The first two students to earn a new doctoral degree from the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education graduated in May. The program was founded by former Gov. Phil Bredesen in partnership with UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2010, and the first class enrolled in 2011. Scott Curran, who works at the National Transportation Research Center at UT Knoxville, and Vincent Kandagor, who hopes to return to his native Kenya to deal with energy challenges, were congratulated by Bredesen on the occasion. “It’s gratifying to see the first graduates finish the program and be able to take what they’ve learned out into the world,” Bredesen said.
Master Science Reporter
Journalist John Noble Wilford (Knoxville ’55), who won a Pulitzer Prize for science and space exploration reporting in 1984 and another in 1987 for his coverage of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, is the newest recipient of an honorary degree from UT Knoxville. Wilford, now retired from the New York Times, served on the College of Communication and Information’s Board of Visitors and taught for a while as the Chair of Excellence in Science Journalism and as a distinguished lecturer. In 2009, he was presented with the college’s highest alumni honor, the Donald G. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award.
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Strong Hall Renovation
The vacant Sophronia Strong Hall that was a women’s residence hall for more than 80 years is being renovated and expanded into a nine-story, 268,000-square-foot science building. Once completed in the next two years, the building will house the anthropology and earth and planetary sciences departments and instruction and lab space for general biology and chemistry. The new building will preserve the original structure, including the distinctive front arches. The original property’s gardener’s cottage, built in the 1870s, will be refurbished. To learn more about ongoing construction projects on campus, visit conezone.utk.edu.