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Improving global health care. Designing better medical equipment. Revolutionizing the food industry. Teaching English in France.

Those are just a few of the ways graduating Haslam Scholars plan to leave their mark on society after graduating. The Class of 2014 includes thirteen students from the university’s premier scholarship program.

“These students are not only academically top-notch, they personify the notion that Volunteers are capable of changing the world and—judging from their future plans—they will,” said Tim Hulsey, associate provost and director of university honors.

The graduates say the Haslam Scholars program challenged them academically, gave them a chance to work alongside leading faculty members, and afforded them the opportunity to travel and participate in extracurricular projects.

“More than that, the Haslam Scholars program gave me valuable friendships that will last a lifetime,” said Brianna Rader, one of the graduating scholars, “I know in twenty years I’ll be friends with political leaders, groundbreaking scientists, distinguished academics, and big-name social change makers.”

Another graduating scholar, Xin Huang, said the program helped him redefine success.

“I was kind of self-centered coming out of high school. Sure, I wanted to be successful, but that was just for my sake. I was content as long as I was comfortable,” he said. “Things started to change when I got tossed in with the other Haslam Scholars. My academic performance kept up with everyone else, but I started noticing something I was lacking. Everyone else had a goal, a passion for something bigger. After spending so much time together as a group, some of that passion started to rub off onto me. I started to realize how fortunate I am … and that I shouldn’t be satisfied with just my own comfort. ”

Here’s a look at the graduating Haslam Scholars and their future plans:

xin-huangHuang, of Memphis, who is graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering, is going to take the summer off to visit relatives in China and start medical school at UT Health Science Center in the fall.

“I want to use my skills to make a difference in the lives of others, and I can’t think of a better place to do that than in the hospital,” he said. “Also, during my time spent volunteering at the Advanced Medical Simulation Center at UT Medical Center, I saw how closely connected engineering can be to medicine. I hope I can utilize my engineering background to improve the medical equipment for medical training and patient care.”

brianna-raderRader, of Knoxville, Tennessee, who majored in medical humanities through the College Scholars Program, is heading to the University of California, San Francisco, where she has a scholarship to attend the one-year master’s program in global health sciences. The curriculum includes epidemiology and biostatistics as well as public policy, economics, and social justice. She’ll spend part of the program doing field work abroad, possibly in South Africa. She then plans to attend medical school.

“With these degrees, I will have the ability to make systematic changes for the health of communities and large populations,” she said. “My ultimate career goal is to work for a humanitarian organization like CARE or a global health foundation like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

noelle-sibleyNoelle Sibley, of Johnson City, Tennessee, who majored in creative writing and French, will be teaching English at the L’Academie de Nantes through the Teaching Assistant Program in France.


ashley-smithAshley Smith, of Gulfport, Mississippi, who majored in biosystems engineering, has a job at Cargill Inc. in Gainesville, Georgia.



ariel-buehlerAriel Buehler, of Knoxville, who majored in food science and technology and minored in music, will pursue a doctorate in food microbiology at Cornell University.

“As the world’s population increases and our need for food continues to grow, I hope to be at the forefront of research and development efforts for the food industry,” she said, adding she’s also continuing her viola studies by playing with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and taking lessons at Eastman School of Music.

lindsay-leeRhodes Scholar Lindsay Lee, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who has majored in math and Spanish, is heading to the University of Oxford to study applied statistics and global health.




Several others are also embarking on doctoral programs: Desta Bume, of Ethiopia and Chattanooga, Tennessee, who majored in chemistry, will be studying medicinal chemistry at Johns Hopkins University; Kathleen Connelly, of Knoxville, who majored in philosophy, will be studying philosophy at the University of California at San Diego; Melissa Lee, of Brentwood, Tennessee, who majored in integrative neuroscience through College Scholars, will be studying neurobiology and behavior at Columbia University; Mark Remec, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who studied biophysics through College Scholars, will be studying biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley; Daniel Hamm, of Selmer, Tennessee, will be studying nuclear engineering here at UT; and Blake Palles, of Florence, South Carolina, who majored in nuclear engineering, will be studying energy sciences and engineering at the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, a UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory program.

elizabeth-williamsElizabeth Williams, who studied music and pre-med, will be taking a year off before starting PhD program in international studies or anthropology.


C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,