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Recognitions, October 21

Please send faculty, staff, and student recognitions to Erin Chapin (erin.chapin@utk.edu).

  • Physics professor Robert Grzywacz has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. The organization is honoring him for his contributions to the field, including his work to help discover a new element on the periodic table. Grcywacz serves as director of the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Nuclear Physics and Applications.
  • The Board of Trustees approved a proposal Friday to award four honorary doctoral degrees, three from UT Knoxville and one from the Institute of Agriculture. The awardees include an Apollo astronaut, a communication industry executive, a former Tennessee governor, and an entrepreneur.
    • Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt
    • Kenneth W. Lowe
    • Philip Bredesen
    • James Herbert
  • Erica Davis, student in the College of Law who recently received a prestigious Brower Youth Award, is working to help the environment while advocating for and celebrating Appalachian communities and mountain cultures. Through Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, Davis conducted research into oil and gas severance taxes (given the decline in the coal industry), ultimately resulting in a bill, SB1944/HB1881, raising the severance tax on coal restriction and directing the revenues back to the districts from which the resources are mined, benefitting their communities specifically.
  • Four faculty members have been named SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows and will participate in the 2016-2017 program. The four faculty members receiving these grant funds are:
    • Suzie Allard
    • Charles Collins
    • Beauvais Lyons
    • Matthew M. Mench
  • John McRae, professor in the School of Architecture, has led more than 70 students to design buildings for the community of Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti, over the past six years. Those structures included a medical facility, housing, and a school. When Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti this month, part of the school’s roofing system was ripped off its foundation. Students in the College of Architecture & Design are working to raise $5,000 through Haiti Hurricane Rebuild Project via VOLstarter, UT’s crowdfunding site, in order to purchase new building materials for the roof system.
  • Mark DeKay, professor of architecture in the College of Architecture & Design, recently delivered a keynote address at the 2016 Architectural Education Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa. His presentation, “Exploring New Terrains: The Next Architecture School,” offered solutions to issues facing the higher education system in post-apartheid South Africa, stressed the value of creating a collaborative work and school culture and proposed a solution to the climate crisis through carbon-neutral design education.