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Faculty and Student Recognitions

Recognitions, May 4

The beginning of May brings additional honors and funding awards for UT faculty and students: Graduate Student in the College of Music Places First in International Piano Competition; UT Music Alumnus Named Composer Laureate of the State of Tennessee; UTSI Doctoral Student Receives DoD SMART Scholarship; Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Recognized by ACM.

Graduate Student Zhaohan Wang Places First in International Piano Competition

UT College of Music graduate student Zhaohan Wang’s piano skills were recently recognized with a significant honor: first place in the international Baroque Music Competition. The competition boasts competitors from more than 30 different countries across 20 different instruments, with ages of past finalists ranging from as young as 4 to as old as 77.  Wang’s performance, for which he won first place for piano in the 21+ age category, featured a performance of J.S. Bach’s Partita Bwv 825.

UT Alumnus Michael Kurek Named Composer Laureate of the State of Tennessee

UT College of Music alumnus Michael Kurek (BM Music Theory, 1977) has been blessed with a rare honor: to be named composer laureate of the state of Tennessee. Kurek’s career distinctions include an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Academy’s Charles Ives Award, and the Tanglewood Music Center’s Fromm Fellowship in Composition. His music, which has included a stylistic progression from modernism to postmodernism to a fully narrative traditionalism, has been performed live and/or heard on radio or TV throughout the U.S. and, internationally, multiple times in 43 other countries, including France, England, Germany, Japan, Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Russia, Portugal, Australia, Brazil, Italy, and Sweden.

Stokes Awarded DoD SMART Scholarship

Timothy (Michael) Stokes, a doctoral student at the UT Space Institute, was awarded the Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship. The award provides full tuition for up to five years, mentorship, a stipend, and full-time employment with the Department of Defense after graduation. The unique opportunity offers hands-on experience at one of over 200 innovative laboratories across the Army, Navy, Air Force, and larger Department of Defense.

Liu Recognized by ACM for Recent Paper

Assistant Professor Jian Liu and his Mobile Sensing and Intelligence Security (MOSIS) Lab have been recognized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for a recent paper. Liu is a co-author of the paper “BioFace-3D: Continuous 3D Facial Reconstruction Through Lightweight Single-ear Biosensors,” which was published at ACM MobiCom’2021, the top-tier conference in the field of mobile computing. The paper is currently featured on the website of ACM SIGMOBILE as a Research Highlight. Only four to five papers are selected for this exclusive research highlight each year.