UTC’s Roundhouse Rocked Commencement

UT Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena filled with graduating students during the spring 2024 commencement ceremony.
UTC’s spring 2024 graduation.

For the first time since 2019, commencement ceremonies at UT Chattanooga’s McKenzie Arena were held without restraints, and the arena—also known as The Roundhouse—was filled to the rafters.

COVID-19 restrictions and then renovations at McKenzie Arena limited attendance at UTC commencements from spring 2020 through fall 2023.

More than 1,300 undergraduates and nearly 300 graduate students received their degrees during the May 3-4 ceremonies. Included in those numbers were about 250 first-generation college students and 90 military-affiliated students.

SGA President Wins Service Award

Chamyra Teasley wearing a black suit and a UT Chattanooga lapel pin.
Chamyra Teasley. (PHOTO BY ANGELA FOSTER)

Rising senior Chamyra Teasley, who spent the 2023-2024 academic year as UTC Student Government Association president, received the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award, given by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to 10 individuals in higher education throughout the state.

Teasley is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering management with a minor in political science.

“There are 10 awards in the state at every level—and only five students get this award—so this places Chamyra among the very top students in Tennessee,” UTC Chancellor Steven Angle says. “This is an elite group, and that’s where she belongs. It’s very satisfying to see her acknowledged for everything she does.”

Students Gain ER Experience

UTC students sitting at tables during job-shadowing orientation.
UTC students at the Erlanger Baroness Hospital attend job-shadowing orientation. (PHOTO BY ANGELA FOSTER)

During the 2024 spring semester, a collaboration between the UT Chattanooga pre-health advising program, Erlanger Health System and the UT Health Science Center College of Medicine-Chattanooga provided a new opportunity for students to gain much-needed and hard-to-find emergency room job shadowing experience.

From early February through late April, 76 UTC students were able to job shadow in the Erlanger Baroness Hospital Emergency Department, obtaining valuable knowledge watching emergency-room doctors and other medical personnel in action.

Dortch Named to Hall of Fame

Chris Dortch wearing a blue checkered shirt.
Chris Dortch teaches in his narrative nonfiction course. (PHOTO BY ANGELA FOSTER)

Longtime college basketball writer Chris Dortch, an adjunct faculty member in the UTC Department of Communication since 2018, was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Hall of Fame. He was honored at a luncheon in Glendale, Arizona, the day of the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game.

For the past 26 years, Dortch has been the editor and publisher of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, considered a must-have for college basketball reporters and editors as part of their regular season and NCAA tournament preparation.