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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville



Twice a year, the Office of the Provost will host Mic/Nite, a “Pecha-Kucha Powered” social gathering in order to enhance the intellectual, interdisciplinary, and cultural life of the faculty and staff at UT Knoxville.

One of the challenges of a large university is working across the silos that often separate disciplines. Mic/Nite offers an opportunity to build bridges and foster a deeper appreciation of the many facets of a large, comprehensive university. Presentations will offer a cross section of the intellectual life of the campus and provide an opportunity for social interaction among faculty members who may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.

Parking will be available behind Relix on Anderson
Avenue  and on surrounding streets. RSVP

Free pizza and cash bar; please RSVP.​​​​​​​​

Joan Heminway
Mic/Nite Coordinator Email: jheminwa@tennessee.edu Phone: 865-974-3813
Next Event: November 15, 2017
Social Hour: 5:30
Presentations: 6:30
Relix Variety Theatre
1208 N. Central St
Knoxville , TN 39717

 What is Pecha-Kucha?

Pecha-Kucha is a simple lecture format where presenters show and discuss twenty images for twenty seconds each. In this presentation format the images automatically forward while the presenter talks. To learn more, visit the Pecha-Kucha FAQ. Samples are posted on the Pecha-Kucha Presentations page.


The concept began in Tokyo, Japan, in 2003 and has spread to more than 400 cities around the world. The format allows presenters to show images and talk about everything from urban design or economic theory to a series of photographs. Mic/Nite is being held in cooperation with PechaKucha Night Knoxville, which was started in 2011 to encourage intellectual and cultural dialogue. Mic/Nites are special interdisciplinary events designed to foster dialogue between university faculty and staff.

Explore Pecha Kucha events from around the world: PechaKucha 20x20 - Official Site | PechaKucha 20x20 - Knoxville | PechaKucha 20x20 - FAQ

Fall 2017 Presentation Topics

Suicide in Rural AmericaFreida Herron, Clinical Assistant ProfessorSocial Work

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show a 29% rise in the overall rate of suicide deaths between 1999 and 2015.  A deeper look at the data reveals two sobering facts: (1) suicide death rates in rural America are now more than twice those found in large metropolitan areas, and (2) the rate of increase in rural suicides from 1999 to 2015 is steeper than in any other population category.  What is behind these trends and what can rural communities do to reduce these preventable deaths?  We will take a look at how a volunteer-led group in East Tennessee mobilized their resources to prevent suicide deaths by implementing a community-wide intervention program.

The Juvenile Record MythJoy Radice, Associate ProfessorLaw

Little attention has been given to the far-reaching impact of juvenile delinquency records, partly because many people believe that juvenile records are not public, especially after a juvenile turns 18. That common notion is a myth. No state completely seals juvenile delinquency records from public view. Some states even publish juvenile records online with adult criminal records. This presentation illuminates the variety of ways states treat juvenile records—revealing that state confidentiality, sealing, and expungement provisions often provide far less protection than those terms suggest. Yet, recent literature on juvenile brain development and recidivism research by criminologists support new arguments for why juvenile delinquency records should not follow a juvenile into adulthood. Only through a comprehensive approach of confidentiality, sealing, and nondisclosure statutes can states truly remove the stigma of a juvenile record to rehabilitate and reintegrate a juvenile back into society. 

Musings on a Career(ish) in Sustainable Urban Water: From Green infrastructure to Gray HairJon Hathaway, Assistant ProfessorEngineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Global population in urban areas is burgeoning, climate change is varying weather patterns, and the United States’ infrastructure is deteriorating. How can we provide resilient, sustainable development that will ensure ecological and human health while meeting the needs of civilization? As healthy waterways are increasingly valued, and the degradation of these waterways by urban stormwater runoff is better understood, major efforts are underway to restore watershed function globally and across the United States, from the Chesapeake Bay to Lake Tahoe; from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. Critical to these efforts is an understanding of the role of green infrastructure in urban environments, specifically how these systems may mitigate the effects of urban runoff, and what other benefits they might provide to communities.

Young People’s Engagement with Literature: What Does It Look Like?Susan L. Groenke, Associate ProfessorStergios Botzakis, Associate ProfessorEducation, Health, and Human Sciences

In school-related news, we hear a lot about adolescent reading achievement, often characterized by students' test scores on reading comprehension measures. But what does it mean to be an engaged reader? What do young people choose to read on their own, for fun? What do young people choose to read when given opportunities to choose? What does engagement look like, and why does it matter? What does reading and writing look like online? In 20 slides in 20 seconds, Drs. Groenke and Botzakis share insights gained from their research about what adolescent readers choose to read and compose when given choice. Texts like graphic novels, series books, and books about celebrities or popular culture are often pooh-poohed by teachers, but they engage adolescent readers! Join us to find out why and how!

