The National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER), formerly part of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a National Science Foundation-supported center, is now under the direction of the Office of Research and Engagement. NISER will be part of a larger initiative at ORE: the Evaluation Office for Learning and Visioning Excellence (eVOLve).
Recognitions, April 3
Seniors in the Graphic Design program partnered with AC Entertainment to design posters for Big Ears Festival 2019, and one student’s design was printed as a limited-edition poster sold only at the festival.
Led by Professor Emeritus Deb Shmerler, Graphic Design students have designed posters for the festival since 2015. In 2017, alumna Anna Woodard (BFA, ’12), Christina Persico and her Partnerships team at AC Entertainment learned of the students’ project and worked to find a way to commemorate their stellar designs.
In preparation for the 2019 festival, which was held March 21-24, Woodard and others from AC Entertainment reviewed the students’ designs and chose senior Alexa Pavon’s poster to be printed as a limited-edition poster. Copies of her poster were sold during the festival to attendees from around the world. In addition, all of the students’ posters were displayed in The Standard, one the main venues for the festival.
Recognitions, April 4
Gross Receives 2018 SEC Faculty Achievement Award
A UT faculty member who uses computational and mathematical tools to address environmental problems has received a top award from the Southeastern Conference.
Louis Gross was honored with the 2018 SEC Faculty Achievement Award, the SEC announced today. He is an Alvin and Sally Beaman Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics. He also is director of the UT Institute for Environmental Modeling and of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), based at UT.
The award recognizes professors from the 14 SEC schools who have outstanding records in teaching and scholarship. Honorees from each university receive a $5,000 honorarium and become their university’s nominee for SEC Professor of the Year, to be awarded this spring. The Professor of the Year recipient will receive an additional $15,000 honorarium and be recognized at an SEC awards dinner in Destin, Florida.
McClung Museum Wins Award from Museum Association
The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture received a Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) Award of Excellence for the museum’s special exhibition Fish Forks and Fine Furnishings: Consumer Culture in the Gilded Age, which ran from May 26 to August 27, 2017.
The exhibition examined how Gilded Age (1870–1900) consumer goods––from fish forks to fashionable dress, furniture, and china––were visible and powerful symbols of wealth, power, and social class. It was curated by the museum’s Assistant Director and Curator Catherine Shteynberg and featured more than 100 objects from the museum’s permanent collections as well as items from other museums and private lenders. Fish Forks and Fine Furnishings is one of the museum’s most visited special exhibits in recent history; it incorporated a variety of public programming, including lectures, free family fun days and stroller tours, summer camps, and a cocktail party fundraiser.
Recognitions, August 4
Fernandez Wins R15 Award from National Institute of General Medical Sciences
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
New UT-Based National Institute Explores Evaluation Science
A new national institute has been established at UT to provide independent evaluations of research and education programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
The National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER) will provide evaluation services to academia, government, and the nonprofit sector and will also generate new knowledge about the ways in which integrated STEM programs function successfully.