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Welcome to UT Mic/Nite!

Next Event:
March 11, 2020

Social Hour: 5:30
Presentations: 6:30
Relix Variety Theatre
1208 N. Central St
Knoxville, TN 39717


Patrick Grzanka,
Mic/Nite Coordinator


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

One of the challenges in a large university community 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 offer a cross section of the intellectual life of UT Knoxville and provide an opportunity for social interaction among faculty members who may not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with each other.

Parking is available behind the venue on Anderson Avenue and on surrounding streets.

Free pizza and a cash bar are available. So we are able to make appropriate preparations, please RSVP!

RSVP for Upcoming Mic/Nite


What is Pecha-Kucha?

Pecha-Kucha is a simple presentation format that features twenty images displayed for twenty seconds each. The images automatically forward as the presenter talks. To learn more, visit the Pecha-Kucha FAQ. Samples are posted on the Pecha-Kucha Presentations page.

The format originated in Tokyo, Japan. It was first introduced in 2003 and has spread to more than 400 cities around the world. The format allows presenters to depict and describe everything from urban design or economic theory to a series of photographs. Mic/Nite is held in cooperation with PechaKucha Night Knoxville, which was started in 2011 to encourage intellectual and cultural dialogue. Mic/Nites are special interdisciplinary events that facilitate dialogue between university faculty and staff by showcasing the academic pursuits of the campus.

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


Fall 2019 Presentation Topics

JC Can Save America: Deconstructing Jimmy Carter’s Weirdo Factor 

Lori Amber Roessner, Associate Professor; Journalism & Electronic Media; College of Communication and Information

Watch Lori Amber Roessner’s presentation

“J.C. can save America,” Baltimore Sun veteran trail reporter Carl Leubsdorf captioned his sketch of Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter, donning a beard, long hair, and priestly robes—the political kingmaker’s impression of the Democratic nominee’s “weirdo factor.” This presentation offers a snapshot into Jimmy Carter and the Birth of the Marathon Media Campaign, my forthcoming book that tells the story of a transformative moment in American politics and journalism by examining the rise of Jimmy Carter, Time’s 1976 “miracle” man, through a representational and relational analysis of media texts, memory texts, and archival documents surrounding the negotiation of political images by presidential aspirants, campaign consultants, frontline reporters, and various publics involved in the bicentennial campaign. Though many cultural observers dismissed Carter’s campaign and presidency as the final chapter of Watergate, this book reveals his “miraculous” rise signaled a new chapter in American politics and journalism that still reverberates today.

Directed Language to the Preterm Infant as an Implementation Strategy to Improve Neurodevelopmental Outcomes

Katherine Newnam, Assistant Professor; College of Nursing

Watch Katherine Newnam’s presentation

newborn baby being held by an adult

In utero, organized and predetermined patterns of auditory structural and neural pathway development set the stage for early language acquisition. The preterm infant, born at 24-26 weeks of gestation is at a critical stage of structural and functional auditory development in a suboptimal environment. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), vastly different from the protected uterine environment is full of high-pitched alarms, harsh mechanical sounds from lifesaving respiratory equipment positioned in close proximity to developing auditory structures. Environmental conditions in the NICU have been correlated with increased stress and systemic inflammation resulting in negative neurodevelopmental outcomes. Few interventions directed toward the low birth weight (LBW) preterm infant while hospitalized in the NICU have shown neurodevelopmental improvements especially in the area of language acquisition. We hypothesize that early and frequent directed speech may be useful to mitigate some of the modifiable short and long-term negative effects of preterm birth.

