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Recognitions, October 16

UT Human Development Specialist Recognized with National Excellence in Extension Award

Matthew Devereaux, interim assistant dean and head for UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, has been selected to receive the National Excellence in Extension Award from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Cooperative Extension, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Devereaux's research has focused on best practices for positively developing youth in afterschool settings. He will receive the award at a ceremony on November 10 in San Diego, California during APLU's 132nd Annual Meeting. Photo by T. Salvador, courtesy UTIA.

Matthew Devereaux, interim assistant dean and head for UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, has been selected to receive the National Excellence in Extension Award from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Cooperative Extension, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Devereaux’s research has focused on best practices for positively developing youth in afterschool settings. He will receive the award at a ceremony on November 10 in San Diego, California during APLU’s 132nd Annual Meeting. Photo by T. Salvador, courtesy UTIA.

A University of Tennessee Extension professional has been recognized by national organizations for his contribution to national Cooperative Extension programs. Matthew Devereaux, a human development specialist in Family and Consumer Sciences and interim assistant dean of UT Extension, has been honored with the National Excellence in Extension Award.

Presented by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, the National Excellence in Extension Award is given annually to one Cooperative Extension professional who excels at programming, provides visionary leadership and makes a positive impact on constituents served. Cooperative Extension programs are presented in all 50 states and five U.S. territories where more than 32,000 Cooperative Extension professionals serve.
Currently serving as the interim assistant dean for UT Extension, Devereaux’s research on child and adolescent development focuses on social and emotional development through the school year. His research has shown that students have greater gains in grades and standardized test scores when their curriculum incorporates significant social and emotional learning programs—programs that teach students how to recognize, understand, label, express and regulate emotions. Devereaux has worked to develop innovative and highly impactful youth programs and build a set of best practices for positively developing youth in afterschool settings.

Students Place in 2019 ACSA International Housing Design Competition

We serve communities near and far with our exceptional designs. As a land-grant institution, UT is committed to advancing the greater good, and we give back in extraordinary ways. We’re proud of our volunteer spirit as we use our design knowledge to change the world.

Three of our students were awarded third place in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture 2019 HERE + NOW International Student Design Competition for their designs of a new type of housing in Haiti.

Through the competition, architecture students explore residential architecture on an international scale.

The theme for the competition was “A House for the 21st Century,” requiring designs that were informed by context, culture and vernacular and that embraced modern technology, energy efficient practices and resiliency.

Recent Interior Architecture graduate Nicole Hamel and Architecture 4th-year students Allie Ward and Grayson Word won with their housing design, “Haitian Housing: Social and Cultural Evolution Through Transitional Space.”

“Haitian Housing” proposes a new type of housing in Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti, that blends interior privacy and exterior social interactions in the rural areas of Haiti. Hamel, Ward and Word chose to highlight the space’s adaptability for future uses, such as family growth, generational movement within the household, large scale social interaction and societal changes.

Holly Mercer Elected to HathiTrust Board

Holly Mercer

Holly Mercer, senior associate dean at the UT Libraries, has been elected to the Board of Governors for HathiTrust, a shared digital repository for content contributed by major academic and research libraries.

HathiTrust is an international community of research libraries committed to the long-term curation and availability of the cultural record. The shared repository assures long-term preservation of the partner libraries’ digital content as well as persistent access to the digital collections. UT Knoxville joined HathiTrust in 2014.

Five Receive International Recognition for Research

Four recent graduates and one current student from UT have been named winners in the prestigious 2019 Global Undergraduate Awards competition.

The Global Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest international academic awards program, recognizing excellent research and original work across the sciences, humanities, business, and creative arts. The top 10 percent of students in their respective categories are honored as highly commended. Regional winners are the best in their category representing one of seven international regions in the competition, and a final global winner is selected in each category.

UT’s winners were Juhi Patel, a spring 2019 graduate, who was named a global winner; Pete Paueksakon, also a spring graduate, who was a regional winner; Tyler Hounshell, a fall 2018 graduate, who was a regional winner; Dara Carney-Nedelman, a spring 2019 graduate, who was highly commended; and senior William White, who was highly commended.

