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UT’s Best: The Year in Review

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It’s been a big news year in Big Orange Country. We looked at what people were reading on Tennessee Today. We hunted for the UT news that got the best media play. We thought about momentous events. We tossed all of that together and compiled this list of our greatest hits of 2014.

Ant Expert, Sociobiology Founder Receives UT’s Eighth Honorary Degree

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Throughout his career, Edward O. Wilson has discovered more than 450 ant species and is now regarded as the founder of sociobiology. Today, UT awarded him the Honorary Doctor of Science and Letters degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the College of Arts and Sciences during the fall commencement ceremony. This is the eighth honorary degree the university has granted.

Tassel Time in Tennessee: Commencement Ceremonies to Be Held This Week

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It’s tassel time in Tennessee with 1,747 undergraduate, graduate, and law students set to don mortarboards and receive their degrees from UT this week. Graduate hooding will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 12, and the undergraduate commencement ceremony will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 13. During Saturday’s ceremony, an honorary degree will be awarded to Edward O. Wilson, who is considered the founder of sociobiology and the world’s leading authority on ants.

Chancellor Meets with President Obama Again About Higher Ed Access

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Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek is meeting with a group led by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington, DC, today to address increasing college access for low-income students. This is the second time this year Cheek has been invited by the White House to discuss this issue. Cheek will share UT’s commitment aimed at increasing STEM graduates by 20 to 25 percent with a primary focus on underrepresented students. Find more information on the College Opportunity Day of Action summit, or watch it live at WhiteHouse.gov.

Thanks + Giving: UT Researcher Says Gratitude May be a Key to Happiness

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‘Tis the season to be grateful. And being grateful for what you have may be the key to happiness, according to research by a UT professor. Jeff Larsen, associate professor of psychology, investigated whether the maxim “it’s more important to want what you have than to have what you want” is true.

Enhanced Effort Certification Reporting Interface

Monthly employees who are paid on sponsored projects are required to certify their time, either through IRIS or the web application. An improved interface will soon be available for persons who certify their effort on the web.

UTPD to Hold Annual Employee Awards Ceremony Friday

The UT Police Department will hold its annual employee awards Friday, December 19, to recognize members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The media is invited to attend the event.