College of Arts and Sciences News

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.

Provost’s Office Working on “S” Designation for Service-Learning Courses

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.

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

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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.

Commencements Feature Notable Speakers, Including Pulitzer Winner

John-Noble-Wilford

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.

Faculty Recognized for Teaching at Annual Honors Banquet

Baldwin

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.

Doctoral Student Selected to Attend Meeting with Nobel Laureates

A UT student has been selected to meet with more than thirty Nobel laureates this summer. Sarah Davis, a doctoral student in microbiology, will participate in the 2014 Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting held June 24–July 4 in Lindau, Germany. She was selected after careful scientific review and is among 600 of the most qualified students and young researchers worldwide to share the opportunity of attending the meeting. At the sixty-fourth Lindau meeting, thirty to forty Nobel laureates are expected to meet with the young researchers to share their knowledge.