“We are proud that our students are able to compete at such a high-level international forum for research,” said Marisa Moazen, assistant vice chancellor for research engagement and director of undergraduate research. “Almost 20 percent of the student body conducts research. This year, we saw a 150 percent increase in campus submissions, but we would love to see an even greater increase next year.”

Food Ordering App Wins Fall 2019 Vol Court Pitch Competition

The Vol Court 2019 Fall winners were, left to right: Second place, Andrew Swafford for Andy’s Beekeeping LLC, a business providing all-natural honey and beeswax products; first place, Ashley Chen and Frank Gao for YouEat, a mobile application offering a social solution to online food ordering; and third place, Joshua Cook for The Half Windsor, a company providing premium-quality bespoke suits and custom shirts.

The Vol Court 2019 Fall winners were, left to right: Second place, Andrew Swafford for Andy’s Beekeeping LLC, a business providing all-natural honey and beeswax products; first place, Ashley Chen and Frank Gao for YouEat, a mobile application offering a social solution to online food ordering; and third place, Joshua Cook for The Half Windsor, a company providing premium-quality bespoke suits and custom shirts.

YouEat, a mobile application offering a social solution to online food ordering, won first place in the fall 2019 Vol Court Pitch Competition hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

Seniors Ashley Chen and Frank Gao pitched YouEat in the semiannual competition. Gao is an industrial engineering major from Tazewell, Tennessee; Chen is an industrial engineering major and entrepreneurship minor from Los Angeles, California.

The app, nicknamed Yeat by Chen and Gao, allows users to interface during the ordering process, adding to open orders to combine delivery or order pickup.

“When seeing a friend or co-worker’s lunch, all of us have thought, ‘Oh, that looks so good. I’d like to go get some, but do I have time?’ Yeat gives users the option to hop on orders before they’re placed, so users can choose how to spend that extra 20 minutes during lunch,” Gao said.

The app will save users time by providing a speedy solution to combining group orders while saving delivery fees. Yeat also offers incentives for users who choose to pick up orders.

“Yeat is all about saving users time and rewarding users for picking up lunch,” Gao said.

Wilhelm Awarded NSF Grant for Giant Virus Research

Steven Wilhelm, the Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor of Microbiology, received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct research on using genetic tools to study giant viruses. The grant comes as part of the NSF’s Enabling Discovering through Genomic Tools (EDGE) program.

The EDGE program allows biologists to develop genomic tools to better understand and study the genetics of an organism’s physical and functional characteristics.

Giant viruses are a recent discovery in the field of microbiology, with hundreds of new genes previously unknown to science. The giant viruses have collected genes from all across biology, creating a kind of genomic mosaic. Despite a wealth of information provided by the genes, it is difficult for researchers to study the genes’ functions or purpose without genetic tools.

Writing Center to Be Named for Judi Herbert

Judi and Jim Herbert

Judi and Jim Herbert

More than 50 years ago, Judi Herbert graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a bachelor’s degree in English.

On Friday, October 11, the Writing Center, housed in UT’s College of Arts and Sciences, was dedicated in recognition of her long history of support for the center and the university.

Herbert and her husband, Jim, set up the Jim and Judi Herbert Excellence in Writing Endowment in 2017 to support undergraduate tutoring, services to upper-division students who are not English majors, and the development of workshops for faculty across academic disciplines to discuss best practices for designing and assessing writing assignments.

“It makes no difference what students are doing—nuclear physics, business, science, agriculture—they still need to be able to express it,” Herbert said. “It’s one thing to know it, but to be able to communicate it to someone else is very important.”

Alexandre Receives ASM Award for Advancement of a Diverse Community of Microbiologists

Gladys Alexandre, professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology (BCMB), received the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) William A. Hinton Award for Advancement of a Diverse Community of Microbiologists in September 2019.

The award recognizes the outstanding contributions of professors encouraging and training minorities and increasing diversity in microbiology. The ASM gives the award in memory of William A. Hinton, one of the first African Americans to join the ASM.