Tennessine and the Road to the Island of Stable Superheavies

Robert Grzywacz, Professor, Physics and Astronomy; College of Arts and Sciences

Watch Robert Grzywacz’s presentation

TS Scientific table image for Tennessine

How many elements are possible? What limits us from discovering all of them? Reaching the Island of Stability for superheavy elements has been a coveted goal for generations of nuclear physicists. Over time scientists had to revise where this island is and how to get there. The recent discovery of new elements such as Nihonium (113), Moscovium (115), Tennessine (117), and Oganesson (118) was a huge step to reach it. Oganesson (118) fills the last spot in the bottom row of the Mendeleev chart reserved for noble gases. The search for new elements

119 and 120 has already begun, and scientists from Tennessee again have a chance to play a role. Physicists and chemists share a common interest in this new and exciting chapter in the science of superheavy elements.

Latinx Immigration: Trauma and Resilience

Mary Lehman Held, Associate Professor, Director, MSSW Program (Nashville Campus); College of Social Work

Watch Mary Lehman Held’s presentation

Dirt road with cow and man walking in Central AmericaImmigration from Mexico and Central America offers opportunities for improved economic security and safety from gang-related violence. Yet, immigrants are exposed to hardships and multiple forms of trauma throughout the migration process. This process can be conceptualized as having three stages: pre-migration, migration, and post-migration. The pre-migration stage represents the period of time before one leaves their home country. Once an individual leaves home, the migration stage begins and entails the trip to the new destination. The post-migration stage is initiated upon entry into the new country. The discrete forms of trauma endured during each stage of the migration process can have a long-term detrimental impact on health and well-being. This presentation will provide an overview of immigration-related trauma throughout the migration process and will offer a discussion of the resilience and strengths of Latinx immigrants in the United States.

Novel Computer-Aided Early Breast Cancer Detection Methods: Stalking a Serial Killer with Deep Learning Neural Networks through Lesion Classification

Hamparsum Bozdogan, Mckenzie Professor; Department of Business Analytics and Statistics; Haslam College of Business

Watch Hamparsum Bozdogan’s presentation

Mammogram showing cancer cell

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women worldwide and, because preventing it is beyond current medical abilities, much research attention has been focused on early detection and post diagnostic treatment. But early detection has flaws. Even mammography, the most effective tool for detecting the cancer, misses up to 30 percent of breast lesions. The missed evidence is attributed to poor-quality radiographic images and eye fatigue and oversight on the part of radiologists who read the images.

A novel deep learning neural networks (DLNN) model for computer-aided detection (CAD) of breast cancer on 1,269 Italian patients will be presented and introduced to develop a flexible unsupervised classification of breast legions using information complexity criterion to improve upon the accuracy of the classification over the radiologist discovery to avoid unnecessary biopsies.

Computer-aided diagnostic tools show promise in increasing the ability to spot cancerous lesions in the digital images collected during mammography.

Play-Doh, PechaKuchas, but No Pie Charts! Creative Methods for Visualizing and Disseminating Data

Jennifer Ann Morrow, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology and Counseling; College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

Watch Jennifer Ann Morrow’s presentation

Playdough containers

As someone who trains future evaluators, assessment specialists, and applied researchers I am always looking for ways to enhance my students’ report writing and presentation skills. The majority of my students will end up working in a field where they are required to write up and present large amounts of data for a client. The ability to create accurate and meaningful visualizations as well as effectively and efficiently disseminate data are skills that our students need to master.

My presentation will review some of the creative methods that I use, not only in my classes, but in my practice as an evaluator/assessment specialist when creating data visualizations and disseminating data. I’ll cover some of the things to avoid, recommended practices, and suggestions for activities that you can utilize when training your students.

The Urban Landscape as Political Arena in Late Bronze Age Greece: The Case of Mitrou

Aleydis Van de Moortel, Chancellor’s Professor and Lindsay Young Professor Classics; College of Arts and Sciences

Watch Aleydis Van de Moortel’s presentation

Political Arena in Late Bronze Age Greece and people digging out walls and creating the foundation

At the transition from the Middle to Late Bronze Age (ca. 1700/1600 BCE), warlike ruling elites emerged throughout mainland Greece–a process leading eventually to the foundation of Mycenaean palatial civilization, which was the first state-level society of continental Europe. Excavations conducted at Mitrou, in central Greece, by the University of Tennessee and the Greek Archaeological Service have uncovered much new evidence about the ways in which the local Prepalatial elite rose to power. One of its power strategies was the transformation of its informal, fairly egalitarian settlement into a hierarchical town.

