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VOL. 46 | NO. 22 | Friday, June 3, 2022

ORNL scientist Chi selected as MSA fellow

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Miaofang Chi, a scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America.

MSA Fellows are senior distinguished members who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the field of microscopy and microanalysis through a combination of scientific achievement and service to the scientific community. Chi is one of three fellows elected to the 2022 class.

As a scientist at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Chi is a member of the Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy group and develops techniques to advance the study of a broad range of energy materials, including lithium-ion batteries and fuel-cell catalysts.

She has been recognized for pioneering efforts to explore the function of battery materials at the atomic scale, having been twice awarded ORNL’s top science honor – the Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology in 2015 and 2021.

She was named a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in 2018, 2020 and 2021. Chi was also a DOE Early Career Research Program Award recipient in 2019. She has previously been honored by MSA with a Burton Medal Award in 2016 and by the Microanalysis Society, or MAS, with the Kurt Heinrich Award in 2019.

Chi received her doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Davis.

She is a member of MSA, MAS and the Materials Research Society.

Art professor wins UT’s Jefferson Prize

Althea Murphy-Price, a professor of art at the University of Tennessee since 2010, has been awarded the university’s Jefferson Prize.

The honor is given to tenured or tenure-track faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in research and creative activity.

Her teaching and creative research specialize in print media. Earlier recognitions include two Ellen Berry McClung Professorships in 2017 and 2021, a Chancellor’s Professional Development Award, a Senior Diversity Leadership Award, a Chancellor’s Research and Creative Achievement Award, and a Grant for Faculty Research. Murphy-Price’s work has been recognized for its unconventional approaches to the traditions of printmaking.

Murphy-Price founded an exchange program with two historically Black universities, Fisk University and Tennessee State University. She also serves as a diversity faculty fellow in the College of Arts and Sciences.

CPA welcomes Painter as extension specialist

The University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture has added Rachel Painter to its staff.

Painter has joined the CPA as the new statewide extension specialist for value-added marketing.

The CPA is a partnership between the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. The CPA provides educational programming and technical assistance to Tennessee farmers interested in a value-added enterprise to improve farm income.

Painter is no stranger to UT Extension. The Wilson County native has worked the past five years as an extension agent in Rutherford County, specializing in residential and consumer horticulture. In 2020, she was honored with the National Master Gardener Distinguished Early Career Award for her efforts to recruit and retain master gardener volunteers, including reaching new and diverse and audiences.

More recently, she has helped to coordinate efforts to increase awareness of additional market opportunities for Tennessee farmers to connect with the craft beverage industry.

Painter holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics and a bachelor’s in natural resources and environmental economics, both from the University of Tennessee.

Christman adds Walker to Knoxville office

Aaron Walker has joined The Christman Company as a project engineer at the construction management and real estate development firm’s office in Knoxville.

“Aaron has focused on pursuing advanced degrees in business and civil engineering,” says Marty Gibbs, senior vice president and general manager. “He has a desire to offer clients innovative, sustainable solutions, and we are glad to have him deliver through his experience and dedication.”

He currently is working on the expansive renovation project at the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium.

Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tennessee Technological University and a master’s in business administration/master’s in civil engineering from University of Tennessee.

He completed internships at two engineering firms, Robert G. Campbell & Associates and Cannon & Cannon Inc., plus another at Honeywell International Inc. in Atlanta.

Frain named tank truck driving grand champion

The National Tank Truck Carriers has recognized Highway Transport driver Thomas “Tom” Frain as the 2021-2022 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion.

Highway Transport is based in Knoxville.

Frain has more 30 years of professional driving experience and has served as tank truck driver for Highway Transport, a leader in bulk chemical transportation, for seven years.

With more than 2 million accident-free miles, Frain is a leader on and off the road, working with the Highway Transport Safety Department and serving as an instructor and mentor for new drivers.

