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Meet our team

Name TITLE
Dr. Patrick Akos Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director
Dr. Francis Canedo Director

Haslam Leadership Scholars Faculty Fellows

Name TITLE
Dr. Amber Williams Vice Provost, Division of Student Success
Dr. Joe Scogin Chief Advancement Officer for Strategic Priorities
Dr. Carrie Stephens Professor; Department

of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication,

UT Institute of Agriculture

Dr. Laura Cole Director of the Masters Investment Learning Center
Dr. Joan Heminway Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law

Chancellors Honors Program Faculty Fellows

Name TITLE
Dr. Nathan Hicks Lecturer and Research Assistant Professor, Engineering Fundamentals Program
Dr. Marina Maccari-Clayton Distinguished Lecturer, Department of History

NAME TITLE

Mr. David Matthews

College of Architecture & Design

Dr. Thorsten Huth

Dr. Joan Lind

Dr. Anthony Nownes

College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. John Hess

College of Communication & Information
Dr. Yolanda Kirkpatrick College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences

TBD

College of Emerging and Collaborative Studies

Dr. Allison Adams

College of Music
Dr. Jennifer Smith

College of Nursing

Dr. Robert Mindrup College of Social Work

Dr. Muh. Mosin

Dr. Jennifer Rittenhouse

Haslam College of Business

Dr. Sarah Moorey

Herbert College of Agriculture

Dr. Kody Cooper

Howard H. Baker, Jr.  School of Public Policy & Affairs

Dr. Keith Stanfill

Dr. Nathan Hicks

Tickle College of Engineering

Name TITLE
Dr. Talisha Adams Chief Admissions and Engagement Officer
Leisha Estep Associate Director, Coaching and Alumni Relations
Sophie Cole Honors Coach
Dr. Ryan McCormack Honors Coach
Joe DeFrank Honors Coach
TBD Haslam Leadership Scholars Coordinator
TBD Student Engagement Coordinator
Claire Morrell Admissions Coordinator
Lindsey Brindel Academic Affairs Coordinator

Maddie Bell

Maddie Bell is one of our Ambassadors in the Honors Leadership Program. She is a Sophomore double majoring in Journalism/Electronic Media & Political Science as well as pursuing a minor in leadership through HLP. In her freshman year, she was part of an acapella group on campus (VOLT), served as social media coordinator for Dogwood Hall, and was the Student Government First Year Leadership Council.

As a freshman, she had a great opportunity to serve as a research assistant for Dr. Rachel White helping her gather data on every public school district nationwide to track superintendent attrition, specifically looking at gender and race. She was invited to present with the research team at the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) in Denver, Colorado.

As a sophomore this year she is part of the student government undergraduate senate, interning for the Episcopal on-campus ministry called Tyson House, serving as an Honors Ambassador, and continuing her work with Dr. White and the rest of the team. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, watching Disney movies, going to concerts, and hanging out with her friends and family.

She says, “Being in Honors has given me so many opportunities and I am so thankful to be able to share about my experiences in the Honors program to prospective students like you!”

Michaela Bianco

Michaela is a third-year student in the Haslam College of Business, majoring in Marketing with dual-minors in Honors Leadership Studies and Graphic Design, and a collateral in Leadership. As a first-generation college student, Michaela was unsure of what to expect upon arriving on campus. However, she has thoroughly enjoyed her time at UTK and has become considerably involved in campus organizations, on-campus employment, and leadership positions. As an Honors Ambassador, Halsam Ambassador, and Resident Assistant, Michaela works across campus to engage with prospective and current students. She is also a Student Alumni Associate and Director of AMAze Operations for the American Marketing Association, where she oversees and coordinates AMA’s on-campus corporate consulting program. She looks forward to progressing in her field of digital media marketing, but in the meantime she can be found hiking, attending concerts, and exploring Knoxville’s food scene in her free time!

Jasmine Crigler

Jasmine Crigler is from Memphis, Tennessee. She is a Junior Accounting major with a collateral in Information Management in the Haslam College of Business and a graduate of the 1794 Scholars program. Jasmine holds the role as the Professional Development Chair of NABA Inc. and is responsible for communicating and coordinating with most of the local, regional, and national accounting firms. She is also a member of Multicultural Enhancement for the University of Tennessee (ME4UT) to promote diversity to prospective students and engage with other underrepresented students with similar interests. Jasmine’s intended graduation date is May 2025, and after her undergraduate career she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Accounting and her certification as a Public Accountant. Jasmine looks forward to making prospective students feel at home within University Honors by speaking on her experiences in the 1794 Scholars Program and her academic field. When Jasmine is not in the classroom, she enjoys listening to music, watching streaming services, and spending time with family and friends.

