Well-Known Campus Faculty Member Celebrates 20 Years at UTC

If you want your students to be interested in what you’re teaching, you have to have an interest in their activities, too.

That’s the mantra Gretchen Potts lives by, and they are the words she has lived by her during her time as a member of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga faculty.

“To me, we want students to be in class, so we ask them to come to class,” Potts said, “and I feel like we should also participate in the things they’re doing. That’s why I’m supporting them at their events.

“When you make that connection and build that relationship, then they want to come to class.”

Potts, UC Foundation Professor of Chemistry and the department head for Biology, Geology and Environmental Science, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her arrival in Chattanooga.

Very few faculty members are as visible around campus as she is—as a fan of Mocs athletics, as a social media contributor and for just being involved, period. Whether it’s an athletic event, concert or some other activity, Potts will likely be in attendance.

Her involvement with athletics might be considered next level. How many chemistry professors have been called on to sing the national anthem at sporting events?

“In the music realm, I’ve been a performer all my life,” Potts said. “I have performed the national anthem for volleyball, wrestling, softball and then—of course—men’s and women’s basketball.”