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Notes from the Chancellor » Kudos, Kudos, Kudos

Kudos, Kudos, Kudos

Here’s a list of faculty, staff, and students who have made headlines for their accomplishments in recent months.

Faculty and staff

Art StewartArthur Stewart, adjunct professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, was inducted into the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame. Stewart published his first collection of poetry in 2003 and recently published his fourth book, titled The Ghost in the Word.

Two associate professors in the College of Engineering—Ramki Kalyanaraman and Gerd Duscher—have received an honorable mention for their entry in the 2013 Create the Future sustainable technology design contest. Their entry was a patent-pending design for an ultra-light, high-efficiency solar fiber.

Four of our faculty members are among forty-nine across Southeastern Conference universities selected for the 2013–14 SEC Academic Leadership Development. They are Susan M. Benner, associate dean, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; Joanne M. Hall, nursing professor; Veerle Keppens, associate dean for faculty affairs, College of Engineering; and Annette L. Ranft, associate dean, College of Business Administration.

Bruce Behn, the Deloitte LLP Professor and head of the Department of Accounting and Information Management, has received the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Special Recognition Award and the American Accounting Association Outstanding Award. He received the accolades for his involvement in the Pathways Commission, an AICPA/AAA partnership that recommended improvements in accounting education.

Leon Tolbert, Min H. Kao Professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow.

More than twenty researchers from our campus were honored for their discoveries at this year's UT Research Foundation Innovation Awards. J. Douglas Birdwell, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Tsewei Wang, an associate professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received the top award—the B. Otto and Kathleen Wheeley Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. Inventors recognized for receiving patents include Besma Abidi, Gregory Armel, Birdwell, Zhiyu Chen, Suxiang Deng, William Hamel, J. Wesley Hines, Roger Horn, Baoshan Huang, David Icove, Richard Komistek, Jimmy Mays, Anatoli Melechko, Olga Ovchinnikova, Jared Pendleton, Hairong Qi, Carl Sapp, Xiang Shu, Dale Stansberry, Tse-Wei Wang, Jie (Jayne) Wu, and Ning Xue.

Melissa Shivers, assistant vice chancellor for student life and strategic initiatives, was elected to serve as director of SACSA/NASPA Region III’s New Professionals Institute. NASPA is the largest national student affairs association, and SACSA is a regional student affairs association.

Bonnie Hufford, an instructor in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, was the honoree of the 35th Front Page Follies, hosted by the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists. She also was recognized for outstanding public service in journalism and through the American Cancer Society during a program at the Bijou Theatre.

Several faculty members received Fulbright Scholar grants to teach and do research abroad: Wanda Costen, associate professor in Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management, is in Jamaica; Scott Frey, professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice, is in Vietnam; and Rebecca Klenk, lecturer in Interdisciplinary Programs and affiliated faculty with the Department of Anthropology and the Disaster, Displacement, and Human Rights Program, will be going to India. Timothy Young, a professor in the Forest Products Center at the Institute of Agriculture, is in Austria.

Micah JessupMicah Jessup, associate professor, was recently a featured author on the Geological Society of America's website. He and eleven other scientists were invited to submit essays as part of the GSA’s 125th anniversary celebration.

Bob HatcherBob Hatcher, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences, will be honored by having a GSA Penrose Conference focusing on continental collision mountain-building processes held in his honor next spring in Asheville, North Carolina. Penrose Conferences are small, highly prestigious meetings held several times a year.

Brent MallinckrodtBrent Mallinckrodt, psychology professor, received a “Best in Science” award from the American Psychological Association for outstanding career contributions in counseling psychology. A fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, he has published ninety peer-reviewed articles or book chapters and received $4.1 million in federal funding for his research.

Abhijeet P. Borole, a joint faculty associate professor in chemical engineering, received a $150,000 grant from the Bureau of Reclamation for advanced water treatment technology research.

Nan Gaylord, associate professor of nursing and director of the Vine School Health Center, was honored for her work in the community at the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes awards.


Jessica Holman, interim principal at Knox County’s Inskip Elementary School and a doctoral student in the UT Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program, has been selected as a Jackson Scholar for the 2013–2015 academic years. She is one of fifty students chosen from across the United States. The program allows graduate students of color to take advantage of formal networking, mentoring, and professional development opportunities to enhance their career path in educational leadership.

Fan Xu and Ben Guo, doctoral students in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received a second-prize paper award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition in September.

Mariano Rodriguez-Cabal, a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has had his dissertation accepted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS. His work demonstrates that the presence of exotic invasive species and resulting loss of keystone species can lead to a cascade of local extinctions.

Maria Alejandra (Alé) Dalton is the third recipient of the Diversity Endowed Scholarship from Waller, Nashville’s oldest and largest law firm. The scholarship draws from a $100,000 endowment fund established in 2011 to honor students whose lives have been guided by the examples of Martin Luther King Jr.

Tabitha DarkoTabitha Darko, a senior in architecture who is a first-generation immigrant from Ghana, is a winner of the Gensler Diversity Internship and Scholarship. In addition to paying for her studies this year, the award provides her with a paid summer internship in Gensler’s regional office in San Francisco.

Robert Coop, a doctoral student, received the Best Poster Award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Joint Conference in August in Dallas, Texas.


In a competition sponsored by and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Division of Student Life’s S.E.E. (Safety, Environment and Education) Center won third place and a $10,000 award for "Alcohol and You." It is an online interactive alcohol education module created for First Year Studies 100, a course required for all freshmen.

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity nominated the College of Business Administration for the state’s Excellence in Partnership Award. Sponsored by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, the award recognizes organizations for expanding access to affordable housing. Since 2003, the College of Business Administration has partnered with Knoxville Habitat to build eleven homes.