Parker Fields

Parker Fields is a Sophomore in the 1794 Scholars Program from Murfreesboro, TN. He is currently studying Supply Chain Management in the Haslam College of Business. He is actively involved in Beta Upsilon Chi as historian and a recruitment team member, as well as a new member of the Academic Affairs committee in SGA. As a member of the 1794 Scholars Program, Parker has been able to learn how to balance Honors coursework with Greek life and stay active in both. He has also been through the process of changing majors, so he is happy to answer any questions on how it works! When not doing homework, Parker can be found playing tennis, working out in TRECS, or at an athletic event.

Samantha Gross

Samantha Gross is a Sophomore from Waxhaw, North Carolina. She is a Biology major, with a concentration in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology. She is also pursuing a minor in Honors Leadership Studies. As an Honors student, she lived in the Honors LLC her freshman year and has participated in many of the Honors events such as movie nights and study sessions. Outside of Honors, she is a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. Both of these organizations have allowed her to make a home away from home at the University of Tennessee as an out-of-state student.

Cole McFarland

Cole McFarland is a Junior in the Chancellor’s Honors Program from Marshall, Illinois. He is a double major, majoring in Anthropology with an Honors concentration, as well Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology. His focus is primarily on archaeology and human origins. Cole is also a squad leader for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and an FYP Peer Menor. Being a Chancellor’s Honors student has allowed Cole to take part in many different opportunities. Through his Honors thesis project, he has been able to take part in anthropology research in UT’s archaeology labs and the body farm. As a member of the PotS, Cole has been able to represent UT outside of Rocky Top. His favorite trump with the band was to London last summer! He encourages all students to take part in groups like Honors to meet new people, learn important skills, and take part in new experiences!

Ryan Mesler

Ryan is a Sophomore at the University of Tennessee majoring in Biochemistry with minors in English and Spanish. He is a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program, acting as both an Honors RA for Dogwood Hall and the Events Team Lead for the Honors Student Engagement Council. On campus, he is also involved in All Campus Theater, the Museum Student Advisory Board, and as an undergraduate research assistant in the Johnson Lab. During his free time, he enjoys reading classic literature, going on runs, hanging out with friends, playing piano, and acting in local plays and musicals. After college, Ryan hopes to go to graduate school and possibly do research for the CDC.

Simbisoyashe Mushayamunda

Simbisoyashe Mushayamunda (Simbi) is a Sophomore at the University of Tennessee from Johnson City, TN. She is majoring in Interior Architecture, and is a part of the 1794 Scholars Program. Outside of academics, she serves as Secretary of the African Student Association, Treasurer of Strange Fruit Dance Company, and a peer mentor for the Multicultural Mentoring Program. In addition, she is a committed volunteer in the Knoxville and UT community. Within the next two years, she hopes to pursue research in preservation design/sustainability, and develop her understanding of design throughout the rest of her time as a student in the College of Architecture and Design.

Brandon Sisson

Brandon Sisson is a Sophomore in the Chancellor’s Honors Program from Raleigh, NC. Brandon is majoring in architecture within the College of Architecture and Design and is aiming to complete several Construction Science and Management classes as well as classes towards a minor in Business. He is a member of the American Institute for Architecture Students, YoungLife, Campus Outreach, and Rocky Top Rowdies.

As a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program, Brandon has enhanced his education through Honors level classes, enabling him to engage in stimulating coursework, connect with similar-minded students, and gain experience with real-world applications. He has also grown in his leadership skills and community relations by volunteering with several organizations such as Grow Lab and Waste Warriors under the Office of Sustainability. When he’s not pulling an all-nighter in the Architecture building, Brandon can be found painting or sketching a new creative idea, running with his dog, eating Mexican food, or breaking a sweat at the gym. He also loves all things UT, especially the athletics!

Noah Steger

Noah Steger is a Sophomore in the Chancellor’s Honors Program from Peoria, Illinois. He is an Army ROTC Cadet majoring in Psychology. Noah is focused on his responsibilities as a future Army Officer and is heavily involved in the ROTC program on campus. He is a member of the Tennessee Marksmanship and Scabbard & Blade specialty companies and was an Army ROTC and Army Living Learning Community Ambassador. As a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program, Noah has been able to engage in Honors coursework that has been intellectually stimulating and practical towards real-world applications– to include his recent summer abroad studying Cultural Psychology in Italy. Additionally, through his Army involvement, he has been able to gain access to many unique opportunities offered through the ROTC organization. Outside of class, Noah can be found focusing on his physical fitness, enjoying athletics with friends, hiking, or fishing. Upon graduating, Noah will be commissioned as a 2LT in the US Army before pursuing a career with the FBI.

