Arts & Sciences News

Five Students Win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Pfennigwerth

Five graduate students have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. The recipients are Caroline Bryson, Mallory Ladd, Derek Mull, Alix Ann Pfennigwerth, and Su’ad Amatullah Yoon. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and provides financial support for outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

Former NPR Newscaster Ann Taylor Tells Grads ‘Be Smart but Take a Chance’

Ann-Taylor

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.”

Systers Act: Koessler’s Impact Felt Well Beyond the Classroom

denise-koessler-210

When Denise Koessler receives her doctorate in computer science, it will mark the end of the long road—one that wasn’t always easily traveled. “There were times along the way where I didn’t have a peer in my classes,” said Koessler. “I was on the verge of leaving engineering. There just weren’t many other women.”

Graduating Senior Doesn’t Allow Vision Impairment to Thwart Theater Dreams

Christian Darnell, center, in a scene from A Christmas Carol.

Batman may be a superhero crime-fighter, but inside he’s Bruce Wayne—a regular guy who has seen trial and triumph. Born with a vision impairment, Christian Darnell, who graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences on Friday with a degree in theater, identifies with that inner strength. Darnell was born with oculocutaneous albinism, a condition that affects pigmentation of the skin, hair, and eyes and classifies him as being legally blind.

Art Students Convert Metal Scraps from Gerdau into Sculptures

Work by Battle Glascock

Six UT students have converted more than 3,000 pounds of scrap metal provided by steel recycler Gerdau into works of art. The sculptures were unveiled this week and are on display at the historic Ivan Racheff House in Northwest Knoxville. The exhibition, which celebrates National Recycling Month, is a partnership between Gerdau and Dogwood Arts.

Student at Bredesen Center Wins $50,000 ORNL Prize

andrew-lepore-210

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.

Graduating Senior Receives 2014 Claxton Medallion

From left: Susan Benner, associate dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; Brooke Terry, graduating senior and 2014 Claxton Medal winner; and Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Senior Brooke Elana Terry has received the 2014 Claxton Medallion. The $5,000 award is given annually to a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences who will be entering a fifth-year internship in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences to prepare for a career in teaching.

Students to Study Chinese, Arabic as Part of State Department Program

paige-scrivener-210

Two UT students have been awarded US Department of State Critical Language Scholarships to study critical-needs languages during the summer. Paige Scrivener, of Memphis, will study Chinese at Suzhou University in Suzhou, China. Jeremy Pearson, of Salem, Oregon, will be going to Oman to study Arabic.

Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Teaching at Honors Banquet

Dekay

At last week’s Honor’s Banquet, several faculty members were recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Award by Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. The recipents were Mark Dekay, an associate professor of architecture; Lois Presser, an associate professor of sociology; Andrew Sherfy, a lecturer in biosystems engineering and soil science; and Brian Stevens, a lecturer in statistics, operations, and management science.