These outstanding teachers, researchers, and leaders have distinguished records of research or creative achievement and are representative of the highest standards in teaching and exemplary university service.
Suzie Allard is a professor of information sciences and associate dean for research in the College of Communication and Information and the director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies. At UT since 2003, she has a distinguished record of research, teaching, and service locally, nationally, and internationally.
Amy Elias is a Lindsay Young Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and has served as director of the UT Humanities Center since 2017. She authored Sublime Desire: History and Post-1960s Fiction (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), and won the George and Barbara Perkins Book Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN). Elias is the principal founder of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) and has served in a variety of roles for that organization. She hosted the association’s launch conference in Knoxville in 2009, featuring work by 115 speakers from China, the UK, the US, Japan, Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. She is also the founding co-editor-in-chief of ASAP’s scholarly publication, ASAP/Journal. Elias has served on the executive boards of both ASAP and ISSN, and on book prize committees for ASAP, ISSN, and the Modern Language Association. She has a bachelor’s from Wilkes University and a master’s and PhD from the Pennsylvania State University, all in English.
William “Bill” Fox
William “Bill” Fox, the William B. Stokely Distinguished Professor of Business and director of UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), is the leading national expert on Internet taxation and has extensive expertise in state tax policy, public finance (operations between government and private sectors), and fiscal federalism. He has served as a consultant on finance, taxation, and economic development in the United States and in developing countries including Rwanda, Egypt, and Jordan. He has worked with multinational organizations such as the World Bank in creating and revamping tax structures for foreign governments.
Louis Gross is the Alvin and Sally Beaman Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics and a James R. Cox Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. At UT since 1979, Gross is an accomplished researcher who has authored more than 80 research papers as well as several books and software packages. He played an integral role in establishing the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), and in 2017 he became one of the 18 inaugural fellows of the Society for Mathematical Biology.
Rosalind I. J. Hackett
Rosalind I. J. Hackett is a Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has held fellowships at Harvard University, as well as the University of Notre Dame, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Groningen. Her most recent books are New Media and Religious Transformations in Africa (2015) and The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism (2015), both of which she co-edited. She is past president and honorary life member of the International Association for the History of Religions and vice president of the International Council on Philosophy and Human Sciences.
J. Wesley Hines
J. Wesley Hines is head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering in the Tickle College of Engineering. The department is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious nuclear engineering programs in the country. At UT since 1995, Hines is known as an outstanding educator at both the undergraduate and graduate level, engaged in curriculum development, development of online education, and the use of distance education. He is an internationally recognized innovative leader whose research has produced more than 130 research projects with awards totaling more than $14 million.
Sally Horn, professor of geography, examines global environmental change and human-environment interactions during the Quaternary period of Earth’s history, which began some 2.6 million years ago and includes the Ice Ages of the Pleistocene as well as the warmer Holocene epoch in which we live today. With students and other collaborators, she has studied the impacts of climate change and prehistoric and modern human activity on vegetation and landscapes of the Southeastern US, Central and South America, and the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic regions. Horn helped organize and now directs UT’s Initiative for Quaternary Paleoclimate Research.
Veerle Keppens is a professor and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, which she joined in 2003. Her research is focused on the fundamental properties of materials, particularly their elastic properties—how they behave under applied stress—and their lattice dynamics (vibrations at the atomic level). Keppens earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium in 1989 and 1995, respectively, and has previously been awarded both Fulbright and Humboldt Fellowships for her work.
Suzanne Lenhart is a professor of mathematics. Her work in the field of mathematical biology has been used in devising drug strategies to treat HIV and making recommendations to change the chest pressure pattern in CPR. Her work also has been used to help combat environmental problems such as black bear population control, fishery maintenance, and control of the gypsy moth. Lenhart has received grants from the National Science Foundation almost continually since 1985. She is associate director for education, outreach, and diversity at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). She was the director of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in the Department of Mathematics for 15 years and is now the director of such a program for NIMBioS.
Beauvais Lyons is a professor of art known for his work as a printmaker and his expertise in contemporary art, art parody, mock documentation, and art censorship issues. His one-person exhibitions have been presented at more than 80 galleries and museums in the United States and abroad. Lyons is well known for his Hokes Archives, creating mock academic projects in archaeology, medicine, folk art, and zoology, and most recently is creating an imaginary circus. His prints are in numerous public collections, including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 2002 and a Santo Foundation Artist Award in 2014, and served as president of the UT Knoxville Faculty Senate in 2003–04 and 2017–18.
