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Junior Faculty Advancement Series (JFAS)

Student Union 362A | Wednesdays | 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM

Junior faculty from across the university are invited to gather for facilitated discussions about topics and issues that will put them on the path to success.

Series Organizers:

  • Paul Frymier, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Engagement, Tickle College of Engineering
  • Diane Kelly, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Faculty are encouraged to register for these sessions, but registration is not required to attend.

Fall Sessions

Session Leader: Diane Kelly

Faculty Panel:

  • Tessa Calhoun, Chemistry, A&S
  • Anahita Kojondi, Industrial and System Engineering, TCE

This session is designed to help new faculty transition to their role as professor by focusing on time management.  This includes aligning work time with institutional and personal priorities, creating time for academic writing and research, developing realistic expectations regarding time and how long it takes to complete various activities, and how to organize support and accountability networks. Register at: 

Session Leader: Paul Frymier

Faculty Panel:

  • Beth Schussler, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, A&S
  • Claudia Rawn, Materials Science and Engineering, TCE
  • Merilee McCurdy, Educational Psychology and Counseling, CEHHS
  • Michael Best, Chemistry, A&S
  • Bernie Issa, Modern Foreign Languages, A&S
  • Neeraj Bharadwaj, Marketing, HCB

This session will review best practices in recruiting and supporting student researchers who you might be supervising or who are interested in doing a project with you.  A faculty panel will discuss their experience with setting expectations and monitoring progress of student researchers. Prior to the meeting, please review chapters 3, 4, and 5 (with an emphasis on chapters 4 and 5) of “Making the Right Moves” published by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute:

Register for the session at:

Session Leader:  Ernest Brothers, Associate Dean of the Graduate School
In this session, you will learn how to map your current mentoring network, identify your unmet needs, and expand your existing mentoring network. You will also learn about opportunities and strategies for cultivating mutual mentoring groups. Register at:

Session Leader: Paul Frymier  


  • Bill Dunne (TCE)
  • Holly Mercer (LIB)
  • Hollie Raynor (CEHHS)
  • Jennifer Webster (ORIED)

This session will provide an overview of resources to help you pursue your scholarly agenda and persist in the face of distractions and setbacks (we all have them!).  You will learn how to access resources available through the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development, college-specific resources, and those provided by the UTK Libraries. Register at:

Session Leader: Amber Williams, Vice Provost for Student Success
Prior to this session, attendees will be invited to complete a strengths assessment and during the session Vice Provost Amber Williams will lead the group through understanding, interpreting, and applying their strengths to their work as faculty. Register at:

Spring Sessions

This session will discuss the art and practice of writing, review research on the best methods of being a productive writer, examine common types of writing blocks, and review strategies for collaborative writing. Establishing and maintaining a publication pipeline will also be discussed. Register at:

Session Leader: Diane Kelly
This session will review the policies, procedures, and systems associated with the tenure and promotion process at UTK.  This session primarily focuses on the tenure and promotion process for tenure-track faculty members. Register at:

In this session, faculty will consider their role in the department/college and their approach to service and faculty governance.  What does it mean to be a ‘good’ department/college member?  What is the governance structure in your department/college and how are decisions made? How does your department think about equity?  What is your service framework and philosophy? What skills and knowledge might be necessary to contribute positively to shared governance? Register at:

Session Leaders:  Chris Lavan, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Innovation and Ferlin McGaskey, DIrector of Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning Innovation
In this session, faculty will engage in a supportive community discussion about what has worked well in their courses and how they know these approaches have worked well. Faculty will also be encouraged to reflect on the underlying assumptions they made about students when designing past assignments, how these assumptions did or did not hold, and how they have updated their assumptions. Register at:

Session Leaders:  Paul Frymier and Diane Kelly
The summer is finally here and you plan to go into productivity overdrive, right?! Wrong. In this session, we will discuss the benefits of taking time off to relax and rejuvenate, and of the importance of having a specific and realistic schedule for your work projects so that you can start the fall semester feeling energized and accomplished. Register at: