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And the Award Goes To

The most gratifying part of compiling the items for the Political Spectrum newsletter is to relive the awards that faculty and students garner during the past year. This year was particularly noteworthy with faculty and students receiving local, national, and international recognition.

Faulty Awards

    Dean Theresa Lee honors Dr. John Scheb (right) as College Marshal
    Dean Theresa Lee honors John Scheb (right) as College Marshal

    John Scheb

    In recognition of his outstanding service to the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Tennessee, as well as his scholarship and excellent teaching, Professor John Scheb was named the 2016 College Marshal. This designation is the highest honor the College bestows on a member of its faculty. Scheb carried the college banner during the processional at the College of Arts and Sciences spring commencement and will repeat the role in December.

    Krista Wiegand

    Krista Wiegand, associate professor and director of the Conflict Processes-Global Security Program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research in the Philippines during the spring 2017 semester. Wiegand will be in the Department of International Studies at De La Salle University in Manila, and will work with Renato Cruz de Castro, a specialist in US/Philippine security relations and the South China Sea dispute. While there, she will conduct interviews with government officials and experts about the Philippine role in a maritime dispute over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and a recent international arbitration case against China, researching, and writing several papers and part of a book on the peaceful resolution of international territorial and maritime disputes.

    Matt Buehler

    Matt Buehler, assistant professor, received a research fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government for spring 2017. He will conduct research in the school’s Middle East Initiative with Tarek Masoud, PhD, and work on articles and projects focused on public attitudes and public opinion polls toward nuclear nonproliferation and legal reform in Morocco and the Arab world.

    Joe Jarett

    The Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) honored Joe Jarett, lecturer and soon-to-be PhD. PRIMA is the largest risk management association dedicated solely to the practice of risk management in the public sector. PRIMA’s membership is made up of more than 2,000 entities in over 1,800 jurisdictions. Jarett was a double winner. He was designated as Public Risk Author of the Year and recognized for publishing the Public Risk Magazine Article of the Year, “Overzealous Zoning- Challenges for the Public Risk Manager.”

Jonathan Barsness in OmanJonathan Barsness in Oman

Graduate Students Awarded National Scholarship

Four students from UT received US Department of State Critical Language Scholarships (CLS)for the summer of 2016, and two of the students are in the Department of Political Science. Jonathan Barsness entered the Arabic program in Ibri, Oman. He also received the National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship to study Arabic and conduct research on civil-military relations in Jordan from 2016-2017.

Harrison Akins received a scholarship to study Urdu in Lucknow, India. Akins is also featured elsewhere in the newsletter for a movie that he helped create.  Click here to learn more about his adventures.

Cortney Piper, Noteworthy Alumna


Division Award winner Cortney Piper with Prof. Richard Pacelle.

The annual College of Arts and Sciences alumni and philanthropy awards ceremony took place April 15, 2016, and honored alumni and friends who have achieved noteworthy accomplishments in their careers and made significant contributions to advance UT and the college. The celebration took place in conjunction with the spring meeting of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and Dean Theresa Lee presented nine awards in six categories.

Divisional Achievement Awards recognize alumni who have achieved significant levels of accomplishment in the early to middle stages of their careers. Cortney Piper (’03) received the Social Sciences Achievement Award. Piper was a political science major and an All SEC Academic swimmer during her time at UT. She has served as president and founder of the Knoxville-based firm, Piper Communications, which specializes in clean energy communications consulting in the private and public sectors. She was recently named in the Knoxville News Sentinel “40 under 40” feature, which recognizes “Knoxville’s best assets” and dynamic young people who are shaping the future of the region.

Department of Political Science Awards

Our own advisory board meeting for the department took place April 14, 2016, in conjunction with our annual awards banquet.

The banquet has an Oscars feel to it. In fact, it is often referred to as the Political Science Academy Awards. There are two notable differences however. First, the award winners know ahead of time that they will be honored. This avoids the awkward moment at the Oscars when the nominees are on camera and the runners-up have to pretend they are happy that some no talent won the award they were prepared to accept. Second, there are no long speeches so we do not have to turn the microphones off.

This year, we honored the contributions of a number of graduate and undergraduate students.

Recognized for excellence were PhD students Michael Moltz, R.G. Cravens, and Jonathan Barsness. Sean Francis received the MPPA Program award.

MPAA Award Winner Sean Francis
MPPA Award winner Sean Francis and his wife (middle) with his parents (far left) and Professor Pacelle and Fenton Martin (far right).

The undergraduate award winners for 2015-16 were also honored at the banquet and included Alessandra Ferrero, Mary Reynolds, Lindy Yang, Meredith Ratner, and Miranda Gottleib, Michael Laverdiere, David Snapp, and Will Gilman. Miranda and Lindy are back for their senior years. Miranda is a policy advocate and a Baker Scholar. McKenzie graduated in the spring and is off to the London School of Economics.

Undergraduate Award Winners
Undergraduate award recipients from left Miranda Gottleib, Lindy Yang, McKenzie Ratner joined by Leah Pedro (second from left) Prof. Danielle Atkins and grad students Erik Bueck and Jonathan Rose (on the right).


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