Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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Students Continue Research Despite the Pandemic

In true Volunteer fashion, students at UT persevered through the pandemic. Showing resilience and flexibility, student discovery continued throughout the spring semester all across campus. This effort was aided by the faculty and staff that continued to mentor, advise, instruct, and lead through the transition to online instruction and remote work. Through it all, students continued to contribute to the entire spectrum of UT research efforts. 

panoramic view of Great Smoky Mountains National park

A landscape shot of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Designing New Visitor Interactions in National Parks

During spring 2020, Landscape Architecture students in Adjunct Assistant Professor Andrew Madl’s studio redesigned the ways in which we see and interact with our national parks. They were challenged to see the bigger picture of design and how design affects our environment and its many systems. The students learned about the greater complexities and identities of these parks and researched their systems and operations and how these impact the environment, animals and the public as a whole. By understanding how park maintenance and construction, tourism and nature are interdependent and interrelated, students are becoming more aware about the larger impact of design. 

Interior Architecture Students See Las Vegas in New Light

Hoover dam

Kim’s studio traveled to Las Vegas in February to tour the Las Vegas strip, Hoover Dam (pictured), Death Valley and more.

Third- and fourth-year students of the School of Interior Architecture in Adjunct Assistant Professor Hochung Kim’s studio traveled to Las Vegas and surrounding areas in February to see the city in a new light. Instead of seeing “Sin City,” students saw Las Vegas as a city of innovative potential. During their visit, students gained an understanding about how environment influences design, and back in Knoxville, they used this newfound perspective as a tool to better develop their studio projects.

Agriculture Student Develops Insect Outreach for Local Students

Micah Willis, graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC), created infographics and communication outreach initiatives for the Mega:Bitess program in the Herbert College of Agriculture’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Willis’ project included the development of recruitment materials, online experiments, infographics, and retention materials allowing the program to continue during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. 

Women as Leaders in the Turfgrass Industry

In an effort to understand what motivates women to pursue careers in turfgrass, Devon Carroll, doctoral candidate in the Department of Plant Sciences, and Carrie Stephens, professor in ALEC, performed a qualitative analysis of how women have sustained their leadership role in the turfgrass industry. Thirteen women from diverse backgrounds were identified as industry leaders and interviewed for 30–90 minutes each to gain a broad understanding of the lived experiences of women in the turfgrass industry. The interviewed women were from a vast geographic area of three countries and included three Canadian provinces and nine states.

Olli bus at Local Motors

Students climb in an Olli bus while visiting Local Motors

Architecture Students Propose Innovation Headquarters

Fourth-year Architecture students in Adjunct Assistant Professor James Rose’s Integration studio partnered with Local Motors to propose concepts for a design and innovation center for the company’s Knoxville microfactory. Students developed aspects of the building to showcase large-scale additive manufacturing. This opportunity not only allowed students to demonstrate their design abilities, but it also taught them how to work with clients and provided insight into the architectural applications of 3D printing.

Undergraduate Students Conduct Summer Research Virtually

The Office of Undergraduate Research continued summer programs despite stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. The office reported 53 students conducting research virtually through the Summer Undergraduate Research Group Experience program, with one group specifically studying marketing initiatives around COVID-19. Approximately 40 students conducted research through the Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program. The office also conducted a virtual version of the Summer Research Scholars program and held a summer STEM symposium.

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