Three of the ten Unbought and Unbossed women honored by Girls Inc. of Chattanooga in 2014 are employed by UTC. They are Dr. Stephanie Bellar, Dr. Christine Benz Smith, and Dr. Kathy Purnell.
The UnBought and UnBossed Awards honor local women whose career achievements or community service have made an impact on the lives of Hamilton County girls and women. Honorees are chosen annually from community nominations by girls participating in the Girls Inc. Women’s History Project.
Dr. Stephanie Bellar, professor of Political Science, Public Administration, and Nonprofit Management at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, has focused her research on issues related to child care and the role of women in politics and in public agencies.
Bellar’s outstanding service as interim dean of the graduate school at UTC lead to the addition of a new master’s degree in mathematics and a doctoral degree in nursing. A regional tuition rate for selected counties in Georgia and Alabama was also initiated during her interim tenure.
Bellar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Sociology followed by a Master’s degree, both from Austin Peay State University. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky where she specialized in public budgeting, government and the economy, public policy, and the resources, roles, and perspectives of women and minority candidates for city council positions.
UTC alumna Dr. Christine Benz Smith was recently selected as the Director of the UTC School of Nursing and Coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration.
She has served in several capacities at UTC since she joined the UTC School of Nursing (SON) faculty in 1997.
Smith was appointed Interim Director of UTC SON in January 2013 after serving as Associate Director of the school and Coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration.
In 2012, Smith received the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Chattanooga Keystone Award.
Smith offers her expertise in education and health care by serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Girls’ Preparatory School, as a member of the Board of Directors for Hospice of Chattanooga, and as a trustee for the Weldon F. Osborn Foundation. She works with many local health care facilities and providers, strengthening valuable partnerships for the UTC School of Nursing in the community.
She earned the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. She received the Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration from UTC and the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing was awarded by East Tennessee State University.
Dr. Kathy Purnell, Field Education Coordinator and lecturer in the Department of Social Work at UTC, is from London, England. She lived and grew up in a multi-cultural environment in West London, UK, where she developed an interest in diversity, international social work, empowerment and issues related to social and economic justice.
She joined the UTC Social Work department in the fall of 2005. She brings extensive teaching and practice experience to her role as the Field Education Coordinator and lecturer. She has taught a variety of practice classes while preparing students for Field Education.
Purnell’s areas of interest include individual and community practice, program and curriculum development, and diversity awareness.