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Baker Buzz

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

Front of the Baker Center building



Energy & Environment Forum, with Dr. John Schwartz

Dr. John Schwartz is the Director of the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center and a Civil and Environmental Engineering professor at the University of Tennessee. This Energy & Environment Forum will discuss the development of an Urban Waters Report Card for Tennessee.
Join us Thursday, February 3rd, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in the Toyota Auditorium. Access the live webcast for the event here.
global security

Global Security Lecture, with Lt. Col. Michael Stefanovic

Lt. Col. Michael Stefanovic of the U.S. Air Force will be presenting his lecture, "United States Air Force Approach to Innovation," as a part of the Global Security Lecture Series. Stefanovic serves as the lead of Project Morpheus, powered by the Strategic Innovation and Integration Cell. This organization connects the Air Force Innovation Community while driving communication and incubation. 
Join us Tuesday, February 8th, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in Toyota Auditorium. Access the live webcast for the event here
Dole Logo

Dole Institute: Giants of the Senate

Tom Griscom, Staff of Senator Baker 

Giants of the Senate is a lecture series held by the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. Director of the Dole Institute Audrey Coleman states, "In honor of his recent passing, this semester will feature programs inspired by the military service and senate leadership of Senator Bob Dole." 
This month Tom Griscom, a former staff member of Senator Howard Baker and board member of the Center, will be honoring Senator Baker. We are grateful to partner with the Dole Institute and to share its priority of bipartisanship. 
Join us in watching this event Wednesday, February 23rd, at 5:00 pm ET through Youtube Live
Be sure to check out the event schedule for the series: including former Senate Historian Don Ritchie on February 16th, Peter Fenn honoring Senators Birch Bayh & Frank Church on March 2nd, Sheila Burke honoring Senator Bob Dole on March 9th, Luke Albee honoring Senator Patrick Leahy on March 23rd, former Senator Nancy Kassebaum on March 30th, and John Shaw honoring Senator Richard Lugar on April 6th. All discussions are held at 5:00 pm ET. 
TN civic summit 2022

Tennessee Campus Civic Summit 2022

The Tennessee Campus Civic Summit is a nonpartisan event co-founded by Dr. Katie Cahill, Director of the Center's Leadership & Governance Program that brings colleges and universities in the state together to learn from each other and experts in the field to develop and implement campus civic literacy programs. The Summit aims to promote long-term civic engagement by improving voter education and participation efforts statewide. Faculty, administrators, students, and community partners are encouraged to attend. 
This year's event will be on February 25th & 26th, 2022. The Summit will be virtual with statewide student voting education sessions and planning workshops with local, state, and national experts. The keynote speaker is Aarian Forman, Co-Founder of the non-profit Xceleader and former SGA President at Tennessee State University.  
Join us Friday, February 25th, from 10:30 am to 4:30 pmClick here to register. Registration is free.

Research & Engagement

TN Capitol

Labor Shortage Implications

Executive Director Dr. Marianne Wanamaker was quoted last week in an article by The Economist about the implications of staffing shortages. 
"This, in turn, could constrain America's economic potential since a shrinking labour pool will be a drag on growth, says Marianne Wanamaker, an economist at the University of Tennessee. 'I think that we have shifted to another plane here, unfortunately,' she says."
Dr. Wanamaker also shared her insight on the Tennessee labor market with the Tennessee Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Tuesday, February 1st. Be sure to check out the the recording here
Us-South Korea Flags

Global Catalyst Faculty Research Grant  

Dr. Krista Wiegand, Director of the Global Security Program, was awarded a Global Catalyst Faculty Research Grant from the Center for Global Engagement alongside Dr. Sojeong Lee, Global Security Post-Doctoral Fellow, and Dr. Wonjae Hwang, Global Security Faculty Fellow. The grant allocated $27,063 to establish a partnership with Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. The team will travel to Seoul in June 2022 and December 2022 to work with administrators, scholars, and graduate students at the Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies.
holding grass

Environment, Energy, and the Economy 

Dr. Charles Sims, Director of the Center's Energy & Environment Program, recently became co-editor for Resource and Energy Economics. Sims also presented a lecture titled "Energy Justice and the Just Transition in the Power Sector" in October of 2021 at the Environmental Defense Fund and the Institute for Policy Integrity on Energy. He has expertise in environmental and natural resource economics and behavioral and experimental economics. His Sloan-funded grant explores the environmental justice implications of distributed solar adoption and utilization.
east asia map

