Keith Carver (right), former executive assistant to UT President Joe DiPietro (left), began his duties as UT Martin’s 10th chancellor on Jan. 3. Carver (Knoxville ’95, ’09) succeeded Bob Smith, who served 19 months as interim chancellor, and Tom Rakes, who returned to the UT Martin faculty in May 2015. One of Carver’s first priorities was to connect with current and potential students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and people in communities across West Tennessee. The “Cruisin’ with Carver” tour began Jan. 5 and made 10 stops in January and February, including Memphis, Nashville and all five UT Martin educational outreach centers.
Dr. Jason Roberts, (Martin ’99, College of Veterinary Medicine, ’02) associate professor of animal science, received one of four President’s Awards for 2017 in presentations following UT President Joe DiPietro’s State of the University address on Feb. 21. Roberts was honored in the “Educate” category, which recognizes those who enhance educational offerings and diverse learning environments toward fulfillment of the university’s mission to provide education. Roberts is director and creator of UT Martin’s veterinary health technology program. That’s in addition to his duties as classroom and laboratory instructor, student adviser, mentor with the Ned Ray McWherter Institute and faculty member of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences. Roberts has been with the faculty since 2009.
The UT Martin Somerville Center, officially funded by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2016, celebrated the start of renovations on the former Methodist Fayette Hospital building during a groundbreaking ceremony Dec. 7. The building was given to the city of Somerville in March 2015 after the facility closed, and the state building commission approved a lease between UT Martin and the city in July 2015. The center, currently operating out of the Fayette County Career Center, is expected to move into the new facility in fall 2017. It is the fifth educational outreach center operated by UT Martin.