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AccessKnox is Newest Community of Scholars

The Office of Research and Economic Development is sponsoring a new Community of Scholars (CoS) to develop transformative intelligent systems that enable enhanced transportation modeling and increased use of multi-modal, on-demand, and door-to-door transportation solutions for traditionally underrepresented and vulnerable communities.

Led by Courtney Cronley, an associate professor in the College of Social Work, AccessKnox will examine transportation engineering, the built environment (i.e., land use and spatial planning), and data science, with the broad vision of designing inclusivity and equity.

Science and empirical evidence show that where people live is highly predictive of life outcomes, including educational attainment, employment, and even lifespan. Researchers at UT are striving to challenge disparities in our local and broader communities based on land use, transportation, and mobility. AccessKnox seeks to harness the powers of community-engaged research methodologies, engineering, and data science to redesign Knoxville as a model of a built environment that promotes equity and inclusion.

The CoS initiative was launched by ORE as a way to encourage the growth of research affinity groups that cross disciplinary boundaries. Each CoS is composed of researchers from multiple departments, colleges, and/or units, united by a shared research theme or topic area, and organized to share research capabilities, assess collective research strengths, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Objectives
include supporting interdisciplinary scholarship; encouraging new, collaborative research directions; and submitting proposals for external funding.

In addition to AccessKnox, nine other communities exist at UT. CoS membership is open to all UT faculty. Faculty interested in joining AccessKnox are invited to attend the kick-off meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST on Zoom.

Please contact Diana Moyer ( for more information.