraq War
  • Dr. Laura Miller, Assistant Professor, interpersonal health communication researcher; School of Communication Studies
  • Dr. Mark Prather, Epidemiologist; Community Assessment & Health Promotions; Knox County Health Department, Knoxville, TN
  • Dr. Gary Ramsey, Clinical Assistant Professor; Chair, BSN Program; College of Nursing

Location: Scripps Convergence Lab

Time: 9:40 – 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: 3:40-4:55 p.m.  

Evening Session

Topic: “Open Forum on Diversity and Inclusion”


  • Kristen Barnett, member, CCI Diversity Student Leaders Society 
  • Greg Dowell, member, CCI Diversity Student Leaders Society
  • Kelly Teg, member, CCI Diversity Student Leaders Society

Location: Scripps Convergence Lab

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

Wednesday, October 3 – 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: 9:05-10:05 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: 2:30-3:30 p.m.  

Thursday, October 4 – 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: 11:10-12:25 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: 2:10-3:25 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.