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From being a reporter at a newspaper in the country of Myanmar to teaching in an inner city school in Indianapolis to exploring their creativity through digital media, art, and theater, many of the students graduating this spring have plans that will make their mark on the world.

Here’s a look at the future plans of some of UT’s newest Haslam Scholar and College Scholar graduates:

R. J. Vogt

R. J. Vogt, a Haslam Scholar from Franklin, Tennessee, will be embarking on an adventure to the other side of the world. He’ll be working at a bilingual newspaper in the country of Myanmar through the Princeton in Asia Fellowship. He majored in literary and advocacy journalism through the College Scholars program.

Myanmar, which is located between India and China and was formerly known as Burma, is at an exciting time in its history. After nearly fifty years as a military dictatorship, it is now transitioning toward democracy and improving its once-dismal human rights record. Its second general election is coming up soon. Economic sanctions against the country have eased and new businesses are beginning to establish themselves there. Technology is beginning to emerge.

Shivani Goyal

Shivani Goyal, a Haslam Scholar from Knoxville who majored in psychology and Spanish, will be staying closer to home. She will be working with Teach for America in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“Teach for America aims to strengthen the movement for educational equity by ensuring that all children, regardless of where they come from, have equitable access to a great education,” she said. “I am looking forward to joining this movement by teaching elementary education at an inner-city, high-priority school.”

Julia Ross

Julia Ross, a Haslam Scholar from Atlanta, who majored in economics, is headed to Washington, DC, where she will be working for the federal government. This experience comes on the heels of her fall 2014 internship with the White House Office of Scheduling and Advance.

Rebecca DiGiovanna

Rebecca DiGiovanna, of Germantown, Tennessee, who majored in museum studies through the College Scholars program, will be in New York for part of this summer interning for the Katonah Museum, a noncollecting institution that originates about a dozen exhibitions a year and holds lectures, films, workshops, concerts, and other events.

She will also work as a studio assistant for artist Pinkney Herbert, who has studios in New York and Memphis and who has taught at UT and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. After that, DiGiovanna plans on attending graduate school in museum and curatorial studies.

Brock Ward
Brock Ward

College Scholar Brock Ward is moving to Chicago to pursue a career in playwriting and theater.

“I made multiple connections with the Second City to assist the transition, so I’m thankful to already have a circle of support awaiting me,” Ward said, adding that he has an audition with the group scheduled for July.

“I’ve scouted out multiple playwriting groups and volunteer theater organizations as well. I can’t say for certain which I’ll devote myself to, for I’d like to experience these ensembles as an audience member before committing myself to their group,” he said. “It’s my hope to immediately begin producing the scripts I have already written, as well as continuing to craft even more.”

Fadi Saleh

Also exploring his creative side: Fadi Saleh, of Collierville, Tennessee, whose Barack Obama pop music mashups, Baracksdubs, have been an Internet sensation. He will be participating in Knoxville’s MediaWorks, a digital media business accelerator program designed to help startups leverage Knoxville’s rich experience in the media industry. He majored in entrepreneurship and innovation through the College Scholars program.

Other new graduates will devote their efforts to improving the environment.

Kenna Rewcastle

Climate change will be on Kenna Rewcastle‘s mind. A Haslam Scholar from Apison, Tennessee, she will spend the next year researching climate change as a laboratory and field technician with UT’s Classen Ecosystem Ecology Lab, which is helping with a Department of Energy–funded project. Rewcastle majored in ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry through the College Scholars program and, as an undergraduate, worked in lab facilities in Knoxville and in Denmark, China, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Phoebe Fogelman

Phoebe Fogelman, of Oak Ridge, a Haslam Scholar who majored in mechanical engineering, will be working for Savannah River Remediation in Aiken, South Carolina. Contracted by the US Department of Energy, Savannah River Remediation focuses on safely disposing of radioactive liquid waste from the Cold War and closing million-gallon waste tanks.

About the programs

The Haslam Scholars program, founded in 2008 by a gift from Jimmy and Dee Haslam and Jim and Natalie Haslam, is UT’s premier four-year scholarship program. It provides students access to top UT faculty, an exclusive curriculum, a collaborative study abroad experience, extracurricular experiences, interdisciplinary seminars, and community service learning.

The College Scholars Program, founded in 1973, is an interdisciplinary honors program in the College of Arts and Sciences. It allows students to work with mentors and program administrators to design a unique curriculum to meet their individual educational goals.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,