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KudosHere are some of the faculty, staff, and students honored by outside organizations in recent months:


The Department of Sociology is one of 22 departments from colleges and universities nationwide named by the Association of American Colleges and Universities for providing models for making civic learning and democratic engagement an expectation for all students in that discipline. The department will be among those featured in a story in Peer Review, AAC&U’s quarterly publication on emerging trends and key debates in undergraduate education. The issue, “Civic Learning in the Major by Design,” will be published in January 2018.



Steve ZinkleSteven Zinkle, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Nuclear Materials, has received the American Ceramic Society Edward Orton Jr. Memorial Lecture Award. Dating back to 1933 and named after an early leader of the society, the award is given for scholarly attainments in ceramics or a related field. In connection with the award, Zinkle delivered a lecture “What’s New with Nuclear Reactors: A Materials Science Perspective.”

Lora Humphrey Beebe, professor of nursing, has been inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Jeff Reinbolt, associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering, was recently elected chair of the executive board for the International Society of Biomechanics Technical Group on Computer Simulation. The society, founded at Penn State in 1973, now has approximately 1,300 members internationally.

Dania BilalDania Bilal, professor of information sciences, has received the 2017 Outstanding Contributions to the Information Behavior Research Field award from the Association for Information Science and Technology’s Special Interest Group Information Needs, Seeking and Use (SIGUSE). She also joins the SIGUSE Academy of Fellows.

Yuntao WuYuntao Wu, research assistant professor in materials science and engineering, has received a 2017 Radiation Instrumentation Early Career Award, a top honor for young faculty, from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Given by IEEE’s Nuclear and Plasma Science Society. The award honored Wu for “significant and innovative technical contributions to the fields of radiation instrumentation and measurement techniques.”

Marianne WanamakerMarianne Wanamaker, associate professor of economics, has been appointed a senior economist on the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. The first active UT professor to serve on the council, she moved to Washington, DC, this summer to begin a one-year term. She will advise the council on labor and education economics questions.


Denise GardnerDenise Gardner, assistant provost and director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, has received the Distinguished Member Award from the Southern Association for Institutional Research.


Jasmine Worlds, a senior in mechanical engineering, is the 2017 recipient of the Student Leadership Award from the Career Communication Group of the Women of Color STEM Conference. She was honored for her work in engineering and her commitment to volunteering outside the classroom.

Tanzie Nguyen, a junior, nursing major and aspiring midwife, has been named a BlueCross BlueShield Scholar.

Shelby Stavretis, a fourth-year graduate student in Professor of Chemistry Ben Xue’s research group, was awarded the Shull Wollan Center Graduate Research Fellowship for May 2017 through April 2018. The fellowship includes a year of stipend in support of Stavretis’s research in neutron scattering. In 1998 Oak Ridge National Lab and UT established the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, which has since become the Shull Wollan Center: A Joint Institute for Neutron Science.