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2021 Extraordinary Community Service (Faculty and Staff)

The Extraordinary Community Service (Faculty and Staff) Award rewards a faculty or staff member who exhibits the Volunteer spirit in the community.

Nicole Eggers

A smiling woman with short curly hair and large earrings, wearing a red patterned topNicole Eggers is an assistant professor of history. Her expertise is in African history with a specialization in the history religion and healing in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere?

One thing I have really appreciated about being a Volunteer is the opportunities that coming to UT has afforded me to, quite literally, become a volunteer.

Knoxville is home to a large and growing community of refugees from eastern Congo, which is the region where I conduct my historical research. As such, I speak the lingua franca of that region—Swahili—and have therefore been able to offer my time and expertise to Bridge Refugee Services as they work to settle newly arrived refugees into life in Knoxville. It has meant a lot to me to be able to welcome Congolese refugees to the US and help them in whatever way I can because I have, myself, been so warmly welcomed and aided when traveling in Congo.