Skip to content

Microbiology in the News

Lebeis, Wilhelm Honored at Annual College Banquet

Lebeis, Wilhelm Honored at Annual College Banquet

The 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards banquet took place Thursday, December 5 at the Holiday Inn Downtown. From Diversity Leadership to awards in research, advising, and teaching, the annual awards banquet honors faculty excellence in all areas of the college mission.

Sarah Lebeis and Steven Wilhelm received awards for their work in the Department of Microbiology.

“As we recognize particularly outstanding faculty this evening, I want to thank all of our faculty in the college, individually and collectively, for everything you do— your teaching, research, service on college and university committees, thesis committees, and tenure and promotion committees, and service to the public through community engagement,” said Theresa Lee, dean of the college and emcee for the awards ceremony. “A college can be no greater or stronger than its faculty and the College of Arts and Sciences is a college of excellence because each of you has a passion for our profession and you work selflessly to make our students, departments and university the best they can be.”

Sarah Lebeis, assistant professor of microbiology, received a Junior Faculty Teaching Award. Prior to coming to UT, Lebeis had an NIH-SPIRE postdoc, which included training in teaching, including using engaged learning. She has utilized this experience in a wide range of courses by bringing in real-life examples for students to investigate using in-class ideas. Students appreciate the knowledge she brings to the class and the way that she uses the real-life material to make the course more interactive. She continues the engagement through mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in her lab. Finally, she contributes beyond UT by creating an annual workshop for K-12 teachers.

Steven Wilhelm, professor of microbiology, received the Distinguished Research Career Award. Wilhelm has pioneered the study of the roles of viruses in aquatic biogeochemical cycles and the development of a better understanding of factors that constrain toxic cyanobacteria. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology and the Association of the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. His current sponsored funding totals $3.5 million. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. His research on Great Lakes harmful algae and seawater giant viruses has received broad national press, including from USA Today and The Atlantic. Wilhelm is a model teacher-scholar who integrates cutting-edge research with graduate and undergraduate student education.

Congratulations to our Department of Microbiology faculty award winners.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.