The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Baker Buzz

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

Front of the Baker Center building


2022 Graduation Ceremony

The Baker Center celebrated with the friends and family of its 21 graduates on May 20. Once again, Baker Center students have an impressive list of post-graduate plans that includes UT Law School, Brown University, Penn State Law, Duke Law, Deloitte Consulting, Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Fannie Mae.

Click here to watch a video of the graduation ceremony.
College Pipeline

The College Pipeline: Where We Are, Where We're Going and Policy Options

On May 23rd, the Baker Center co-sponsored an event with The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research in collaboration with Tennessee Achieves to discuss college-going rates in East Tennessee. Presenters from the Boyd Center and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission reviewed the most recent data and examined evidence on the causes of shifting student behavior before a panel of educators discussed potential policy options. Click here to watch the presentations and panel from that informative day.

Research & Engagement

Baker Center Experts Program

The Baker Center's Experts Program is accepting applications, and the program has added a new Baker Center Affiliate opportunity.
The Experts program connects scholars and professionals at all career stages to each other and to key public policy stakeholders with the purpose of advancing the land grant mission of UT and informing public policy decisions.
In the past, the Center's Experts Program has been divided into two groups: Fellows and Senior Fellows. New in Fall 2022, the Center will invite an expanded set of UT faculty to the team of Experts as Baker Center Affiliates.
Affiliate applications must be submitted by June 30 via email to Full details can be found here.

UT Heads to Japan, South Korea and the Phillippines!

Global Security Director Dr. Krista Wiegand will be part of a University of Tennessee delegation led by the Center for Global Engagement, visiting universities in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
The delegation will spend roughly a week in each country. In South Korea, Wiegand, Dr. Sojeong Lee and Dr. Wonjae Hwang, both Global Security Fellows at the Baker Center, will be setting up an international university partnership between the Baker Center/University of Tennessee and Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul and another international partnership with Jeju Peace Institute in Jeju, South Korea.
These partnerships are made possible by a Global Catalyst Grant from the Center for Global Engagement. The goals of the partnerships are to set up research networks and potential exchanges of faculty and students, host virtual and in-person workshops, and work together on co-authored research projects on topics related to South Korean foreign policy and regional security in the Indo-Pacific. 
group pic

Success in Multidisciplinary Research Award

Energy & Environment Director Dr. Charles Sims and fellows Dr. Paul Armsworth and Dr. Seong-Hoon Cho were part of a multidisciplinary team recognized with the Multidisciplinary Research Award.

The multidisciplinary team examines conservation questions in our region. The team includes ecologists Paul Armsworth, Mona Papes, and Xingli Giam in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and economists Charles Sims in Economics and the Baker Center and Seong-Hoon Cho in Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Their collaboration is in its 11th year. It has won over $3 million in grants, resulted in 37 scientific papers, supported 26 students and early career researchers drawn from three colleges, and integrated critical stakeholders in our region.


Future Biodiversity Patterns Across the Appalachians

Energy & Environment Fellow Dr. Paul Armsworth co-authored a publication that builds predictions of future biodiversity patterns across the central and southern Appalachians.

The publication is open access and can be read here
Journal Cover

Spatiotemporal Variation in Costs of Managing Protected Areas

Energy & Environment Fellow Dr. Paul Armsworth collaborated on a publication with The Nature Conservancy. The publication looks at what drives variation in costs of managing the protected areas across the central and southern Appalachians.

The publication is open access and can be read here.

Teaching & Mentorship

Washington Fellows Program

Washington Fellows Program

The Washington Fellows Program is in the second and final week of its two-week, intensive interdisciplinary program in Washington, DC.
The program was established by Baker Center Associate Director Dr. Katie Cahill in 2018, and this is the first year the Baker Center has partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center, of which Howard Baker was a co-founder. The Baker Center's Director of Student Programs, Dr. Jon Ring, is a co-instructor for the course, and the program provides a Baker's Dozen (13) UT students an opportunity to meet and learn from the nation's top public servants, researchers and journalists about politics and policymaking. 


Lilly Morris

Student Spotlight 

Lilly Morris is minoring in Public Policy Analytics and just finished up her internship with the City of Knoxville's Housing & Neighborhood Development Department
"I have loved working with the Baker Center throughout my internship process. They have offered me so much help and support. I also have loved having opportunities to meet with a variety of professionals in the public policy field."
We are so proud of Lilly and are excited to see what her future endeavors will be!

Meet Us

Claire McCoig

Baker Center Staff Spotlight

We want to highlight Assistant Director Claire McCoig. Claire started at the Baker Center in February of this year but has been with UT for nine years.

She grew up in Oak Ridge and has a Masters in Library Science. Prior to her work at the Baker Center she worked with UT College of Nursing and Cherokee Health Systems on a $2.6 million, four-year HRSA grant, ‘Transforming RN Rolls in community-based integrated primary care through academic-practice partnership (TRIP).’

We are so excited to have Claire on our team as her hard work and kindness have already made her a congruous part of the Center! 
Washington Fellows Trip

Get Involved with the Baker Center

The Center is a home for civic engagement for students in all disciplines and at all 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. 
Some 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 many generous donors including Senator Baker. For more information about the Center and ways to support our efforts go to
Contact Us
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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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