Matthew Mench most recently served as interim vice chancellor for research and engagement, leading the department through the COVID-19 pandemic initial response before returning as head of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering in the Tickle College of Engineering. His research focuses on electrochemical power conversion and storage including polymer electrolyte fuel cells, flow battery systems, and biological energy systems. He has also studied computational simulation of electrochemical power conversion and storage systems as well as simulation of the influence of rapidly evolving sociocultural factors on decision-making dynamics. Mench is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has held multiple leadership positions within the society. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate at the Pennsylvania State University and has been awarded numerous honors and recognitions over the years.
Aleydis Van de Moortel
Aleydis Van de Moortel is Lindsay Young Professor and head of the Department of Classics in the College of Arts and Sciences. At UT since 2002, Van de Moortel is a classical archaeologist who focuses primarily on the rise and decline of complex societies in the Bronze Age Aegean—the earliest in Europe. She has MAs from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and Texas A&M University as well as an MA and PhD from Bryn Mawr College. She co-directs the Mitrou Archaeological Project in central Greece, for which she has raised over $1.27 million in external funding, including three NEH grants, five grants from Harvard’s Loeb Classical Library Foundation, and numerous grants from the Institute of Aegean Prehistory. She also has been awarded two Fulbright fellowships.
Susan Riechert is a Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. At UT since 1973, Susan has done work on game theory that was pivotal in the field, and her research—consistently funded by the National Science Foundation—has produced more than 100 chapters and articles in top journals. Committed to preparing future generations of science teachers, Riechert created a groundbreaking outreach program, Biology in a Box, which is now used in 108 school systems in Tennessee and neighboring states. She also developed VolsTeach, which provides a STEM teaching minor to science, math, and engineering majors. Finally, she has served as an outstanding role model for women in biology and other sciences.
Shih-Lung Shaw holds the Alvin and Sally Beaman Professorship and Arts and Sciences Professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Geography. A Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), he is a recipient of the Edward L. Ullman Award for outstanding contributions to the field of transportation geography and the Outstanding Scholar Award in Regional Development and Planning, both from the Association of American Geographers (AAG). His research specializes in transportation, geographic information sciences, space–time analytics, human dynamics, and spatial data science. Shaw earned his undergraduate degree from National Taiwan University and has a master’s and PhD in geography from the Ohio State University.
Soren Sorensen is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences. At UT since 1985, Soren excels as an advisor for graduate students and was honored as Teacher of the Year in 2008 and 2013 by the Society of Physics Students. Soren is also the chair of STRIDE (Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence) and is passionate about educating the campus community on bias and diversity. He is a successful researcher who has produced more than 270 referreed papers that have been cited more than 15,500 times. Soren also plays an integral role at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which recognizes UT as a top research institute and provides research opportunities for our students and postdocs.
Dawnie Wolfe Steadman
Dawnie Wolfe Steadman is director of the Forensic Anthropology Center and a professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a past recipient of the Betty Lynn Hendrickson Professorship. Her primary role at the Forensic Anthropology Center is to generate and facilitate research—particularly novel technological applications—using the center’s resources, including the Bass Donated Skeletal Collection and the Anthropology Research Facility. Her research interests focus on forensic anthropology, bioarcheology, and human rights investigations. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and has served the board as vice president. Steadman earned her bachelor’s at the University of Arizona and both her master’s and PhD at the University of Chicago, all in anthropology. Before coming to UT she was a professor at Iowa State University and Binghamton University–State University of New York.
Gregory Stuart is a professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. At UT since 2008, Stuart is a clinical psychologist who studies the etiology, prevention, and treatment of intimate partner violence and substance misuse. He is editor-in-chief of Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment and a reviewer for 72 other scientific journals. His work has been funded by more than 40 grants equaling more than $25 million. He has been recognized for his work mentoring undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and faculty members.
Carol Tenopir, professor of information sciences in the College of Communication and Information, studies the ways the digital age affects how we retrieve and process information. She is director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies and director of research for the College of Communication and Information. A highly productive teacher and researcher, she has published and taught extensively about the impact of technology on reference librarians and scientists. She is the recipient of the 2004 International Information Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, she has won the 2009 Award of Merit from the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the ASIST 2002 Research Award, the 2000 ALISE Award for Teaching Excellence, and the 1993 Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award.
Leon Tolbert is the Min H. Kao Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Tickle College of Engineering and a faculty member in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. He is an adjunct participant at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and conducts joint research at the National Transportation Research Center. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Tennessee, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the IEEE Industry Applications Society, IEEE Power Electronics Society, and IEEE Power Engineering Society, with numerous professional awards and service honors. His research specializes in the areas of electric power conversion, application of wide bandgap power electronic devices, multilevel converters, electric vehicles, interface with renewable and distributed energy resources, and reactive power compensation and active filters. Tolbert received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD, all in electrical engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.