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Bredesen Center

Tyvi Small interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement. Small currently serves as executive director of talent management, diversity, and community relations in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

“Tyvi has been instrumental in recruiting, developing, and supporting student success since joining UT in 2007,” said Davis. “At Tyvi’s core is a passion to help students succeed. He has spent his entire career working with young people and inspiring them to be the best they can be.”

The new position will be focused on student success. Small will lead efforts to coordinate existing student success programs and diversity initiatives across the university that support students, including those from underrepresented communities, veterans, students with disabilities, first-generation students, and students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Fall Dean’s List Now Posted

The fall 2018 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.

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Tony Bova and business partner Jeff Beegle pose for photos in Oak Ridge Friday, July 15, 2016. Bova and Beegle founded Grow Bioplastics, a company specializing in biodegradable plastic sheets used in landscaping and agriculture. (Adam Brimer / University of Tennessee)

Tony Bova and business partner Jeff Beegle pose for photos in Oak Ridge Friday, July 15, 2016. Bova and Beegle founded Grow Bioplastics, a company specializing in biodegradable plastic sheets used in landscaping and agriculture. (Adam Brimer / University of Tennessee)

Grow Bioplastics, a student startup, has received a $225,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. The award will fund research and development work on lignin-biomass-based biodegradable plastics for agricultural applications, specifically plastic mulches.

Grow Bioplastics’ team, led by co-founders Tony Bova and Jeff Beegle, will use the SBIR funding to create new biodegradable plastics from lignin, a waste product of the paper and biofuel industries. Bova is an energy science and engineering PhD candidate in UT’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. Beegle, a recent graduate with a master’s degree in microbiology, also completed his studies in the Bredesen Center.

The company’s biodegradable product offers an alternative to plastic mulch films used by farmers nationwide. Current nondegradable plastics must be removed at the end of each growing season and cannot be recycled. Grow Bioplastics’ biodegradable film can be plowed into the soil after each use, offering a solution to the additional labor costs and environmental impact of current films.

Continue reading at news.utk.edu.

Shannon Spencer from the Office of Sponsored Programs was awarded the 2017 National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) Travel Award. The Southeast Region of NCURA issues an annual $1,000 Travel Award to support a member to attend the region’s annual conference. These awards are issued through a competitive application process and awardees are selected based on service and contribution to the organization and professional development/institutional financial need. This is the first travel award the university has received from NCURA.
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