Student Involvement

International Ambassadors

Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture Student International Ambassadors (SIAs) are a select group of individuals working to internationalize undergraduate education at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA). This student-directed group integrates international experiences in and out of UTK classrooms, as well as promotes study abroad opportunities and the International Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) Minor by sharing international experiences with faculty, peers, alumni, and the public. SIAs also participate in leadership and service activities, network with international organizations, and develop leadership and other career skills

SIAs represent the Smith Center at both on and off campus events such as the Herbert Student Career Fair, and UTK Study Abroad Fairs. They help organize, participate in, and administer the annual UTIA International Showcase and the Smith Center photo contest. Independently and with the advisors (Gracie Pekarcik and Adam Willcox), they will present in classes their international experiences and recruit for the IANR Minor and Herbert study abroad programs. SIAs also mentor individuals and small groups of students in the IANR Minor and those preparing to study abroad. SIAs also assist with “walk in” sessions in the Smith Center office 101 McCord Hall.

Rolling applications are considered. The application can be accessed below. Contact Gracie Pekarcik, our study abroad coordinator, for more info!

UTIA Student Global Leader Awards

We encourage you to nominate a deserving student for one of three awards:

  • Undergraduate Student Global Leader Award
  • Graduate Student Global Leader Award
  • College of Veterinary Medicine Student Leader Award

We would like to congratulate our 2023 UTIA Student Global Leader Award Winners!

  • Undergraduate Student Global Leader Award – Ashley DeRegis
  • Graduate Student Global Leader Award – Ryan Ackett
  • College of Veterinary Medicine Student Leader Award – Nicole Szafranski

Nominations for these awards are due by April 19, 2024 (third Friday of April each year), and awards will be presented at the Herbert College of Agriculture Annual Awards or the College of Veterinary Medicine Senior Awards Banquet. Questions should be directed to Carrera Romanini at or 865-974-7340.

Nominations can be placed here: