2019 Self Study - Part II, Standard 5: Scholarship: Research, Creative and Professional Activity


Executive summary:

UTC has always considered itself a teaching institution, although it does expect tenure/tenure-track faculty to be productive in scholarship. Over the last six years the department faculty, as a whole, has produced 14 referred journal articles, one scholarly book, 4 edited books, 7 juried creative works, and 24 refereed conference papers. The department’s research and creative productivity level is a direct result of the 4/4 teaching loads carried by our tenure/tenure-track faculty.

Faculty have received monetary support for their research and creative works mainly from the department. The department has regularly provided funding for travel to research conferences, with all tenure/tenure-track faculty receiving funding to travel to one or more conferences. While both the college and university offer additional research funding opportunities, the number awarded to faculty in Communication has been limited. In the last six years, two faculty were awarded college level travel grants and one faculty member received a university level grant to fund a research project.


  1. Describe the institution’s mission regarding scholarship by faculty and the unit’s policies for achieving that mission.

    UTC’s main focus is student learning, but the university does value and support research and creative works. For example, in the current strategic plan the university defines five values, including the following:

    • Students are the primary reason we exist as an institution.
    • Creativity, inquiry and scholarship are our culture.


    Goal 2 of the strategic plan states the university will “inspire, nurture and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.” To that end, the plan lists the following sub goals:

    1. Increase participation by students, faculty and staff in scholarship and creative activities that impact the community through partnerships with business and industry, government and non-profit agencies.
    2. Establish mechanisms to encourage, implement and assess faculty, staff and student entrepreneurial activities.
    3. Identify, develop and evaluate community-based programs and courses to connect all outreach programming, continuing education, work-based training and executive education opportunities with University resources.
    4. Create, adopt and incorporate new learning technologies into the academic experience.


    The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) also supports scholarship, especially when done in coordination with student scholarship. Part of CAS’s mission includes advancing “new knowledge through research (theoretical and applied) and creative activities.” 


    Goal 4d of the CAS’s strategic plan supports the funding of faculty research: “Recruit and retain faculty by demonstrating a commitment to and proper funding for research and creative activity, including start-up funds and sustained funding.”


    Goal 2d encourages faculty to conduct scholarship with students: “Showcase and reward faculty/student research and creative achievement through department- and college-level awards, grant funding, reassigned time, and more.”


    The department’s mission includes a commitment to faculty scholarship: “The faculty is committed to making contributions to the discipline of communication through scholarship and professional practice.” The department’s strategic plan includes an overall goal of increasing departmental support of faculty research and creative works. Specific goals include:

    • Continue to fund faculty travel to conferences.
    • Provide new tenure track faculty with course releases during their first year.
    • Explore possibility of transferring tenure/tenure track faculty to a 3/3 workload as other departments in the College of Arts & Sciences have in the last few years. 

  2. Define the group of faculty whose work is included in this section and state time restrictions used to incorporate activities of faculty who were not employed by the unit during all of the previous six years (for example, new faculty and retired faculty).

    Jessica Freeman, Assistant Professor (hired in August 2018)


    Elizabeth Gailey, Associate Professor


    Angelique Gibson, Lecturer (hired in August 2018)


    Randy Golson, Lecturer (hired in January 2019)


    Chandler Harriss, Assistant Professor


    Michael McCluskey, Professor (hired in August 2014)


    Felicia McGhee, Associate Professor and Interim Department Head


    David Sachsman, Professor and George R. West, Jr. Chair of Excellence


    Charlene Simmons, UC Foundation Associate Professor


    James Tanner, Lecturer (hired in August 2019)


    Billy Weeks, Lecturer (hired full time in August 2016)


    Nagwan Zahry, Assistant Professor (hired in August 2018)


    John Zublik, Professor (hired in August 2016)

  3. Using the grid that follows, provide counts of the unit’s overall productivity in scholarship for the past six years by activity; first the totals for the unit as a whole and then for the individuals who produced these totals, broken down by academic rank. The chart should provide a snapshot of scholarship activity within the unit during the six-year period. Therefore, the grid should capture relevant activity by all full-time faculty only while at the accredited unit. Provide the total number of individuals in each rank in place of the XX. Adapt the grid to best reflect institutional mission and unit policies and provide a brief narrative.



