LibrariesDiversity & InclusionProgramsLunch and Learn Discussion Series
Lunch and Learn Discussion Series

The UT Libraries Diversity Committee hosts and participates in a number of campus-wide activities to promote civility and awareness of diversity issues. To find previous years’ discussions, click here.


Wellness and Self-Care — COVID-19 and Beyond
Thursday, April 1, 2021, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Join us on Zoom at

Anxiety, sadness, stress, and loneliness. The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on our mental and physical health. Join us at noon on April 1 for a virtual discussion on wellness and self-care with three UT faculty members who are experts at helping individuals and families cope with the stresses of life. Learn good habits of self-care that can carry you through — and beyond — the pandemic.

This discussion, hosted by the UT Libraries’ Diversity Committee, will feature panelists Patricia Bamwine (College of Social Work), Kristina Gordon (Department of Psychology); and Javiette Samuel (Department of Child and Family Studies; Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement). The event will be moderated by Cynthia Finch, a social work and health care professional.


Photo of Patricia Bamwine

Patricia Bamwine is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Social Work. She received extensive training in community-based participatory research (CBPR) with adolescents through the T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine. Bamwine received both her PhD and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Campbellsville University and MA in Sociology from Western Kentucky University. Her work is interdisciplinary in that it draws from public health, sociology, thanatology, and social welfare. She utilizes a critical and constructionist perspective to design mixed-methods projects that examine the intersection of gender, race, and class as they relate to social problems such as violence. She is currently focused on interventions that support young people after the loss of a loved one to homicide. Her hope is that this work will aid in the development and improvement of service design and delivery to reduce negative life outcomes for young people of color.  

Kristina Gordon received her PhD in clinical psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill after completing an internship at the Brown University Consortium. She is currently Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee. She is a Past-President and Fellow of the Society for Couple and Family Psychology (APA Division 43). She serves on the editorial board for three family journals and has co-authored numerous publications on couple distress. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband and two daughters, where she maintains a small private practice.

Javiette Samuel is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement, Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, and an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee. She is an experienced engaged scholar with a unique combination of educational, interpersonal, and creative skills. She has worked with P-20 students, families, and underrepresented communities for nearly 25 years, focusing on engagement, outreach, and evidence-based programs.

Samuel cultivates relationships with national, state, and regional partners; works with units across campus to connect UT’s knowledge with the community in mutually beneficial ways; identifies and tackles complex issues to help improve the well-being of our state’s citizens; and partners with units across campus on initiatives that ensure access and are designed to address recruitment and retention of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff. Her primary applied research focus has been on child development, positive youth development, and family well-being. She is especially passionate about addressing educational disparities, early warning signs of disengagement from school and learning, mentoring, and increasing parental involvement.

Samuel has served as a faculty member and extension administrator at the University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, and Tennessee State University. A three-time UT alumna, Samuel earned her bachelor’s in 1996, master’s in 1999, and doctorate in 2002. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She enjoys reading, writing poetry, outdoor adventures, and spending quality time with her beautiful granddaughters.


Cynthia Finch is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, with a Bachelor’s of Art in Human Services and Master’s in Social Work Administration and Planning. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work. Her professional career spans over 30 years in health care, as a manager, owner and a clinician. In 2017, Finch launched her business, New Direction Health Care Solutions. New Direction focuses on innovative approaches to dealing with health care disparities for people of color. Hospice and end-of-life care is truly her calling. Her other professional employment has led her through the public and private sector, in government, non-profit and industry professional work. 

Finch has dedicated herself to tackling the pandemic crisis by ensuring that African Americans and people of color have access to information, services, and vaccine as it comes available. One of her major feats has been the coordination of vaccine clinics in the African American community and securing over 4,000 vaccines for people of color. She has sponsored numerous events., i.e., COVID-19 testing, flu shots, coordination of care at the East Knoxville Free Medical Clinic, and so many more activities to support the community. Her recent efforts include launching the Faith Leaders Church Initiative to work with churches to plan and prepare for reopening and VACImpact, an educational outreach program around the pandemic and vaccine.