Bringing Mindfulness to Communication in TeamsJoan R. Rentsch, ProfessorCommunication and Information

Are two or more heads better than one?  Effective communication in teams is essential for high quality team decision making and performance.  However, research has revealed that team members tend to leave essential information uncommunicated.  Team members’ ability to communicate essential task information effectively is associated with their perspective-taking ability and empathy.  Researchers defining and systematically investigating mindfulness have found that mindfulness is associated with perspective-taking, empathy, and other variables related to effective communication.  Although researchers are examining mindfulness systematically, the concept, which is increasingly available in the mainstream media, is often misunderstood.  In this presentation mindfulness will be defined and differentiated from other concepts.  Research findings relating mindfulness to variables associated with communication will be highlighted and ongoing research bringing mindfulness to communication in work teams will be introduced.  Perhaps by bringing mindfulness to communication in teams, two or more heads can be better than one.

Lessons in Leaving: Understanding Informal Causes of Retention and TurnoverTimothy Munyon, Associate Professor Haslam College of Business

Workplace turnover occurs when the employment relationship ends between an employer and employee. Such turnover is costly and negatively impacts firm performance, and significant resources are spent by organizations each year to reduce the incidence of voluntary turnover. Yet, although organizational and job-related factors often influence turnover, there is an informal side to turnover and retention where political influence and relationships affect who stays and who leaves. In this presentation, I briefly introduce and unpack some of the ways in which employees informally cause turnover and retention of their co-workers, and explain the efficacy of these actions in accelerating or slowing one's propensity toward turnover.

Environment Shapes Behavior: We Have Transformed Bambi into an Eco-terrorist and a PestSusan Kalisz, Professor and HeadArts & Sciences

Humans across the globe are uncomfortable living near predators and have generally extirpated them. But our removal of top predators has profound consequences for both the animals in the level of the trophic food web that predators consume and control and, for us. In the eastern half of the North America, predator removal has resulted in dramatic increases in herbivores, especially white-tailed deer. Overabundant deer have consequences at many levels for humans and ecosystems including financial, disease risk, loss of native plant biodiversity, increase in invasive species and more. Our removal of top predators and alteration of native food webs requires us to take action for our consequences.​

Are “Sincerely Held Principles” Really Just Prejudice?: The Counseling Discrimination Law and LGBT Mental Health in TennesseePatrick R. Grzanka, Assistant ProfessorArts & Sciences

In 2016, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill mandating that “No counselor or therapist providing counseling or therapy services shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with the sincerely held principles of the counselor or therapist.” The law’s architects claimed it would prevent clients from infringing on counselors’ religious liberties, while LGBT advocates insisted that the law was designed for one purpose: to enable discrimination in mental health care. We assessed what sexual and gender minorities in Tennessee actually think about the law, and many believe that it is designed to harm them. Our results suggest that awareness of the law effects some LGBT Tennesseans’ levels of psychological distress and willingness to conceal their sexual and gender identities. What does this mean for the future of this law, and for the future of LGBT mental health in Tennessee?​

Evil after Nazism: The Demons of Postwar GermanyMonica Black, Lindsay Young Associate ProfessorArts & Sciences

Today’s Federal Republic of Germany is rightly held up as a bastion of judicious calm, level-headedness, and a sober approach to human problems. It was not ever so. In the 1950s and into the 60s, demons and vampires haunted the land, while holy men, exorcists, and witch doctors dispensed soul medicine against widespread spiritual insecurity and maladies of many kinds. "Evil after Nazism” takes a look at the years just after 1945 — a signal moment in the history of evil — to tell a ghost story about the Third Reich's afterlives.

The Multisensory Eating ExperienceCurtis Luckett, Assistant Professor, DirectorInstitute of Agriculture

In our everyday life, we are constantly perceiving sensory inputs from multiple different sources. More specifically to my lab, when we sit down for a meal we are constantly inundated with sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that create our eating experience. These sensations are not processed independently, inputs from one modality influence the perception in another. For example, the color of a beverage can influence our sweetness perception and sounds affect how pleasant you perceive odors. In our lab, we use the principles of food science, neuroscience, and experimental psychology to investigate these phenomena. In addressing these interactions, we can better understand how the brain processes information as well as create a more pleasurable eating experience. I’ll show my lab’s research on the eating experience, highlighting work done on how sound, texture, taste and smell interact.

“A little bit of their souls”: Dignity and compassion in Alzheimer’s disease and dementiaJoel G. Anderson, Associate ProfessorNursing

Rosalyn Carter has said “there are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” Family caregivers are the mainstay of caregiving support to persons living with dementia, and often care for a family member or friend for a decade or more. Issues surrounding this care often are complex, requiring a personalized approach centered on compassion and dignity. While dignity is an important component of quality of life, individuals living with dementia may be particularly vulnerable to negative impacts on their dignity and personhood given their dependency on others for care. How do we navigate these concepts of dignity and compassion? How can we ensure the dignified and compassionate care of vulnerable older adults? And why should we care in the first place? The stories of family caregivers may help in answering these questions. 

View more Fall 2017 presentation topics