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ORIED to Host Responsible Conduct of Research for Graduate Students

The University of Tennessee is committed to the responsible and ethical conduct of research. UT’s Division of Research Integrity, in the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development, is responsible for the development and implementation of policies and procedures governing research, scholarship, and creative activity as well as the administrative aspects of research operations.

The goal of this RCR session is to prepare graduate students to become effective mentors and culturally-competent communicators. This is within a broader purpose to help UT students, and staff achieve their full potential as researchers and scholars – working together to create a more just, prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable world.

Students who attend should have a better understanding of:

  • What is culturally-competent communication?
  • What are barriers to effective communication?
  • How can culturally-competent communication make me a more effective mentor and researcher?
  • What steps can I take to become an effective mentor and culturally-competent communicator?

Jessi Grieser will provide a research-informed introduction to the topic of effective communication, to be followed by a panel discussion. Participants are encouraged to participate during the session (via unmute or chat) and/or by providing questions prior to the session (subject “RCR Session Question” to

Workshop Information

Time: Monday, November 8, 2-3 p.m.

Location: Zoom (link to be provided to registered participants prior to the workshop)

Registration: Participants are required to register no later than November 4, 2021.


UT English professor Jessi GrieserJessi Grieser (Assistant Professor, Department of English) is a sociolinguist who specializes in discourse analysis, geosemiotics, and sociophonetics. Currently, her research agenda focuses on the use of African American English (AAE) in expressions of the intersectional identities of race, place, and social class. She is writing a monograph which looks at the use of AAE in constructing place identity for residents of a historically African American neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Her other research interests include language diffusion on the world wide web, especially discourse in fan communities. Dr. Grieser is a member of the Linguistics Interdisciplinary Program committee, and supervises Linguistics undergrads as well as English undergrads and graduate students. Her education includes a Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics (Georgetown University), M.S. in Sociolinguistics (Georgetown University), and A.B. in English and Anthropology (University of Michigan).

UT engineering professor Suresh BabueSuresh Babu (UT/ORNL Governor’s Chair of Advanced Manufacturing and Professor, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering; Director, Bredesen Center) has been instrumental and part of the local and national leadership in advanced manufacturing institutes to enable research and education on lightweight metals manufacturing, 3D printing and composites. His career spans basic and applied research in physical metallurgy, advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing, as well as computational materials modeling. He has published more than 230 papers relevant to material science and manufacturing. He is also involved in the application of state-of-the-art characterization tools including atom probe tomography, synchrotron diffraction and neutron diffraction for understanding materials behavior. In his current role as the Director of the Bredesen Center, Babu is interested in the democratization of science and technology across our country at the intersection of energy, data and computing. Dr. Babu started his career as research associate in the Institute for Materials Research, Sendai, Japan and held a senior level technology leader position in the area of engineering and materials at Edison Welding Institute, Columbus, Ohio. He also served as Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Ohio State University and is currently a member of the National Science Board. Dr. Babu received a Ph.D. in Materials Science (University of Cambridge), a Master of Technology, Industrial Metallurgy – Welding (Indian Institute of Technology), and a Bachelor of Engineering, Metallurgy (P.S.G. College of Technology).

UT College of Veterinary Medicine professor Stephen KaniaStephen Kania (Professor, Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine) serves as Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Director of Comparative and Experimental Medicine Graduate Studies. His research examines the transfer of resistance between different populations of bacteria and explores regional differences in Staphylococcus, a group of bacteria commonly exhibiting antibiotic resistance. Dr. Kania’s clinical focus includes molecular biology, clinical immunology, flow cytometry-based cell analysis, and modulation of the immune response. His professional outreach includes membership in the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, American Society for Microbiology, American Zoo and Aquarium Association, Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, and the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists. Dr. Kania’s education includes a Ph.D. in Veterinary Infectious Diseases (University of Florida), M.S. in Veterinary Science (Washington State University), and a B.S. in Biology (Eastern Connecticut State University).

Rupy Sawhney, professor and Heath Faculty Fellow in Business and Engineering in UT’s Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringRupy Sawhney (Professor and Heath Faculty Fellow in Business and Engineering, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering) is founder of Sawhney Solutions and serves as Executive Director of Center for Advanced Systems Research and Education (CASRE), where he leads a team of nearly 30 staff and graduate students. Dr. Sawhney has developed the Sawhney Model, which uniquely focuses on people-centered operational excellence strategies. This model is the basis of transformational projects and training programs for leading industry and federal partners, including DOE, Covenant Health, and Clayton Homes. Dr. Sawhney has been recognized with various awards such as the Boeing Welliver Fellow, Alcoa Faculty Award, Institute of Industrial Engineers Lean Teaching Award, Industrial and Operations Management Society Outstanding Educator Award, the 2019 University of Tennessee President’s Award as the “Educate” honoree, and the 2020 John L. Imhoff Global Excellence Award for Industrial Engineering Education. His education includes a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics University of Tennessee), M.S. in Industrial Engineering (University of Tennessee), and B.S. in Industrial Engineering (University of Tennessee).

UT's Assistant Vice Chancellor for Responsible Conduct of ResearchSarah Pruett (UTK Assistant Vice Chancellor of the Responsible Conduct of Research and Research Integrity Officer) started in her current position in 2019. She provides oversight of research conflict of interest as well as the export control program. She also coordinates the Institutional Official for Human Research Protection Program and Institutional Review Board, as well as serves as the Research Integrity Officer and the Designated Official for Institutional Biosafety Committee. Dr. Pruett is a signatory official for radioactive materials licenses and permits for Radiation Safety; and promotes a culture of responsible and ethical research on campus through Responsible Conduct of Research training and outreach programs. Her experience as a researcher includes time at Emory University as Research Assistant Professor and serving as Director of Research and Development in private industry, where she was responsible for development and validation of LC-MS methodologies for clinical toxicology. Dr. Pruett’s education includes a Ph.D. in Chemistry (Emory University) and a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry (University of Tennessee).