Scholarship, Research, Creative and Professional Activities


Total from Unit*














Awards and Honors








Grants Received Internal








Grants Received External








Scholarly Books, Sole- or Co-authored








Textbooks, Sole- or Co-authored








Books Edited








Book Chapters
















Articles in Refereed Journals








Refereed Conference Papers








Invited Academic Papers








Encyclopedia Entries








Book Reviews








Articles in Non-refereed Publications








Juried Creative Works








Non-juried Creative Works








Other (please specify)







*Co-authored work should be counted as a single publication in the unit totals. However, if, for example, two members of the faculty are co-authors on the same journal article, it would be reported as a publication for both authors. **Includes all full-time faculty who do not hold listed ranks, such as instructors and others on term appointments. Many faculty in this category may hold teaching appointments without significant scholarship, research or creative requirements.


  1. List in a digital file list the scholarly, research, creative and professional activities of each member of the full-time faculty in the past six years. Limit to 10 per faculty member through the six-year period. The unit has the option of providing a complete list in a separate digital file. (Full-time faculty refers to those defined as such by the unit.) If including faculty who have since left the unit, please note. Professional service activities should be reported in Standard 8.

Jessica Freeman

Freeman, J., Stoldt, R. G. (2019). Grandma or Mommy?: Familial labels as constructs of identity in grandfamilies. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 17(3), 19. https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wjir20/current

Freeman, J., Elton, J. (Author & Presenter), National Communication Association 104th Annual Convention, "“What if you die?”: Skipped-generation caregivers’ conversations with their grandchildren about death," National Communication Association, Salt Lake City, Utah. (November 2018).

Freeman, J., Elton, J. (Author & Presenter), Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, "“Who is going to take care of these grandkids if I go?”: Skipped-generation caregivers discuss death.," Gerontological Society of America, Boston, Massachusetts. (November 2018).


Elizabeth Gailey

Gailey, E. A., Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association 117th Annual Conference, “Trump’s Clown-Provocateur Turn, Black Mirror’s “The Waldo Moment and Political Appropriation of the Carnivalesque,” San Diego, CA. (November 14, 2019).

Gailey, E. A., National Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Association Annual Conference, "Techno-Fantasies of Resistance in the Netflix Series, "Black Mirror"," NWSA, Atlanta, GA. (November 8, 2018).

Gailey, E. A., Society for Cinema & Media Studies, "‘I’m Not Black, I’m O.J.’: Sports Celebrity, True Crime, and Contextualization of Racial Dynamics in ESPN’s O.J.: Made in America," Chicago, IL. (March 22, 2017).

Gailey, E. A., Popular Culture Association (PCA), "Intertextuality, Rhythm, and the Jurified Audience as Affective Strategies in Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence," American Culture Association, Seattle, Washington. (March 22, 2016).

Gailey, E. A., 85th SAMLA (South Atlantic Modern Language Association), "’Everybody Else’s Tobacco is Poisonous: Lucky Strike’s is Toasted’: Advertising-Related Nostalgia and Dystopia In Mad Men,”," Atlanta, GA. (November 8, 2013).


Angelique Gibson

Gibson, Angelique, Closet Space (film), Medusa Underground Film Festival, 2019, Las Vegas, NV, United States (8.0 minutes).

