Has a UTC employee gone the extra mile to help you?

You can show your appreciation by nominating that person for the Blue Ribbon Award. A committee appointed by the chancellor will select monthly an award winner who exhibits outstanding service to others. Nominations should be specific in identifying incidents or situations that show the nominee has served his/her customers with special distinction.

If you have a nominee to be considered at an upcoming meeting, please e-mail your nomination to Melanie Sadler (Melanie-Sadler@utc.edu), Human Resources Administrative Assistant, or mail to Dept. 3603.

All non-faculty staff (full or part-time) with at least one year’s regular service are eligible for the award. Any UTC faculty, staff, student, alumnus, or member of the community are invited to submit nominations.

Blue Ribbon Winners, 2015


Cindy Williams, Assistant to the Associate Provost, is known around campus for her friendliness and helpfulness. She has been especially helpful to new employee, Madison Dell, Administrative Support Assistant for the Department of Integrated Studies, as she learned about her duties in her new position.

“In the last few months, Cindy has helped me learn how to do travel, how to do a purchase requisition, how to reconcile a procurement card, how to read and interpret ledgers–the list goes on and on! No matter how busy her schedule is, she always makes time to help others,” Dell said.

Dell also praised Cindy for her work ethic.

“No matter how busy her schedule is, she always makes time to help others. At this point in the semester Cindy is very busy with checking through every syllabus for every class on campus for SACS. However, she volunteered to help Dr. Rutledge with a search committee (for the Vice Chancellor of Research/Dean of the Graduate School) despite her already full schedule,” Dell said. “She has done a terrific job with the search, with the syllabi, and with everything else on her plate (and she does it all with a smile)!”


As Director of Operations for Mocs Football, Carter Crutchfield made an impression on Dave Snyder, UTC Director of Sports Medicine. According to Snyder, Crutchfield had to think quick when a third bus didn’t show right before the team’s seven-plus hour trip to South Carolina.

“In the midst of this trouble, Carter kept his composure and treated everyone involved in a very kind and professional manner. He represented UTC, the athletic department, and his family very well. This is just one example of the types of problems that pop up and Carter handles them with honor and class,” Snyder said.

“He works tirelessly to help our football program run in an organized and efficient fashion. His is a job that is very difficult and comes with little appreciation. Having observed the program prior to Carter’s arrival and seeing how it is now there is no doubt that he has made a substantial impact,” Snyder continued.


Moving into the library was no easy feat, but Victor Howell, Assistant Director of Purchasing, went above and beyond to make sure everything was in its place before the new library’s doors were opened to campus.

“Victor, on more than one occasion, stayed late and prioritized new library purchases so they could be received and implemented prior to opening the new building,” explained Theresa Liedtka, Dean, Library.

Liedtka continued, “He ushered purchase orders and bids through the process, frequently reaching out personally to approve each in order to expedite the process.”

April – May

Warren “Cooter” Simpson, Craft Supervisor, and Jerry “JJ” Taylor, Sr Electrician, were crucial assets for the new library as unexpected technology and electrical problems occurred during relocation to the new building.

Theresa Liedtka, Dean, Library said, “They designed and securely installed ‘media hubs’ in the group rooms, a task that our contractors did poorly.”

“They also researched and installed new floor ports across the building when it was discovered that the ports installed would not work for UTC students,” Liedtka added. Warren “Cooter” Simpson earned the Blue Ribbon Award for April 2015 and Jerry “JJ” Taylor earned the Blue Ribbon Award for May 2015.


When Dr. Lyn Miles found herself in a bind while trying to prep an experiential learning exercise for her Anthropology class of 96 students, Mary Marr, Sr Instructional Designer, Walker Center for Teaching and Learning, took an hour out of her day to help Miles organize and prepare material, including over a thousand yards of cord and twine, for a class activity.

“I expect teaching help from Walker Center, but this went above and beyond normal duties–and at 5 P.M. no less, when we are all rushing to get home” Miles said.

Miles continued, “It’s this ‘going the extra mile’ that I try to instill in our students–and Mary is a shining example.”


Many times, the artists brought in by the Patten Performances require difficult and complicated specifications for their lighting and sound needs. Sam Fort, Media Production Coordinator, Fine Arts Center, handles these behind-the-scene demands with grace and patience.

“Most specifically, though, is Sam’s management of the extremely complicated and time consuming lighting hang for the Swiss mime artists Mummenschanz during the recent campus closing, then reopening, which reduced the time available to complete the work by almost 24 hours,” said Robert Boyer, Director, Patten Performances.

