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April 2017

Excited seniors have been coming into the Dean's Office to get Achievement Badges for having completed experiences such as the CASNR Living and Learning Community, international trips, internships, undergraduate research, service learning, leadership of student organizations, and charitable support of CASNR. Graduates wear these achievement badges on their graduation robes as a tangible symbol of the various learning experiences that they have had the opportunity to go through on their journey to completing an undergraduate degree. These also make them more marketable to potential employers, and it is always delightful to hear anecdotal stories about the job offers and salaries being offered to our graduates. Many are also sharing wonderful news about acceptance into graduate or professional schools across the nation. All in all, I have faith that our graduates will represent us well as newly minted VOL alumni.


Caula A. Beyl, Dean

Our First Prestigious Herbert Scholarships Are Awarded

We are proud to announce that our inaugural class of Herbert Scholars has been selected. Based on the merit of their ideas for outstanding summer opportunities, seven students have been chosen for the prestigious awards.

Alumni and philanthropists Jim and Judi Herbert created the scholars program to provide financial assistance to enable students to engage in transformational experiential learning opportunities across the summer during their undergraduate courses of study. The objective is for the students to use the experiences to lay a strong foundation for future success as leaders, entrepreneurs, and scientists in the agricultural and natural resources industry.

Watch for an announcement soon describing the opportunities our Herbert Scholars will pursue this summer. To learn more about the program and how you might apply next year, visit tiny.utk.edu/Herbert-Scholar. A call for applications for 2018 will be made in the future.

Spring Commencement Is Full-on Inspiration

Our graduation ceremony on May 11 will be full of inspiration for everyone. That is because all three commencement speakers have achieved much in their careers and will offer perspectives they have gained through them.

As vice president of Capital Markets with Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Isaac Bennett manages a twelve-member team and a portfolio of $6.4 billion. In his career, he travels throughout the country financing agricultural ventures and making people's dreams come true. He says the education he received at CASNR prepared him well for the world of finance. The degree that did that, earned in 1984, is a BS in Agricultural Education.

Our student commencement speaker has excelled in and outside of the classroom. Jourdan Jones is a senior Food Science major who transferred to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from UT Chattanooga before her junior year. Making involvement a priority, Jourdan has served on the Food Science Club Executive Board for two years, culminating in her presidency during her senior year. Jourdan is also a member of the Minority in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) as well as a student representative for the Vol Section of the Institute of Food Technologists Board of Directors. Working within her passion, you can typically find Jourdan serving panelists in UT's sensory lab. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master's degree here in Food Science with a concentration in sensory science. As professionals affiliated with food science would tell you, Jourdan has chosen a field with tremendous career opportunities.

Also addressing our graduates will be Dr. Mike Smith, professor in the Department of Animal Science. So many of our graduates know just how inspirational Dr. Smith is — to current students, to our alumni, and to colleagues throughout the Institute. From organizing student international experiences to his native Jamaica, to his deep knowledge of the poultry industry that prepares students to excel in the field, to his caring and thorough attention to student success, we are most pleased to recognize Dr. Smith as 2017's outstanding mentor in the college.

Our 17-year-old Graduate—Wow!

Kristina Kravchenko, one of CASNR's two top graduates, is among the youngest graduate of UT, if not perhaps the youngest. At the age of seventeen, Kristina is receiving her BS in Animal Science this semester. Joining her in the class of 2017 is her brother, Mikhail Kravchenko, who is receiving a BS in Electrical Engineering.

She is not the first in her family to excel at an early age. Her sister Maria graduated from medical school at the University of Florida, Gainesville, at age twenty-two. Her brother Pavlo earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from UT at age nineteen.

Kristina and her sister and brothers were homeschooled. She was born in Florida, moved to Oak Ridge at age eight, and now lives in the Halls area of Knoxville. She plans to spend her first year following graduation working at the Ideal Veterinary Hospital of Oak Ridge. She has her sights on veterinary school, with interest in large animal or a veterinary medicine specialized area as her longer term goal.

Kudos to you, Kristina! We are proud to soon count you among our alumni.

UT Knoxville Chancellor Honors Ten CASNR Standouts

Five students were selected as 2017 Extraordinary Professional Promise Award winners, two as Top Collegiate Scholars and one as Outstanding Scholar Athlete. These are among our students honored by Chancellor Beverly Davenport in a university-wide annual awards ceremony. Also among our winners is the recipient of the 2017 LGBT Student Leadership Award and a student honored with the Extraordinary Campus Leadership and Service Award. Read about these distinguished students here.

Pitching a New Product While Polishing Their Skills

The National Agri-Marketing Association hosts an annual competition for students from land-grant institutions from across the United States and Canada. To participate, students are required to create and present a complete marketing plan for a new product that has a direct benefit to producers of agricultural products and commodities. The competition was held on April 25 this year in Dallas, Texas. CASNR's team this year has nine students with majors in Food and Agricultural Business, Agricultural Education, Animal Science, Finance, and Engineering. Students must gain and apply a broad range of knowledge from a number of disciplines to be able to understand the product's benefits, target markets, unique promotional requirements, as well as how to integrate the product into an existing business model.

