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KNOXVILLE -– As UT football enters a new era this season, another beloved campus tradition — the College of Arts and Sciences’ Pregame Faculty Showcase — celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The program begins Saturday before the Vols’ home opener against Western Kentucky University with “Master Class-less: BeaUTy and the Beats,” a showcase led by UT Director of Opera Carroll Freeman.

Freeman assures participants that this won’t be a stodgy lecture. Performance will be interspersed throughout the presentation, and Freeman will take a humorous look at some of the stereotypes of opera. He also will discuss opera performers and how the media is changing the industry.

Since 1989, the Pregame Faculty Showcase has introduced football fans to some of UT Knoxville’s most exceptional faculty members.

Each showcase is a 30-minute presentation, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. Free and open to the public, the presentations are held two hours before kickoff in the University Center Ballroom.

“On game days, we have a diverse crowd on campus that might not be here under other circumstances. With the Pregame Showcase, we hope to offer fans something else to look forward to on fall Saturdays,” said Bruce Bursten, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Lynn Champion, director of outreach and communications for the college and the program’s creator, said topics are chosen that spotlight key faculty and appeal to a wide audience.

“We have a loyal fan base,” she said. “Each year, people call me to see who is on the schedule. It also isn’t uncommon to see fans of the opposing team in our audience as well.”

The rest of the Showcase schedule is:

  • Sept. 12 — Louis Gross, the James R. Cox Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics and director of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, will present “Computational Ecology: Environmental Problem-Solving for the 21st Century.” He will engage the audience in a “research project” using black and white beans.
  • Sept. 26 — Aleydis Van De Moortel, associate professor of classics, will talk about her archaeological field work at prehistoric Mitrou, Greece.
  • Oct. 3 — Gregory Stuart, associate professor of psychology, will discuss the link between substance use and intimate partner violence.
  • Oct. 10 — Cynthia Peterson, professor of biochemistry and cellular molecular biology, will talk about her work to visualize human proteins too small to view even with the most powerful microscopes.
  • Oct. 31 — Jed Diamond, UT’s head of acting in the theater department, will relate tales of UT alumni who are working actors.
  • Nov. 7 (Homecoming) — Larry McKay, professor and head of the earth and planetary sciences department, will explain how geology and hydrology affect viruses and bacteria in groundwater and streams.
  • Nov. 21 — Michael Lofaro, English professor, will look at “James Agee at One Hundred: A Centennial Celebration.”

The showcases are sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, WUOT 91.9 FM, the UT Alumni Association, UT Office of Alumni Affairs and UT Athletics.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden, (865-974-9008,