When faculty members Karen Lloyd and Andrew Steen saw an opportunity to introduce a group of inner-city New Jersey high school students to science, they made it happen. Lloyd, an assistant professor of microbiology, and her husband, Steen, an assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, just completed their second summer program with students and teachers from Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark.
College of Arts and Sciences News
Researchers at UT are a step closer to creating a prophylactic drug that would neutralize the deadly effects of the chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere. Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair and an expert in computational biology, is part of the team that is trying to engineer enzymes—called bioscavengers—so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons.
The film of a UT art professor will debut this month at he longest continually running film festival in the world. Something, Anything, a full-length feature film written and directed by Paul Harrill, will be shown June 19 and 21 at the United Kingdom-based Edinburgh International Film Festival. The movie is one of twelve selected from the United States for the festival’s American Dreams section.
The twenty-eight-foot historic mural that has survived controversy, vandalism, and an impending demolition of its longtime home will be featured in an exhibit that opens June 6 at UT’s Downtown Gallery. The History of Tennessee painting will be on display along with eighteen other works by celebrated muralist Marion Greenwood. The summer exhibit will be available during three First Friday celebrations downtown and during the Downtown Gallery’s normal operating hours.
Two earth and planetary sciences doctoral students will be furthering their study of the cosmos with help from NASA. NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowships are awarded once a year “to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines required to achieve NASA’s scientific goals.” The recipients, including UT’s Eric MacLennan, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Richard Cartwright, of Atlanta, Georgia, will each get $30,000 a year for three years.
The East Tennessee Historical Society has recognized UT’s Clarence Brown Theatre for its production of The Whipping Man, a haunting Civil War-era play that tackles difficult issues and the region’s history. The theater received the Award of Distinction this month from the historical society for its adaptation of the play.
Stephen H. Blackwell, a professor of Russian, won the 2013 prize for the Best Scholarly Contribution in the area of Nabokov Studies with his 2009 book The Quill and the Scalpel: Nabokov’s Art and the Worlds of Science. He received the award from the Nabokov Online Journal during a special ceremony at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, France, in April. The award carries a $600 cash prize.
More than 3,800 students graduated from the university last week. Many of our graduates, speakers, honorees, and programs captured widespread media attention. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Noble Wilford spoke to graduates from the College of Communication and Information, former NPR anchor Ann Taylor spoke to graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, and financial guru Dave Ramsey spoke to graduates from the College of Business Administration. Read on for an overview of last week’s news.
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.
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.”