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Em Chitty, Interim Director

Interim Director

Em Turner Chitty is the Interim Director of ELI, previously teaching for over 35 years. “Helping students prepare to realize their dreams and ambitions is my primary goal,” she says. She has taught English in Tennessee, Virginia, Switzerland, and Italy, and is the author of How We Really Talk: Using Phrasal Verbs in English and Spelling and Sound. She holds master’s degrees in English literature and public administration, speaks Italian and French, and is learning Spanish. 

What do you enjoy most about working at ELI?

Helping students follow their paths to success.

What advice do you give to new ELI students?

Surround yourself with English. Watch movies, find friends, read books, join clubs. Talk to yourself in English as you walk down the street! Use every opportunity to grow a “new brain” in your new language.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

The UT Gardens.

What is something you love about Knoxville?

The exciting new shops and activities in downtown Knoxville.

What are a few of your favorite books?

Composing a Life, The 11 Nations of the United States, Start Where You Are 

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I sing jazz standards in a trio; we like performing love songs at weddings–perfect!


MPA, Public Administration, emphasis on sustainable development

MA, English literature

BA, Comparative Literature in French and Latin

Contact Information: 


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