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Architecture and Design


Tyvi Small Named Permanent Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement

Tyvi Small, vice chancellor for diversity and engagement, places his handprint on the Rock on February 20, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges

Tyvi Small, vice chancellor for diversity and engagement, places his handprint on the Rock on February 20, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges

Tyvi Small, who has been serving as the interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement since December, will take on the role permanently.

“Tyvi has proven himself to be a compassionate, thoughtful, and creative leader who has built strong relationships based on trust and respect across our campus and the broader community,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “Through his experience as a first-generation student and his various roles on campus, he understands the importance that mattering and belonging play in student success.”

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Three businesses owned by students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, were awarded a total of $25,000 in the fall 2018 Boyd Venture Challenge. The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business hosted the seed-fund grant competition.

Start-up companies Qardian Labs, Winter Innovations and Quantum Lock were selected from a group of six finalists. A panel of five judges determined the funding awards.

“We saw an extremely impressive group of companies pitch this semester,” said Tom Graves, operations director of the Anderson Center. “The compelling presentations and potential shown by all of the companies presented the judges with a significant challenge.”

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Normandy Scholars program during the spring 2018 semester. Students in the program will study World War II in a wider context by examining how social, cultural, political and technological shifts affect how societies react to and commemorate past conflicts in their national histories. Only 15 students were accepted from the highly selective pool, including Sydney Bittinger, 3rd-year Architecture; Patrick Keogh, 3rd-year Interior Architecture; Autumn Ragland, 2nd-year Architecture; and Jonathan Winfiele, 3rd-year Architecture.

Katy Chiles Receives NEH Fellowship

Katy Chiles, associate professor of English and affiliate faculty of Africana Studies, received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowship for the 2018-19 academic year to support her book project, Raced Collaboration in Antebellum America. The project is the first comprehensive study of the crucial role collaboration played in early African American and Native American literatures. Chiles’s focus of study is early American literature and critical race theory – a field that includes a commitment to social justice. In her book, she will investigate the ways African American and Native American writers collaborated to speak out about the injustices they experienced.

Bell to Serve as Acting Dean of CEHHS

Sherry Mee Bell, head of the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, is now acting dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Her appointment was announced January 12 by Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick and took effect immediately. She is stepping in for Dean Bob Rider, who is on medical leave.

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summer 2017 dean’s list has been posted online.

To qualify for the dean’s list, an undergraduate student must earn a term grade point average of 3.80 to 4.00 (summa cum laude), 3.65 to 3.79 (magna cum laude), or 3.50 to 3.64 (cum laude). Students must complete at least 12 credit hours, not counting work taken on a satisfactory/no-credit basis, to be eligible.

The list is searchable by semester, name, hometown, state, and county (Tennessee only).

For the Third Year in a Row, Students Place in International Competition

Cullen Sayegh and Samantha Sowell at the competitionFor the third year in a row, students from Kevin Stevens’s third-year Architecture studio have placed in an international steel design competition. Cullen Sayegh and Samantha Sowell earned an honorable mention in the 17th Annual Steel Design Student Competition in August with their project “Rhizome Terminal”.  The competition is administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction.

In all, 213 designs from universities around the world were judged in the category, and only five awards were given.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to see how their work compares on a national scale,” said Stevens. “I’m always impressed that our third-year students are competing on this level this early in their careers.  It really shows the strength of our college as a whole,” he said.

In 2016, Janusz Ziobrowski, Karolina Rachwal and Yiwen Wu received an honorable mention, and in 2015, Kristin Bowman and Emanuel Huber-Feely also placed at the honorable mention level.

Webster Appointed NORDP Liaison to National Institute of Health

Jennifer Webster, a research development manager in the Office of Research and Engagement, has been appointed as the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) Liaison to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) effective September 1, 2017.

As NORDP liaison, Webster will be part of the larger Strategic Alliances Committee. Her responsibilities will include disseminating information related to research development to the NORDP membership, as well as assessing how NORDP can be more actively involved with the Liaison organization.


Dr. Elias Fernandez, Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology, has been awarded a new R15 award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for his project, “The Role of Allostery in CAR Transactivation.” NIH has established the R15 Award to stimulate research at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate training for a significant number of the nation’s research scientists but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. The award provides funding for small-scale, new or ongoing health-related research projects.

Gross Named NIMBioS Director, Chosen as Fellow

Louis J. Gross has been named the new NIMBioS director. A distinguished UT professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and mathematics, Gross is the founding director of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) and director of UT’s Institute for Environmental Modeling. He has also been chosen as a member of the inaugural class of fellows of the Society for Mathematical Biology. His research focuses on computational and mathematical ecology, with applications to plant ecology, conservation biology, natural resource management, and landscape ecology.

Alderman to Study Role of Geography, Geospatial Intelligence During Civil Rights Era

Derek Alderman, a UT professor of geography, has received a three-year $373,000 National Science Foundation grant to explore those geospatial tactics and determine what can be learned about patterns of racial inequality. Alderman will also examine how groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) collected and leveraged geospatial intelligence data to bolster their activist efforts. The findings will be crucial to advancing modern knowledge of geospatial intelligence, particularly since many of the issues of the civil rights era are still relevant today. It also would help define how we view African American resistance and geography in general, Alderman said.

Student, Faculty Design/Build Project Recognized with Statewide Award of Excellence

The multi-awarded Beardsley Farm Education Center has earned statewide recognition from the Tennessee American Institute of Architects. The project, a product of the college’s successful design/build program, received the Design Award of Excellence, the organization’s highest honor, during its state convention in Memphis this month.Led by professors Jennifer Akerman and Bob French, students and faculty designed and largely built the 1,200-square-foot center at CAC Beardsley Community Farm, an urban farm that serves those in need in Knoxville. The structure used more than 30,000 bricks donated by General Shale to provide a classroom, office spaces and restrooms for the farm. Students also designed and built an amphitheater for the outdoor classroom.


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