Diversity & InclusionDiversity & Inclusion at the University of Tennessee Libraries
Current Diversity Committee Members (2021-2022)
Thura Mack (Chair) – Professor and Coordinator of Community Learning Services, Hodges Library
First gen graduate. Member of the Diversity Committee since 2002. Fighting for diversity and inclusion in all realms of our lives creates more accepting and powerful spaces for everyone to thrive. Fun fact: I do yoga in the mornings before work! Macebearer 2021-2022.
Kim Blaylock – Sr. Library Associate III, Hodges Library
First Gen grad. Cataloger. Diversity Committee member since 2018 because I believe that all of our differences matter, and are indeed necessary for collective growth.
Alex Boris – I am a Commons Librarian which means I help students with research assistance, work at the public services desk, and create and plan a multitude of outreach events. Some of my favorite events to plan are interactive such as DeStress for Success, Volunteer Escape Room, and Short Story Contest for National Novel Writing Month. A fun fact about myself is I have a degree in Music Education and a minor in Theatre and have performed in many choral concerts and theatre and musical theatre productions.
Michelle Brannen – Assistant Professor and Media Literacy Librarian, Hodges Library
*Ernest Brothers – Associate Dean, Graduate School
Christy Urquieta Cortes – Christy is from Knoxville, Tennessee and is a lifelong Volunteer. She aims to make impactful commitments to Diversity and Inclusion in her work at the University of Tennessee as well as endeavoring to be a lifelong learner in these areas. When she’s not in the library she can be found at home with her three dogs and a wildly out of control film collection.
Peter Fernandez – Head LRE Liaison Programs, Learning Research & Engagement, Hodges Library
Sarah Funk – Front End Developer, Digital Initiatives, Hodges Library
Kelly Gray – Originally from Louisville, TN, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001 with a BA in Graphic Design. After a few years working as a graphic designer, she accepted a job with the University of Tennessee Press as a book designer, and fell in love with book design. A family move took her to the University of Illinois Press for 7 years, before “coming home” and back as the main book designer for UT Press in 2015. A member of various American Indian organizations in college, she is a staunch advocate for social justice and equality for all. She currently lives in Nashville with her husband, two sons, two pups, and a one-eyed cat.
Fun fact: she love to renovate old houses and once appeared on DIY to the Rescue for a house renovation in Holston Hills.
Elizabeth Greene – Manager, Administration Office and Human Resources
Elizabeth has been a member since 2016 and participated in the 10th National Conference of African American Librarians with other committee members. This took me out of my comfort zone in many areas including making a presentation in front of people I don’t know. Fun Fact: I’ve been to French Polynesia twice.
Sara Green – Senior Library Associate II, Acquisitions and Continuing Resources, Hodges Library
I was born in SW Virginia and moved to Tennessee when I married my first husband who was from here. I have 2 adult children, 4 adult grandchildren and 5 preschool great grandchildren. I come from a diverse family where I have blood relatives who are part Apache, Vietnamese, Black and Hispanic as well as white, so have always felt the need to stand up for issues of fairness for all of them.
Trey Hobson – Library Supervisor II, Hodges Library
Cathy Jenkins – Communication Coordinator II, Marketing & Communication, Hodges Library
Judy Li – Judy has been the Business Librarian at Hodges Library for a decade. This is the second time for her to serve with the Library Diversity Committee. She loves to travel to immerse herself in different cultures. In fact, travel has taught her to appreciate the value of diversity and cultivate her ability to forge relationships in diverse societies.
Kate Shepas – Kate is originally from Youngstown, OH and new to the diversity committee. I joined the committee because I believe creating spaces and opportunities as well as having access to information for all people to succeed in what they wish is so important. Fun fact: Playing tennis is my outlet!
Megan Venable – Manager of Events and Donor Stewardship Assistant, UT Libraries
I’ve been part of the Diversity Committee since joining the Libraries in 2012. My favorite activity was helping support a membership drive cookie bakeoff.
*This individual serves as an ex-officio member.
Diversity Action Plan
Learn how the libraries are working to advance access, accountability, an inclusive campus climate, and equity.
Recent NewsMore News
- New “Seed Library” at Pendergrass: Join the Launch Party Sept. 7
- "Studienbuch": Pioneering Study in Piano Pedagogy Now in English Translation
- Artworks: The Chimney Tops 2 Wildfires
- Announcing our Philosophy of Access to Research and Scholarship
- Students and UT Libraries Award Faculty for Using Open Educational Resources
- Neurodiversity: Panel Discussion, May 5
- Digitization Project to Preserve Senate Recordings from the 1950s and ’60s
- UT Libraries and The Wall Street Journal Partner to Bring Sponsored Memberships to Campus