John Hoffschneider maintains many different responsibilities in his job as coordinator for the college’s office of Diversity Programs.
“My main role with the college is to recruit, retain, and assist in the graduation of undergraduate engineering students, with a primary focus on historically underrepresented populations, women in engineering, first-generation, out of state, and pre-calculus placed students,” he said.
Hoffschneider explained that he covers “everything from high school visits, college fairs, and planning events for admitted students.”
“I also coordinate the office’s student leadership events for groups like SWE, SHPE, NSBE, and SASE,” he said. “Additionally, I coordinate our Summer Engineering Advancement program—which focuses on TCE-admitted high school seniors that place into pre-calculus math where we provide a three-week hybrid program that allows them to take non-credit pre-calculus math seminar, Introduction to Engineering Fundamentals seminar, and various engineering student life workshops to advance them into Calculus I and EF 151 at the start of the fall semester.”
Hoffschneider builds connections with students to help them throughout college and as they prepare to enter the professional world.
“I have students come to me seeking advice on how to improve their resumes, cover letters, and just finding a starting point to get them going as a young pre-professional,” said Hoffschneider. “Students have also asked to help them navigate internship/job offers. It’s about helping them understand what is their priority as a young professional and how to assess if it’s a fair offer. Sometimes students will just come by to ‘vent’ about life—and that’s okay too. College is not an easy feat, particularly for Engineering and STEM undergraduates.”
Before working at UT, Hoffschneider received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Michigan State University and worked as an admissions counselor at his alma mater for over 14 years.
“Working on the student services side of things was very appealing to me because I get to see students come in as first-year engineering students and progress to professionals,” he said.
Hoffschneider feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work for the Engineering Diversity Programs office.
“I have been pretty blessed to see several students graduate and move on to the next chapter of their lives,” he said. “It’s great seeing them arrive on campus excited, getting their first internship/research/co-op, and it always tugs at your heart to see them leave Rocky Top. But in the end, I hope I played a positive role in that chapter of their lives.”
Outside of the office, Hoffschneider enjoys all types of activities, from playing video games to going to the Smoky Mountains with his wife Analia.