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May 2016

Quality of instruction is a tough thing to measure, and one of the ways that we receive feedback on how we are doing is from how well our students do in national and international competitions. Another way that reaffirms that we are doing well and that are students are truly learning is measured by how quickly they are snatched up by business, industry, agricultural firms and producers, state and federal agencies, and others to take their places in the professional world. As we near graduation for spring 2016, there is ample evidence that the quality of instruction is strong and that the students are benefiting from the dedication and excellence of our faculty. Many of our students have received job offers even prior to graduating. This year's class is talented, hardworking, and determined to make a difference in the world, and we are so proud of them!

Caula A. Beyl, Dean

Battle of the Habitat Playhouses

The Tennessee Vols take on Virginia Tech at the Bristol Motor Speedway on September 10 in what is expected to be the largest crowd ever at a college football game. The "Flying J Battle at Bristol" could draw close to 150,000 fans. In the meantime, leading up to kickoff, CASNR Construction Science students will compete against their Hokie counterparts in a friendly competition that will benefit a worthy organization. Click here to read more about the Battle of the Habitat Playhouses.

UT Forestry Club Thrives at Forestry Conclave

The UT Forestry Club finished in fifth place overall at the 59th Association of Southern Forestry Clubs (ASFC) Conclave hosted by Clemson University this March. This tops the sixth place finish by the UT team in 2013, represents the strongest finish by a UT team over the past eighteen years, and is a significant accomplishment considering that this year’s team of nine students covered twenty-two events over a two-day period. The UT team also earned the prestigious Outstanding Sportsmanship Award for the fourth time in six years. Teams with a positive attitude, outstanding spirit, and a willingness to mentor and assist members of other teams in a sportsmanlike manner receive this award based on a vote of the officers from each team present. Learn more.

A Big Orange Win

Seth Harrison won first place at the International Society of Arboriculture Southern Chapters Conference Student Poster Competition on Tuesday, March 22, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

CASNR Wildlife Society Places 3rd in the Wildlife Conclave

The University of Tennessee's student chapter of the Wildlife Society placed third overall at the 2016 Southeastern Wildlife Conclave, which was hosted by Eastern Kentucky University. The nineteen-member student team, co-advised by David Buehler, Chris Graves, Emma Willcox, and Brian Alford from the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, competed against twenty-four other college and university wildlife programs. Tennessee placed in the top three in nine out of twenty-five competition categories. The Southeastern Wildlife Conclave is an annual event that draws around 500 wildlife students, educators, and professionals together for three days of workshops, field trips, and academic and field-based competition. Learn more.

Big Orange Joins Blue and Gold Once More!

Congratulations to CASNR's newly elected Tennessee FFA state officers! Sam Daniel, a freshman majoring in Plant Sciences, was elected to serve as the West Tennessee State Vice-President, and Abby Gass, a freshman in agricultural communications, will spend this next year serving as the State Treasurer. We could not be prouder of our students, and we wish them the best of luck as they serve the Tennessee FFA Association.

Students, have an idea for a project or trip that can advance your education, but need extra cash to make it happen? UT has a crowdfunding program that may be able to give you an assist. The program helps fund faculty and staff ideas, too.

VOLstarter makes it easy to follow, connect with, and support the most innovative and inspiring projects at the University. If you have that innovative idea or project, start a project today, and experience the power of crowdfunding. While you are there, support others projects at any level, knowing that your money will go directly to fund the projects that are most important to you! Learn about VOLstarter crowdfunding.

CASNR Takes on Atlanta for the College Student Career Program

Twenty-eight CASNR students attended the College Student Career Program held in conjunction with the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 26-28, 2016. These students had a total of 173 interviews, resulting in eighteen full-time job offers and twenty-five internship offers at the event. While at the event, three students accepted full-time job offers, and two students accepted internship offers. Since that time, one student reported that she accepted an internship offer that will lead to a full-time job upon graduation. Another student turned down two full-time job offers but accepted another offer. A third student turned down a job offer because he has been accepted to graduate school in the fall. In addition to interviewing, students had the opportunity to experience the largest annual international gathering of feed, meat, and poultry people, technology, and services. Learn more.

Farm Credit Scholars

Congratulations to our newly selected Farm Credit Mid-America Scholars! Learn more.

Seniors, It's Your Turn

Seniors, thank you for the hard work over the past four years. Thank you for contributing to the rich experience of CASNR. Thank you for entrusting us with your education. Everyone here hopes we have served you well.

The senior gift is a way for seniors to say thank you to all of the faculty, staff, and supporters who have shaped your CASNR experience. It is also a way to leave a legacy for all the classes that follow. You can have a role in the future of CASNR. We ask each member of the class of 2016 to donate at least $20.16 by May 11. You can make that gift by visiting AdvanceUTIA.com/seniorgift. By participating in the senior gift, you will receive Senior Impact commemorative cords and a CASNR donor pin to wear on your robe at graduation.

