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Dr. Bill Eversole to Speak to Cohort

Bill EversoleDr. Bill Eversole is a kind supporter of the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program, and will be speaking to the 2020 cohort on Monday, April 22nd. He will be covering the topic: Discovering Market Opportunities that Align with Current Capabilities – Large and Small Companies.

Further, Dr. Eversole serves on the Steering Committee of Heath IBEP and has helped contribute to the success of the program. Currently, he is the CEO and President of Bandspeed Inc., which is a startup company with Texas Instruments. Dr. Eversole is also an active member of the Tickle Board of Advisors. Dr. Eversole holds his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as well as his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University.

Students Visit Bush Brothers & Company


Cohort in Front of Bush Brothers Facility

On Friday, April 5 students in the 2020 cohort went on a site visit to Bush Brothers & Company at their headquarters in Chestnut Hill, TN. During the visit, the cohort observed the manufacturing process that is used to help successfully make one million cans of quality beans per day. The group started at the museum and explored the exhibit. Students also watched a video that explained the history and growth of Bush Brothers and how they maintain over 80% of the market.

The second part of the visit included a facility tour. During the tour, students walked through the manufacturing plant in line with their process. The students were able to see the entire supply chain process from where beans are received from the suppliers to how finished product is stored before shipment. The site visit ended with the students stopping at the merchandise store to pick up some of their favorites!

Q&A Panel on Effective Resumes and Cover Letters


Denso Logo    Eastman Logo           Pilot Flying J Logo

Hiring Managers from Denso Manufacturing, Eastman Chemical Company, and Pilot Flying J will be sitting on a panel this afternoon for the 2021 Cohort. The panel will begin with each representative presenting their background. They will also discuss opportunities their companies offer specific to business and engineering. Students will then be able to ask questions on how to create effective resumes and cover letters. This panel is an effort to help students understand what it takes to stand out when applying for internships and jobs.

David Guthrie to Speak on Entrepreneurship

David GuthrieDavid Guthrie, a friend of the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program, will be speaking to both cohorts on Friday, November 2nd, about entrepreneurship. He has also volunteered his day to work with current students beforehand.

Guthrie has had great success in balancing both technical and business knowledge. He co-founded Medcast, a medical news/information system, and sold it to WebMD in 1997 for $250 million dollars. Then Guthrie started investing in early-stage technology and life science companies. He currently serves as Chief Technology Officer for Guthrie Technology Services, where he relies on his technology and leadership experience to help other companies secure corporate growth.

At 18 months old, Guthrie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Knowing that his life expectancy date passed long ago, he has made sure that he enjoys his life and uses his time to make an impact. Guthrie is a Knoxville native, graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1990 with a B.S. in Business Management and Information Systems. Further, he recently received the Accomplished Alumni Award in October 2017.

Dr. Jerry Askew Spoke on Opioid Crisis

Dr. Jerry AskewDr. Jerry Askew, President of Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN), came to the EF 203 course on Thursday, August 30 to speak to Heath IBEP students about the opioid crisis in the United States.

Since arriving in Knoxville in 1985, Dr. Askew has served as Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs at the University of Tennessee, President of the East Tennessee Foundation, and Senior Vice President of the St. Mary’s/Mercy Health Systems. Additionally, Dr. Askew has also served on the boards of over 40 nonprofit organizations. He holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MS from the University of Memphis, and PhD from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Askew spoke about possible predictors of opioid addiction and the importance of attacking the root causes. He explained the root causes of opioid addiction to be: assumptions about the right to a pain-free life, direct consumer marketing, false claims from drug companies, over-prescription, lack of alternative therapies, and a cycle of despair. Sascha Richey, a business analytics student in the Heath IBEP, stated that Dr. Askew is “especially concerned with attending to disadvantaged youth, as certain conditions make them more prone to addiction.”

A chemical engineering student in the program, Ben Koester, summarized Dr. Askew’s beliefs on the spiritual struggle that people with addition have by saying: “They need to believe they have something to live for and a reason to live beyond the high. If people don’t believe they can amount to anything or that their situation can change, then why even bother? Drugs are their way of escape”.

Q&A Panel Held on Professional Development

Arconic LogoHiring Managers from Arconic and Leidos participated on a panel Friday, August 24. This panel was an opportunity for students to receive professional development advice from hiring managers on how to network at job fairs, land interviews, and negotiate job/internship offers. This panel came at a great time because students were preparing for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Fall Job Fairs. “The discussion focused primarily on strategies that students could use to make a good impression and succeed in being hired into their desired job or internship” shared Brian Coulter, a student in the 2021 cohort.


Leidos Logo“Speaking with hiring managers is hugely beneficial to us as students because it lets us see through the eyes of our judges. We all want a job when we graduate, but in the Heath IBEP we want more than just a job- we want the start in a highly impactful career and that starts from the very first interactions,” expressed Michael Butler, a student in the 2020 cohort, regarding this professional development opportunity. Events like this and the effective resume panel last fall help to prepare students for the job market.