Fall Semester 2020

Moderator and panelists bios

Join the Diversity Committee for a Lunch and Learn discussion and Q&A on Thursday, October 8, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Via Zoom:

In this unique moment of national reckoning on racial injustice, we should expand the conversation to encompass Native Americans. The UT Libraries’ Diversity Committee and the Native American Student Association have convened a panel who can lend authoritative voices to that dialog. All panelists have Indigenous ancestry; most are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Our panelists will offer invaluable perspectives on present-day issues affecting Native Americans.

Thursday, September 17th from noon – 1:30

via Zoom:

Lunch and Learn: How to be an Anti-Racist from Theory to Practice

Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Life and the Pride Center

Kirsten A. Gonzalez, Ph.D., [she, her, hers] is an assistant professor of psychology, and a core faculty member in women, gender, and sexuality studies, and Latin American & Caribbean studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville UTK. As the director of the Research on Social Intersections at Tennessee (ReSIsT) Lab, her scholarship focuses broadly on the psychological well-being of LGBTQ+ People of Color, including experiences of belonging and community connection and the impact of sociopolitical events on the well-being of people across race/ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation. She focuses on the intersection of Latinx and LGBTQ+ identities and migration experiences of Latinx community members. A third line of her scholarship is focused on allyship and social justice advocacy. As a licensed psychologist, she teaches graduate courses in cognitive assessment and foundations in counseling psychology, an undergraduate course in multicultural psychology, and provides clinical supervision to counseling psychology doctoral students at UTK.

Dr. Camille Hall, is Professor and Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion in the College of Social Work, Knoxville. She joined the faculty in 2004. Dr. Hall received her BSW & BSW at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM and her Ph.D. from Smith College, Northampton, MA. She is a clinical social work officer in the US Army Reserve, assigned to Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley, Kansas. Dr. Hall was the former chairperson of the UTK Commission for Blacks, appointed to the University of Tennessee’s Diversity Advisory Council (5-years), and is a member of STRIDE (Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence). Dr. Hall’s research focuses on African American’s risk and resilience and multicultural competence. She developed and leads an international service learning/community engagement program in San Jose, Costa Rica. Dr. Hall’s evidence-based course instruction model for multicultural competence is taught at 25-colleges/universities.

Clarence L. Vaughn, III, is the director of the Office of Diversity and Community Relations in the Haslam College of Business, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As diversity and community relations director, Vaughn provides strategic leadership in creating an integrated vision and shared responsibility for facilitating the college’s diversity goals and for fostering and supporting a campus culture that respects and appreciates individual differences. Through collaboration with offices across the college and university, he is assigned with advancing diversity and inclusion in the university’s research and educational missions, creating a welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff. He holds an MBA in organizational management from Syracuse University, a BS in business management from Florida A&M and an AA in business management from Tallahassee Community College.

Shaina V. Destine is an Assistant Professor/Humanities Librarian with a specialization in History and Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  Ms. Destine received her Master’s in Library & Information Science from the University of Maryland in College Park with a concentration in Archives and Digital Curation.

Shaina Destine identifies as a Black Queer woman and was born and raised in the South Bronx in New York City.  She’s the oldest of seven siblings and a perpetual optimist. She is the descendant, as well as the ancestor, of a long line of resilient and powerful women. She has an interest in increasing archival holdings by including narratives that are traditionally excluded. She also uses her institutional knowledge and positions to increase students’ access to information despite systemic disenfranchisement. #GoLadyVols

Fall Semester 2019ll_small

Monday, September 16th from noon – 1:30 

Mary Greer Room

Lunch and Learn: Difficult Conversations on Financial Literacy

Please join us for an honest conversation about the perils and pitfalls as well as the benefits and rewards that borrowing money for college can lead to. Learn from professionals in the industry as well as wellness counselors about what is really involved when incurring student debt.

Bilqis Amatus-Salaam is the Wellness Coordinator for General Wellness Promotion at the Center for Health Education and Wellness. She completed her Master in Public Health in 2015 with a focus on sexual health and college student health. In her role at UT she focuses on cold and flu prevention, stress reduction, sleep promotion, nutrition, and sexual health.

John Nolan has represented SunTrust Bank in Knoxville since April 2014. Being named a SunTrust Purpose Ambassador in both 2018 and 2019, he delivers financial confidence through various non-profit organizations including the Knoxville Area Urban League and Junior Achievement throughout East Tennessee using Financial Literacy Education. When he is not teaching budgeting, saving and credit-building skills, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 15 years, Rebecca, their 12-year-old son, Alex, and their three year-old Golden Doodle, Penny.

