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A recent UT graduate has been recognized as a highly commended entrant by the Undergraduate Awards program—dubbed the “junior Nobel Prize”—for his paper in the philosophy category.

Duncan Cordry
Duncan Cordry

Duncan Cordry, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of New Mexico, has been honored for his paper “A Defense of the Timing Objection to Substance Causation,” which focuses on whether people have free will and, in particular, what conditions they must meet in order to act freely.

The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest international academic awards program, recognizing excellent research and original work across the sciences, humanities, business, and creative arts.

Cordry, from Morristown, Tennessee, will be traveling to Dublin, Ireland, with Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Taylor Eighmy to accept his award at the annual UA Global Summit in November.

“I’m delighted to see Duncan getting this well-deserved recognition,” said David Palmer, assistant professor of philosophy and Cordry’s faculty advisor. “Philosophy majors at UT are doing some excellent research work, and it is nice to see them getting recognized.”

Marisa Moazen, director of undergraduate research, said UT is proud to partner with the Undergraduate Awards to recognize students and their academic achievements.

“All UT students have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research both in and outside of the classroom, and we are excited for Duncan to have received this honor for his hard work,” she said.

The Undergraduate Awards received a record number of submissions in the 2016 program, totaling 5,514 papers from undergraduates of 121 nationalities in 244 institutions. The global winner is the highest-performing paper within its category, and highly commended entrants are those who are ranked in the top 10 percent of submissions.

For more information about the Undergraduate Awards visit


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,