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Campus Partners Committee


The Campus Partners Committee, facilitated by the Center for Global Engagement, is comprised of units across campus and works to embed global engagement to our campus. The Committee’s focus is to deepen the global vision on our campus and prepare students, staff, and faculty for active global citizenship. The Center for Global Engagement desires to maintain resilience as a higher education institution and is steadfast to the global learning that our students must develop and the internationalization that our campus must adopt. The Committee’s approach to guidance and program development is interdisciplinary and together with the Center for Global Engagement will advocate and promote efforts to internationalize the curriculum, provide opportunities for students to study abroad, and work to increase the number and diversity of students on campus. We will foster collaborations with international faculty and higher education institutions around the world. 

2021 – 2022 Committee Members

David R. Ader, PhD

Assistant Director, Research Assistant Professor
Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture
Institute of Agriculture

Dr. David Ader works as an interdisciplinary scholar in the fields of sustainable agriculture and rural development. His expertise and research interests include population dynamics of rural communities, sustainable agriculture development for smallholder farmers, and nutrition-sensitive agricultural approaches for development. Ader holds a dual Ph.D. from Penn State University in Rural Sociology and Demography. His current research focuses on rural communities in Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America.

Ahmedullah AzizAhmedullah Aziz, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Ahmedullah Aziz received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 2019, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University (University Park) in 2016, and a BS degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh Univ. of Engineering & Technology (BUET) in 2013. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, he worked in the ‘Tizen Lab’ of Samsung R&D Institute in Bangladesh as a full-time Engineer. While being in grad school, he worked as a Co-Op Engineer (Intern) in the Technology Research division of Global Foundries (Fab 8, NY, USA). He received several awards and accolades for his research, including the ‘ACM (SIGDA) Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award (2021)’ from the Association of Computing Machinery, ‘EDAA Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award (2020)’ from the European Design and Automation Association, ‘Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award (2019)’ from the College of Engineering, Purdue University, and ‘Icon (2013)’ award from Samsung. He was a co-recipient of two best publication awards (2015, 2016) from SRC-DARPA STARnet Center and the best project award (2013) from CNSER. In addition, he received several scholarships and recognition for academic excellence, including – Dean’s Award, ‘Sunrise-Star’ Award, J.B. Gold Medal, and Chairman’s Award. He serves as a reviewer for several IEEE transactions/journals, technical program committee member for multiple international conferences, and guest editor for special topics in ‘Photonics’ and ‘Frontiers in Nanotechnology.’ He is a member of the Nanoelectronics and Gigascale Systems Technical Committee (NanoGiga TC), IEEE Circuits and Systems Society.

Kate Atchley, PhD

Executive Director
Healthcare Division
Graduate & Executive Education
James A. Haslam II College of Business

Kate Atchley earned her Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Tennessee and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Tennessee. Prior to joining the university, Atchley worked in Thailand as an organizational-change consultant; she was a guest lecturer at Burapha University where she conducted classes in cognitive and emotional intelligence as it related to employee selection. From 2001-2013, she also was the managing partner of the Tennessee Assessment Center, a. company specializing in the selection and development of executives and managers. Her areas of interest include employee selection, executive development, physician leadership, and change management. She has been nominated for the college’s Al Keally Outstanding Lecturer Award and, numerous times, for the Physician’s Executive MBA Outstanding Teacher award. In 2019, she was awarded HCB’s Richard D. Sanders Award for Leadership in Executive Education.

Ashley M. Browning, M.A.

Doctoral Student
Sociology Department Graduate Student Senator
Chair, Equity & Diversity, Graduate Student Senate
Member, Chancellor’s Commission for Diversity & Inclusion
Department of Sociology

A native of Belfry, Kentucky, Ashley M. Browning (she/her) is currently residing in the Fountain City neighborhood of Knoxville with her spouse, Tyler Steed McClure and their feline fur babies, Blue Ivy and Frances Beans. She completed an undergraduate thesis titled “An Empirical Analysis of the Effectiveness of Strain Theory: An Explanation of Delinquency Among Incarcerated Youth” and a graduate thesis titled “Community Perceptions of Prescription Drug Abuse in Eastern Kentucky.” Ashley is deeply passionate about social justice and finds creative ways to show up for her community. As a full-time employee of the University, Ashley does not receive funding or serve in an academic or research position for the Department of Sociology. She is studying in the Critical Race & Ethnic Studies concentration and will earn a graduate certificate in Cultural Studies in Education as her secondary area. Her current research is focused on post-secondary classroom interactions and how “vulnerability reads” shape the higher ed student experience.