Gibson, Angelique, Closet Space (film), Blood Stained Indie Film Festival, 2018, United States (8.00 minutes). In collaboration with Angelique Gibson. Further details can be found at http://www.bloodstainedindiefilmfestival.com/ 

Gibson, Angelique, Closet Space (film), Director's Circle of Shorts, 2018, Erie, PA, United States (8.00 minutes). In collaboration with Angelique Gibson. Further details can be found at https://dcshortsfest.com/

Gibson, Angelique, Closet Space (film), Independent Horror Movie Awards, 2018, United States (8.00 minutes). Nominated Best Writing & Best Atmosphere

Gibson, Angelique, Closet Space (film), Eve Film Festival, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (8.00 minutes).

Gibson, Angelique, Closet Space (film), Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival, 2018, North Charleston, SC, United States (8.00 minutes).


Chandler Harris

Harriss, C. W. (2019). “Getting Into Character: Narrative Form, Motivation, and Treme’s Harley Watt,” Critical Studies in Television.

Harriss, C. W. (2018). Whistlin’ Past Graveyards: The Drive-By Truckers & Southern Identity. Popular Music and Society. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03007766.2018.1471331?journalCode=rpms20

Harriss, C. W. (2017). “The Producer as Fan: Forensic Fandom and The Good Wife,” Journal of Communication Inquiry, 41(4), 368–381.

Harriss, C. W., Southern States Communication Association, "Whistlin’ Past Graveyards: The Drive-By Truckers & Southern Identity," SSCA, Nashville TN. (April 2018).

Harriss, Chandler W., Top Paper in the Popular Communication Division, Southern States Culture Association (2018)

Harriss, C. W., Southern American Studies Association, "The Drive-By Truckers and the Negotiation of the Southern Thang: A Discursive & Dialogic Analysis," Williamsburg, VA. (2017).

Harriss, C. W., Popular Culture Association, "Burying Ledes: Drillability, Complexity and The Good Wife," Popular Culture Association, Seattle WA. (2016).

Harriss, C. W., Southern States Communication Association., "Getting Into Character: Exploring the Construction and Comprehension of Tremé’s Harley Watt," Austin, TX. (2016).

Harriss, C. W., "Getting Into Character: Exploring the Construction and Comprehension of Trem's Harley Watt.," Southern States Communication Association, Austin TX. (February 2016).

Harriss, C. W. (in press). Fans & Fandom. SAGE International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society. Thousand Oaks CA: SAGE.


Michael McCluskey

McCluskey, M. R. (2017). News Framing of School Shootings: Journalism in Times of Trauma and Violence. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

McCluskey, M. R. (in press). Profanity and the President: News use of Trump’s shithole comment. Newspaper Research Journal.

McCluskey, M. R., Kim, Y. M. (2015). Conflict/Proximity Determine Advocacy Group Coverage. Newspaper Research Journal, 36(1), 75–91.

Kim, Y. M., McCluskey, M. R. (2015). The DC factor? Advocacy groups in the news. Journalism, 16(6), 791–811.

McCluskey, M. R. (Author & Presenter), Keefer, L. (Author), World Journalism Education Conference, "Global disasters in the news: Themes of healing, coping and recovery," Paris, France. (July 2019).

McCluskey, M. R., the Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, "Lincoln’s funeral cortege: The press as instrument of healing, coping and recovery," Chattanooga, TN. (November 9, 2018).

McCluskey, M. R., Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, "Healing and recovery as a news value.," Washington, D.C. (August 6, 2018).

McCluskey, M. R., Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, "Shithole and the President: News use of Trump’s profanity," Washington, D.C, (August 6, 2018).

McCluskey, M. R., Southeast Colloquium, "Healing and recovery as a news value," Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Tuscaloosa, AL. (March 9, 2018).

McCluskey, M. R., Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, "Religion, coping and healing in news about school shootings," Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Minneapolis, MN. (August 10, 2016).


Felicia McGhee

McGhee-Hilt, F. A. (2015). The Financial Ramifications of Consumer Behavior and Ensuing Media Coverage in a Historic Social Movement:  The Rise and Fall of the Montgomery City Bus Lines. Alabama Review, 68(3).

