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Sounding Board Program Seeks to Connect Employees

Human Resources is supporting a new program beginning in February to connect employees with shared interests or experiences across campus. Sounding Board groups will be loosely led by a pair of staff or faculty facilitators and logistically supported by HR.

Sounding Board is unique in that it is employee led, with meeting times and activities determined by participants and their interests. Initially groups will meet quarterly, but they can meet more frequently depending on the wishes of the members.

The program is launching with a group for staff who are in the early years of their careers at UT. Facilitated by Michael Smith-Porter, project coordinator in Enrollment Management, and Xylina Marshall, communication coordinator in Honors and Scholars Programs, the group aims to connect, support, and engage in discussions about issues affecting its members. While this group is limited to staff members, others will be open to both faculty and staff.

Additional planned groups include ones for outdoor enthusiasts, those seeking support with work–life balance, emerging female leaders, and for employees who are also enrolled in a program of study. We would love your ideas for additional groups!

If you have interest in participating in any of these Sounding Board groups or would like to suggest a new group, sign up online to submit your ideas.

The first meeting of the early career professionals group will be a brown-bag session from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, February 20, in Student Union Room 362A-B. Sharon Couch, coordinator of Student Life and Diversity Programs for the Herbert College of Agriculture and chairwoman for the Commission for Blacks, will discuss “5 Things I Wish I Would Have Known as an Early Career Professional.” RSVP to