Ashley serves the campus community as Graduate Student Senate representative for the Sociology department and chairs the Equity and Diversity Committee. She is also a member of the Chancellor’s Commission for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), Chancellor’s Commission for Women (CFW), Inclusive Teaching Taskforce, Assessment Steering Committee, and Accommodation & Accessibility Committee at UT Knoxville. Ashley serves the broader community through First Aid Collective Knoxville, Black Mamas Bailout, and as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for Appalachian Community Fund. When she is not serving others, Ashley relaxes with cross-stitch and binge-rewatching Parks & Rec for the millionth time.

Nicole Bryant, MPPA

Nicole Bryant is a UT alum and earned her Master’s in Public Policy and Administration in 2019. She has broad experience working with diverse communities and local governments both in the US and abroad. Prior to joining OCEO, she worked with UT researchers in the Office of Sponsored Programs.



Megan Bryson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Associate Head
Department of Religious Studies

Megan Bryson’s research focuses primarily on themes of gender and ethnicity in Chinese religions, especially in the Dali region of Yunnan Province. The geographical specificity of her work is balanced by its temporal breadth, which ranges from the Nanzhao (649-903) and Dali (937-1253) kingdoms to the present, as reflected in her monograph, Goddess on the Frontier: Religion, Ethnicity, and Gender in Southwest China (Stanford University Press, 2016), which traces the worship of a local deity in Dali from the 12th to 21st centuries. Bryson has also published several journal articles in such venues as the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Asia Major.

Moonhee Cho, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
School of Advertising and Public Relations

Dr. Moonhee Cho is an associate professor in the School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her BA in Psychology and Advertising and Public Relations (double major) from Ewha Women’s University and his MA and Ph.D. in mass communication, with an emphasis on public relations, from the University of Florida.

She is a faculty advisor of the Korean Student Association. She recently received the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) award from the Central Asia University Partnerships Program, UniCEN, and has since launched the first-ever COIL program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Erin Darby

Associate Professor
Department of Religious Studies

Erin Darby is an assistant professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee and the co-director of the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project in southern Jordan. She graduated with her Ph.D in Religious Studies from Duke University in 2011. Erin has been the recipient of several awards, including a number of travel fellowships supporting her research at the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan, the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, in Nicosia, Cyprus, and at the Damascus and Aleppo Museums in Syria. She also received a State Department Educational and Cultural Affairs Research Fellowship (2007) and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2016) for her work at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Daniel J. Dominguez

Coordinator, Multicultural Student Life

Daniel (Danny) Dominguez currently serves as a Coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Life. In his role, Danny supports the Native American, Asian American, and Latin American student organizations in community building, leadership and identity development, and multicultural competence. He also works with campus and community partners to create programming for national Heritage Months at the University.

Danny received his Master of Science in Higher Education from Florida State University and his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Management from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In his free time, Danny enjoys being outdoors, trying new foods, and going to sporting events.

Claire E. Donelan

SGA President
Visitor’s Center

Claire Donelan is a senior studying Marketing and International Business. For the 2021-2022 school year Claire serves as Student Body President working to represent the student body in every aspect and advocating for the needs of all students. While at her time at the University of Tennessee Claire has been involved in SGA, Leading Women of Tomorrow, UT Ambassador Program, and Chi Omega. After graduation, she plans to work for PepsiCo.

Nan Gaylord

Professor in the UT College of Nursing

Nan Gaylord was selected as a recipient of the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award. The Harold Love Outstanding Community Service award is sponsored by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and is named after the late state representative Harold Love, who was instrumental in passing legislation to create community service recognition programs at the state level in 1991.Gaylord was one of five honorees selected by a statewide taskforce for this award.
She saw a need- and had a vision- 23 years ago to provide school-based health care to underserved children in the Knox County area. Dr. Gaylord raised funds to create a clinic to provide health care services to who children and teens who have limited access to health care. The Vine School Health Center is a full service pediatric clinic located at Vine Middle Magnet School in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The clinic has grown to provide services to over 2000 children, including over 7500 physical and/or mental health care visits annually. The clinic also provides health services to 11 underserved schools via telehealth technology. The success of the clinic is a direct reflection of Nan’s dedication to caring for children and her visionary leadership to secure funding, personnel and collaborative partners.

