Dr. Chris Smith has received the 2017 President’s Award for CONNECT from the University of Tennessee for her outreach, engagement, service efforts and programs as director of the UTC School of Nursing and Student Health Services Clinic.

In addition to her demanding administrative position, Smith developed and received a $1.2 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to explore obesity across the lifespan. Through this grant, the UTC School of Nursing and the UTC Department of Health and Human Performance has successfully partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Girls’ Leadership Academy, the Childhood Healthy Eating Active Living program at Erlanger Health Systems, and the Chattanooga Downtown YMCA. The goal of this inter professional project is to combat obesity and sedentary lifestyles for the residents in southeast Tennessee.

“She goes above the call of duty for her university and the larger Chattanooga community,” wrote Steven Angle, UTC chancellor, in his nomination letter. “Chris educates the next generation on the importance of community outreach, and our students see firsthand the importance of reaching out to those in need.”

During her tenure as director of the School of Nursing, faculty members have launched a foot care clinic to combat chronic disease in the region’s homeless residents. This local program engages the nursing students in the community, as well as provides hand-on experience.

UTC Chancellor Dr. Steve Angle; President’s Award recipient Dr. Chris Smith; UT President Dr. Joe DiPietro

She encourages faculty to involve UTC nursing students in opportunities that expose them to international medical care through in-service trips to Haiti and Costa Rica. Through this program, School of Nursing students volunteer in health clinics, encountering skin conditions, parasites, and other acute illnesses.

Smith was selected from nominees representing every campus and institute in the University of Tennessee. The President’s Awards were created to honor and celebrate UT employees’ contributions and achievements. Winners are recognized each year when UT President Joe DiPietro delivers his State of the University address in Nashville.

In addition to Smith, other UTC campus nominees for the UT President’s Awards include: Yancy Freeman, Associate Provost for Enrollment Services, SUPPORT category; Dr. Hope Klug, UC Foundation Associate Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences, DISCOVER category; and Laurie Melnik, Executive Director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, EDUCATE category.

Smith was selected from nominees representing every campus and institute in the University of Tennessee. The President’s Awards were created to honor and celebrate UT employees’ contributions and achievements. Winners are recognized each year when UT President Joe DiPietro delivers his State of the University address in Nashville.


Media Relations Contacts: Email Chuck Cantrell or call (423) 425-4363.

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1 Comment » for Dr. Chris Smith receives 2017 UT President’s Award
  1. David Levine says:

    Congratulations Chris!

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