Prankster, Bat Specialist are New UT Cox Professors

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has named two faculty members as new recipients of the James R. Cox Professorship.

Beauvais Lyons

Beauvais Lyons, professor in the School of Art, and Gary McCracken, professor and head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will hold the honor for three years.

The professorships are named for Knoxville native James R. Cox, whose gifts to the university through his sister and nephew, Charlotte and Jim Musgraves, helped establish the professorships in 2002 for faculty in the arts and theater, biological and physical sciences, architecture and forestry studies. Recipients are chosen for their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The three-year award provides a stipend of $25,500 to be used at the recipients’ discretion.

“These awards are a reflection on the excellence of these professors and the high esteem in which they are held,” said Provost Susan Martin.

Lyons has taught printmaking at UT since 1985 and is a senior faculty member in the School of Art. The master’s in printmaking program is ranked third in the nation by U.S, News and World Report. Lyons is well known for his “Hokes Archives” but has had a wide range of exhibits across the nation and abroad. His prints are in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., and in New York and Philadelphia. In 2002 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at the Fine Arts Academy in Poznañ, Poland. Lyons’s “Hokes Archives” exhibit explores the use of parody in art, which is devoted to the fabrication and documentation of rare and unusual cultural artifacts.

Gary McCracken

McCracken is one of the nation’s leading bat experts. His research focuses on animal behavior and interactions with their environments. His current work is focused on bats, insects and viral pathogens. McCracken made groundbreaking discoveries into how viruses jump from host to host, which provides insight for public health authorities as they try to track where the next infectious disease will emerge. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Along with the prestigious professorships, the Cox family support extends to the College of Architecture and Design and renovations of the Alumni Memorial Building, for which the auditorium is now called the James R. Cox Auditorium.

Previous recipients of the Cox professorships are Bill Black, professor and associate head of the theater department, and Edgar Stach, associate professor in the School of Architecture. Black has directed the costume design program for the UT Department of Theater for more than 30 years and has been an active designer around the country. Stach is currently leading students in the design of a zero-energy housing structure powered by solar energy and is involved in establishing a collaboration between the UT architecture program and design programs at Chinese institutions.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008, beth.gladden@tennessee.edu)

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