The end of April brings; a new Director of Diversity and Community Relations appointed at Haslam College of Business; six UT seniors honored as 2020 Torchbearers; TCE sophomore receives $10,000 STEM grant; and Four UT researchers recognized with the 2020 Research and Creative Achievement Award.
Clarence Vaughn III joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business as director of diversity and community relations in early April. He takes the reins from Tyvi Small, who was elevated to UT’s vice chancellor for diversity and engagement.
Vaughn will provide strategic leadership in creating an integrated vision and shared responsibility for facilitating the college’s diversity goals and for fostering and supporting a campus culture that respects and appreciates individual differences. Through collaboration with offices across the college and university, he will advance diversity and inclusion in the university’s research and educational missions, creating a welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff.
Six outstanding seniors have been recognized by the University of Tennessee for their academic achievement, leadership, and service with the university’s highest student honor: the Torchbearer award. Torchbearers are seniors who embody the Volunteer spirit while demonstrating academic excellence and a commitment to serving others.
The 2020 Torchbearers:
- Mustafa Ali-Smith, of Nashville, is a December 2019 graduate of the Haslam College of Business with a major in public administration and a minor in political science.
- John Calvin Bryant, of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, is studying food science with plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in developmental pediatrics.
- Natalie Campbell, of Knoxville, is a member of the College Scholars program, double majoring in legal and political philosophy and disability studies.
- Emma Heins, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, is a senior studying geology and environmental studies with a concentration in political science and a minor in public health.
- Nicholas Ross, of Johnson City, Tennessee, is a Chancellor’s Honors student studying chemical engineering.
- Taylor Washington, of Memphis, is a Haslam Scholar studying political science with a concentration in public administration and Africana studies and a minor in public policy analytics.
To celebrate the students and their accomplishments, each Torchbearer received a video call last week from Chancellor Plowman with her congratulations. Friends and family of the seniors were also invited in on the call.
Kay Howell received exciting news to help cap off her sophomore year in a big way. She earned a $10,000 Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship that will support her pursuit of double majors in industrial engineering and mathematics.
Her study focus in Industrial and Science Engineering (ISE) is in reliability and maintainability engineering, supply chain and logistics, human factors, and ergonomics. Even before landing the new scholarship, she felt grateful for the guidance she has received in both of her majors.
“I would like to thank all of the faculty and staff in the Office of Engineering Diversity, the mathematics department, and the industrial & systems engineering department for their never-ending support,” said Howell. “I would like to give a special thanks to my mentors Kevin Sukanek, a senior lecturer in mathematics, Jalonda Thompson, the assistant director of Engineering Diversity Programs, and Travis Griffin, the director of Engineering Diversity Programs.”
The Lockheed Martin scholarship will help Howell continue to excel in her academic career without financial burden as she works toward her ultimate goal of obtaining both an Master’s degree in reliability and maintainability engineering and an MBA degree.
Four UT researchers have been recognized with the 2020 Research and Creative Achievement Award at the Chancellor’s Award (virtual) Banquet. Research and Creative Achievement honors are bestowed to senior faculty in recognition of excellence in research, scholarship, and creative achievement.
The 2020 Recipients:
- Daniel Feller, a professor in the Department of History, is an American historian with a specialty in the 19th century.
- Matthew Gray, a professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, is a disease ecologist in the UT Institute of Agriculture Center for Wildlife Health.
- Mingzhou Jin is a professor and associate head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and director of the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment.
- David Mandrus is the Jerry and Kay Henry Endowed Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Award recipients are typically celebrated during the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet, hosted each spring to recognize students, faculty, staff, and friends of UT for their extraordinary achievements. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s banquet had to be canceled. View the entire list of recipients here.