There’s been a lot to celebrate lately! A UT alumna was named a 2020 Rhodes Scholar—UT’s ninth; another student won UT’s very first Mitchell Scholarship; four faculty members received NSF Early Career awards; two faculty were named AAAS fellows; a UT professor is among the most highly cited researchers; the Haslam College of Business MBA program ranked 50th in the nation; two English professors received recognition for their work; and a former Earth and Planetary Sciences professor was posthumously honored with a special journal issue.
Recognitions, November 13
At 46, in the midst of a successful career as a commercial musician, music director, teacher, and performer, Dennis Belisle decided to enroll in UT’s School of Music to pursue a new dream—being a composer.
He completed a bachelor’s degree in sacred music in spring 2018 and immediately began working on his Master of Music degree in composition degree with a theory pedagogy certificate.
Belisle graduates in December, and he’s wrapping up his studies on a very high note: members of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will perform his musical compositions during a special concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 15, at the Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center.
Belisle received the inaugural Robert W. Pedersen Memorial Research Award to fund the performance. Pedersen, a UT alumnus, left money to the university in an endowment earmarked “for awards for outstanding performance by students and/or faculty.”
Recognitions, October 30
A UT biophysicist has been awarded a $1.84 million Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute for General Medical Science (NIGMS) to investigate how the 3D folded structure of the human genome reacts to physical stress in health and disease.
The award provides funding to operate Rachel Patton McCord’s lab and research program. McCord is an assistant professor in UT’s Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology.
NIGMS is among the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The MIRA program provides long-term stability—the funding is granted over five years—and allows for flexibility if the direction of a project shifts.
McCord’s project seeks to clarify the role of a chromosome’s structure in its biological response to physical stress, which can inform future disease diagnosis and treatment.
Recognitions, October 16
A University of Tennessee Extension professional has been recognized by national organizations for his contribution to national Cooperative Extension programs. Matthew Devereaux, a human development specialist in Family and Consumer Sciences and interim assistant dean of UT Extension, has been honored with the National Excellence in Extension Award.
Recognitions, October 2
Tyvi Small, who has been serving as the interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement since December, will take on the role permanently.
“Tyvi has proven himself to be a compassionate, thoughtful, and creative leader who has built strong relationships based on trust and respect across our campus and the broader community,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “Through his experience as a first-generation student and his various roles on campus, he understands the importance that mattering and belonging play in student success.”