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VOL. 45 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 22, 2021

Johnson Architecture creates UT scholarship

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Johnson Architecture has established a $25,000 scholarship for University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design students to increase diversity in the profession.

The funds will be used for travel abroad experiences that are university-sponsored or supported with $5,000 scholarships presented to students over the next five years.

“The University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design is widely regarded for innovative and immersive programs, and we want to help foster that in a meaningful way,” says Daryl Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Architecture. “Providing the next generation of architects an opportunity to study abroad and experience architecture on another level will help broaden the perspective of deserving students. We welcome the partnership with UT to provide funding for these endeavors.”

Johnson, AIA, NCARB, is a 1984 graduate of the UT College of Architecture and Design, as are partners Eric Bowen, AIA (1992); Rick Friel, AIA (1992); and Jeff Williamson, AIA (2001); and an additional 13 members of the firm’s staff of architects and interior designers.

The Johnson Architecture Scholarship will be awarded by the college’s scholarship committee in accordance with university policy and available to students pursuing a major in the School of Architecture or School of Interior Architecture.

Applicants must be currently enrolled or admitted at UT, demonstrate successful academic performance and be considered a third-year student or higher, having completed a minimum of four semesters.

ORAU wins US public health contract

Oak Ridge Associated Universities have been awarded a contract to develop a public health emergency response and recovery rapid assessment framework for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The goal, according to the Office of Inspector General, is to develop a method to provide more timely information on HHS emergency response and recovery efforts so that HHS leaders can use this information to implement recommendations for improvement and be better prepared for future emergencies that may occur soon after the last event.

Leading the work is Julie Crumly, Ph.D., ORAU research and evaluation specialist and senior scientist, Deborah Levy, captain, United States Public Health Services, Retired and Keith Hansen, MBA.

Levy, Ph.D., MPH, is chair and professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health. Previously, she served as an epidemic intelligence service officer, deployed on over 10 missions, served as the acting director of the Strategic National Stockpile, and led the Healthcare Preparedness Activity at the CDC.

The HHS OIG is responsible for the oversight of HHS emergency response and recovery activities.

Cedar Bluff to benefit from TVA grant

The Tennessee Valley Authority and its partner Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated has awarded $800,000 in grants to public school educators to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects all across the Tennessee Valley.

Among the 197 grant awards is an introduction to health care at Cedar Bluff Elementary School in Knoxville. Students will benefit from being introduced at a young age to life saving first aid, emergency response, and how to protect themselves from disease.

“With the need for health care providers soaring now more than ever, this grant will also us to spark an interest in health care to many future doctors and nurses as early as kindergarten,” says teacher April Lentze.

The competitive STEM classroom grant program, operated in partnership with Battelle, received more than 600 grant applications from across TVA’s seven state service territory.

New Jersey firm selects Ripley PR its agency

Ripley PR, based in Maryville, has been named agency of record by KickCharge Creative, an award-winning branding agency specializing in small business marketing for contractors.

New Jersey-based KickCharge Creative has set the standard for small business marketing for more than 25 years. The company offers a full suite of services, including branding, logo development, truck wrap design, website design and development, social media and copywriting, to deliver measurable results for startups and small- and mid-sized businesses.

Ripley PR was founded in 2013 with a focus on home services, skilled trades and B2B technology public relations. Ripley PR offers strategic communications services that help clients build brand awareness, establish positive reputations and drive increased leads and sales. Ripley PR was named to Forbes’ list of America’s Best PR Agencies for 2021 and has been named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of the Top Franchise Suppliers four years in a row.

Pilot partners with RTS Financial

Knoxville-based Pilot Company and RTS Financial have announced a fuel and factoring partnership to help trucking companies grow their business.

The two companies will work together to provide customized fleet solutions that combines fuel savings, maintenance and tires, loyalty perks and other services across Pilot Company’s vast network of commercial fueling locations with RTS’ exceptional factoring offerings and best-in-class customer support.

UScellular 5G available in some East TN areas

UScellular customers across East Tennessee are now able to access the company’s 5G network. The initial deployment covers much of Knoxville, including downtown and densely populated areas in Farragut and North Knoxville. Other areas of East Tennessee with access include portions of Blount, Sevier and Anderson counties.

The multiyear network expansion for 5G in East Tennessee is a result of previous network investments to modernize equipment and software. Additional 5G coverage will be added in the future to enhance the network experience for UScellular customers.

A 5G coverage map is available at This will be updated as more 5G network coverage is added.

UT Law adds online classes for non-lawyers

The University of Tennessee College of Law will offer online classes to students who are pursuing a Master of Legal Studies degree or a graduate certificate in Legal Studies.

The legal studies master’s degree is an alternative to the typical three-year juris doctor degree and is targeted toward those who need to be conversant in the law but do not wish to practice it.

Beginning this summer and continuing through the 2021-22 academic year, professors will be offering online instruction in a variety of subjects including contracts, civil procedure, employment law and discrimination, health law and compliance, higher education law, intellectual property and torts.

Courses have been designed to allow for substantive interaction with professors and classmates. Students can also expect feedback and course delivery from professors that is compatible with what is offered during in-person sessions.

Another J.D. degree alternative, the 15-credit Graduate Certificate, launches this summer ahead of the Fall 2021 Master of Legal Studies program. Students interested in either program may begin their studies this summer.

Visit Maryville College in virtual preview day

Maryville College will host a virtual “Meet Maryville” preview day event Saturday, March 27.

Hosted by Maryville College’s Admissions Office, the virtual event is designed to help prospective students and their families get to know the college known for providing students with an educational experience that prepares them for anything – to address the hard problems, to connect with people all over the globe and to succeed in any career.

The virtual event, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., will include several informative sessions delivered through video conferencing, including an overview of comprehensive career preparation program Maryville College Works, study abroad, Fit.Green.Happy. and a current student life panel. The event, hosted on the Remo platform, will feature a custom map of the College that allows attendees to click on specific campus buildings, and faculty members from every academic division, as well as representatives from athletics and various campus clubs and organizations, will be available to answer questions via video conferencing and share an interactive whiteboard with more information.

After the event’s conclusion, attendees will have the option to attend a virtual campus tour led by current student ambassadors, attend an application workshop and receive assistance with completing the admission application, or attend a scholarship workshop for detailed information on each MC competitive scholarship and what current students do to fulfill scholarship requirements.

Pokeworks to debut prototype in Knoxville

Pokeworks, a franchise with Hawaiian-inspired poke burritos, bowls and salads, has released a prototype for its first Cruise-Thru Lane, a mobile order pickup lane set to debut in Knoxville in the spring.

Customers will be able to order ahead online and pickup without having to leave their vehicles.

The Cruise-Thru Lane is not the traditional drive-thru model, but rather the authentic design, which pays tribute to the brand’s Hawaiian-inspired roots, allowing guests to place a mobile order on the Pokeworks rewards app before arriving at the restaurant.

R.E.A.D.S. reaches almost 5M in 2020

The Tennessee Regional eBook and Audiobook Download System (R.E.A.D.S.) has announced a record-breaking 4,957,038 digital e-book, audiobook, magazine and video checkouts in 2020.

Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. was once again one of OverDrive’s most used digital library services. OverDrive is the world’s leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools. Last year, R.E.A.D.S. had the fourth-highest number of checkouts worldwide and was the Southeast’s No. 1 library system.

The record number of checkouts is a milestone for the top five Tennessee libraries for digital checkouts through R.E.A.D.S.: Williamson County Public Library, Linebaugh Public Library in Rutherford County, Blount County Public Library, Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library and Johnson City Public Library, along with all of the Tennessee Regional Library System members across the state.

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