Longtime NPR newscaster Ann Taylor urged graduates to “be smart, but also take a chance” in her commencement address at UT on Friday. Taylor, who graduated from UT with a degree in English in 1958, anchored NPR’s national newscasts within All Things Considered from 1989 until July of 2011. Taylor spoke at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement and offered graduates a laundry list of advice, which she called “Ann Taylor-isms.”
Lisa Harmon aims to reduce the stigma many military service members associate with seeking help for psychological and mental health needs. A licensed clinical social worker at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, Harmon also is a member of the inaugural graduating class of UT’s online Doctor of Social Work degree program.
With the first set of UT Bredesen Center graduates set to receive their doctorates next week, students who will be in the next wave of graduates are already finding success. Andrew Lepore, working out of the Materials Science and Technology Division through the center, recently won a prestigious ORNL-related prize at the Next Big Idea competition. Lepore is on track to receive his doctorate in 2016.
Gary Pratt, an entrepreneur and chief executive officer of an internationally recognized health care nonprofit, has received the Accomplished Alumni Award from UT. The 1977 business administration graduate was honored during a UT visit to speak to new venture creation classes Thursday. Lee Patouillet, associate vice chancellor for alumni affairs, presented the award to Pratt.
A faculty member, student and alumna of the College of Social Work received statewide honors this spring for exceptional work in their field. Terri Combs-Orme (pictured left), the Urban Child Institute Endowed Professor, received the Social Work Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Annie Farris, a master’s student at the college’s Nashville campus, received the Middle Tennessee Branch and the Tennessee State Master of Social Work Student of the Year awards. Alumna Alyce Benson received the State of Tennessee Social Worker of the Year Award.
The National Science Foundation area of the USA Science and Engineering Festival will have a UT feel thanks to a spot in the prestigious event going to CURENT, the Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks. Housed in the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building in UT’s College of Engineering, CURENT is a UT-led multi-institution research group focused on making the electrical grid more efficient, particularly in the area of energy transportation.
Recent UT College of Law graduates fare better than law graduates nationwide when it comes to being employed in full-time jobs requiring bar passage. UT law graduates are also more likely than their counterparts nationwide to be employed in private practice law firms. Those are among the results in a recent survey of Class of 2013 law school graduates nationwide by the American Bar Association.
UT supporters will have the chance to play golf with some well-known names while raising money for scholarships benefiting African-American students. The eleventh annual Alex Haley Scholarship Benefit Auction and Celebrity Golf Tournament takes place Sunday and Monday, May 4 and 5. A reception and auction will take place on Sunday at the Marriott Hotel ballroom in downtown Knoxville. Former UT lettermen will team up with golfers at Monday’s golf tournament at Gettysvue Polo, Golf, and Country Club, and the winning team will represent UT at the Acura College Alumni Team Championship at Pinehurst.
Avery Dobbs, a senior majoring in political science with a history minor, has received a 2014–2015 Fulbright International Scholarship to teach English in Bulgaria.
Alumna Janet McKinley has established an endowment to promote an interest in golf among female Master of Business Administration students. The Janet McKinley MBA Golf Endowment will be based in the College of Business Administration. Earnings from the endowment will fund the new Grads to Golf program.