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Torchbearer is the highest honor the university gives to its students. Recognition as a Torchbearer reminds us all that those who bear the Torch of Enlightenment shadow themselves to give light to others. Several CBE students have been named Torchbearers.

Nicholas Ross, 2020

Nicholas Ross, of Johnson City, Tennessee, is a Chancellor’s Honors student. Ross served as a student coordinator for both the Ignite Program and the VOLbreaks Program with the Jones Center for Leadership and Service. He was also president of Delta Tau Delta, an ambassador for the Office of Engineering Professional Practice, and founder and president of Knoxville Elementary Outreach. A National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholar, Ross has extensive undergraduate research experience, including internships at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the US Senate HELP Committee, and Imara Microfinance in Nakuru, Kenya. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Stanford after graduation.

Chase Toth, 2019

Chase Toth is a Chancellor’s Honors Program student. As a student coordinator for the VOLbreaks Program, he has led groups of his peers on trips to engage in hands-on, direct service while exploring the root causes of homelessness and poverty, along with sustainability practices. He also served as an Ignite team leader and student director, and a member of the Leadership Knoxville Scholars program.

He and the other six students learned of their selection through a surprise visit by the chancellor or a member of his cabinet.

Amany Alshibli, 2018

Amany Alshibli, a CBE senior from Knoxville, is a Haslam Scholar, a Grand Challenge Scholar, a research assistant, and an Engineering Ambassador. When Alshibli, an aspiring medical student, couldn’t find specific research experience in cardiac regenerative medicine on campus, she traveled to Scotland to work on a project.

Even with a demanding major, Alshibli has found time to tutor students and assist with science programs at Pond Gap Elementary School, launch the Einstein Science Club at Annoor Academy, organize TEDxUTK conferences, and serve as vice president of the Muslim Student Association.

Akshitha Yarrabothula, 2013

CBE’s Akshitha Yarrabothula is a Haslam Scholar, Chancellor’s Scholar, and Baker Scholar. Her dedication to research earned her a position as an undergraduate research assistant conducting graduate-level research. Her accolades include selection as the engineering first place divisional winner of the 2011 EUReCA competition and as UT’s representative for the first SEC Symposium.

She has helped others through volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Knoxville and in the emergency room at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, among other organizations. Yarrabothula has led campus groups such as the Delta Phi Omega Sorority and the Society of Women Engineers.

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