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2018 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.

Diversity Educators

The Diversity Educators in Multicultural Student Life develop and present workshops to promote awareness, acceptance, and the necessity of diversity to fellow students, staff, and faculty. The group’s student volunteers have made almost 100 presentations in less than a year to a variety of groups, including campus commissions, Greek organizations, First-Year Studies courses, and others. The Diversity Educators work hard to ensure that their sessions are meaningful, informative, and relatable. Attendees report that the group creates “a comfortable, brave environment” to discuss difficult issues. The Diversity Educators have created a set of learning outcomes, engaged in training activities that include a 3-hour course for credit, and continue to update their presentations to reflect changing times. “Within the current climate of our world,” the group’s nominator wrote, “the Diversity Educators’ work is crucial to our campus now more than ever.”

Vols for Vets

Founded just a year ago, Vols for Vets has three goals: to provide legal assistance and support for veterans and service members in need, to connect students to opportunities to serve in the armed services and government, and to promote leadership principles within the legal community. More than a dozen members performed 100-plus hours of pro bono legal service this past year. They spent spring break serving alongside Army JAG officers at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, raised funds for the Travis Manion Foundation, organized care packages for deployed family members of UT students, led the College of Law in the local Marine Corps Toys for Tots initiative, and awarded the group’s first General Clifton Cates Leadership Scholarship. Three members have been chosen for highly competitive summer internships with the Army and Navy, and two others have been offered commissions in the Army and Navy’s JAG Corps.