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.”
For the second consecutive year, the UT Libraries ranks 23rd among public research university libraries in the United States, according to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a coalition of 124 major research libraries in the US and Canada, including the National Library of Medicine and the Library of Congress.
UT Libraries rose to 42nd among all public and private university libraries on measures of investment in collections and staffing—an improvement of two places from last year’s ranking.
“We get excited about the more than two million visitors we see each year,” said Steve Smith, dean of libraries. “But the ARL rankings remind us of what our library users can do both in the libraries and beyond.”
Karen Lloyd, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has received a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to conduct research on the effects of thawing permafrost on the environment.
Permafrost—ground that remains below freezing for more than two years—is a natural reservoir of soil organic carbon. As it thaws, microbes break down the newly available carbon in the soil, possibly resulting in a flux of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Lloyd’s research will focus on this process, studying the production and recycling of greenhouse gases in permafrost microbes.
“The big reason we’re doing this is to understand what happens when this carbon becomes available to microbial processes,” Lloyd said. “We’re dialing deep into the microbial communities that live there and how they’re taking different types of organic matter under different conditions and what they actually do to it.”
HBG Design, a nationally recognized architecture and design firm located in Memphis, Tenn., awarded three students with the HBG Design International Design Award (INDECOM).
Michael Travis received the 2019 HBG INDECOM Award of Excellence for his project, The Drift of Vallisaari, from the Finland Summer Architecture Institute in summer 2019. The study abroad semester was led by Micah Rutenberg and Scott Wall. Travis received a cash prize of $2,500.
Haley Dennis was selected for the Award of Merit ($1,500) for her project, Ground, Sky, and the Space in Between, from the Finland institute, and Daniela Neal received Honorable Mention ($1,000) for her project, Aviary at Tor Fiscale, from the Arkansas Rome Center attended in spring 2019.