business briefs

• Six University of Tennessee researchers recently received the National Science Foundation CAREER awards.

Honorees were Mahshid Ahmadi, assistant professor of materials science and engineering; Jessica Budke, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and director of UT’s Herbarium; Frances Harper, assistant professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education; Olivia Prosper, assistant professor of mathematics; Hector Pulgar, assistant professor of the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Kimberly Sheldon, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology —

The CAREER award is one of the highest honors a junior faculty member in science or engineering can receive. Since 1995, 77 UT researchers have received an NSF CAREER award.

• Although Brent Waugh has resigned as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, organization accomplishments during his seven years at the helm were listed in a BBBSET press release: “nationally recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America each year as a Quality Award winner (2018, 2019, 2020), Pinnacle Award recipient (2017), National Agency of the Year semifinalist (2018) and as national Agency of the Year (2019).” Other highlights under Waugh’s leadership include: in 2021 becoming the largest agency, in terms of children served, in the state of Tennessee; achieving record-breaking fundraising during the past two years; launching new mentoring initiatives, including Bigs in Blue, Reading to Learn, STEM mentoring and college and career readiness; and establishing the agency’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.”