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Points of Pride

  • Our School of Art is already in the Top 25 in the nation!   The printmaking program is ranked third nationally, behind the University of Wisconsin and Rhode Island School of Design. Their graduate program is ranked seventeenth nationally among public colleges and universities–tied at seventeenth with Indiana University, University of Arizona, University of California Berkeley, SUNY-Purchase, University of Illinois-Chicago, and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
    **These national rankings are from the 2012 US News & World Report—rankings of the Best Graduate Schools in the Arts (MFA in Studio Art). Two hundred and thirty programs are ranked. Program rankings occur every five years.
  • Two of the most prestigious national recognitions for humanities scholars are the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowships and stipends. Since 2004, UT ranks first nationally in the number of NEH summer stipends, tied with Northwestern University. Since 2004, UT ranks eighth nationally in the number of NEH fellowships, tied with the University of Chicago.
  • The UT Humanities Center boosts the research, teaching, and outreach mission of UT. Having completed its second academic year in operation, the UTHC is a “lab” for scholars in nine departments: art, classics, English, history, modern foreign languages and literatures, music, philosophy, religious studies, and theatre. The center offers seminars to bring together scholars who create new connections in their fields and provides its fellows with time and space to bring their work to publication.
    The center sponsors outreach programs to the community including “Conversations and Cocktails”—a series of lectures by UTHC fellows held off campus in partnership with selected Knoxville restaurants, and co-sponsorship of the Tennessee High School Ethics Bowl for high school students which promotes critical thinking and prepares high school students who participate to be active and engaged citizens.
  • Founded just three years ago, the Neuroscience Network of East Tennessee (NeuroNET) is now a UT Research Center directed by Rebecca Prosser, professor of biochemistry and cellular & molecular biology in the college and involving twenty-five arts and sciences faculty from different departments in the college—as well as faculty from seven other UT colleges, and members from UT Medical Center in Knoxville (UTMCK), the UT Health Science Center in Memphis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and other community partners. NeuroNET members are engaged in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the burgeoning field of neuroscience, focusing on general cognitive development as well as aging and dementia, stress, addiction, anxiety disorder, and Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD).
    One of the most exciting outcomes of NeuroNet was the creation of an undergraduate concentration in neuroscience housed in the Interdisciplinary Programs Major within the College of Arts and Sciences, which is chaired by Jim Hall, associate professor of biochemistry and cellular & molecular biology. The neuroscience concentration, which also has an honor’s option, currently enrolls about 125 undergraduates and is already producing graduates who are pursuing careers in the research, medicine, and health industries.
  • The VolsTeach Program is one of the college’s “big impact” programs! A partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, the VolsTeach program is addressing a national workforce shortage for qualified graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines—a shortage that undermines our state and national economy and threatens our national security. The program also addresses a state and national shortage of qualified secondary school teachers in STEM disciplines.
    VolsTeach targets undergraduate math, science, or engineering majors who are interested in expanding their professional skills and exploring a career in secondary teaching. Students can graduate in four years with a degree in math, science, or engineering, as well as obtain teacher licensure in their respective content areas. The program emphasizes early and ongoing community-school-based experiences. Graduates of the VolsTeach program are qualified for a teaching career immediately upon graduation. If at any point they decide not to teach in the classroom, VolsTeach graduates have a strong STEM background which qualifies them for many other careers in the workforce.
  • The new Strong Hall, currently under construction on Cumberland Avenue, will have laboratory space for all introductory chemistry and biology courses and will serve as the new home for the departments of anthropology and earth & planetary sciences.
  • The Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Building scheduled to be completed and open for classes in fall 2018 will provide state-of-the art instructional and research space for portions of several departments within the college including microbiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and psychology. It will also feature a modern vivarium.
  • Over eighty percent of the faculty in chemistry, physics, earth and planetary sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology, microbiology, and biochemistry and cellular & molecular biology have external research funding. These funds not only help make UT an R1 (research intensive) university that produces cutting edge research in the natural sciences, but the funds also support the research of graduate students and research experiences for undergraduates. The number of undergraduates taking courses with these departments has increased with the number of majors up by 34 percent in the last 5 years, and the number graduating from these departments has also increased by 28 percent.
  • The Department of Theatre is one of only twelve LORT programs in the United States. These are theater programs that house a professional company, which allows students the opportunity to perform with seasoned professionals. Last year every play needed to add performances to accommodate the demand. Many of their MFA graduates are working and performing on stages across the country, on film and television.
  • The School of Music, an all Steinway school, is housed in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center—a new state-of-the art facility. The school is respected throughout the country for their superb facilities and excellent teachers. Their graduates of the Opera Program appear regularly in the top performance venues in New York and throughout Europe.
  • The first forensic anthropology center in the country was founded at UT in the anthropology department by Professor Emeritus William Bass. Presently, the Forensic Anthropology Center is ably led by a nationally renowned forensic anthropologist, Professor Dawnie Steadman. She and her faculty colleagues continue to be involved in cutting-edge research while training graduate students in research, and law enforcement professionals in important data collection skills. The center affords many resources for students, researchers, and law enforcement agencies.
  • The psychology department has two highly ranked programs—clinical psychology and counseling psychology. The department has recently relocated the Psychological Clinic to a new state-of-the-art clinic space in the center of Knoxville. The clinic is a training facility for graduate students in the clinical program and an important public service program in the community. A full range of mental health services is offered to students and the public in Knoxville and the East Tennessee area as part of the department’s public service mission. About eighty percent of their clients are from the community. Fees are determined by the client’s financial resources.

Posted January 7, 2016

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