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Baker Buzz

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

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Civic Engagement 

Election Day Sticker

Election Day is August 6

There is still time to cast your ballot in this year's County General, State & Federal Primary, and Town of Farragut Municipal Elections. This year, Voters will utilize the Knox County Election Commission's new “paper ballot” system, which will replace the electronic voting machines. You can see how the new system works here
You can find more information about the election, including candidate lists and sample ballots, at


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 health and economic impacts of the virus. The most recent policy brief, "Predictive Modeling of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Knox County, Tennessee: Effects of Social Distancing Policies," provides modeling of caseloads and effects of social distancing efforts. For more information and a full collection of policy briefs, visit
Light rays

Policy Brief: Understanding Modeling Methods 

This short policy brief provides information on different ways of modeling disease outbreaks. 
graphic showing groups of people engaging in various activities

Policy Brief: Herd Immunity in Tennessee 

This brief examines the scientific literature concerning herd immunity and considers the costs and benefits associated with establishing herd immunity in TN. 
TN pulse survey logo

TN Pulse Survey: Consumer Sentiment Data collected for the TN Economic Recovery Group

The Tennessee Pulse is a cooperative effort of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Group, the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS), which is designed to capture the attitudes and behaviors of Tennesseans toward COVID-19 and the re-opening of the economy. The survey enables segmentation across a grouping of the state’s largest metropolitan counties (Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby and Sullivan) and the remaining 89 counties of the state, as well as age, gender, and race. Results will be collected and published throughout the summer. 
Wave 1 of the survey was administered between May 18 and May 24, 2020. See the results here.
Wave 2 of the survey was administered between June 1 and May 6, 2020. See the results here.
Wave 3 of the survey was administered between June 15 and June 21, 2020. See the results here.
Time Series results of the survey are also available. See the results here.
More information on the TN Pulse Survey and access to future results, visit

Research and Publications

Every Woman Vote Logo

Associate Director Dr. Katie Cahill Featured in "Every Woman Vote" Campaign

Every Woman Vote aims to present a contemporary view of the women's suffrage movement through 100 interviews with women in the Knoxville community about the importance of voting, aimed at inspiring other women to exercise their right to vote. WUOT has aired several interviews from the campaign and will continue airing content throughout the summer. Hear Associate Director Dr. Katie Cahill tell her voting story for the "Every Woman Vote" campaign on WUOT 91.9 FM, Knoxville.
Small boat with Somali Pirates

Global Security Fellow interviewed for BBC News

Global Security Fellow Dr. Brandon Prins was featured in a recent BBC News Article, "Coronavirus: Piracy incidents double across Asia during pandemic." Prins shares his expertise as it relates to piracy reporting, "My fear has always been that Covid-19 would reduce global trade which lowers growth, increases poverty and joblessness (and then) leads to more sea piracy." Check out the full article here. 

Returning to Campus 

students wearing face masks in class

Continuing Education During COVID-19

 As students, faculty, and staff prepare to return to campus this Fall, the University of Tennessee has released plans to ensure public safety. Policies include mandated face masks, socially distanced classes, limits on large gatherings, and increased COVID-19 testing availability. 
More information on the University's reopening guidelines can be found here


Students walking with Senator Lamar Alexander

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. Learn more at

Here are some ways you can get involved:

Contact Us
Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0931
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