Life of the Mind program to get upgrade for fall
The 2011-2012 academic year will bring some significant changes to the Life of the Mind (LOM) program, the common reading experience that gives first-year students their initial taste of academic life at UT.
The LOM book is "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," written by Rebecca Skloot, an award-winning science writer.
For the first time, the Life of the Mind will be part of a new First-Year Studies course, FYS 100: The Volunteer Connection. This will be a zero-credit, pass-fail course that all first-year students must complete between orientation and the first few weeks of class.
As part of the course, students will read the book, attend a discussion session and a lecture by the author, and complete a creative project. Students also complete technology and academic success tutorials and participate in activities designed to help them make the transition from high school to college.
At least 150 faculty and staff members are needed to serve as Life of the Mind discussion group facilitators. Their responsibilities will include: reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (the Provost office will provide facilitators with free copies of the book); attending a facilitator orientation in early August to discuss the book with colleagues and get ideas for leading an engaging discussion; reviewing up to 30 creative projects submitted by the students in your discussion group via Blackboard and generating feedback (Blackboard experience is not necessary; training will be provided.); leading a one-hour discussion with a small group of freshmen at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 15, and ensuring that attendance is taken (Facilitators also will be invited to attend Skloot's presentation at 9:00 a.m. on the same day.); and completing a brief survey about the experience.
To volunteer to be a facilitator, go to http://torch.utk.edu/lifeofthemind/leaders/ and complete the brief form. A representative of the Provost office will then contact you to provide additional information and send you a copy of the book.
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," published just last year, has received wide acclaim, including selection as a New York Times Notable Book and the Amazon.com editors' choice for the Best Book of 2010 and is being made into a movie, produced in part by Oprah Winfrey.
The book tells of the African-American woman whose cervical cancer cells, taken during a biopsy and cultured without her knowledge or permission in the 1950s, have been integral in developing the polio vaccine, unlocking secrets of cancer and viruses, helping understand the effects of the atom bomb, and contributing to the development of in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping. The cells are known as HeLa, a name derived from the initial letters of her first and last names.
Skloot's book weaves together many important themes, including African American history, research, and medical ethics. She explains the science of HeLa cells but also introduces readers to the Lacks family and their journey in understanding what happened to Henrietta.
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" was chosen during a three-month process during which the LOM committee reviewed more than 100 nominations from the campus community. Members cited the book's broad, cross-disciplinary nature and relevance to the campus's celebration of 50 years of African American achievement as reasons for its selection. The University of Wisconsin and North Carolina State University also have used this book for similar programs. For more information about the book and the author, visit http://rebeccaskloot.com/the-immortal-life/.
For questions about UT's LOM program, contact Drew Webb at email@example.com.
Ready for the World Café concludes semester with tropical menu
The Ready for the World Café at UT will offer a tropical menu for its final week of the semester.
The menu for this final week at the café is tropical salad, yummy honey chicken, sweet and spicy spinach, sweet and sour meatballs, Caribbean casserole, seafood gumbo, and almond wild rice.
Diners will be able to enter a raffle for a football signed by the UT football team.
The café is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each Monday through Thursday in the Hermitage Room on the third floor of the UC.
Diners pay $11 for the all-you-can-eat buffet or $9 for a plate of food to carry out. Aramark's faculty/staff discount card can be used at the café.
The café is operated by students in the advanced food production and service management class, Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism (HRT) 445, at UT.
Students in HRT 445 take turns planning the menus, marketing the café, and working in the café. ARAMARK, UT's provider of dining services, prepares the food.
This week's café manager is Jake Storey.
Storey, of Titusville, Florida, is a senior in HRT. He has worked with the hospitality team at Thompson-Boling Arena and is a member of the UT football team. He hopes to go to culinary school to become a chef and own a restaurant.
Marco Institute announces winners of fellowships
The Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies has announced the winners of the 2011-12 Jimmy and Dee Haslam Dissertation Fellowship and the 2011 Anne Marie Van Hook Memorial Summer Travel Fellowship for graduate students.
The Haslam Dissertation Fellowship has been awarded to Meghan Worth, a graduate student in the Department of History. Meghan's dissertation studies the new kingdom established after the First Crusade, the twelfth-century Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The Van Hook Fellowship has been awarded to Leah Giamalva, a graduate student in the Department of History. Leah's dissertation focuses on how Latin Christians sought to understand Islamic expansion in contrast to the contraction and decay of Western Christendom after the total loss of the crusader states.
UT Gardens' Blooms Days to be held earlier in year
Traditionally held the last weekend of June, Blooms Days has been moved to avoid the oppressive heat East Tennessee has experienced the last few years.
The event will run Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, May 8 from 10 a.m. -4 p.m.
More than 20 workshops will be offered for everyone, from novice to advanced gardeners, covering a variety of gardening topics. Workshops with such titles as Bonsai for Beginners, Preserving the Harvest and You Can Promise a Rose Garden will be led by regional gardening experts and included in the cost of admission. Consulting rosarians will lead guided tours and answer rose gardening questions.
Live musical performances will be held on both days. Saturday, Red-Haired Mary will perform from 10:00 a.m. to noon and Wild Blue Yonder will take stage from 1-3 p.m. Sunday Four Leaf Peat will play from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Robinella will close Blooms Days 2011 with the final performance from 2-4 p.m.
Kids of all ages can visit the Kids Corner to create make-and-take projects and get creeped-out at the Insect Zoo.
The festival will also include a garden marketplace where visitors can shop for handmade herbal soaps, silver and beaded jewelry, topiaries, nature-inspired artwork, trellises and wind chimes, straw baskets, birdhouses and weathervanes, garden fountains and much more.
Blooms Days this year will also combine the UT Gardens annual spring plant sale. The UT Gardens Friends booth will have plants grown especially for the event, including the featured plant Kalanchoe 'Flapjack.' Other plant vendors will offer a wide variety of annuals, herbs, vegetables, perennials, roses, trees and shrubs, making Blooms Days a one-stop shopping experience for spring planting.
Food from Buddy's Bar-b-q and Mediterranean Delight, ice cream from Cruze Dairy and Kettle Korn from Smoky Mountain Kettle Korn will be available for purchase.
Blooms Days, in its 9th year, is made possible through the generosity of Pilot, UT Federal Credit Union, Knoxville News-Sentinel, WBIR-TV and WUOT 91.9 FM.
Tickets will be $6 at the gate. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Tickets are good for one day only, and the event will be held rain or shine. All proceeds will benefit the UT Gardens. For more information and a complete schedule of the weekend's activities, please visit: http://utgardens.tennessee.edu.
The UT Gardens located in Knoxville and Jackson are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. Their mission is to foster appreciation, education and stewardship of plants through garden displays, collections, educational programs and research trials. Some 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropicals, trees, shrubs, vegetables and ornamental grasses are evaluated each year. Both gardens are Tennessee Certified Arboreta and American Conifer Society Reference Gardens.
The gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public. For more information, visit http://utgardens.tennessee.edu/ and http://west.tennessee.edu/ornamentals/.