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Baker Buzz

News and Events from the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

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Baker Highlights

Newspaper story "Howard Baker: Trying to Tame an Unruly Senate"

"Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside"  

Senator Baker's wit and discipline are highlighted in this March 28, 1982 article from The New York Times.  
Senator Baker turned the tables on the press and snapped a few photos of impatient reporters outside of room S230.
Senator Baker, who was inside the room, was deliberating with James A. Baker 3d, the White House chief of staff; David A. Stockman, the budget director, and Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan on the president's budget proposal. Read the entire article here.

Recent Events

"Inducing Demand for Conservation" with Dr. Richard York

Dr. Richard York, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Oregon State, will join us for an Energy & Environment Forum. In his talk titled, "Inducing Demand: Why Consumer Level Approaches to Conservation Often Fail", he will discuss fossil fuel consumption and how it affects consumer behavior.
The video can be found here.  

"Cut Short: Declining Life Expectancy in the US" with Dr. Carole Meyers

 Dr. Carole Meyers, an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Department of Public Health at the University of Tennessee, discussed the leading causes of death in U.S.; explored contributors to declining life expectancy in the U.S., and used morbidity and mortality profile to identify & discuss “wicked” societal problems, focusing on gun violence, suicide, deaths of despair, maternal mortality, and medical errors. 

Tax Policy and Global Soda Intake with Dr. Andrew Muhammad

Dr. Andrew Muhammad is a professor and Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. He examined soda intake and taxation in a global context, providing a better understanding of tax-policy effectiveness across the complete spectrum of countries in his talk "The Effects of Tax Policy on Global Soda Intake". 
The video to the event can be found here

"Environmental Freight Transportation" with Dr. Lisa Ellram

The Baker Center hosted Dr. Lisa Ellram as a part of the Energy & Environment Forum. Ellram is the Rees Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Farmer School of Business, Miami University in Oxford, OH.
Her talk, titled "Environmental Freight Transportation: Opportunities and Challenges", discussed current environmental reporting structures unwittingly impede the focus on freight emissions.
She also explored how SmartWay, a voluntary private-public partnership that is part of the EPA has made important inroads in the awareness and reduction of environmental freight. 
Picture of TN Civic Summit Attendees

Baker Center Hosted TN Campus Civic Summit

The Center, in partnership with East Tennessee State University, Scholars Strategy Network, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Vanderbilt University hosted the second annual TN Civic SummitDr. Katie Cahill, associate director, was the organizer.
This year the event was held simultaneously at the Baker Center in Knoxville and at Vanderbilt University. Between the two locations, 17 schools were represented and 10 non-profit organizations. 
The Summit provided workshops and learning sessions with leading students, faculty and legislators. Local and national experts in student voting, campus organizing, and civic education attended to answer questions and provide guidance on campus voting efforts. Learn more here


Energy & Environment Fellows Awarded Grant from Sloan Foundation

Charles Sims, director of the Energy & Environment Program, and Baker Center Fellow, Scott Holladay, were part of a team of engineers, economists, and sociologists that were awarded a grant from the Sloan Foundation to study the effect of distributed solar generation on electric utility rates. The Sloan Foundation is a nonprofit organization that makes grants to support original research and broad-based education related to science, technology, and economics. This two year project will use surveys, focus groups, and economic analysis to model how adoption of solar generation by residential, commercial, and industrial customers, impacts the generation decisions of an electricity utility and the electricity rates that the utility sets.  

Institute for Nuclear Security Staff and Fellows Recent Publication

Dr. Charles C. Peterson, staff member in Research IT Services at the University of North Texas and Scientific Fellow of the Institute for Nuclear Security published a study on lanthanide binding in ACS Omega, a journal of the American Chemical Society, along with Dr. Deborah A. PenchoffDr. John D. Auxier II, and Dr. Howard L. Hall. The study evaluates cost-reducing computational methods for predicting lanthanide binding which are essential in rare earth metal recovery, nuclear fuel cycle operations, and nuclear forensics applications.