Second Annual Kickoff Event a Success

Bill Eversole Networking Students in the 2021 cohort of the Heath Integrated Business & Engineering Program were invited to attend the Second Annual Kickoff Event, held at Knoxville’s Foundry on the Fair Site on Tuesday, August 21. This event was a chance for the cohort to celebrate their acceptance into the program and have a Q&A panel discussion with two members of the Heath IBEP Steering Committee: Mr. Ralph Heath and Mr. Bill Eversole.

Ralph Heath Receiving Award from ChancellorThe event began with remarks from Heath IBEP Director, Mary Pile, the Interim Dean of Tickle College of Engineering, Dr. Mark Dean, and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies & Student Affairs, Dr. M. Lane Morris. Interim Chancellor, Dr. Wayne Davis, gave the keynote address where he acknowledged the program’s naming and accomplishments from the inaugural cohort. Further, Interim Chancellor Davis presented Mr. Ralph Heath with an Alumni Service Award for his dedication in giving back to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Steering Committee Members on PanelFollowing dinner, students were able to ask the two panelists questions on a variety of topics to include keys to success, work-life balance, and tips for professional development.

Additional photos from the event can be found here.


Cohort Participates in Tickle Speed Mentoring

On Thursday, April 5, the Engineering Mentor Program, the WomEngineers Leadership Council, and the college’s Board of Advisors hosted a special speed mentoring event for UT undergraduate engineering students. Students in the Integrated Business and Engineering Program were also invited to participate.


Distinguished executives from the college’s Board of Advisors spent time with students, listened to questions, and gave advice. Students sat at tables and interacted one-on-one with each guest, had the opportunity to ask questions about their careers, got tips and advice for entering the profession, and network with top professionals from around the country. 


Cohort members were able to reconnect with members of the steering committee like Bill Eversole, Jerry Henry, and Ralph Heath, as well as past guest lecturers like Cavanaugh Mims. This gave the cohort the opportunity to continue their relationships with influential figures in the students’ areas of interest, in addition to encouraging the students to make new connections and promote the program to the Tickle Board of Advisors. 



Board Approves Naming of UT’s Integrated Business and Engineering Program

Ralph Heath

Ralph Heath

UT’s Integrated Business and Engineering Program (IBEP) will now carry the name of the man who played an instrumental role in its creation.

The university’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the naming of the blended business and engineering program for Ralph Heath, a retired president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Heath, who holds two degrees at UT—a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in aerospace and defense—is a member of the advisory boards of both colleges.

The Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program welcomed its first cohort of students in fall 2017. Each group of students is selected from both the Haslam College of Business and the Tickle College of Engineering through a competitive admissions process. Students in the program spend three years taking classes in business leadership, communications, and process thinking, in addition to other targeted classwork. They participate in site visits, hear guest lectures from industry professionals, and are mentored by alumni. A capstone class, in which the group solves a real-world problem at the intersection of business and engineering, completes the program.

“IBEP graduates will have the necessary technical skills, systems thinking, and business savvy to add real and sustaining value to organizations,” said Heath.

Heath, a longtime supporter of both colleges, saw the need for better communication and understanding between product developers and business leaders during his career. That need, coupled with his vision and generous support from the Heath endowments, led to the establishment of the interdisciplinary program at UT.

“The program provides a multifaceted learning opportunity for students who dream of careers in technology-related industries,” said Stephen L. Mangum, Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair and dean of the Haslam College of Business. “The program’s design benefited greatly from the vision of Ralph Heath. I am impressed with the quality of students drawn to the program. There is no limit to what these students may accomplish.”

Lynne E. Parker, interim dean of the Tickle College of Engineering, said the program provides students from both disciplines a better understanding of a natural intersection in the real world.

“These students will be able to better combine these skills as they work toward impactful careers in industry,” Parker said. “We are grateful to Ralph Heath for his vision and collaboration in the creation of this program and are highly appreciative of his generosity.”

Representatives from Smith & Nephew to Speak to IBEP Cohort

Smith & Nephew LogoRepresenting Smith & Nephew, Chris Buckley, Director of Supply Chain, will speak to the cohort on the integration of business and engineering in a professional setting. Chris will also speak on the successes and failures that engineers and business groups achieve when they work together vs when they do not work together. Alison Keefe, Graduate Recruitment Program Manager, will also be speaking to the cohort about entry-level positions and the Graduate Development Program that Smith & Nephew offers.

Founded in 1856, Smith & Nephew supports healthcare professionals in more than 100 countries in their daily efforts to improve the lives of their patients. The company does this by taking a pioneering approach to the design of their products and services, by striving to secure wide access to their diverse technologies for more customers globally, and by enabling better outcomes for patients and healthcare systems.

The values of Smith & Nephew are performance, innovation, and trust. These values are driven by the relationships with stakeholders and underpin their approach to sustainable development. Smith & Nephew employs around 16,000 people globally and in 2017 they had almost $4.8 billion in sales.


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