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, 2018
When Carla Mason heard a scream from a student, she didn’t hesitate to jump into action. She was completing her custodial work in Hooper Hall when she raced into the bathroom to check on the student. When she found the upset student, she described “just grabbing her and hugging her.” Once the student calmed down, she said, “I needed that. I so needed that. Thank you so much.”
Jean Rice, accounting specialist in the UTC Office of Budget and Finance, was so moved by Carla’s action that she nominated her for a Blue Ribbon Award. “Considering that some of our students are away from home, it was extremely nice that she showed empathy and support to the student that she helped,” she said.
Late on a Friday afternoon, a few engineering students visited Tim Pridemore’s office with an unusual request. As members of the UTC Chem-E car team, they needed to ship hazardous chemicals to the location of their next competition. Tim, a longtime employee of the UTC Office of Safety and Risk Management, dropped what he was doing to help the students.
“Tim did not put them off. Instead, he told them that he would stay as long as he was needed because students come first. Tim’s help and guidance were instrumental to the success of the team’s entry into the competition. Without his willingness to stay as long as it takes to get the chemicals properly sealed and mailed, the student entry might have been delayed,” Bob Jackson, UTC Director for Safety and Risk Management, said. “Tim’s passion for UTC’s mission is a success story, as it has been every year and every day in his support of students.”
Robie Robinson isn’t one to hesitate when someone needs help. As the Executive Director of Emergency Services at UTC, he’s used to jumping in and fixing problems. He did just that when a water fitting ruptured on the fourth floor of the EMCS building.
Robinson directed the efforts of the UTC Police and Office of Facilities Planning and Management, the Chattanooga Fire Department and a contractor called upon to assist with clean up. For Susan Cardwell, an employee in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the time, Robinson’s leadership resulted in a prompt clean-up and return to regular operations.
“His calm and comprehensive decision making and attention to details ensured that the classroom areas and labs affected would be ready for classes to resume for the spring semester,” she said.
“Although this type of response is required of his position, Mr. Robinson went out of his way to assist with the cleanup and with helping with any necessary follow up,” she continued. “His dedication to the University and commitment to its students, faculty, and staff were evident in his actions in this situation. We are fortunate to have him as our colleague.”
Jason Lyon lives by the UTC’s motto “Students First” no matter what time of day it is. When a prospective student walked into the admissions office looking for help, it didn’t matter that it was close to 5 p.m. and Jason was getting ready to leave after completing a full day of work.
“He sat with her in the lobby answering every questions until 5:45 pm. The office was closed but he wanted to make sure she had a solution before she left. To me that is the definition of ‘Students First,’ taking time to help her even before she was an admitted or enrolled student,” Brandon Justice, a recruitment programming coordinator at the time, said.
For Brandon, this moment demonstrated Jason’s style of leadership.
“This is not the first time I have noticed Jason taking extra time to help a prospective student, it was something I saw firsthand and serves as a reminder of our jobs,” he said. “Jason consistently leads by example, and this was just one time of many where that is the case.”
As the head of the Department of Health and Human Performance, Dr. Marisa Colston manages a large team of 20 faculty members and guides 900 students through her department’s academic programs. She couldn’t do it all without the help of the department’s accounting assistant, Susan Gutshall.
When the department had an unexpected administrative support vacancy, Susan didn’t hesitate to take on extra work.
“Despite having to carry the load of two people, she has remained positive. She has supported me and the department exceptionally well and has kept a positive attitude through it all. She often stays after hours, even though she has not been asked to do so,” Colston said.
For Colston, Susan’s positive attitude, whether coordinating the logistics of an annual retreat or reworking the department’s budget, has been invaluable to her.
“I am indebted to Susan for her dedication, loyalty, sense of humor, and all-around delightful personality that makes coming to work a joy,” she said.
No job is too small for Brett Fuchs, associate dean of students for student conduct, outreach and support. Pam Blevins, administrative coordinator and assistant to vice chancellor for student development, can always count on him to lend a hand.
“In spite of his extremely busy calendar and the stressful nature of his work, he is always willing to make the time to assist his colleagues in any way he can,” Blevins said. “This usually involves ‘grunt work’ like trips to UTC Mail Services to pick up heavy packages and collecting Scrappy’s Cupboard donations from all over campus.”
Brett also doesn’t hesitate to help out others.
“Most recently, he volunteered to cover for not only his administrative coordinator, but an additional three others in the office area for an entire day while we attended the Extraordinary Administrative Support Professionals Conference,” she said. “I would love for Brett to be recognized for his selfless acts and contributions day in and day out.”