An East Tennessee native, Trey Ogle is a graduate of The University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business, where he studied finance and entrepreneurship. Now in practice with Northwestern Mutual, he builds lasting relationships and helps clients create comprehensive financial plans suited to their individual goals and dreams. Outside of the financial arena, Trey serves as a Loaned Executive with United Way of Greater Knoxville, is active in various community organizations, and is an accomplished organist, performing throughout the year and serving weekly at his church, Central Baptist Bearden.

Moderator: Philippa Satterwhite, currently the Coordinator of Wellness and Education at One Stop with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has over a decade of professional experience in higher education, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Howard University in Washington DC. Her primary responsibility is the creation, implementation and oversight of the Center for Financial Wellness. She is a strong believer that we are what we repeatedly do and that financial wellness is not an act but a habit. She is really excited about helping students learn the habits of financial wellness.

Spring Semester 2019


Lunch and Learn

The UT Libraries Diversity Committee is hosting a series of facilitated lunchtime discussions on how to comfortably dialogue about diversity and inclusion. The discussions are open to all.

Difficult Conversations about Gender in the Workplace (co-hosted by the UT Libraries Diversity Committee and the Women’s Coordinating Council)

Thursday, March 7
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room, 258 Hodges Library

Panelists include Dr. Erin Darby, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Co-director of the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project and Nanci Solomon, Owner of Rala: Regional and Local Artisans

Co-hosted by the UT Libraries Diversity Committee and the Women’s Coordinating Council, this panel discussion will focus on difficult conversations about gender in the workplace. Featuring a panel of professional women, the conversation will be about the empowerment of all genders in the workplace from a feminist point of view.

Conversations on Immigration
Monday, March 25
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room, 258 Hodges Library

Megan Austin is an Immigration Law Clerk with Torres Law Firm, PLLC. She will graduate from UT College of Law in May 2019 and after, will work full time for Torres. Prior to law school, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer serving 27 months in Togo, West Africa in 2014-2016. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Furman University in Spanish Language and Literature with a concentration in Poverty Studies. In Knoxville, Megan has worked with Great Schools Partnership and the Latino Student Success Coalition. Megan speaks Spanish and French and has enjoyed working with the immigrant population since middle school. When she’s not working, Megan teaches Zumba, dog sits, and plays in a bocce league.

Chris M. Mendoza is the Coordinator of Multicultural Student Life at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Chris advises the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) as well as provides direct support to the Asian-American Association (AAA) and Native American Student Association (NASA) on campus. His academic background is in sociolinguistics with an emphasis on Latinx masculinity and the linguistic expression of queer Latinidad. He earned a B.A. in Linguistics from Macalester College and is currently finishing his Master of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree from Southern Utah University. He is passionate about intersectional community justice including educational and social equity for undocumented queer folks and queer people of color.

Moderator: Andrea Stedman is a Graduate student intern with Centro Hispano de East TN, where she leads their College Access piece.  She earned her B.A. in Spanish and Hispanic Studies with a minor in French and Francophone studies from UT, and is currently finishing her Masters of Social Work with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership. Andrea spent 2 years serving as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Miami, aiming to improve the graduation rate for predominately Hispanic, ELL high school students via attendance, behavior, and coursework initiatives. She is passionate about intersectional feminism, global citizenship, and justice for immigrants.

This Lunch and Learn seeks to educate our campus community about the facts of immigration; dispelling myths, untruths and rumor. A panel of professionals working in various areas involved in immigration will present information specific to their fields of expertise and invite questions from attendees.

Past Events: 2017-20182016-20172015-2016 | 2014-2015 | 2013-2014 | 2012-2013

The UT Libraries Diversity Committee is hosting a series of facilitated lunchtime discussions on how to comfortably dialogue about diversity and inclusion. The discussions are open to all.

Fall 2018 Series

Lunch and Learn:”The Life of the Student Athlete: Perception versus Reality.”
Wednesday, September 19
Room 213 @ Hodges Library
Discussion Facilitated by Dr. Joe Scogin and Kayla Smith

Discussion will explore the challenges facing student athletes.