Paul K. Gellert

Dr. Paul K. Gellert is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Global Studies. His research focuses on the political economy of natural resources and development in Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and the world, focusing on the socionatural and political aspects of coal, palm oil, and other extractive industries. He is co-editor (with fellow sociologists, Scott Frey (deceased) and Harry Dahms) of Ecologically Unequal Exchange: Environmental Injustice in Comparative and Historical Perspective (Palgrave, 2019). His recent publications have appeared in Globalizations, Sociology of Development, and the 4th edition of The Political Economy of Southeast Asia: Politics and Uneven Development under Hyperglobalisation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

Lorna Hollowell, M.Ed.

Assistant Director of Education and Development
Office of Equity and Diversity

Lorna Hollowell joined the Vol family in September 2019 and serves as the Assistant Director of Education and Development in the Office of Equity &
Diversity and the Division of Diversity & Engagement (DDE). She plays a critical role in developing organizational capacity to align the university’s Vol Values for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion with its policies, practices, structures, climate, and culture through the coordination and facilitation of diversity education opportunities for students, staff, and faculty. She serves as the Chair of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Advisory Board, Advisor to the DDE Student Advisory Board, and a member of the UT Libraries Diversity Committee. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration here at UTK. Her passion for engaging with diverse people and for experiencing International cultures has provided her opportunities to travel abroad to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Czech Republic, Europe; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and most recently in Cape Town, South Africa.

Noriko J. Horiguchi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Chair

Noriko J. Horiguchi is an Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Literature at the University of Tennessee. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, gender studies, and cultural studies.

During her tenure at UT, Horiguchi has also held Visiting Scholarships at the University of Tokyo (2019 and 2007), Kyoto University (2016); and Visiting Associate Professorships at Kobe University (2014), the University of Pennsylvania (2009–2010), and Josai International University (July 2010, 2011, 2012).

Xi Jiang

Graduate Research Assistant
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Xi Jiang is the doctoral candidate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research interests include tunnel engineering, pavement engineering, construction materials, and automation in construction.
Xi is also the president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at the University of Tennessee (UTK CSSA). UTK-CSSA is a registered not-for-profit organization at the University of Tennessee. Chinese students, scholars who study or work in UTK or Oak Ridge National Laboratory are automatically entitled to membership privileges. As one of the largest Chinese organizations in East Tennessee, CSSA plays an essential role in helping Chinese students and scholars to get involved with the American community, as well as educating and spreading Chinese culture to let the local community better understand China. Xi plays an important role in serving Asian Community at the University of Tennessee through connecting other international groups to strengthen the multi-cultures at the campus.

Ozlem Kilic

Ozlem Kilic

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs
Academic and Student Affairs Office
Tickle College of Engineering

Dr. Kilic is the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the Tickle College of Engineering (TCE) overseeing undergraduate and graduate programs, first-year engineering programs, intercollegiate initiatives, Diversity and Women in Engineering offices, and student success matters. Prior to joining TCE, she served in various academic administrator roles at a private university in Washington, DC in the capacity of Associate Dean of Engineering as well as Department Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Prior to her academic career of 16 years, she was a senior engineer and SBIR manager at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD, a visiting faculty at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock, MD, and a Senior Engineer and Program Manager at Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, Clarksburg, MD. Dr. Kilic has also taken numerous initiatives and leadership roles in professional organizations, such as Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES), and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antennas and Propagation Society. Some of her roles in these organizations include Founding Editor-in-Chief, Board of Directors Member, Administrative Committee Member, Technical Program Chair of international symposia, Associate Editor, etc.

Gina Martin

Director of the Center for Student Alumni Programs
Office of Alumni Affairs

Gina received her bachelor’s degree in public relations in 2008 and received her master’s degree in public administration in 2013 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She joined the UT Office of Alumni Affairs in July 2014 after spending five years with the UT Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Gina serves as the Director of the Center for Student Alumni Programs. Gina works to develop enriched relationships between students and alumni and serves as a resource for the student body regarding alumni, campus, and service activities. She also works to achieve an increased sense of school spirit among students by developing programs designed to engage students in the life of the university. These initiatives include “I Heart UT Week,” class ring, career networking, and others. Additionally, she is responsible for recruitment, orientation, training, retention, goal setting, and evaluation of the student organization within the Office of Alumni Affairs–the Student Alumni Associates (SAA).

