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UT CASNR Chronicle, from the desk of Caula Beyl, Dean of the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Fall Enrollment Sets New Record!

The number of undergraduates enrolled in CASNR has been on the upswing for quite some time. This fall, however, for the first time in twenty-five years, undergraduate enrollment has exceeded 1,500 students. We have 1,503, to be precise. Why such steadily increasing numbers? College Associate Dean John Stier says the reasons are not hard to find. Read more.


Third Student Success Advisor in Place

Colleen Farrell, the third of CASNR's new student success advisors, has joined the Department of Forestry, Wildife and Fisheries. We're excited about our new advising model, which led to Colleen's appointment and those of two other student success advisors in the Departments of Animal Science and now Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science. Learn more about the model here.

BESS Students Chalk Up International Wins...

This summer, teams of Biosystems Engineering seniors placed first and third in two international student design competitions. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) sponsored the events. First place honors went to a method of generating biochar using green waste. A design for "EZ-Lift," a mechanical lift assist for foldable roll-over protective structures, placed third.

...And a Top Finish for the Soil Vols, Too

Congratulations to the Soil Vols for placing first in the 2017 Southeast Regional Soil Judging Competition! This year's competition was hosted by UT Martin and included ten university teams from the region. As one of the top five finishers, our students qualify to compete in the National Soil Judging Competition in early 2018. All of our students placed in the top thirty in individual scoring, as well. Way to go! More...

Insight & Inspiration

Temple Grandin, a renowned expert on autism and animal behavior, was at UT this month to deliver a Mossman Distinguished Lecture. While here, she came to the agricultural campus to meet in small groups with CASNR and UTCVM students and faculty. She also led an informal forum on animal welfare and consumer confidence in animal products, including market share. Grandin previously visited us in 2011.

Happenings in the College

Leaders & Pleasers at Ag Day

At Ag Day this month, it was hard to know just what to focus on. First, there was our esteemed visitor, Sonny Perdue, secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (and a noted Georgia Bulldogs fan). Then there was a bevy of four-footed cuties: llamas, calves, a goat with orange-and-white streamers on its horns, and my own zebus. I was delighted to share these miniature cattle, Dusty, the bull, and Cookie and Tory, our little heifers, with a host of new admirers small and large. Ag Day is such a pleasure. Won't you make plans now to join us next fall for this celebration of friends and family, CASNR, and all of UTIA?

A Boot Camp for our Graduate Students

In this twenty-first century, in which all areas of interest and career fields have become digitized and technologically advanced, effective communication in both the written and spoken word has become integral to professional success. This fall, we began a boot camp to prepare our graduate students to succeed not only through their academic preparation but also via the "soft skills" of communication, socialization, and networking. Find out more here.

On the Ground in Swaziland

Undergraduate student Jack Hartfelder is pleased to report that he spent six weeks last summer living in Africa's Swaziland, at the Savannah Research Center in the Mbuluzi Game Reserve. "It was right up my alley living in a tent all summer among some of Africa's most amazing wildlife," he says. During Jack's international experience, he conducted original research about how the physical features of native birds, such as waxbills and hornbills, may predict how well they move in an agricultural mosaic. Learn more about this irreplaceable experience, as Jack calls it.

National Awards for CASNR Trio

A US organization committed to increasing diversity, decreasing disparities, and reducing incidence of barriers to minorities has honored three members of our College. At its 2017 National Role Models Conference, Minority Access Inc., presented elite honors to faculty members William (Willie) Hart and Michael (Mike) Smith, and also CASNR alumna Jerri Marr. More...

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Making Our Mark

A Forestry Leader & White House Fellow

Jerri Marr, whom we cite above for her national recognition as a role model, also had another prestigious career achievement this fall. She has been chosen to represent the USDA and the US Forest Service as a White House Leadership Development Fellow. The mission of the year-long experience, which began last month, is to provide high-caliber leaders from across the government with the opportunity to gain experience delivering results on high-impact, mission-critical cross-agency priorities. We're deeply proud of you, Jerri.

CASNR's Man on Mars

BESS alum Jay Bevington, class of 2011, denies he's an astronaut. Yet from our point of view, living in the simulated conditions of Mars makes him pretty close. On October 12, Bevington returned to campus to share his experiences and thoughts on the feasibility of life on Mars with members of the CASNR community. The crew's experiences in the HI-SEAS Mars simulation were chronicled in video in the New York Times Daily 360 series and featured also in other major news media. More...

Honoring Our Veterans

As Veterans Day nears, the United States shows its gratitude to our military. One place you may find a surprising number of veterans is on a college campus. UT has more than 500 veterans working toward degrees, and we're proud to say sixty-three of them are in CASNR and UTCVM. Here's a video about a veteran studying animal science, with more about his brave past and promising future. Watch the video...

It is always hard to choose among the many exciting things happening in CASNR with its faculty, staff, and students to share with you. I hope that you enjoy reading these highlights and, in some cases, delving in more depth into the story details. Whether you are a current or past member of the CASNR family, stay in touch, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or subscribe to our YouTube channel. It has been a great fall semester for us and I am happy to be able to share it in this way.

Caula Beyl,

Keep In Touch

CASNR Office of the Dean
2621 Morgan Circle Drive  ·  126 Morgan Hall  ·  Knoxville, TN 37996
casnr@utk.edu  ·  casnr.utk.edu