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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

Baker Highlights

Baker Center Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary 

Over the past ten years, the Baker Center has cultivated a community of students and faculty who honor the legacy of Senator Howard Baker. The Baker Center houses the Modern Political Archives, Chancellor’s Honors Program, and the Masters of Public Policy and Administration. Through research, public lectures and programs within the three focus areas of Energy and Environment, Global Security, and Leadership and Governance, the Center encourages students and community members to to engage in the political system and to serve our local, state, national, and global communities.
To celebrate our 10 successful years, we asked recent students to reflect on their time at the Baker Center and the impact the Center and faculty have had on their college careers. Their reflections can be found here
From Monday, Oct. 29 to Friday, Oct. 30, the building will have additional displays from the archives on the life and legacy of Senator Baker for public viewing. A guide to the diplays will be available at the desk in the rotunda. We welcome visitors! 


Blackburn and Bredesen in front of US Capitol

Senate Debate with Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn

The Baker Center will host US senatorial candidates, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R) and former Governor Phil Bredesen (D) for a debate. 
The debate will be moderated by Kristin Farley with WATE-TV, Bob Mueller with WKRN-TV, and Richard Ransom with WATN-TV. Katina Rankin, with WATN-TV, will host the broadcast. The brodcast will be covered statewide and nationally by C-SPAN. More information can be found here
A remote viewing is open to the public. The viewing will be on Wednesday, October 10, at 7:45 pm at Cox Auditorium. UT System President Joe Dipetro will give opening remarks and the University's Adam Brown Social Media Command Center will provide live social media analysis.  
Tickets are free and the event is open to the public. Tickets (limit 2) can be picked up in the Baker Center's rotunda on Monday, October 8, from 8 am to 8 pm. Attendees are welcome to wear apparel and buttons in support of candidates, but signs and noisemakers will not be allowed. The nearest parking garage is G10 located on Phillip Fulmer Way.

Ten Year Anniversary Celebration and book signing with author Ira Shapiro

On October 30, the Baker Center will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a forum on the topic of the recently published book, Broken - Can the Senate save itself and the Country, by Ira Shapiro
In his book, Shapiro dissects some of the most prominent Senate battles over the last decade and suggests what should be done to restore Congress to a functioning institution. 
The forum will be on Tuesday, October 30, from 5:00 to 6:15 pm in the Toyota Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. A public reception will immediately follow the event in the rotunda. 
National Parks

"The Antiquities Act, National Monuments, and the Regional Economy" with Dr. Paul Jakus 

As a part of the Energy & Environment Forum, Dr. Paul Jakus of Utah State University will discuss the effects of President Trump's recent action to reduce the size of two national monuments.
The event will take place on Thursday, October 18, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in the Toyota Auditorium . The event is free and open to the public. 
March with sign reading

"Xenophobia and the Migrant Crisis in the Middle East" with Dr. Matt Buehler

Complete with coffee and a light discussion, the next installment of the Baker Cafe series will be a conversation with Dr. Matt Buehler on xenophobia and the migrant crisis in the middle east. 
The discussion will take place on Friday, October 19, 2018 from 10:00-11:00 am in Reading Room 123. The event is free and open to the public. 

"UN Peacekeeping missions Post-Conflict" with Dr. Brandon Prins 

The Baker Cafe series will continue with a discussion on UN Peacekeeping Missions Post-Conflict with Dr. Brandon Prins.
The discussion will address one of the most critical questions facing the United Nations: Do UN peacekeeping forces protect civilians from harm in post-conflict environments? Dr. Prins will discuss the purpose of UN Peacekeeping Missions and the potential weaknesses of current operations. 
The event will take place on Friday, October 26, from 10:00-11:00 am in Reading Room 123. The event is free and open to the public. 


Dr. Matt Buehler and Dr. Joon Han receive grant to research xenophobia in Morocco

In conjunction with Harvard professor Dr. Kristin Fabbe, Dr. Matt Buehler and Dr. Joon Han have received a grant from Harvard University’s Middle East Initiative at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, which does research in contemporary politics in the Middle East. This grant will allow for a nationally representative survey of Moroccan attitudes toward refugees. Read more about this project here

Global Security Researchers Explore the Impact of Dams on Social Contentions in Africa 

Dr. Krista Wiegand, Dr. Eric Keels, and Dr. Sojeong Lee are currently studying the connection between dams and social contentions. This paper explores how dams, specifically water management dams and water supply dams affect social contentions, e.g. protects, demonstrations, intrastate armed conflicts in Africa. The preliminary analysis finds that water management dams reduces armed conflicts in Africa, mostly due to the provision of publig goods such as hydroelectricity, and that water supply dams increases the chances for some forms of social contentions, e.g. extra-state violent attack in Africa. The research findings will be available by Spring 2019. 


Dr. Krista Wiegand in Rhodes, Greece

Dr. Krista Wiegand, Director of Global Security, recently participated in a 3-week intensive summer academy to receive a Diploma in Oceans Law & Policy in Rhodes, Greece. Part of the training is learning how to peacefully resolve disputes over maritime boundaries through negotiations and attempting to reach agreements between disputing countries.

Student Spotlight 

Former Baker Scholars participate in Schwarzman Scholars Program

Former Baker Scholars and UTK graduates, Lucy Greer, Miranda Gottlieb, and Colleen Ryan recently completed the Swarzman Scholars program in Beijing, China.  
Greer, Gottlieb, and Ryan are part of the third group of Scholars to be inducted to the program. Upon completing the program, students earn a Masters in Global Affairs, with concentrations in one of the following disciplines: public policy, economics and business, and international studies.
Gottlieb shares the impact of her experience, “I’m infinitely grateful to the Schwarzman Foundation for the opportunity to pursue my dreams and continue to learn in this new environment.” Furthermore, she is grateful for her time with the Baker Center reporting that, “the experience and policy exposure I had within the Baker Center is very complimentary to the public policy, international relations, and economic and business focus of the Schwarzman Scholars program.” 
Contact Us
Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0931
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