Laura E. MillerLaura E. Miller

Associate Professor
School of Communication Studies

Laura E. Miller received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her works explore how individuals communicate about health, how families communicate support amid health stressors, and how illness-related uncertainty is managed. She is passionate about global education and has led UTK students on programs in Beijing, Dublin, and Sydney.

Tafadzwa ‘Taffy’ Negonde

Graduate Assistant: University Housing

Tafadzwa is a Master of Science in College Student Personnel student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS). He earned his B.A. in Economics from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Currently, Tafadzwa is a graduate assistant in University Housing where he serves as the Assistant Hall Director in one of the campus residence halls. Tafadzwa is a native of Zimbabwe and has a passion for international affairs that stems from his lived experiences in the U.S, China, and South Africa. He is also a big proponent of international education having mentored many Zimbabwean students to successful admission to international high schools in Hong Kong, Armenia, Eswatini, Canada, and the UK, through the United World Colleges (UWC) system. Prior to coming to the University of Tennessee, Tafadzwa taught English in China. Previously, he has also worked as a teacher, an auditor at Deloitte, and at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF). In his free time, Tafadzwa likes to write, watch sports, meet people from different backgrounds, mentor youths, and volunteer.

Shayla Christina Nunnally

Department of Political Science

Dr. Shayla C. Nunnally is a professor of political science and chair of the Africana Studies Program at the University of Tennessee, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American politics, race, and politics, and African American politics, public opinion, and political behavior. She is a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University. Professor Nunnally specializes in research on political socialization, racial socialization, trust, intergroup relations and attitudes, social capital, collective memory and memory transmission, black American partisanship, black (political) institutions, and African American political development.

Her research has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Journal of Black Studies, Du Bois Review, Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs, Journal of African American Studies, Politics, Groups, and Identities, and several encyclopedias and edited volumes. She also has published a book with New York University Press, Trust in Black America: Race, Discrimination, and Politics (2012), and her book was cited in an amicus curiae brief to the US Supreme Court for the landmark affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (2013). Her current research projects focus on black partisanship, black intraracial trust, black elite-cueing, and the political dynamism of Jim Crow black public high schools in the State of Virginia. She is working on several book monographs and articles related to these subjects. Nunnally has appeared on several international, national, and local radio and TV shows (local and national) to discuss American politics and race and politics. Nunnally served as the 39th president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS, 2017-2019).

Dr. Nunnally has served as the campus coordinator/director of the University of Connecticut’s Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research on Women and Girls of Color. She is an inaugural editorial board member with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s new journal, Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, and she has served as a Visiting Fellow with the Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government and Politics section. In addition, she served as a member of the Advisory Group and Course and Syllabus Committee for the State of Connecticut’s P.A. 19-12 An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Black and Latino Studies in the Public School Curriculum, which mandated course offerings in African American and Latinx Studies for secondary public schools in the state.

Lisa Y.F. Parker, PhD

Director of Language & World Business Program, and Distinguished Lecturer
Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures

Dr. Lisa Y.F. Parker is the Assistant Director of the Language and World Business Program in the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures Department from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also a Senior Lecturer for Hispanic Studies whose principal areas of instruction are Spanish Upper Division Grammar and Composition, Business Culture, and Service Learning Abroad. Dr. Parker has been leading the Service-Learning Course in Costa Rica since 2017, and in 2019, was able to include Chile and Costa Rica simultaneously. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Parker worked in the medical industry as part of upper management for over 19 years. She is also a U.S. Army Veteran Officer.

Drew Paul

Assistant Professor, Chair, Arabic Program
Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures

Drew Paul received his BA from Emory University and his MA and Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. At Tennessee, he teaches all levels of the Arabic language as well as courses on Middle Eastern literature, film, and culture. He is currently completing work on a book manuscript entitled  Deceptive Walls: Fracturing Borders in Palestine and Israel, which examines the depiction of checkpoints, walls, and other border spaces in the region.