Dr. Joe Scogin joined the Tennessee family in May 2013 as Senior Associate Athletic Director and Assistant Provost. Dr. Scogin provides leadership to the Thornton Center, which delivers comprehensive support services to UT student-athletes, including academic support, career and professional development, character and leadership development, and community outreach programming. During his time at UT, student-athletes have achieved record results in the classroom and in the community. UT has seen all-time records in Graduation Success Rates (GSR), Academic Progress Rates (APR), Grade Point Averages (GPA), and community involvement during this time.

Prior to his arrival at UT, Dr. Scogin spent 12 years at the University of Missouri where he ultimately held the position of Associate Athletic Director, where he had oversight of the Academic Support component of the Total Person Program, the Sport and Counseling Psychology Program, and was the Sport Administrator for Women’s Soccer. During his tenure at Missouri, Dr. Scogin oversaw a run of tremendous academic success as Missouri student-athletes achieved record Graduation Rates, Academic Progress Rates, and Grade Point Averages. Since 2006, Missouri was consistently at the top of the Big 12 and SEC in Academic Progress Rates and Graduation Rates and also led all public BCS institutions in Academic Progress Rate.

Dr. Scogin is a member of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) where he has served in multiple positions on the Board of Directors and on the NCAA/N4A Consulting Project.

Originally from Tucson, Ariz., Dr. Scogin graduated from Fort Hays State University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology in 1999 and a Masters in Sports Administration in 2001. In May 2007, Dr. Scogin earned his Ph.D. in Education, School, and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri.

Scogin was a member of the Fort Hays State baseball team. At Fort Hays, Scogin was named to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference All-Academic Team and helped Fort Hays to Conference Championships in 1998 and 2000. The team earned regional bids in 1998, 1999 and 2000 and was the National Runner-up in 2000 finishing the season with a 54-12 record.

Scogin is the proud father of two children, daughter Sienna Piper and son Cannon Pierce.

Kayla Smith is an Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Engagement. Her role allows her to work directly with student-athletes and administrators to find innovative ways to ensure that the program is at the forefront when it comes to community outreach, career discovery and preparing young men and women for the next phases of life. Prior to this position, she was the Director of Student-Athlete Development, also at the University of Tennessee.

She came to the University from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she was Director of Academic Success, Eligibility, and Retention. Her duties involved overseeing student-athlete support services, academic mentoring, and student-athlete development programs. Smith holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology as well as Master’s in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

While an undergraduate student, she was a member of the Track and Field team and currently holds the school record in the shot put. A native of Orange, CA., Smith enjoys to travel, the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Lunch and Learn: Coming Out
Thursday, October 11
International House Great Room

Organized by the UT Libraries Diversity Committee and the UT Pride Center, a panel of individuals will share their experiences on National Coming Out Day.

Spring 2018 Series

Lunch and Learn: Having Difficult Conversations on Gender and Politics
Thursday, March 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room @ Hodges Library (2nd floor)
Panel discussion co-hosted by the Women’s Coordinating Council & the UT Libraries Diversity Committee.

Panel will feature political scientists, politicians, and activists discussing the interactions between identity and politics.

lunch and learn photo

Lunch and Learn: Having Difficult Conversations on Consent
Thursday, April 5 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room @ Hodges Library (2nd floor)
Conversation facilitated by Fletcher Haverkamp and Bilqis Amatus-Salaam

Fletcher Haverkamp serves as the Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Center for Health Education & Wellness. Fletcher was a co-author of the OVW Campus Grant and serves as the Project Coordinator for the grant. Prior to his current role, Fletcher worked at Catholic Charities Columbus Home Group Home for Boys and as Graduate Assistant for the Center for Health Education & Wellness where he facilitated alcohol & other drug programs, sexual violence prevention programs, and conducted data assessment.

Bilqis Amatus-Salaam is the Wellness Coordinator for General Wellness Promotion at the Center for Health Education and Wellness. She completed her Master in Public Health in 2015 with a focus on sexual health and college student health. In her role at UT she focuses on cold and flu prevention, stress reduction, sleep promotion, nutrition, and sexual health.

