Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Committed Every Day

UT is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living, and working environment free from Sexual Harassment (including Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking), Sexual Exploitation, and Retaliation. We know this work takes each of us – from our community leaders to unsung heroes.

For this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Center for Health Education & Wellness wants to celebrate and highlight members of the UT and greater Knoxville community who are committed to ending sexual assault.

Whether you are an advocate, a researcher, a leader of a non-profit, or a member of a student organization, we want to hear from you! Submit your story online at to be featured.

We invite you to explore the messages and stories of those who are Committed Every Day.

A message from UT President Randy Boyd

A message from Chancellor Donde Plowman

A message from Vice Provost John Zomchick

A message from Athletics and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

Lisa C. Yamagata-Lynch, University Ombudsperson
Office of Ombuds Services |

I am a Professor as well as the University Ombudsperson. I have been at UT for almost 10 years, and love working with faculty, staff, and students!

My job at UT is to help ombuds visitors make empowered decisions about issues that they experience in their academic or workplace environment. Most of the time I help visitors engage in problem-solving surrounding an issue to design a solution that is right for them. I work following the International Ombuds Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which includes the following four main principles: Independence, Impartiality, Confidentiality, and Informality. At UTK/UTIA I am one of the few people who is not a Title IX Mandatory Reporter. As long as I do not see that somebody is at imminent risk of harm, I can listen to their story and help them explore how to get access to resources designed the help them.

I have had life situations when I was left feeling completely powerless based on my race, gender, and/or age. There is such an overwhelming feeling of being sadness, pain, humiliation, and isolation when we get there. One of the ways in which I was able to pull myself out of feeling the way I did was to promise myself that with whatever little power gain over the years I will help others, or put systems in place where others will not suffer in the same manner I did. Being the ombudsperson gives me the space for me to be the professional that I always wanted to be and help others. It is an honor and a privilege that people choose to come see me!

The McNabb Center’s Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee

The Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee (SACET) is a resource for victims of a recent sexual assault and victims of an assault or sexual abuse that happened months or years ago. The Center’s crisis hotline is answered 24 hours a day: (865) 522-7273. The Center has Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners available at all times to provide forensic nursing to sexual assault crime victims. In addition, the Center offers education, advocacy, and therapy services. For more information, follow SACET on Facebook.