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Spring Board of Advisors Meeting Brings Awards, Updates, and Outreach Opportunities

The spring Board of Advisors meeting in the Tickle College of Engineering was filled with awards, updates, and a pair of outreach opportunities.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights of the weekend.

Speed Mentoring      

Board members and around 20 students met Thursday afternoon in Perkins Hall for what was described as a “speed mentoring” event.

In this setting, the students had a chance to spend 20 minutes of one-on-one time with board members, giving them the opportunity to gain critical educational and business insight from the members.

The event included topics ranging from decisions about graduate school, suggestions for the job-finding process, and how to position yourself during interviews and in your early career.

Awards Dinner

Following the mentoring session, the college hosted its annual awards dinner at The Foundry on the World’s Fair Park.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Nathan W. Dougherty Award—the highest honor the college bestows—to Edwin “Ed” Burdette.

Counting time as a student and a professor, Burdette’s legacy spanned 60 years at UT until his retirement in 2016.

During that tenure, he gained a reputation as the go-to source on bridge building and concrete.

While giving his remarks, however, Burdette said that his proudest accomplishment wasn’t research-related, but something much simpler: teaching.

“That, at the end of the day, is our focus and our mission: to teach the students of Tennessee and make them the best they can be,” said Burdette. “That is my legacy.”

Board Meeting

Friday’s annual spring meeting was held at JIAM, the state-of-the-art Joint Institute of Advanced Materials, located at UT’s Cherokee Farm property.

Highlights of the agenda included discussions on the recently announced Joe Cook Grand Challenge Honors Program, the Integrated Business and Engineering Program that the college has begun in conjunction with the Haslam College of Business, and updates on diversity efforts, the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the progress of the next building on the engineering campus.

At the conclusion of business, the board joined other boards of advisors from across UT for an address from Chancellor Beverly Davenport, where she lauded the progress that has been made and challenged the university to keep momentum going in areas where we are already successful.

WomEngineers Day

The second biennial WomEngineers Day highlighted Saturday’s festivities, with more than 600 college and secondary school students registering to attend, a growth of 100 beyond the first event in 2015 and a sign of the strength of the program.

Board members Jacinda Woodward and Misty Mayes co-chaired the committee that helped put the event together, along with electrical engineering senior Taylor Short and others.

Chancellor Davenport gave a rousing opening address to start the event, mentioning each discipline within the college and the impact that each one has on the world at large and its importance to the success of UT as a whole.

Panels and sessions included topics ranging from diversity to family, from managing yourself to networking with others, with several college faculty members, board members, and notable members of the business community participating in the day.