This presentation will analyze the psychological effects of those architectural changes. As Aureli has noted, the built landscape can be understood as a political arena. As elites and non-elites engaged on a daily basis with the restrictions and codifications of the new townscape, it would have contributed to the internalization of social inequality and social roles by both groups.

The Road to Rocky Top and Integrated Engineering Design: A Tale of Two Journeys

R. Keith Stanfill, Edwards Assistant Dean; Tickle College of Engineering

Watch R. Keith Stafill’s presentation

Image of Integrated design small mocks on a building plan

Viewed through the lens of design, this presentation chronicles a year-long journey to transform the engineering undergraduate creative experience. Highlights include relocation drama, an interview with a beloved maker/tech guru and TV personality, the design of a state-of-the art student maker facility, the launch of a college-wide senior design showcase, and the start-up of an interdisciplinary industry-sponsored design and build program.

Wide Eyes and Wanderlust: A Serendipitous Opportunity to Explore the Hidden Superpowers of Two Western African Plant Species

Denita Hadziabdic-Guerry, Assistant Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology; Herbert College of Agriculture

Watch Denita Hadziabdic-Guerry’s presentation

Potatoes and various plants Starvation and malnutrition are persistent worldwide challenges. For 795 million people globally, including 780 million in developing countries, hunger remains a daily challenge despite the efforts to eradicate food shortages. Africa possesses numerous indigenous crops with high nutritional value, which may play a role in ensuring food security and maintaining economic growth. Yet, food security is often dependent upon success of only a few, widely cultivated crops. These regionally adapted plants may provide better ability to tolerate drought stress and poor quality soils that may be rich in micronutrients. The time to act is now because 75% of the world’s agricultural plant genetic diversity has been nearly lost. Contemporary agriculture remains focused on production of high-yielding, genetically uniform plants that have replaced local knowledge and reliance upon native crop alternatives. This talk highlights my recent Fulbright Program funded work in Ghana that addresses food security and conservation indigenous crop species.

Gain XP and Level Up! Tabletop Role-Playing, Game-Based Learning

Ryan Gabriel Windeknecht, Senior Lecturer and OIT Faculty Fellow, Department of Philosophy; College of Arts and Sciences

Watch Ryan Gabriel Windeknecht’s presentation

specific game-based dice

Game-based learning (i.e., the use of games designed to meet specific learning outcomes) is among the latest developments in higher education. Learning games have been shown to create interactivity and collaboration, increase engagement and retention, deepen reflection and understanding, engender positive values and thoughtful behavior, and open authentic spaces for real-world problem-solving.

In this presentation, I discuss the design of a tabletop role-playing game for teaching and learning ethical thinking. The game, World of Professionals, borrows elements from games like Dungeons & Dragons, which have experienced a renewed interest lately due to web series like Critical Role and Stranger Things. The discussion will focus on three elements common to this genre of games (i.e., character creation, dungeon crawls, and monster encounters) to explore the ways in which these elements can be redesigned to meet specific learning outcomes.

The Ethics of Atticus Finch

Judy Cornett, Professor; College of Law

Watch Judy Cornett’s presentation

Movie, To Kill A Mockingbird, court scene imageAtticus Finch is the iconic American lawyer. He is seen as a paragon of virtue for his committed defense of an unpopular client. However, critics have pointed out lapses in the legal ethics of Atticus Finch. For example, critics have accused Atticus of cross-examining Mayella Ewell with unnecessary harshness. These lapses, on display in To Kill a Mockingbird, are only magnified in Go Set a Watchman. My presentation explores the ethics of Atticus Finch as portrayed in both novels and presents a re-evaluation of his iconic status.

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