Kelly Su

Kelly Su is a Sophomore from Knoxville, TN in the Haslam Leadership Scholars Program. She is currently double majoring in Economics and Global Studies with a possible minor in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) or Public Policy. She is focused on advocating for a future that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. She is the Co-President of the Compost Coalition and a member of other environmental groups on campus.

As a member of the Haslam Leadership Scholars, Kelly has been able to meet successful and influential business leaders, politicians, and social advocates. She has also had the privilege of visiting the beautiful country of Costa Rica with her Haslam cohort and hopes to continue soaking up the culture of other countries as she prepares for a study abroad in her Junior year. She has been involved with floating wetlands research on campus but is looking for more environmental advocacy and volunteering work now. In her down time, Kelly can be found running around campus, reading a good book, volunteering somewhere outside, hanging out with friends, or watching the vlogbrothers.

Reece Wood

Reece is a Sophomore in the Honors Leadership Program. He is from Knoxville, but his family lives in Missouri. He is planning on majoring in Biology, possibly with a concentration in Public Health, with minors in Spanish and Leadership Studies. He is a part of the Water Polo team, as well as Director of Supplies for Global Brigades, a non-profit organization focused on providing medical relief to underprivileged communities in developing countries. Aas part of Honors Leadership, Reece has been studying leaders and leadership styles and practices. He has been able to use that knowledge as he becomes a leader not only on campus but in his community, like most Tennessee Volunteers. When not in class, Reece can be found on an adventure, hanging with friends, walking, or eating.

Abby Doyle

Abby Doyle is a Freshman in the Chancellor’s Honors Program from Mendham, New Jersey. She has a passion for all things business and is a double major in Marketing and Finance, with a collateral in International Business. Abby is actively involved in Women of Haslam, the American Marketing Association, and The Beauty in Marketing Group. She is also a member of the sorority Alpha Chi Omega, where she is a member of the PR and Marketing Committee. In her free time, she loves going to all the UT sporting events, especially football, traveling, and spending time with friends. She hopes to pursue a career in the Marketing field one day and is excited for the future during and after her time at UT!

Cole McFarland

Cole McFarland is a Senior in the Chancellor’s Honors Program from Marshall, Illinois. He is a double major, majoring in Anthropology with an Honors concentration, as well Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology. His focus is primarily on archaeology and human origins. Cole is also a squad leader for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, an FYP Peer Mentor and a University Honors Ambassador. Being a Chancellor’s Honors student has allowed Cole to take part in many different opportunities. Through his Honors thesis project, he has been able to take part in anthropology research in UT’s archaeology labs and the body farm. As a member of the PotS, Cole has been able to represent UT outside of Rocky Top. His favorite trump with the band was to London last summer! He encourages all students to take part in groups like Honors to meet new people, learn important skills, and take part in new experiences!

Julia Zabek

Julia is a freshman in the 1794 Honors Program majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology and minoring in Spanish. Although both her parents are from Poland, she was born in Knoxville and has grown up a huge UT fan. After completing undergrad, Julia has plans of attending dental school. Outside of honors, she is on the executive board for Alpha Omicron Pi and the Student Dental Association and is an avid volunteer for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. During the next few years, Julia hopes to study abroad in Barcelona, go on a dental service trip, and get involved with research. In her free time, she enjoys painting, spending time outdoors, cheering on the Vols, and trying new places to eat in Knoxville!

Kaci Wimer

Kaci is a Sophomore from Palatine, Illinois. She is a part of the Chancellor’s Honors College and has really enjoyed the community being a part of honors has brought her at UT. She is a double major in Finance and Accounting with a Collateral in International Business at the Haslam College of Business. Besides being a Peer Mentor for the Honors College, she also serves as Founder’s Day Chair for her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and is a member of Women in Accounting. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering on campus and the surrounding Knoxville areas. She looks forward to progressing her career by attending a master’s program after graduation, but in the meantime she can be found hanging out with friends, working out, or listening to music!

Niya Angelova

Niya Angelova is a Freshman in the Chancellor’s Honors Program, majoring in forensic anthropology at the University of Tennessee. She is an Honors Peer Mentor, among other leadership positions.