“Sam’s ability to overcome the time constraints due to campus closings and having the technical needs of the performance ready in time for the scheduled Tuesday evening performance went far beyond what would be expected of technical support personnel in the worst of circumstances,” Boyer concluded.


On numerous occasions, faculty have witnessed students personally thank Jessica Pierce, Academic Advisor, Health and Human Performance, for her help, noting Jessica as the reason they were able to graduate. She tackles dilemmas and recalls details “with humor and fierce passion.”

“When I am stumped on how to manage a student’s schedule, I know that I can email Jessica and within minutes, she will have an answer for me. I have never seen this kind of service or dedication in all of my years teaching and directing programs in higher education,” said Dr. Charlene Schmidt, Assistant Professor, Health and Human Performance.

“She truly cares and puts students first as the UTC motto directs. This is rare,” Schmidt added.


When the entire department of Political Science, Public Administration, and Nonprofit Management moved for Fletcher to Pfeiffer Hall, last summer had the potential to become chaotic and disruptive to the faculty’s work. But, Amy Oaks, Admin Support Asst III, handled the details of the move with a sense of professionalism, good humor, and precision that the entire department appreciated.

“Amy is an invaluable member of our team and it is good to know that once we discuss various problems and determine the proper course to a solution, I can trust her in implementing these decisions,” explained Dr. Michelle Deardorff, Professor and Department Head, Political Science, Public Administration, and Nonprofit Management.

“One of the things that stood out about Amy’s participation in our move to Pfeiffer was the way she maintained her good humor. Not only did she help keep everything as organized as possible, but she was always there to answer questions and offer information. Beyond this, she anticipated our needs in advance, and was always there to help, even with the manual labor of moving bookshelves around in my office!” said Dr. Jessica Auchter, Assistant Professor, Political Science.


Jean Walston, Preschool Assistant Teacher at the UTC Children’s Center, Battle Academy location, and ERC Representative, is a dedicated, humble person who has created a wonderful working relationship with those around her.

“Not only is she a great teacher of preschool children, she is a wonderful staff member and coworker,” said Jackie Tate, Administrative Specialist, UTC Children’s Center. “Whenever we have a celebration of any kind, she is the person who organizes it. When a staff member has a birthday, she will make a cake and bring it for them. She makes holiday goodies and distributes them to the Kitchen Staff at Battle Academy. She helps with our Summer Kick Off and our Scholastic Book Fair. Each of these events are a huge success because of her dedication and many hours of planning with staff and coordinating volunteers. I feel she really deserves the recognition for her many years of selfless giving to the staff, families, and children of UTC Children’s Center.”


Marion Perkins, Administrative Specialist in the Music Department, has been known for her friendliness, conscientious attention to details, and incredible patience since she began working at UTC in 2011.

Marion has always been willing to go the extra mile to help others, but this was particularly apparent early in 2015, when Administrative Assistant Nancy Leamon went on extended sick leave. Despite the fact that Spring is an especially busy time for the music department, Marion picked up whatever needed to be done in addition to her own demanding duties.

“It’s no easy matter to cover two positions, but Marion was organized enough to delegate duties in an efficient, professional, and caring manner. We are very fortunate to have Marion and should recognize her work in going above and beyond the call of duty,” said Dr. Lee Harris, Head of the Music Department.

“She is deeply involved with assisting every faculty member, every performing group, and every student that calls the music department home. She has been a kind co-worker who offered me counsel at every turn, and took me under her wing to make certain that I felt welcomed and appreciated. She is passionate in her work, and it truly is a privilege to call her a colleague. Marion Perkins is the glue that holds the Music Department together,” said Jordan Hicks, Administrative Assistant.


Gayle Barrett, Contract Coordinator, is a critical part of the programs that are a part of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies (CHEPS). Almost every degree within CHEPS has field placement requirements, many of which involve multiple organizations or institutions. For every one of these, a contract is required.

“Gayle has been an integral component as she has ensured that the required paperwork has been submitted, reviewed, approved, and completed. Not only does she oversee the contract process while at work, it is not uncommon for her to spend her own time to assist faculty and staff in clarifying requirements, assuring that the correct signatures have been obtained, and shepherding all of the documents through the required steps from beginning to end. The service she provides is vital,” said Dr. Valerie Rutledge, Dean of CHEPS.

“Each program director, department head, faculty member, staff member, and student is positively impacted by her work ethic and her desire to make certain that everything is done professionally and promptly,” continued Dean Rutledge.

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