Abebe RorissaAbebe Rorissa

Professor & Director, Information Sciences
Dr. Abebe Rorissa is a Professor and Director of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before his current position, he was Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity, University at Albany, SUNY. He also worked in Ethiopia, Lesotho, and Namibia as a lecturer and practitioner and consulted for academic institutions, national governments, and international organizations on various topics including information and communication technologies as well as an information organization. He has published extensively in leading international journals such as the Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology – JASIS&T, Information Processing & Management, and Government Information Quarterly. He was a member of the Board of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) and its Executive Committee, and a recipient of the ASIS&T Watson Davis Award for Service and SIG Member of the Year Awards. As of November 2, 2021, he will be the President-Elect of ASIS&T.

Amadou B Sall

Lecturer, Africana Studies Program
College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Sall was born in a small town, Bababé, Mauritania (West Africa). He was trained as a Forester. He taught Forestry at the National School for Agricultural Extension and Training in Mauritania. He graduated from UTK with a BA in Forest Management and a Ph.D. in Education with a Concentration: Curriculum and Instruction. Dissertation: The Status of Environmental Education in Elementary. and Middle Public Schools in East Tennessee: A Teacher Perspective. Currently, he is teaching Introduction to African Studies. He added service Learning in his Africana Studies courses. His students spent 2 hours per week helping students at Sarah Moore Greene Elementary School and Greene Academy Magnet School. He taught Fulani language and Culture, French, and Environmental Education at UTK. Since 2005, he has taken undergraduate and graduate students to Ghana, South Africa, and Senegal. For five years, he coached Vine Middle School Soccer Team. He is the Vice-President of the Foundation for Global Sustainability, a former member of the Board of Directors of Community Shares, and Chair Knox County Disproportionate of Minority Confinement for the juvenile Taskforce.

CortneyJo Sandidge

Assistant Vice Provost of Student Success
Division of Student Success

CortneyJo Sandidge, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success, works closely with First-Year Programs, New Student Orientation, Academic Inclusive Initiatives, and the newly created program UT Success Academy. She is responsible for ensuring scholars have a successful first year and experience.


Andrew Seidler, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships

Andrew Seidler is Director of UT’s Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships. Under his leadership the past five years, UT has emerged as one of the nation’s top-producing Fulbright institutions and has had back-to-back Rhodes Scholars, its first-ever Gates Cambridge and Mitchell Scholars, its first Marshall Scholar in 35 years, and, in 2020, a Goldwater all-time record five scholars. Andrew received the Chancellor’s Ready for the World Citation in 2016 and, prior to working at UT, was an editor, book reviewer, and newspaper reporter. His newswriting was recognized by the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in history from Colby College and a master’s degree in education and social policy from Northwestern University.

Allison Sharp

Associate Professor, Humanities Librarian

Allison L. Sharp is an Associate Professor and Humanities Librarian at the University of Tennessee Libraries. She is the librarian to several departments and centers on campus including the Center for Global Engagement, Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures, Africana Studies, Middle East Studies, Asian Studies, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Her primary responsibilities are to provide research assistance to students and faculty and to build collections of global materials to support study in these areas.

Krista E. Wiegand

Associate Professor, Political Science
Director, Global Security Program
Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

Krista E. Wiegand is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Global Security Program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee. Wiegand specializes in international conflict management and political violence, specifically conflict resolution, territorial and maritime disputes, mediation, rebel and terrorist group violence, and East Asian and Middle East security. She has written two books – Enduring Territorial Disputes: Strategies of Bargaining, Coercive Diplomacy, & Settlement (University of Georgia Press, 2011) and Bombs and Ballots: Governance by Islamic Terrorist and Guerrilla Groups (Routledge, 2010), and written more than 30 journal articles and book chapters. Wiegand was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the Philippines in 2017 and is currently involved in data projects funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.

James A Williams

Associate Professor, Chair for Commission for Blacks, Co-chair for Athletics/Faculty Senate, and Faculty Fellow/Imagine Tennessee
Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Currently, Dr. Williams serves as an associate professor (tenured) at the University of Tennessee and is the owner of UnmaskYTP, LLC, training domestic and international leaders to function in joy while seeking curiosity in every pursued endeavor. He teaches mindfulness, various leadership tactics, and one-on-one coaching to build brighter leaders for the future. He has worked with leaders in Spain, South Korea, Bulgaria, China, and many Fortune 100 companies.

