The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Baker Buzz

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

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Virtual Events

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Ashe Lecture with Ambassadors from the European Union's Visegrad Group

The Center hosted a virtual panel discussion with the four ambassadors representing the Visegrad Group, or V4, moderated by Global Security Program Global Security Director Dr. Krista Wiegand. The discussion was centered around the diplomatic relationships between the V4 countries and the United States. 
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Ambassador Ashe Meets Baker Ambassadors. 

Former US Ambassador to Poland and City of Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe spoke at the bi-weekly Baker Ambassador meeting; Ashe entertained questions of all sorts. Baker Ambassador Isabelle Marshall says, "He gave a unique perspective of what a career in public service could look like, from being mayor of Knoxville to U.S. Ambassador to Poland, and everything in between. Through it all, he emphasized the importance of civility." 
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We Want to Hear From You!

In the midst of COVID-19, we know it's hard to feel a part of a community, and that's why we want your feedback on how you have been experiencing our virtual events. Please fill out this short survey and let us know how you are enjoying our events and how we can improve your experience. You can fill out the survey here.


The Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a network of researchers in public health, economics, public policy, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and other disciplines who seek to provide timely information for the public and policymakers on pressing questions regarding the global pandemic. Researchers at the Center are working closely with the CORE-19 team to create a series of policy briefs forecasting the virus's health and economic impacts. For up-to-date, well-researched information on COVID-19, visit
Wave 11 of the survey was administered between February 24, 2021, and March 1, 2021. See the results here.
Time Series results of the survey are also available. See the results here.

Welcome, Wendy Rast! 

The Center's New Grant Specialist

We're excited to welcome Wendy Rast to our team to serve as the Center's Grant Specialist. A Tennessee native, Rast earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an MPH in Administration and Planning from the University of Tennessee. She joins the the Center following work with the University's Covid-19 Isolation Program, eager to begin work helping projects through the grant management process. "I'm excited to learn about the interesting research and projects developed here." 

Research and Teaching

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Senior Energy & Environment Fellow Advise on New Fuel Economy Standards

Dr. David Greene will advise the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a senior research engineer. Green will assist the acting administrator and other political leaders with the implementation of Executive Order 13990, which calls for establishing ambitious new fuel economy standards. Read more about his appointment here. 
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Baker Students and Knoxville Realtors Collaborate

Students in the Center's Minor in Public Policy Analytics recently collaborated with government liaison for Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, Hancen Sale regarding surveying political attitudes and policy priorities for KAAR. Students designed the survey, compiled the results, formed a report, and distributed it to KAAR members. To end the semester, KAAR provided the policy analytics minor students with lunch. Students had the chance to meet KAAR, and according to student Katherine Fulcher "It was a wonderful end to the semester." 

Global Security Fellow Book Published

Global Security Fellow Dr. Brandon Prins is the co-author of recently published book, Pirate Lands: Government and Maritime Policy. In the book, Prins and co-author Dr. Ursula Daxecker offer the first comprehensive, social scientific account of maritime piracy. They employ statistical analyses of cross-national and subnational data on pirate attacks in Indonesia, Nigeria, and Somalia and complement their qualitative findings with field research in Indonesia and Nigeria using interviews with former pirates, community members, and maritime security experts. They find that pirates do well in places where elites and law enforcement can be bribed, but they also need access to functioning roads, ports, and markets. Read more or purchase here.
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Senior Fellow Receives Lifetime Award

Dr. David Greene recently received John Nolt Lifetime Achievement in Environmental Leadership Award from the Office of Sustainability for their 2021 Environmental Leadership Awards. Read more here. 
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Global Security Director Recognized for Various Entities 

Director of Global Security Dr. Krista Wiegand was recently selected for the 2021-22 cohort of fellows in the UTK Leadership Development Program. She was also recently selected to serve as a Fulbright Specialist for potential special projects led by universities in countries around the world. Read more here. 

Congratulations and best of luck! 

Congratulations, seniors! We wish you the best and can't wait to see what else you'll accomplish. Here is a look at the impressive work from some of our graduating seniors.  

katherine fulcher

Hannah Knoch, Center Communications

Hannah Knoch has served as a Communications Assistant for the Center since 2018. She edits the Baker Buzz, helps promote events, manages social media, and fills in on special projects as needed. Over the last year, she's worked on developing materials and conducting media relations for the CORE-19 team.  She hopes to continue her career in D.C. working in political communications.
katherine fulcher

Wesley Smith, Baker Scholar

During his time at UT, Welsey Smith designed a College Scholars Program in 'beloved community development,' with departmental focuses in geography and sociology. The program culminated in a thesis titled 'Toward the Beloved Community: Development Patterns, Growth, and Inequality in Nashville, Tennessee (1940-Present)'. He also held leadership roles in the Student Government Association, Honors Leadership Program, and Baker Ambassadors Program. 
Wesley will be staying in Knoxville for the next year, hoping to work for the UT System or City of Knoxville. Next year, he will pursue an advanced degree in urban planning/policy, community development or move back to Nashville to work on development issues.
katherine fulcher

Lawand Yaseen, Baker Scholar

Lawand Yassen directed the VolsVote initiative on campus for the 2020 Election, empowering students to use their voice by voting, and he served as an undergraduate research assistant for the Center. In his time at UT, he also served as the Government Affairs Director for the Student Government Association, which allowed him to facilitate important conversations with elected officials and advocate for student issues.
In the fall, Lawand will be attending Georgetown University to pursue a Masters in Data Sciences with an applied public policy track.
katherine fulcher

Mikayla Prince, Baker Scholar

Mikayla Prince is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and is an intern with the Office of Sustainability. As a Baker Scholar, completed a thesis exploring "Sustainable Development of Broiler Chicken Production in Rwanda." She says, "The Center prepared me to take the next step in my career and wear a different hat than my major or other commitments."
Prince will be pursuing a Ph.D. in food system transformation from the perspective of production, advocacy, and policy.
evan bushart

Codey King, Baker Scholar

Codey King has been a part of the nationally-ranked Tennessee Speech & Debate Society. He completed a thesis through the Baker Scholars program titled "American Inequality: Taxation and the Rise of Economic Inequality." He says, "The Baker Center has taught me how to be a better professional, tools to collect, analyze, visualize data and concisely communicate my findings."
katherine fulcher

Lillia Poveda, Baker Ambassador

During her time at UT, Lillia Poveda held leadership with Tennessee Speech and Debate Society and published research about the economic impact of Tennessee State Parks in the Human Dimensions Research Lab. "More than any other organization, I was able to meet lawmakers and experts in public policy. I've grown as a professional but also as a critical analyst of information." She will attend graduate school to pursue an advanced degree in econometrics.
katherine fulcher

Andrew Hicks, Baker Ambassador

Andrew Hicks has served as an active Baker Ambassador at the Center and completed the Minor in Public Policy Analytics. In his time at UT he has conducted hands-on experience with policy research for his Municipal Technical Advisory Service internship. He has also worked as a student worker at the Center. Next year, he will be attending Belmont School of Law.
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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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