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2017 Charles R. Burchett Extraordinary Contributions to Campus Life

The Charles R. Burchett Extraordinary Contributions to Campus Life award is named for the World War II veteran, former Knox County Schools administrator, and UT dean of students to honor students and student organizations for extraordinary contributions to campus life.

Pride Ambassadors

In a challenging time for diversity programs, the Pride Ambassadors are dedicated to making LGBTQIA+ students feel safe and welcomed while educating the campus community on the issues these students face. The group hosts events on topics like consent and healthy relationships, facilitates dialogue sessions, and collaborates with the Division of Student Life Diversity Committee. Each year, the group sponsors the Lavender Graduation, which recognizes the strength and resilience of graduating LGBTQIA+ students. The Pride Ambassadors are leaders in advocacy, attending faculty, staff, and high-level administrative meetings in addition to their other extracurricular activities and academic work. Their passion for social justice and commitment to LGBTQIA+ students have a far-reaching impact—on campus, on the community, and in the lives of all they serve.

Chinese Students and Scholars Association

One of the largest Chinese organizations in East Tennessee, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association includes students, scholars, and family members who study or work at UT, working to promote Chinese culture and foster a cross-cultural understanding on campus and in the community. The group provides social support to UT’s Chinese students, who make up the largest percentage of international students on campus. The CSSA also makes UT and Knoxville more vibrant by contributing to cultural events such as the Chinese New Year celebration, the Knoxville Asian Festival, and the UT China World Showcase. The group serves as a bridge to other Chinese organizations and has twice been named the Outstanding Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a national award presented in Washington, DC, by the Chinese ambassador to the United States. A short film they created last year was broadcast by 20 groups across the country. CSSA’s next step is to build a network of Chinese UT alumni.