Highway Transport Service Center Manager Steven Hittinger wrote about Frain in a recommendation:

“He has served as a driver trainer at the Knoxville terminal for the past four years. During that time, he has demonstrated great leadership traits. He works closely with the safety department to develop training videos and serves as instructor and mentor for new drivers in hands-on training classes. Tom is always willing to contribute to any effort that improves the safety of our operations and benefits the company, fellow employees and the motoring public.”

Covenant Health brings Jacobs on board

Family nurse practitioner, Mikki Jacobs, FNP-BC, has joined the Covenant Health team.

She has been hired by Knoxville’s Internal Medicine West.

Jacobs brings 10 years of health care experience to the East Tennessee primary care office and will support internal medicine physicians and care for patients in Knoxville and surrounding counties.

She is a certified family nurse practitioner who received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Tennessee Wesleyan University and her master’s from the University of Tennessee.

Van Dyke tapped as Oak Ridge Schools director

Jenifer Van Dyke has been named as finance director for the Oak Ridge Schools.

For the last eight years, Van Dyke has worked in the Oak Ridge Schools business office as the grant accountant, the district accountant, the business services coordinator and the interim finance director.

In her various roles, she has worked closely with grant managers and the various Oak Ridge Schools departments to help facilitate district needs, worked closely with the school bookkeepers and managed the day-to-day operations of the business office.

Before entering school finance, she worked nine years in the banking industry.

Van Dyke holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

ORAU hires Criswell as associate counsel

Brandon Criswell has recently joined Oak Ridge Associated Universities as associate general counsel.

In his role, Criswell will assist ORAU’s programs and internal business clients with counsel concerning legal rights, contractual obligations, compliance and risk.

“We are excited that Brandon will be joining our team,” said Rachel Lokitz, vice president and general counsel. “Brandon brings experience in counseling clients in multiple areas of civil and business law. He has developed a broad set of skills as an attorney that will translate well to the ORAU General Counsel’s office.”

Criswell has spent the last three years as an associate attorney for Owings, Wilson and Coleman in Knoxville where he advised businesses and professional organizations, consulted for nonprofits and assisted clients in navigating the legal system. Criswell’s experience has mainly been as legal counsel to businesses, LLCs and nonprofits, which has given him the opportunity to advise on a wide range of corporate administrative dealings.

Criswell graduated cum laude from Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law in 2018, where he received the top grade in Property I, Administrative Law. He earned a degree in history from the University of Tennessee in 2015.

White makes Forbes Women advisers list

Anna White, CRPC, APMA, a private wealth adviser with Ameriprise Financial in Knoxville, was named to the list of “Forbes Best-in-State Women Wealth Advisors” published by Forbes Magazine.

The list recognizes financial advisers who have demonstrated high levels of ethical standards, professionalism and success in the business.

White has 16 years of experience.

The rankings are based on data provided by thousands of the nation’s most productive advisers.

Conner earns AICE management award

Harold T. Conner, Ph.D., former director of the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant and a senior adviser to the UCOR President and CEO, has won the 2022 Management Division Award presented by the American Institute for Chemical Engineers.

He is the second UCOR senior manager to receive the award. It was presented to UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter in 2016. The annual award recognizes an outstanding individual who has made a substantial contribution to the management and leadership of engineers involved in the field of chemical engineering.

Conner recently retired as senior adviser to the president of UCOR, an Amentum-led partnership with Jacobs responsible for cleanup of the East Tennessee Technology Park and other parts of the Oak Ridge Reservation. He is senior engineering adviser for Strata-G Corporation, a UCOR small business partner, and serves on the company’s board of directors.

A product of the civil rights era of the 1960s, Conner is the son of schoolteachers. He attended segregated schools in west Tennessee through high school and later became the first African American student to participate in the UT Martin engineering co-op program. He continued to break barriers as his professional career advanced, being named the first African American to be honored as a graduate of the Tickle College of Engineering Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

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