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SGA Makes Awards to Faculty Who Use Open Resources

Left to right: Morgan Hartgrove, Student Body President; honorees Judy Day, Stan Guffey, Michael Berry, Vasilios Alexiades; Maddie Stephens, 2018-19 SGA Student Services Director.

The Student Government Association (SGA) held an awards ceremony in Hodges Library on Monday to recognize UT instructors who use open educational resources in their courses.

The winners of this year’s SGA Open Education Award are Vasilios Alexiades, Michael Berry, Judy Day, and Stan Guffey.

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching and learning. Open textbooks are a type of OER that can be read online for free, whereas a traditional textbook — even texts used in introductory courses — can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars.

On average, college students spend more than $1,200 a year on textbooks, according to the College Board. When instructors adopt open textbooks in their courses, grateful students pocket the savings.

Some of those grateful students nominated their instructors for SGA awards. Biology instructor Stan Guffey, who has been assigning open textbooks in his courses since 2012, was recognized for his leadership in adopting open textbooks and for assigning an open text in Biology 150. This year, Guffey taught 375 students in his sections of Biology 150. Assuming an average textbook price of $100, Guffey saved UT students $37,500.

In addition to being free, openly licensed textbooks can be customized by local faculty to better fit the content and goals of their own courses. They can be modified, re-purposed, and remixed with millions of other open educational resources.

In nominating mathematics professor Vasilios Alexiades, one student noted, “The instructor shared with us open source programs, tutorials, books, papers, and more. This course is all about how to solve real-life mathematical problems. . . . The case problems in this course are so different that any textbook cannot contain all information and resourses neccesary to understand and solve them. When you use OER material, this opens the door to find more and useful material of the same kind. . . . This makes a huge impact in your learning process because you participate actively in your learning process.” According to the student judges who made the awards, “This is not just about ‘free’ textbooks, this is about a good textbook that Dr. Alexiades makes great through his teaching.”

Professors Michael Berry (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and Judy Day (Mathematics) also were praised for adopting open resources in Computer Science 311. According to the judges, “These instructors should be applauded for taking on something new for their 2017-18 classes and for including an open textbook in their flipped-classroom experiment. Though the open textbook was not their primary textbook, it was a helpful resource for many students that worked in conjunction with an interactive text.”

The SGA and the UT Libraries have been tracking the cost savings to students attributable to open textbooks. By adopting open textbooks in their courses, UT instructors saved students almost $750,000 during the 2017-18 academic year.

4/19: problem with Web of Science “FindText” button

1 p.m., Thursday, April 19. There is currently a problem within Web of Science: FindText buttons are not retrieving articles properly in OneSearch (the Libraries’ online catalog/discovery tool). If you encounter this problem, please copy and paste the article title directly into OneSearch. The vendor is aware of the issue and working on a fix.

We know it is crunch time, so here are some alternate ways to get to the full-text articles:

For further help, you are welcome to open a Chat session with a librarian or to send an email to

Please email us at if you encounter a similar problem with databases other than Web of Science.

Student Winners of UT Creative Writing Prizes to Read April 23

Student winners of the University of Tennessee’s graduate-level writing awards will read from their winning works on Monday, April 23. The event is part of UT’s Writers in the Library reading series.


Readings begin at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The public is invited to join the university community for readings by these accomplished, up-and-coming writers.

Each spring, the Creative Writing Program awards first-, second-, and third-place prizes for the John C. Hodges Award for Fiction Writing and the John C. Hodges Award for Poetry Writing. Awards are made possible by the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, endowed by the long-time UT English professor and author of the Harbrace College Handbook, for whom the Hodges Library is named.

Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund.

For more information, contact Erin Elizabeth Smith, Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the UT Libraries, at or visit for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Twitter: utklibwriters

SGA Open Education Award winners to be announced April 23

Open educational resources are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching and learning. Open textbooks can be read online for free. By adopting open textbooks in their courses, UT instructors have saved students hundreds of thousands of dollars this past year.

Last year, the Student Government Association worked with the UT Libraries to launch an award recognizing instructors who use open educational resources, including free and openly licensed textbooks.

This year’s SGA Open Education Awards will be presented on April 23. Here is an open invitation from SGA and the Libraries:

The 2018 SGA Open Education Award winners will be announced at a reception on Monday, April 23rd.

Student Government leaders invite you to the celebration! Students will recognize faculty and instructors who are using openly-licensed, free educational resources.

Instructors from the following subject areas were nominated for the awards: Biology, Computer Science, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. Three courses and/or instructors will receive awards.

Please join us:

Monday, April 23rd
3:30 p.m.

Hodges Library, Mary Greer Room (room 258, across from the Main Public Services Desk)

Beverages and light fare will be available. Please RSVP by Thursday, April 19, 2018, and please share this message with your colleagues.

The UTK Student Government Association and the reception hosts, UT Libraries

We want your feedback on Mango & Rosetta Stone language tools

The library currently has a trial for Mango Languages, an interactive learning tool that covers many languages and dialects for students, staff, and faculty to learn at their leisure. From Arabic to Yiddish, learners will be taken through the basics of conversation in the given language for a quick and simple way to learn. The UT Libraries already subscribes to Rosetta Stone, another language learning database focused on language fluency rather than conversation.

In order to ascertain the needs of our users, we have created a user survey for those who have tried either Mango Languages, Rosetta Stone, or both. We will use this data to decide on future purchasing decisions. We encourage everyone to try out our new Mango Languages Trial and explore your language learning desires. Please note: first-time users will need to set up an account while ON CAMPUS before exploring. Those who wish to participate are also invited to take our survey regarding the two databases at

Attention faculty and staff:

Join our webinar on how to use Mango Languages, an online language learning software, in your teaching. View a demonstration that showcases the features that can make Mango useful for you and your students.