McGhee-Hilt, F. A. (2014). Understanding the Participatory Emotions of a Social Movement. Mobilizing Ideas. https://mobilizingideas.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/understanding-the-participatory-emotions-of-a-social-movement/.


David Sachsman

Sachsman, D.B. (2017). After the War: The Press in a Changing America, 1865-1900. New York, NY: Transaction (now Routledge). 

Sachsman, D. B. (2014). A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage of the Civil War (vol. 1). Transaction Publishers.

Sachsman, D. B., Bulla, D. W. (2013). Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th-Century Reporting. Transaction Publishers.

Sachsman, D. B. (2013). The Press and the Suburbs: The Daily Newspapers of New Jersey (With a new preface by David B. Sachsman) (with Warren Sloat). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Sachsman, D. B. (2016). Yellow Journalism. Chapter in Dictionary of American History, Supplement: America in the World, 1776 to the Present (pp. 1145-48). New York: Charles Scribner & Sons. 

Sachsman, D. B. (2015). Environmental Reporters. Chapter 12 of The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication (pp. 158-67). London and New York: Routledge,.

Sachsman, D. B. (2015). Foreword for Lincoln Mediated: The President and the Press through Nineteenth-Century Media. New Brunswick, NJ:: Transaction Publishers.

Sachsman, D. B., Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, "At the Movies: The Celluloid Civil War," University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN. (December 23, 2016).

Sachsman, D. B. (2019). Kentucky's Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media and the Secession Crisis by Berry Craig (2nd ed., vol. 124). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sachsman, D. B. (2016). Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion by Harold Holzer (4th ed., vol. 78, pp. 755-756). Hoboken, NJ: The Historian, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.


Charlene Simmons

Simmons, C. (2016). A Marriage of Friends or Foes? Radio, Newspapers, and the Facsimile in the 1930s. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 60(3), 410–424.

Simmons, C., The 2018 Joint Journalism Historians Conference, "Taverns, the Wealthy, and a Widow: Innovative Adopters of Du Mont Televisions," AEJMC History Division & AJHA, New York, NY. (March 10, 2018).

Simmons, C., The Annual ICA Conference Convention. International Communication Association:, "A Marriage of Foes? Radio, Newspapers, and the Facsimile in the 1930s.," The Annual ICA Conference Convention., Seattle, WA. (May 23, 2014).

Simmons, C., AEJMC Conference. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, "Generating “New” News or Recycling Old News? News Diversity and the World Wide Web.," AEJMC, Washington, DC. (August 8, 2013).


Billy Weeks

Weeks, W.E. “Mesoamerica,” University of Georgia (2018).

Weeks, W. E., "New Freedom Exhibit," New York. (2015).


Nagwan Zahry

Zahry, N. R., Besley, J. C. (in press). Using Warmth Appeal to Recruit Students in STEM Colleges: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources as a Test Case. Visual Communication.

Ling, J., Zahry, N., Robbins, L. (2018). Dietary Intake among Head Start Preschooler-Caregiver Dyads. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 42, 9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S088259631730653X

Besley, J. C., Zahry, N. R., McCright, A., Kevin, E., Martin, J. (2018). Conflict of Interest Mitigation Procedures May Have Little Influence on the Perceived Procedural Fairness of Risk‐Related Research. Risk Analysis, 14.

Besley, J. C., McCright, A., Zahry, N. R., Eliott, K. (2018). Perceived Conflict of Interest as Procedural Fairness in Health Science Partnerships. PLOS ONE, 19. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0175643 

Zahry, N., Ling, J., Manfred, S., Mildred, H. (2018). Relationship of Adult and Child Dietary Intakes in Michigan and Implications for Programming Region-Wide. Journal of Extension, 56(6), 5. https://joe.org/joe/2018october/pdf/JOE_v56_6rb9.pdf

Zahry, Nagwan, "Corporate Reputation and Food Recalls: Strategic Messages for Crisis Communication," Sponsored by UTC, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, $2,500.00. (June 30, 2019).