Dr. Williams is also a professional actor, performing as Uncle Tom in Into the Wilderness (SAG/movie) and starring as Waco Collins in Murder Chose Me. He wrote two books, From Thug to Scholar: An Odyssey to Unmask my True Potential and How to Get Abs like a Bodybuilder but Eat like a Fat boy. He has also published over 15 scholarly articles and delivered over 30 presentations on emotional intelligence, soft skills, sports, leadership, employee training, mentorship, hospitality pedagogy, human resource management, and personal and professional development.

Dr. Williams grew up masked, selling drugs at 13 years of age, fathering two kids, dropping out of high school, and living on the streets by 17 years old.

Dr. Williams earned six degrees (two doctorates), Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He honorably served the United States Air Force, winning Airman of the Year. He played professional arena football for the Raleigh Rebels (2005-2006). Dr. Williams has industry experience in dental, banking, sales, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, hotels, and education. He is also a Certified Hospitality Educator and trainer.

Dr. Williams has also spoken to over 100 unique audiences and won numerous speech competitions for Toastmaster’s International; served as a keynote speaker for Coffeewood Correctional Institution, public schools, colleges, fortune 500 companies, professional organizations. Dr. Williams was also recognized as a Top 15 Emerging Scholar of 2019 by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Dr. Williams also was a featured speaker for TEDx UTK in 2019. Best international mentor for the Chinese Hospitality Education Initiative for the 2019 national championship in Shanghai, China.

Milagros Zingoni

Milagros Zingoni Phielipp

Associate Professor and Director, School of Interior Archit

Associate Professor Milagros Zingoni is the Director of the School of Interior Architecture at the University of Tennessee and the Director of Diversity Relations for the College of Architecture and Design. Before this, she was a tenured Associate Professor at Arizona State University where she started her academic career 16 years ago. During this tenure, she taught for nine years in Architecture and Urban Design, before joining 2013 the Interior Design Program in where she shaped the Master in Interior Architecture.
Zingoni is originally from Argentina, where she is a registered architect and has additional study Habitat Design and Urban and Environmental Planning. Milagros’s experience as both a designer, planner, and educator allows her to move easily across scales: from the city to the scale of the body.
Her research explores interiority as ephemeral and spatial experiences inside and outside, leveraging design education to develop agency in underrepresented communities and developing pedagogical approaches that can enable design students to develop soft skills with special emphasis in empathy and collaboration, expanding design-build studios in interior architecture and cross-disciplinary design thinking. Her studios focus on community and commitment to public engagement through participatory design-build collaboration that addresses notions of interiority. Zingoni leverages the resources of Public Research 1 Land Grand universities for the public good addressing new ways of learning, emphasizing problem-solving skills and collaboration that creates communities of learning. Zingoni was recognized in 2019 by the Interior Design Educator’s Council (IDEC) with the National Teaching Excellence Award, by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Arizona Chapter with the honor of 2019 Educators of the Year Award, by the annual DesignIntelligence rankings as one of the top twelve most admired educators in the country and by Arizona State University 2020 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards. Zingoni is a strong advocate for community causes, serving on multiple non-profit and civic boards.

Former Members of the Campus Partners Committee (2020-2021)

Sam Swan, Ph.D.

CCI Director of Global Programs and Outreach, Professor

Dr. Swan was named Director of Internationalization and Outreach for the College of Communication and Information in 2006.  He has helped develop five study abroad programs for the college and lead a group of students to Prague in May of 2014.  He developed the CCI Global Communication Scholars Program in Sydney, Australia in 2016.


Emma Kate Hall

Student Services Director, Student Government Association

Jennifer L. Webster, MA, CRA 

Interim Director, Research Development
Manager, Research Development
Office of Research & Engagement

Jennifer Webster is the interim director of Research Development (RD), which provides services and activities to support and grow research, scholarship, and creative activities at UT. She joined RD in 2014, after spending 5 years in the Office of Sponsored Programs. As an RD manager, she provides capture management and proposal development services that support large-scale or strategically significant research opportunities and increased federal agency engagement. She holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Tennessee, and an MA in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.