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Meet Christopher Neal

Class: Chancellor’s Honors 2018
Hometown: Murfeesboro, TN
Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

IMG_2760Since the Spring of 2015, I have been conducting undergraduate research in the electrochemistry field of chemical engineering. Working with Dr. Thomas Zawodzinski Jr. under the advisory of Dr. Gabriel Goenaga, I have been able collaborate with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and numerous international companies. My learning experience thus far has been phenomenal. I have had the opportunity to learn about experiments and concepts that would not normally be taught in a classroom setting while applying classroom lessons to real-life scenarios. The most impactful part of my research experience has been  working with people from across the world towards a goal that would benefit entire nations. Undergraduate research is especially important to the Honors experience because it allows the student to apply what he or she learns in the classroom to actual phenomena. The Honors program at UT has given me the chance to make further connections in the chemical engineering field and has challenged me to dig deeper and think harder about certain concepts. Continue reading

Meet Arpan Chakraborty

Class: Chancellor’s Honors 2017
Hometown: Johnson City, Tennessee
Majors: Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology and Psychology

Being an honors student means being surrounded bArpan stairsy some of the most gifted students and the most caring faculty and staff. Each day, I am asked to push and challenge myself academically and personally. The CHP provides me the opportunity to interact with fellow honors peers who are just as personally driven as I am, while continually learning from an honors staff dedicated to helping us achieve our personal goals. As you can see, my favorite part about the CHP is simply the people – from the office workers, graduate assistants, and advisors to my honors peers in class.

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Meet Kenna Rewcastle

Class: Haslam Scholars 2015
Hometown: Apison, TN
Major: College Scholars- Ecotoxicology and Environmental Conservation


While still a UT student Kenna took full advantage of the resources the university had to offer. By writing for the campus newspaper, The Daily Beacon, and becoming a research collaborator in the Classen Ecosystem Ecology Lab, Kenna set out to explore her love of the outdoors. Through connections and encouragement from Honors faculty and staff she went on to procure one of the most prestigious scholarships in the country.

During her time at UT, Kenna became heavily involved in soil toxicology research. By creating her own major through the College Scholars program, Kenna was able to zero in on a specific field and explore her passion for soils and the environment. Working in labs on campus and off, Kenna travelled the world to delve deeper into her field. Continue reading

Meet Taylor Odle

Class: Chancellor’s Honors 2014
Major: College Scholars- Organizational Behavior
Current Position: Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy and Research

After gTaylor Odle Headshotraduating from the Chancellor’s Honors program, Taylor Odle moved to Nashville to continue his efforts on the policy side of higher education. Completing his master’s degree at Vanderbilt, he now works at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as the Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy and Research. Taylor credits his Honors experience with helping him find and pursue his passion for higher education policy and quantitative methods.

According to Taylor, Honors taught him to how to recognize and capitalize on his strengths. “Everyone in Honors is smart. Being in the program taught me how to differentiate myself based on specific skills, a trait that I’ve needed to use in graduate school and the work place.” Continue reading

Meet Emma Zijlstra


Class: Chancellor’s Honors 2018
Majors: Chemistry and Global Studies
Hometown: Murfeesboro, TN

ForEmma holding flag Emma Zijlstra, joining the Chancellor’s Honors Program meant taking the core value of social responsibility to heart. In her opinion more programs should incorporate the tenant as it deals with everyday life and can help you choose the right path for your career. Emma’s socially responsible outlook easily translates into academic exploration. Her passion is to help others through medical research, and she has travelled the world to pursue it.

Emma has enjoyed Honors because of the environment it provides and how it has helped her to get more involved on campus. For her, attending class with like-minded students and engaging one on one with professors has made honors classes more fun and interesting than average coursework. Hearing from Honors about study abroad, student leadership, internship, and job opportunities has encouraged Emma to take part in a myriad of experiences during her college career.

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Mary Ann Hitt at Honors Graduation

Meet Mary Anne Hitt

maryannehitt3Mary Anne Hitt (Class of 1997) was an undergraduate student at The University of Tennessee in the mid-1990s. She started on her journey to where she is now by creating her own major through UT’s College Scholars program. With “no undergraduate environmental majors to choose from,” Ms. Hitt went her own route: pursuing an undergraduate education by combining the fields of environmental science and policy. Additionally, since there were no environmental groups on campus, she co-founded SPEAK (Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville), which still tribes on campus to this day and carries on her legacy! The force she felt driving her into a position of leadership was an experience that has had an impact on shaping her life, as well as her career, she said.
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CHP Student Receives Fulbright Award

Portions of this article were reproduced from the original article published at Tennessee Today.

Chancellor’s Honors Program student Desiree Dube (Class of 2016) will be traveling to Russia under a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English for one year. The prestigious and competitive scholarship and grant is awarded to students and faculty who wish to teach, conduct research, and build bridges on an international scope.

As part of the scholar program, Dube will work at a Russian university from September to May. “The Fulbright will give me a better opportunity to immerse myself in the culture,” Dube said. “It will also allow me to learn more about Russian academic culture and how it differs from that of American universities.” Continue reading

CHP Spring 2016 E-newsletter

Honors Spring 2016 E-newsletterThe Chancellor’s Honors Program is pleased to announce our Spring 2016 E-newsletter, and it is now available for viewing. Please foward along to friends, family, and supportors of UT honors.


1. Message from the Associate Provost, Dr. Timothy Hulsey
2. Alumni Spotlight: Mary Anne Hitt, written by Lorena Roberts
3. Undergraduate Research: Discovering Global Food Issues and Solutions in Italy, Alana Stein
4. Ready for the World: Founding Students Helping Honduras, Liam Weaver
5. The Honors Experience: An Open Mind is Honors: The Story of Friday Forums, Arpan Chakraborty

Read it here

Four Honors & Scholars Students Receive Torchbearer Awards

Read the article in its entirety at Tennessee Today

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek celebrated faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments and service Tuesday at the annual Chancellor’s Honors Banquet. The banquet is the university’s largest recognition event of the year.

Four Honors & Scholars Students received the Torchbearer award, the highest honor given to any UT student. The award is based on academic achievement, leadership, and outstanding service.

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Seeking Faculty for 2016-2017 Film Series

The Honors Film Series allows faculty to host a film of their choosing to a group of honors students. Past films have included Psycho, Dead Poets Society, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Undefeated, to name a few. If you are interested in showing a film during the 2016-2017 academic year, please submit the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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