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VOL. 43 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 18, 2019

ETSU professors named university fellows

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Joe Bidwell and Janna L. Scarborough have been named Presidential Fellows at East Tennessee State University.

As fellows, the two faculty members will develop and execute a project that is aligned with one of the university’s major initiatives in teaching, learning and service. The fellows will work closely with Brian Noland, university president, and his leadership team and ETSU Center for Teaching Excellence staff.

Bidwell joined ETSU in 2014 and is a professor and chair of the Biological Sciences department. He has also served as interim chair of chemistry. Previously, he held faculty and chair positions at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Oklahoma State University.

He earned a degree in biology from Siena College and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Scarborough, a professor in the Clemmer College, earned her doctoral degree in counselor education from the University of Virginia and taught at Syracuse University for four years.

At ETSU, she has served as a graduate program coordinator, associate chair and was the founding department chair for the Department of Counseling and Human Services, a role she served in for six years before becoming the associate dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

Babu selected as Bredesen Center director


Suresh Babu has been appointed the director of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education by the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory which jointly operates the center.

Babu will retain his position as UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing. He will replace Lee Riedinger, who is retiring at the end of January.

“Dr. Babu has worked extensively with both UT and ORNL through his Governor’s Chair position, and we’re excited about him taking on this new role,” UT Knoxville Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis says. “He is a nationally recognized expert in the development of advanced materials and advanced manufacturing and has helped us emerge as a leader in those critical research areas.”

Babu, who holds a faculty appointment in the Tickle College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering at UT, has helped the university take part in a wide variety of initiatives since his arrival in 2013.

Babu has been a key figure in IACMI – The Composites Institute, a $259 million UT-led institution that has industry, research, government, and university partners across 37 states.

He was selected by the U.S. Navy to lead a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative – the first time a UT professor has been chosen for the award.

“Dr. Riedinger has positioned the Bredesen Center as one of the key partnerships between UT and ORNL and has developed it into a beacon among UT’s graduate programs,” Babu says. “I am honored to have been chosen to continue the good work that he has generated through the center and also to work with UT students who are destined to be global thought leaders while providing tangible local impact.”

Johnson joins Tranzonic as manager


Danya Johnson has joined the Tranzonic Companies as product assurance manager at the manufacturing firm’s West Knoxville facility.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, The Tranzonic Companies has been in business for more than 90 years and manufactures wiping cloths; personal hygiene products; textiles; washroom supplies and accessories; wiping and cleaning supplies; and safety products.

The Knoxville facility, located off Hardin Valley Road, is the largest manufacturing and distribution site for The Tranzonic Companies.

“Danya brings a deep well of high-quality experience to our operations,” says Brian Rhoades, vice president of operations in Knoxville. “As we pursue a better way every day, she will ensure that our systems and processes are reviewed for continuous improvement. We welcome her to the Tranzonic team.”

Johnson has more than 20 years of experience in quality control inspection and management. Previously, she held multiple positions at WS Packaging Group – first in Knoxville and then Peachtree City, Georgia – including quality manager, environment, health and safety coordinator and International Organization for Standardization plant manager representative. Prior to that, she was a quality auditor at Compaq Computer Corporation.

Johnson is a certified ISO lead auditor and holds an Impact Analysis Leadership certification.

Cherokee Farm CEO to leave position


Cliff Hawks, the leader of Cherokee Farm Development Corporation, has stepped down after six years as president and CEO.

A new leader for Cherokee Farm Development Corporation is expected to be named in the first quarter of 2019.

The corporation was formed to help develop The University of Tennessee Research Park at Cherokee Farm.

Previously, Hawks had more than 20 years of experience in local government, politics and economic development in the Nashville area.

“Cliff Hawks understood our vision for the research park and helped launch this important venture,” says Dr. Stacey Patterson, UT vice president for research, outreach and economic development. “We want to thank him for his service to the university and especially his work in bringing private industry to the research park.”

Private industry partners at the research park’s Innovation North building include Arkis BioSciences, AUBO Robotics USA, Civil & Environmental Consultants, and University Health System divisions for Internet Technologies and Heart Lung Vascular Data Research and Management.

“Our primary goal was to develop public-private partnerships that build relationships with the technology resources in our region to create breakthroughs in diverse fields,” Hawks says. “I am proud of what we were able to accomplish. The foundation has been set, and I look forward to seeing new partners come on board in the future.”

Simpson named to Academy of Inventors


Michael L. Simpson, a corporate fellow researcher. at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Simpson will be inducted as an NAI fellow during the academy’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. in April.

The NAI fellows selection committee and board of directors cited Simpson for “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.”

Named an ORNL Corporate Fellow in 2014, Simpson is a Battelle Memorial Institute Distinguished Inventor and was 2009’s UT-Battelle Distinguished Scientist. He is also a fellow of the IEEE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Simpson has published more than 160 refereed journal papers that have been cited more than 11,500 times, and has been awarded 35 patents.

He leads the Nanofabrication Research Laboratory in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at ORNL and is a professor in the departments of Material Science and Engineering and Energy Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He is assistant director of the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

LeConte Cardiology adds Tate to heart team

LeConte Cardiology Associates welcomes nurse practitioner Lorrie Tate, NP to its heart care staff.

She joins the physician assistant and works with board-certified cardiologists.

Her clinical interests include preventative medicine, diabetes management and cardiac care.

Tate holds a master’s degree in nursing, acute care nurse practitioner, from the University of Alabama Birmingham and a master’s degree in nursing community health and informatics from Jacksonville State University from where she also received her bachelor’s degree.

LeConte Cardiology Associates is located at LeConte Medical Center, 744 Middle Creek Road, Suite 114, Sevierville.

Ritchey, Miller earn NEH fellowships


Two professors in the University of Tennessee’s College of Arts and Sciences, Sara Ritchey and Anne-Hélène Miller, were awarded yearlong fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support their research into medieval history and literature.


Ritchey, associate professor of history, and Miller, assistant professor of French, both received grants of $60,000.

Both professors have appointments with the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UT’s center for the study of history and culture from approximately 300 to 1700 AD.

Ritchey received the award for her research into religious women’s medical knowledge and health care practices in 13th-century Europe. The grant enables her to spend all of 2019 completing her book, “Salvation is Medicine: Gender and the Caregiving Communities of Late Medieval Europe.’’

Miller will use her grant to continue her research into the development of 14th-century French literary culture. She also plans to publish a book, “The Formation of a Francophone Identity in Fourteenth-Century Literature.”

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