Zahry, N. C. (Author & Presenter), AEJMC, "University Attendance as Science Communication," AEJMC, Toronto, Canada. (August 7, 2019).


  1. Describe the institution’s policy regarding sabbaticals, leaves of absence with or without pay, etc. List faculty who have taken sabbaticals or leaves during the past six years. Give one-sentence descriptions detailing the academic achievements of each sabbatical.

The university provides professional development leave to full-time tenured faculty members who have been at the university in a full-time position for at least six years. The leave can be paid or unpaid. Paid leaves are rewarded on a competitive basis, with the faculty member being paid their full base salary for one semester or half salary for a full year. Leaves may be awarded for one of purposes:

research on significant problems and issues;

important creative or descriptive work in any means of expression;

post-doctoral study at another institution; and

other approved projects, including innovations in teaching and learning.

The university’s professional development leave is defined in section 6.3.4 of the Faculty Handbook (available at: www.utc.edu/faculty-senate/pdfs/facultyhandbook_11_02_2018.pdf).

No member of the department’s faculty has taken a professional development leave during the past six years.


  1. Describe travel funding, grant support, or other methods or programs the unit uses to encourage scholarship, research, and creative and professional activity.

Scholarship support is provided at three levels: university, college, and department.

The university supports scholarship through faculty grants, CRISP grants, and Faculty PREP grants.

Faculty Grants: Full-time faculty may apply to these competitive grants ,with three rounds of grants awarded each year. Proposals are funded up to $1,500 for professional development activities and conference presentations, and up to $2,500 for research and creative activities.

The Collaborative Research Initiative for Sponsored Programs (CRISP) internal grants program seeks to stimulate collaborative, sponsored research at UTC by providing investigational teams of UTC faculty with resources and coordinated support services to help them build research capacity, create internal and external research collaborations, and establish a multidisciplinary research team with the primary outcome of submitting competitive research proposals and successfully securing funding from external sources. During fiscal year 2018, 6-8 grants were available with funding up to $8,000 each. In fiscal year 2019 the CRISP grant was not available.

The UTC Faculty Pre-Tenure Enhancement Program (PREP) is a grant designed to support pre-tenure faculty in developing their research portfolio in anticipation of the promotion and tenure process. Funds can be used to support teaching releases, summer salary, student research assistants, travel, equipment, and supplies. Grants are available with up to $15,000 in funding.

The college supports scholarship through research and creative activity (RCA) grants and faculty achievement awards (FAA).

The college’s RCA grants are designed to 1) support innovative research and creative projects, 2) enhance the reputation – locally, regionally, or nationally – of our outstanding faculty, and 3) enhance the prospect for some applicants to acquire or increase external funding. The competitive grants are available for amounts between $2,000 and $8,000.

FAA grants support faculty who are presenting research and/or creative work at conferences or in other venues. Faculty can apply for up to $1,000 in funding from the competitive grant.

The department supports scholarship through funding faculty travel to conferences to present research or creative works or to participate in professional development.  


  1. List faculty who have taken advantage of those programs during the past six years.

University Level Support

Zahry, Nagwan, "Corporate Reputation and Food Recalls: Strategic Messages for Crisis Communication," Sponsored by UTC, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, $2,500.00. (June 30, 2019). 

College Level Support

Harriss, Chandler W., "CAS Supplemental Travel Grant Recipient," Sponsored by UTC College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, $500.00. (2016).

McCluskey, Michael., “CAS Faculty Achievement Awards,” Sponsored by UTC College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, $1,500.00. (2019).

Department Level Support

The following faculty have received travel funding from the department to present scholarly work at least once during the last six years:

Jessica Freeman

Elizabeth Gailey

Chandler Harriss

Michael McCluskey

Charlene Simmons

Nagwan Zahry



2019 Self-Study