Achieving Peace and Security in East Asia

In December 2021, the Global Security Program co-hosted a joint international workshop, “Achieving Peace and Security in East Asia,” with Jeju Peace Institute (JPI) in South Korea. Global Security Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Sojeong Lee participated from Jeju in-person, while Dr. Krista Wiegand, Director of Global Security, Dr. Brandon Prins, and Dr. Wonjae Hwang, Global Security Faculty Fellows, participated virtually. Wiegand, Lee, and Prins presented research on East Asian security, and Hwang and Lee served as discussants for a paper presented by Haeyong Lim, Research Fellow at JPI. The researchers are planning a second joint workshop for June 2022 in South Korea. 

Teaching & Mentorship

Appalachian Leadership Institute Class of 2021-2022

Cultivating a Ready Workforce with the Appalachian Leadership Institute

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive leadership and economic development training opportunity for professionals who live or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive. On February 9th and 10th, the 2021-2022 Class of Fellows will be part of a virtual session on cultivating a ready workforce. This session focuses on topics that impact the readiness of the Appalachian workforce, including education, skill development, and healthcare. Speakers for the session include Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Conelly Manchin, UT System President Randy Boyd, and experts on 1-to-1 classroom technology initiatives, recovery-to-work programs, and the future of telework.  

Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows participate in an extensive training curriculum developed by Dr. Katie Cahill, Director of the Leadership & Governance Program at the Center; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. LLC in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Public Pol minor

Public Policy Analytics Minor

The Public Policy Analytics Minor is offered to students pursuing majors in all colleges. The minor teaches advanced analytical tools and applications of data-driven research for public policy. It is beneficial for students majoring in all backgrounds, especially those preparing for graduate school or careers in public policy.
Click here for more information.

Alumni Spotlight 

Sarah Campbell

Tennessee Supreme Court Nomination

Congratulations to Sarah Campbell, 2003 Baker Scholar, for her nomination by Governor Bill Lee to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court. Campbell shares her experience with the Baker Center and its connection to her career below.

"My involvement with the Baker Center gave me a deep appreciation for public service. I have carried that with me throughout my career, first as a judicial law clerk, then as an attorney for the State of Tennessee, and now as a nominee to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court." 
Hansen Sale

Knox.Biz 40 Under 40 Class of 2021

Baker alum Hancen Andrew Sale was recently named to Knox.Biz 40 Under 40 class of 2021. Sale is the youngest professional on the list and currently serves as Governmental Affairs and Policy Director for the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors. Knox.Biz describes Sale's accomplishments below.

"At 24 years old, Hancen Sale understands how crucial his role with the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors is when it comes to addressing issues like affordable housing and helping Knoxville's economy prosper. He wants to continue his work by 'listening more, and speaking less." 

Meet Us

Elizabeth Woody

Baker Center Staff Spotlight

For our first ‘Meet Us’ section of the Baker Buzz, we want to highlight Events and Facilities Coordinator Elizabeth Woody. Elizabeth has been with the Center since 2012. Her responsibilities include providing the Center with an on-site expert in the field of event coordination and management, as well as oversight and professional expertise in facility and office management. She has supported events from hosting Ambassador Koji Tomita of Japan to NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and organizing a United States Senate Debate televised nationally. We want to recognize Elizabeth for her ten years at the Center and her hard work. Elizabeth continually strives to learn more skills to improve our operations and planning. She is passionate about her work and a friend to all. To learn more about events at the Center, please use this link

Baker students at graduation

Get Involved with the Baker Center

The Center is a home for civic engagement for students in all disciplines and levels. Through programs, events and lectures, and helpful faculty and staff, the Center aims to engage the community on the topics of Global Security, Leadership & Governance, and Energy & Environment. Visit for more information.
Ways to get involved with the Center:

Support Us

The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan institute devoted to education and research concerning public policy and civic engagement and made possible by generous donors, including Senator Baker. For more information about the Center and ways to support our efforts, please go to
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Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0931
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