More than a third of Ph.D. students have sought help for anxiety or depression caused by Ph.D. study, according to results of a global survey of 6,300 students from Nature.
Read more at insidehighered.com.
Three companies operated by students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, won recent pitch competitions across the country.
UT graduate student Lia Winter won first place and about $16,000 in prize money last week at an international pitch competition in Manitoba, Canada, for her patent-pending surgical device, EasyWhip.
Quantum Lock, founded by UT graduate student Erica Grant, won top prize in “What’s the Big Idea? 48-hour Launch” hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center competition on March 3.
Qardian Labs, founded by Sofia Tomov, won first place and $1,500 in the inaugural Scots Innovation Challenge hosted February 28 by Maryville College.
Read more about the student’s companies at news.utk.edu.
The 2016 elections left many wondering how their lives might change with a new administration in the White House. For Zach Stumbo, a graduate student in theory and practice in teacher education, it meant accelerating his plans to get married. Stumbo and his partner feared a potential reversal or challenge to the Supreme Court ruling that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.
After 10 years of working in rural schools, Stumbo entered UT’s cultural studies in educational foundations program. As part of the Theory and Practice in Teacher Education program, Stumbo was able to combine his experience in the classroom with his social justice and equity interests. He discovered a lack of research on the experiences of married LGBT teachers in the US, and the foundation for his own research began to take shape.
In 2016, Louis Gross, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, presented to his Math Ecology students an article about the lack of gun violence research conducted in the United States.
He assigned his class to use mathematical modeling, a method of using equations to describe and predict phenomena in biology, to assess gun violence. When the project was over, one of his graduate students, Shelby Scott, decided to continue researching gun violence. She hasn’t stopped since.
“It was like there was a voice in my head telling me to pursue the topic,” said Scott. “Except the voice in my head was the media, my friends, and the government. It was the new stories of mass shootings every day—the stories of interpersonal violence and fatalities.”
Maegen Rochner, a graduate student specializing in dendrochronology in the Department of Geography, is recreating a millennia of climate history one tree at a time. Armed with a chainsaw, a face shield, and hiking boots, she climbs the landslides and avalanches of the Beartooth Mountains in Montana and Wyoming searching for her next potential sample.
Tree-ring science, or dendrochronology, is a fundamental tool in understanding climatological and ecological histories of a location.
At the most basic level, tree rings show the amount of precipitation a region experiences in a year. When moisture is plentiful in the spring, a tree’s cells expand quickly, forming a light band. As the year progresses and the ground becomes more dry, the cells shrink, forming a thinner, darker band. One light and one dark band together constitute a year, with the variation in ring widths marking the different amount of moisture absorbed year to year.
Tree rings are also very dependent on temperature. The earlywood (light band) reflects the early growing season (spring and summer), and the latewood (dark band) reflects the later growing season (late summer and early fall) into dormancy (late fall, winter).
Wildfires, insect outbreaks, floods, droughts, and avalanches can alter the pattern, creating a unique “fingerprint” of that period that is present within all the trees of that location. Matching up the overlapping patterns from a sample with a known age to an older log of unknown age allows us to date that older sample. Continuing the process with older and older samples allows us to go back tens of thousands of years while giving us a more complete climatic picture of the area.