Tennessee Alumnus

Block Party for New Neighbors

Photo: IPS Vice President Herb Byrd, right, visits with a neighbor at IPS block party.

In partnership with the UT Foundation, the Institute for Public Service hosted a neighborhood block party at IPS’ new offices in April. IPS moved to Knoxville’s Mechanicsville neighborhood in late 2015, and the UT Foundation relocated adjacent in July 2016.

More than 250 residents from throughout the Mechanicsville community attended the weeknight event that featured food, music and family activities. Kid-friendly activities included a bounce house, balloon animals, face painting and costumed mascots, including UT’s own Smokey.

“We organized this event as a way to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood,” says IPS Vice President Herb Byrd. “We wanted the residents to get to know us and to learn more about how we fit in the UT System and the work we do around the state.”

10 Years of Economic Development Training

The UT Center for Industrial Services, an agency of the Institute for Public Service, welcomed 48 economic development specialists to the 10th session of its Tennessee Basic Economic Development Course in May. Thirty-seven of the participants are from Tennessee.

This four-day comprehensive course, accredited by the International Economic Development Council, focuses on fundamental concepts, tools and practices to be successful in today’s complex economic environment. Course topics include trends in economic development, strategic planning, marketing and business attraction, business retention and expansion and community development.

TBEDC is designed for community leaders and stakeholders who participate in the process of community economic development at local, regional, state and federal levels. Since its launch, 392 participants have completed the course.

NFA Ends Session with a Bang


Session 41 of the National Forensic Academy, a program of the Institute for Public Service’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center, concluded in explosive fashion.

After 10 weeks of studying the latest techniques in crime scene investigation, the 26 NFA participants wrapped up training with a post-blast investigation at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge. After learning about various types of explosives and their impact, the students witnessed a car explosion and proceeded to collect and document evidence from the blast. This session included 10 law enforcement officers from Tennessee, 15 from other states and one from Germany.