Fall 2017 Series

Lunch and Learn: Having Difficult Conversations on Oppression vs. Privilege
Tuesday, September 26 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room @ Hodges Library (2nd floor)
Conversation facilitated by Michelle Christian and Jioni Lewis

Michelle Christian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Tennessee. She has been at the University of Tennessee since fall 2013. She teaches and conducts research on race, racism and global inequalities. Most recently, she co-created the curriculum for the Department of Sociology’s new concentration are in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

Dr. Jioni A. Lewis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research is focused on the influence of subtle forms of racism and sexism on the mental and physical health of women of color. Dr. Lewis teaches courses on topics including: African American psychology, multicultural psychology, and social justice theory and practice. Dr. Lewis’s university service includes serving on the Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Interculturalism and the Commission for Blacks. Dr. Lewis and Dr. Christian co-founded the Critical Race Collective in Fall 2013, which is an interdisciplinary research group focused on critical race studies in research, teaching, and service to the university.

Lunch and Learn: Having Difficult Conversations on Stress Management
Thursday, October 26 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room @ Hodges Library (2nd floor)
Conversation facilitated by Bilqis Amatus-Salaam and Clay Culp

Bilqis Amatus-Salaam is the Wellness Coordinator for General Wellness Promotion at the Center for Health Education and Wellness. She completed her Master in Public Health in 2015 with a focus on sexual health and college student health. In her role at UT she focuses on cold and flu prevention, stress reduction, sleep promotion, nutrition, and sexual health.

Clay Culp is a clinical social worker and therapist at the Student Counseling Center. He earned his master’s in social work at UT and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Social Work degree at UT. His doctoral research is about suicide prevention.

Spring 2017 Series

Lunch and Learn:Intersectionality: A Workshop on Theory and Practice
1 – 3 p.m., Monday, April 24, 605 Hodges Library

Nora Berenstain
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Affiliated Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Program

Patrick Grzanka
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Core Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Program
Associate Editor, Journal of Counseling Psychology

In this two-hour, interactive workshop, Intersectionality Community of Scholars Co-Directors Nora Berenstain (Philosophy) and Patrick Grzanka (Psychology) will introduce key tenets of intersectionality theory and guide participants through exercises that illustrate the insights of this important framework for studying and challenging intersecting systems of inequality — such as racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, ableism, and heterosexism. The workshop will focus on applying intersectionality responsibly and in a variety of practices, including teaching, scholarship, activism, and community partnerships.

Fall 2016 Series

Intersectionality: From Scholarship to Action – October 19, 2016 (12:00-1:00 pm in Hodges Library, Room 605)

Patrick Grzanka, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Nora Berenstain, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

The directors of the Intersectionality Community of Scholars at UT will facilitate a conversation about the origins of intersectionality theory in U.S. Black feminism, current directions in the field, and the relationship between interdisciplinary scholarship, activism, and social justice.

Practical Tips for “Keeping Calm and Carrying On” Difficult Conversations – November 9, 2016 (12:00-1:00 pm in Hodges Library, Room 605)

Becky Jacobs, Waller Lansden Distinguished Professor of Law, UT College of Law

Most of us probably have struggled at one time or another with sensitive or difficult conversations, i.e., raising workplace concerns; confronting an unreliable partner or co-worker; or apologizing, or seeking an apology for, inappropriate behavior. This session will focus on practical tips for preparing for, initiating, and handling potentially unpleasant exchanges in a way that hopefully will minimize negative consequences, improve understanding, and strengthen relationships.

The spring topics and facilitators are yet to be determined but will align with the Lunch and Learn’s theme of encouraging inclusivity and respect during difficult conversations. Because of the thematic focus of the “Lunch and Learn” series, the Libraries Diversity Committee will address inclusivity, diversity, dialogue, collegiality, respect, knowledge, learning, awareness, and response—nine of the university’s ten principles for civility and community. To make these conversations more inclusive we will identify campus faculty members with the specific expertise and interest in our topical areas to facilitate the discussion. Should the success of the Lunch and Learn program series continue, we would consider expanding our program to include community leaders to facilitate future discussions.


Virtual Culture Corner

The 2020-2021 Virtual Culture Corner offers resources and materials that explore Native American cultures and traditions.

Painting of woman reclining with poppy flowers