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.”
College of Arts and Sciences News
When Katherine Waxstein graduates this week, she’ll leave behind some work for others to do. As part of a volunteer project, Waxstein developed a leadership program for elementary school students that’s been so successful it has been turned into a university course that will be taught in the fall. Waxstein has completed a double major in child and family studies and psychology.
Two students will be the first to earn a new doctoral degree Thursday from the Energy Science and Engineering program founded by former governor Phil Bredesen in partnership with UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
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.
The Provost’s Service-Learning Office is working on a plan to give an “S” designation to approved courses with a service-learning component. The application process was piloted this spring by nine faculty members, each representing a different college. The university already has many courses that employ service-learning, and the service-learning office is developing mechanisms to enhance the support and recognition of faculty who do this work.
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.
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.
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.
Alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Noble Wilford will receive an honorary doctorate during this semester’s commencement ceremonies. Wilford, a 1955 journalism graduate, will receive an honorary doctorate of letters and science at the College of Communication and Information ceremony on May 7. He headlines the list of accomplished speakers at this spring’s college ceremonies, which begin May 7 and run through May 10. More than 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees at thirteen college ceremonies this spring.
Last week, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek celebrated faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments throughout the past academic year. Debora Baldwin, associate professor of psychology; Bruce MacLennan, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Anthony Nownes, professor of political science; and Marianne Wanamaker, associate professor of economics, each received the Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award.