In NAMA, teams are judged on a written executive summary and a twenty-minute presentation to a panel of judges who simulate the board of directors for the firm considering the product. There are three rounds of competition with the final round consisting of the top six teams from previous rounds presenting to a large audience of marketing professionals who attend the Agri-Marketing conference on Thursday, April 27.

Members of this year's team are Kristen Walker, Sherilyn Hammonds, Jade Ellis, Jessica Garland, Angeline Quinn, Jordan Peterson, Ty Wolaver, Alex Hollman, and Jacob Beasley

- Submitted by Jon Walton, Lecturer, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

At the National MANRRS Conference, CASNR Was a Star

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the venue for the thirty-second annual national Career Fair and Training Conference of the MANRRS (the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences). We're delighted with how well represented CASNR was at the meeting. Seven of our students participated, CASNR Dean Caula Beyl served as a panelist, and one of our own was elected president-elect of this national organization.

Read more about our student representatives and their experiences at the national MANNRS conference here.

Dairy Products Judging? We're Outstanding!
CASNR Team Wins Overall and Captures Top Student Awards!

A group of our students are among the best in the nation when it comes to knowledge of consumer dairy products.

UTIA's Dairy Products Evaluation Team won first place at the 95th Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation contest, held in mid-April in Madison, Wisconsin. UT Knoxville was top among fourteen participating teams, representing universities from across the country and one from France. It's the first time a CASNR team has taken home the top honor. Previously the team reached second place.

The students judged six types of products—milk, cottage cheese, vanilla ice cream, butter, cheddar cheese, and yogurt—evaluating eight samples of each item. Learn more.

Processed Meats Judging? We're Winners in That Too!
First Place Individual, Third Place for Team

This semester the Department of Food Science formed CASNR's first processed meats judging team. The team's objective, apart from deepening their knowledge, was to compete in the Missouri Intercollegiate Processed Meats Invitational. Read more about the team and their experience in processed meats judging here.

No Agricultural Background? No Problem for This Grad

A weatherworn hand stopped Alison Williams as she prepared to meet her next client. The man looked toward her long, manicured nails.

"You can't calibrate the equipment with the long fingernails," the farmer scoffed, clearly expecting a man in Williams' place.

"Watch me," she said.

Read more about her here.

CASNR Students Tell How You Make a Difference

As part of Student Engagement and Philanthropy Month this past February, CASNR and CVM students helped thank our donors for their generous support. Hear students recall the moment they received their scholarship award and what it means for their college experience. We wanted to remind our donors why their gifts truly matter. Watch the video here.

A Tale of Two Graduates

You just never know how our college graduates impact the world. For one, it's hard to keep up with you! In fact, we'd appreciate your help with that. As alumni, please update your records and take a moment, too, to share any news or notes. You can do so here.

Memorials for two of our alumni shine a spotlight on just how far you can go in two of the many diverse fields our graduates can enter. William "Bill" Lester Sanders of Columbia, Tennessee, took his BS in Animal Science and a doctorate in Statistics and Quantitative Genetics to make a mark on educational assessment that continues to shape schools and universities across the United States. In earlier phases of his career, he provided statistical modeling know-how to researchers at our university and worked for the prestigious SAS Institute.

Dr. Gene Caldwell of Clinton, Tennessee, was a pediatrician and also a state representative. From the beginning, Dr. Caldwell knew the importance of education. As a student at Woodland Mills High School, he learned that in order to gain admission to the University of Tennessee, he needed a credit in an advanced math course that his school didn't offer. The principal ordered the math textbook and taught Caldwell, and in turn, Caldwell taught the subject to his fellow students. Arriving at UT, he proceeded to earn a BS in Agronomy, and those were merely the first steps in a career that saw many notable achievements. Read more about these two gentlemen here.

Important Dates Ahead

  • Classes End—Friday, April 28
  • Study Day—Monday, May 1
  • Exams—Tuesday-Tuesday—May 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9
  • CASNR Graduation Practice—Wednesday, May 10, 10:00 a.m. Hollingsworth Auditorium
  • Mini Session Begins—Wednesday, May 10
  • CASNR Graduation—Thursday, May 11, 8:30 a.m.
    Thompson Boling Assembly Center and Arena
  • Memorial Day Holiday—Monday, May 29
  • Mini Session Ends—Wednesday, May 31
  • Summer Full and 1st Sessions Begin—Thursday, June 1
  • Independence Day Holiday—Tuesday, July 4
  • Summer 1st Session Ends—Thursday, July 6
  • Summer 2nd Session Begins—Monday, July 10
  • Summer Full and 2nd Sessions End—Friday, August 11
  • Summer Graduation Date*—Saturday, August 12
    *There is no commencement ceremony in the summer. This is the official graduation date that will appear on the transcript.


Contact Us

CASNR Office of the Dean
2621 Morgan Circle Drive  ·  126 Morgan Hall  ·  Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-7303
casnr@utk.edu  ·  www.casnr.utk.edu

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