CASNR Students Excel in UT Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement

by Kimberly Gwinn, associate professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, and coordinator for CASNR Honors and Undergraduate Research
The 20th Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA) took place April 11-15, 2016, in Hodges Library. Students from across the university entered their undergraduate research, senior design projects, clinical projects, and creative achievements for judging. From 247 entries, eighty-eight received recognition at the EURēCA Awards Night. Of those, thirteen were CASNR students. Read more.

No Fooling: New BESS Department Head Arrived April 1

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources welcomed Julie Carrier as the new head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science on April 1. Carrier was formerly with the University of Arkansas where she served as a professor in the College of Engineering Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Her research interests include promoting the use of renewable energy production, specifically biofuels and biochemical production from cellulosic biomass, and she has twice won recognition as an outstanding researcher. Yet, she is also known for her ability to provide outstanding service to students. Carrier has won four student service and teaching awards since 2003. Read more.

From Serving to Learning: Challenges Today’s Veterans Face Returning to an Academic Setting

by Andrew Casteel, a CASNR senior studying Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
As a current undergraduate student, I had many fears beginning my freshman year at a university. Would I find my class? Would I have to cross over an aisle of people to get to an open seat? What if my roommate and I did not get along? Simplistic fears, but fears nonetheless. Many people have been in this situation, or a situation similar to this, but few have taken the time to consider the fears or challenges veterans returning to an academic setting may be facing. Not only will they have similar fears that a recent high school graduate might have, they also face the challenges of readjusting to a civilian lifestyle and may have dependents or spouses who rely on them for support. This could compound the stress of academic work for many veterans seeking a higher education. Read more.

Karen Vail Serves as Interim Department Head of EPP

Bugs, plants, students, and paperwork are Karen Vail’s main focuses these days. Her primary role at the University of Tennessee is urban entomologist in UT Extension, but she has also taken on the role as interim department head of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. In her new role, Vail is most enthusiastic about the new entomology, plant pathology, and nematology PhD program that is now being offered in her department. This program is exciting and distinctive and presents a challenge for students, faculty, and administrative staff. Read more.

Spotlight: Chancellor Cheek's Honors Banquet

2016 Notable UT Woman Award: Caula Beyl

Caula Beyl joined the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 2007 as dean. At that time, CASNR was experiencing precipitous declines in enrollment. She hired a dedicated recruiter and they launched some extraordinary recruiting efforts, and college enrollment began growing. Today the college has healthy and sustainable undergraduate numbers, with increased average freshman entrance scores and a substantial increase in the number of honors and high-achieving students. "I am constantly amazed at her energy as she is a very dynamic and engaged dean as well as an academician that continues to teach upper-level graduate courses and produce scholarly works," her nominator wrote. Read more.

2016 Ready for the World: Neal S. Eash

Neal S. Eash, professor of biosystems engineering and soil science, has led student trips to Lesotho, Guatemala, Thailand, Vietnam, Zambia, Peru, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Eash’s work in Africa centers on conservation and no-till agriculture and soil erosion prevention. By bringing students to assist, he is training the next generation of scientists to help the world address the challenges of feeding a growing population and preserving the environment. In 2003, the UT African Student Association honored his work in community development in Africa. Read more.

2016 Extraordinary Service to the University: Mary Albrecht

Mary Albrecht came to UT twenty years ago as professor and head of the Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. She went on to serve as both interim dean and associate dean for academic programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. In 2010, Albrecht became associate vice chancellor and project leader for the development of UT's Top 25 strategic plan. She is now associate vice provost for accreditation and served for a short time as interim vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. Read more.

2016 Excellence in Advising: Emma Willcox

Emma Willcox, an assistant professor of wildlife management, believes that advising students is a way to provide them with a sense of belonging and direction at the university. "I want my students to feel comfortable when meeting with me," she says. "I work hard to understand all my advisees' individual situations and backgrounds, as only by doing so can I appropriately advise them." Read more.

2016 Research and Creative Achievement—Professional Promise: Sarah Colby

Department of Nutrition associate professor Sarah Colby's research in adolescent and young adulthood obesity led to her receiving the single largest grant awarded at UT in 2014: a $4.9 million USDA/AFRI grant designed to increase the fruit and vegetable intake of college-age adults through social marketing. Although she was the principal investigator on that project, she has worked collaboratively on many smaller grants, including one developed by the Healthy Campus Research Consortium to promote healthy culinary skills in children involved in 4-H programs. Read more.

2016 Extraordinary Professional Promise

Andrew Joseph Mallinak Read more.

2016 Extraordinary Academic Achievement

Cassandra Wertman Read more.

2016 Top Collegiate Scholar Awards

Gregory Sean Stapleton Read more.

2016 Scholar Athlete Awards

Cassandra Wertman Read more.

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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