Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Diversity of Programs, UT on Display for Breakfast of Champions

KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Engineering held its annual Breakfast of Champions recently, giving underrepresented high school students — defined as African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander — a chance to visit with UT professors, tour labs and get to know some of their potential classmates.

"The big goal is to raise awareness of engineering opportunities at Tennessee for these students," said Engineering Diversity Program Director Travis Griffin. "A major part of that is showing them the kinds of things that they will be working on and the kind of people they will be working with."

Designed for students who have been accepted into UT but not yet enrolled, the program serves as a way to reinforce what the university can offer.

Learn more about what the students experienced at Breakfast of Champions by viewing this video:

"Increasing the percentage of students we have from across a variety of backgrounds is one key to our continued growth," said College of Engineering Dean Wayne Davis. "The Breakfast of Champions helps highlight the variety of programs that we have and shows off some of our facilities to both the students and their parents, with the hope of getting some of them to solidify UT as their choice."

Demonstrations were set up for the visitors with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering's Gerd Duscher; staff members of CURENT, the Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks; and the Center for Transportation Research's driving simulator in the John D. Tickle Engineering Building.

Even with the sneak peek into some of the more high-tech offerings at UT, one of the big selling points on display was the amount of cooperation and teamwork the students saw.

"It's not all about the technology," said Griffin. "A big part of not just picking a university but of being happy once you are there is that sense of a cooperative spirit. Because of that, we felt it was important to show examples from a number of departments of how well our faculty, students and staff work together and to show them how welcoming UT is."

For more on the College of Engineering, visit

For more on the College of Engineering's Office of Diversity Programs, visit


C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard(at)

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