On Christmas Eve 2018, graduate student Jason Stubblefield drove to an acquaintance’s farm and was handed a brown paper bag with a sheep hide inside. The hide—which remains vacuum packed in a freezer—is going to be critical to a research project he’s doing with fellow grad student Karen Norwood.
Graduate Student Spotlight: Karen Norwood and Jason Stubblefield
Graduate Student Spotlight: Joe Strong
Joe Strong realized medical school wasn’t right for him in the summer before his senior year of college, leaving him little time to think of an alternate path. Through his volunteer work in the hospital and job shadowing in neurology clinics and other healthcare facilities, he knew he enjoyed working with older adults and wanted more opportunities to do so, but he was disenchanted with the roadblocks the insurance industry seemed to introduce into the care of these patients.
Graduate Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Mae Scott
During an introductory nuclear physics course her sophomore year, Elizabeth Mae Scott developed a need to understand things from their most basic, original structure. The course showed her how math becomes a language that physicists use to describe the world around them.
“Fundamental physics is a way to pry at the cosmos. It’s really fun to try to understand the tenets of how things work, to push the boundaries of how we describe our universe,” she said.
Scott earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics from Tulane University. Now a graduate student in nuclear physics at UT, she continues to push those boundaries as part of a collaborative experiment called Nab at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Graduate Student Spotlight: Zach Stumbo
The 2016 elections left many wondering how their lives might change with a new administration in the White House. For Zach Stumbo, a graduate student in theory and practice in teacher education, it meant accelerating his plans to get married. Stumbo and his partner feared a potential reversal or challenge to the Supreme Court ruling that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.
After 10 years of working in rural schools, Stumbo entered UT’s cultural studies in educational foundations program. As part of the Theory and Practice in Teacher Education program, Stumbo was able to combine his experience in the classroom with his social justice and equity interests. He discovered a lack of research on the experiences of married LGBT teachers in the US, and the foundation for his own research began to take shape.
Graduate Student Spotlight: Shelby Scott
In 2016, Louis Gross, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, presented to his Math Ecology students an article about the lack of gun violence research conducted in the United States.
He assigned his class to use mathematical modeling, a method of using equations to describe and predict phenomena in biology, to assess gun violence. When the project was over, one of his graduate students, Shelby Scott, decided to continue researching gun violence. She hasn’t stopped since.
“It was like there was a voice in my head telling me to pursue the topic,” said Scott. “Except the voice in my head was the media, my friends, and the government. It was the new stories of mass shootings every day—the stories of interpersonal violence and fatalities.”