On November 2, Dr. Michael H. Jones was honored for 42 years of service to the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the entire University. His work as teacher and mentor to literally thousands of students has had a lasting positive impact on their lives and the life of CECS.
Dr. Jones began his career as the college’s Director of Freshman Engineering, where he served for more than 20 years, coordinating advisement and orientation for all freshmen and transfer students and organizing and compiling course schedules for the entire college. It was with his leadership and that of others in the College, that the Mechanical, Civil, and Chemical Engineering programs obtained program accreditation from the Accrediting Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), and approval of the degree designations, BSME, BSChE, and BSCE from THEC.
Over the course of his work at CECS, Dr. Jones received over 20 outstanding teaching awards, including SGA Teacher of the Year. “Tennessee Jones,” his alter ego character depicted in dozens of engineering problems in multiple disciplines has become a favorite of two generations of UTC students. In addition to his dedicated work as teacher and mentor, he served for over twenty years as a volunteer coach of the UTC Men’s and Women’s Track and Cross-Country Teams. For ten years, Dr. Jones served as UTC’s Faculty Representative to the Southern Conference and was named to the Conference’s All Conference Faculty Team for 2015-16. Dr. Jones also led the campus’ efforts to establish a student chapter of Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honor Society.
At the event attended by dozens of alumni from four decades, faculty, friends, and community leaders, long-time colleague Dr. Gary McDonald served as Master of Ceremonies, with remarks offered by CECS Dean Daniel Pack, UTC Chancellor Emeritus Bill Stacy, and Bill Gautier, Retired Head Coach of the UTC Men’s and Women’s Track and Cross Country Teams. In response to the remarks and the participation by many in honoring him on that afternoon, Dr. Jones conveyed his thanks and challenged all present to “find what they love to do, and love to do it.” For Dr. Mike “Tennessee” Jones – he did just that – he found that he loved teaching, and he loved doing it.