Baker Center to Host Summer Washington Program 

The Baker Center will host the Washington Program from May 12 - 25. The program is a two-week intensive course in Washington, DC. For the program, students will meet and learn from some of the nation’s top public servants, researchers, and journalists on pressing public policy issues.
For the course, students will develop a policy brief on a topic of interest to them. This brief will be shared with relevant guests and as a student publication on the Baker Center’s website.
This is an experiential educational opportunity for students to learn about the real-world of policymaking in the nation’s capital. Students in all programs and levels are eligible to apply for this program.

Opportunities in Political Science

Pi Sigma Alpha and the Baker Center will host Dr. Ian Down, Dr. Anthony Nownes, Dr. David Folz, Professor Justin Kinney, and Baker Scholar Nathan Timbs discussed what you can do with Political Science at the University of Tennessee.
The discussion took place in the Toyota Auditorium. 

Student Spotlight

Baker Students Receive Scholarship for Summer Congressional Internships 

The Baker Center is proud to announce that two Baker Center students, Diana Pope, Hancen Sale, Jay Hearn, and Robert Jackson will receive a scholarship to fund their summer Congressional internships.
Diana Pope is a junior Baker Ambassador majoring in Political Science, a minor in Financial Policy, and a minor in the Center's Public Policy Analytics program. Hancen Sale is a junior Baker Scholar majoring in Public Administration and Global Politics & Economy, and a minor in Public Policy Analytics. Jay Hearn is a junior Baker Scholar and Baker Ambassador. Robert Jackson is a junior and a student in the Public Policy Analytics program. 
When asked why she decided to apply for a Congressional internship, Diana said, "I decided to apply to the congressional internship program because I wanted to gain career experience away from Knoxville during my senior year, and experience what it's like to live in our nation's capital. I've always been interested in finding ways to improve the political process in America, and felt like this program would allow me to follow my academic and professional interests."
Diana, Hancen, Jay, and Robert have stayed involved with the Baker Center throughout their undergraduate studies and say the Baker Center helped them tremendously throughout the process of applying. Hancen says, "Throughout the process of applying, the Baker Center was integral in making sure my application stood out from others. Whether it be reviewing my resume and cover letter or providing me the opportunity to gain practical experience in the field of politics, I could not be more thankful for the Baker Center's eagerness to help me grow as a person and professional."
The Baker Center takes pride in the successes of our students and we look forward to watching our students learn and grow in their summer internships.

Former Baker Ambassador Gives Tips on Obtaining Jobs in Washington, DC

A 2018 UT graduate, Baker Ambassador and Public Policy Analytics student, Ricky Goyette, recently received a job with Fannie Mae working as a business analyst.
We asked Ricky for advice for some of our students who are interested in careers working in the nations Capitol. Ricky said his best advice would be to look early, look often, and make connections. 
Look early. Start looking ahead of when you actually want the job. For instance, if you plan on graduating in a years time, look around at jobs you find interesting that are available right now and take note of the common skills and traits they're looking for in an applicant. This shows a potential employer that you are willing to learn and apply yourself to something new, which can go a long way in helping you progress through the interview process. 

Look often. DC is a unique city and there are a plethora of opportunities which come from being the capitol, however positions can come and go quickly, and so having an idea of what you enjoy and want to do can really streamline your search and enable you to pounce on the right opportunity right after it becomes available.

Make connections. Networking is integral to any career, but networking while you're still a student can have a number of benefits. Make a LinkedIn account and keep it up-to-date. Meet with professors and advisers and ask them for advice, or reach out to other UTK alumni at a firm you are interested in and see what they have to say. This can lead to opportunities which might not have been obvious beforehand. Getting your foot in the door is half of the battle, and networking can make that process much easier. 
Contact Us
Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0931
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