5 Quick Things graphic
August 13, 2021

1. Dr. Cindy Russell Named VC for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs

Cynthia Russell, PhD, RN, has been named vice chancellor for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs (AFSA) at the UT Health Science Center. Dr. Russell has served as the interim vice chancellor for AFSA since December 2020.
With almost three decades of service to the university, Dr. Russell has also served as the associate vice chancellor for Faculty Affairs, and holds a faculty appointment as a professor in the Department of Acute and Tertiary Care in the UTHSC College of Nursing.

Read the full announcement on the UTHSC News website.

2. Phishing Alert

UTHSC is currently under a phishing attack by external sources spoofing the names of deans and department heads. Part of the Office of Cybersecurity's defense strategy is making the campus aware and preparing faculty, staff, and students to respond. Here is what we are currently seeing: 

  • All of phishing emails are coming from external email addresses. External email addresses will have [Ext] in the subject line.
  • The phishing email uses the names of some of our deans and department chairs from an external email address, such as or The email is asking the recipient for a cell phone number so the conversation can be continued outside of the UTHSC environment. When texting you, they ask you to purchase gift cards. 
Please note that no one in authority at UTHSC will ask you for a personal favor, or need you to provide your personal information, such as a cell phone number. 

Steps you can take:
  • If you responded with your cell number, block the number that is asking you to do a "favor". 
  • Forward the original email to for examination. We can block that email address from delivering more phish to our inboxes and find out who may have responded to the phish. 

Report any suspicious electronic behavior via the TechConnect Portal or by contacting the Office of Cybersecurity directly at

3. Hands-On Fire Extinguisher Training

Portable Fire Extinguisher (PFE) Training is being offered to UTHSC employees and students on Monday, August 16. One-hour sessions will be held at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. To register, please email your name, 6-digit personnel number, and department to The training sessions are being held in the T Lot, behind the Dunn Dental Building.

Topics covered during the 1-hour training session include:

  • Classes of fires and the types of extinguisher needed to extinguish each
  • Limitations of PFEs
  • Personal protection precautions
  • PASS procedure for extinguishing fires
  • Hands-on extinguishing of an actual fire

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as promulgated in CFR 1910.157(g)(1) [and (2)] requires that, where an employer has provided portable fire extinguishers for employee use in the workplace, it shall also provide an educational training program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage firefighting and training in the use of appropriate equipment.

PFE training is appropriate for those employees who may use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire in their work area, especially those who work in laboratories. Completion of this training qualifies for 1-hour HR 128 credit. A rain date will be announced if the Monday event is postponed due to inclement weather.

4. Apply Now for OIED's Diversity Certificate Program

The Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity is excited to offer the Diversity Certificate Program (DCP) in a virtual format for Fall 2021. The program is free and open to only UTHSC faculty, staff, and students. The DCP will run six weeks from September 13 – October 22, with courses meeting 2 – 3 times a week. Please visit the website for more details and the course schedule.

Applications for the Fall 2021 DCP are available on the OIED website and will be accepted through Friday, August 20.

Apply Now for the DCP

5. Nominations Open for Lichterman Award

Each year, non-exempt employees with at least 3 years of service can be nominated for the Lichterman award by a supervisor, co-worker, or other UTHSC/UCH employee. Nominees should possess qualities such as dedication, hard work, and a positive attitude. If you know of any UTHSC or UCH employees that meet these standards of service, please nominate them!

The easiest way to nominate an employee is to use the People Search on the UTHSC website. If an employee is eligible for the award, you will see a nomination button at the top of their People Search Details page.

For more information about the award, visit

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