Niya is involved in several organizations, including Kappa Alpha Pi, a pre-law and government professional fraternity, and Sigma Kappa sorority. She served on the First Year Leadership Council and now represents the College of Arts and Sciences as an Undergraduate Senator.

Additionally, Niya contributes to the UTK Undergraduate Committee on Academic Policy, was a semi-finalist in the McClung Speech Contest, and a participant in the EUReCA research conference. You can often find Niya studying on campus, engaging in leadership activities, and enjoying university events.

Omayah El-Salim

Omayah is a junior majoring in Environmental and Soil Sciences with minors in Watershed and Biological Sciences. This past Spring, she completed the 1794 Honors Program. This program has been essential in providing academic opportunities, fostering a community of high-achieving peers, and offering personalized mentorship and support. In her free time, she volunteers as a Wilderness Club instructor and leader for beginner-geared backpacking trips. She also enjoys backpacking, hiking, reading, and
exploring new places! After college, Omayah hopes to attend graduate school and pursue a career that keeps her outside.

Owen Rich

Owen Rich is a third-year in the Chancellor’s Honors Program studying finance with a concentration in international business. On campus, Owen is involved with the Vol Study Center, HSEC, NRHH, and UTIG. He spent this past summer studying abroad in Iceland, followed by an internship in Boston, MA.

Perry Pearson

Perry is a Sophomore in the Chancellor’s Honors Program from Germantown, TN. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience, hoping to pursue a career in psychological research. Perry is passionate about studying the inner workings of the brain and how to combat mental health issues. Outside of her academic life, Perry is a part of several on-campus organizations including the Italian Club and Climbing Club. She holds a leadership position in RUF, a campus ministry, and as a Youth Intern for Resurrection Presbyterian Church. In her free time, Perry loves spending time outside, hanging out with friends, reading, and trying new coffee shops. She is excited to help incoming students find their unique place on campus and cannot wait to serve as a Peer Mentor!

Ruhaan Shah

Ruhaan Shah is an undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience. He recently completed the 1794 Honors Programs. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree, he plans to attend Medical School, with an aspiration of becoming a surgeon. Ruhaan currently volunteers for the Crisis Text Line, serving as a Crisis Counselor has given Ruhaan the valuable skill set to communicate effectively and efficiently with people. Furthermore, he serves as the Treasurer of the Table Tennis Club and traveled to Atlanta this past February to compete in a tournament. He is also involved with clubs like BEI, RAM, and MSA. He heavily encourages club involvement as it fosters development and helps students find their community on campus. Besides that, Ruhaan enjoys playing video games like League of Legends and Valorant, working out at the gym, and eating out with his friends. Ruhaan is always around on campus studying or volunteering. If you have any questions about how to get involved or Pre-Med opportunities, don’t hesitate to ask, he is always willing to help.

Zainab Alkhasali

Zainab Alkhasali is a Junior from Sevierville, TN. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology. Zainab completed the 1794 Scholars Program this past spring. This opportunity allowed her to actively engage and immerse herself in campus activity and community. As a first generation college student, her academic pursuits are complemented by active involvement in
various clubs and organizations. Zainab holds the role as communications director for the
Pre-PA Student Association. She is also an active member of Brain Exercise Initiative where she volunteers weekly at Parkview Senior Living. She has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Biology 159 in the past and thoroughly enjoyed her experience. Driven by a desire
to make a tangible difference in people’s lives, Zainab aspires to become a physician’s
associate (PA). She works as a medical assistant at UT Medical Center to gain valuable experiences and complete clinical hours by assisting physicians with complex procedures. She also helps run her family’s gift shop business in the Smoky Mountains on weekends where she interacts with hundreds of customers, boosting her communication skills. When she is not studying, working at the hospital, or running the family business, you can find her grabbing an iced coffee and hanging out with friends.

Zuha Khan

Zuha Khan is a Junior that majors in Neuroscience, and she is from Sevierville, Tennessee. After undergrad, she plans to attend medical school. This past spring, she completed the 1794 Scholars Program. This has been a transformative experience as it has allowed her to build upon skills that
are crucial for every physician to develop including strong communication, effective leadership, and a deep compassion for all people. In addition to being a Honors Peer Mentor, she is an active participant in the Brain Exercise Initiative and is a Crisis Text Line Volunteer. Being a first generation college student, she hopes to use her experiences and insights to support incoming freshmen as they work their way through the complexities of college life, including this new transition to an unfamiliar environment. This way, all students are able to find a sense of
belonging within the campus community. Besides these academic interest, she also enjoys Bollywood Dancing, baking, and spending time with her friends and family.