3:30 p.m., Thursday, April 26
Conference ID: 306-711-700 #
Join the webinar.
Prefer to phone in?

The UT Libraries is offering Mango Languages on a trial basis until June 5, 2018.

Facts about Mango:

Mango offers online learning in the following languages — including, in some instances, several dialects:
American Sign Language, Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Iraqi), Arabic (Levantine), Arabic (Modern Standard), Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Cherokee, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Dzongkha, English (United States), English (Shakespearean), Filipino (Tagalog), Finnish, French, French (Canadian), German, Greek (Ancient), Greek (Koine), Greek (Modern), Haitian Creole, Hawaiian, Hebrew (Biblical), Hebrew (Modern), Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish (Standard), Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latin, Malay, Malayalam, Norwegian, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Pirate, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Punjabi (Pakistani), Romanian, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Shanghainese, Slovak, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Tuvan, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Yiddish

You can watch foreign films online via Mango. Once you have set up a Mango account (from on-campus), you can watch from anywhere. Switch on English subtitles or read along in the film’s original language.

Paper Due Soon? Join Our “Writing Blitz” April 19

Writing papers got you down? Not sure how or where to start your research? Join us for a “Writing Blitz” in Hodges Library on Thursday, April 19, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., in Room 213.

Work surrounded by others with the same goal in mind: FINISH THOSE PAPERS!

From pencils to laptops to citation guides — resources will be readily available to help you tackle those papers. Free-roaming librarians will be on hand to assist with reference questions. Writing Center tutors will be on site to help you through the writing process. Refreshments and take-a-break activities will also be available to keep you energized and motivated.

Webinar: Open Access Publishing & Avoiding Predatory Journal Publishers

“Open Access Publishing & Avoiding Predatory Journal Publishers”
(A Zoom webinar with Rachel Caldwell, UT’s Scholarly Communication and Publishing Librarian)
April 12th, 2:30-3:30 p.m. EDT

Whether you’re looking for journals in your field, receive a solicitation to submit work from a publisher, or are wondering which Open Access journals are trustworthy, this workshop will teach you how to investigate a journal’s reputation before you submit your work to a publisher.

The workshop/webinar will be held online via Zoom. The session is intended for UT faculty as well as graduate students who are, or will be, publishing in scholarly journals. Details on the Zoom meeting will be sent to registrants.

Graduate & Professional Student Appreciation Week, April 2-6

Graduate & Professional Student Appreciation Week is April 2-6, 2018. UT organizations and units across campus have teamed up with the Graduate Student Senate and the Graduate School to show appreciation for all that our graduate students do. There are events both to celebrate graduate students and to help them in achieving their goals.

Following are events that are either sponsored by the UT Libraries or are taking place in Hodges Library:

Monday, April 2
• 11 a.m. – noon / Research Poster Workshop / 128 Hodges Library
• noon – 4 p.m. / HABIT Animals / Veterans Resource Center, ground floor, Hodges Library
• 1-6 p.m. / Massage Day for Graduate Students / 213 Hodges Library

Tuesday, April 3
• noon – 1:15 p.m. / Plagiarism, Copyright, and Avoiding Research Misconduct in the Publication Process / 128 Hodges Library
• 2:10 – 4: 10 p.m. / Developing Teaching Philosophy and Diversity Statements / 213 Hodges Library

Wednesday, April 4
• 1-3 p.m. / Norway International Coffeehouse / Mary Greer Room (258 Hodges)
• 2:30-4 p.m. / Dissertation Formatting Workshop with Vincent Price / 213 Hodges Library

Thursday, April 5
• 9-11 a.m. / Professional Headshots / 235 Hodges Library
• noon-1:30 p.m. / Lunch & Learn: What is “Consent”? / Mary Greer Room (258 Hodges)

Friday, April 6
• 3-5 p.m. / Professional Headshots / 235 Hodges Library

View the full schedule for Graduate & Professional Student Appreciation Week.

Share Your Response to “Station Eleven”

The UT Libraries is collecting essays and other creative responses to Station Eleven, last fall’s Life of the Mind reading, for a book to be published by Newfound Press, the UT Libraries’ online imprint.

The Libraries welcomes all submissions that can be represented in a printed publication — essays, poems, works of art, even humor. Our copy deadline is May 25, 2018.

The excerpt, below, is from an essay that will appear in the upcoming book.

Back when I was first reading Station Eleven, I commented to a colleague that it reminded me of The Road. In my superficial reading of things, they both depicted people on a journey in a world in which everything had collapsed. My colleague correctly noted that Station Eleven was nothing like The Road, that it had a completely different theme and message. I believe she meant that the former had a message of optimism and preservation of culture, while the latter was simply about survival in a world in ¬which nature itself has failed to function. At the end of Station Eleven, they see lights in the distance, indicating that someone has started up a power plant. At the end of The Road, I believe there is a sense that a small cadre of people will re-start humanity, assuming the sun will shine through the clouds at some point and start photosynthesis.

. . . We are fortunate to have many horrific futures to choose from in our literature. The Hunger Games series has a particular resonance for our times, in that it shows an aristocracy living off the sweat of the serfs in a neo-feudal police state. Soylent Green had a similar resonance in the years before environmental awareness. Mad Max and its ilk appeal to me less, since they seem less rooted in our realities. But they share with Station Eleven the notion that, in a vacuum, leadership will be grabbed by evil people. This starts us thinking about cults and other instances in which we see this now and through history. In this sense, these futures share more than we’d like to think with our present and past. . . .

(excerpted from “What Will I Do in the Coming Dystopia?” by Brooks Clark)

Read more here about Station Eleven and how to submit your essay or other creative response.

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