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

Is there someone who continues to smile and have a positive attitude even when the workload is heavy? If you know just the person who fits this description, you can show your appreciation by nominating that person for the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award.

Each month a committee, appointed by the Chancellor, chooses a Blue Ribbon Award winner who exhibits outstanding service to others from your nominations.  All full and part-time non-faculty UTC or UC Foundation staff are eligible for the award.  Nominations may be submitted by an UTC faculty, staff, student or member of the community.

Nominations must be received by the 10th of every month to be considered for the following month’s award. Submissions received after that date will be considered for the next month.  Nominations should be specific in identifying incidents or situations reflecting the reasons the nominee is deserving of this honor.

Please submit your nomination by clicking here.  Contact Janice Michaels, in Human Resources, at 423-425-4221 or Janice-Michaels@utc.edu if additional information is needed.

Blue Ribbon Winners, 2019


When diagnosed with a medical condition, Sandy Thornton stepped in and did all of my accounting for the University Center the entire time I was unable to work, states June Knowles. Not only did she do all of my accounting, she’d also call and or text me while I was away to see if I was okay or needed anything.

Sandy was very helpful and updated me on everything I missed while I was out. She is always just a phone call away. She always tells me, “that’s what co-workers are for. We are supposed to help each other.



The first weeks of each semester are days of high stress for School of Nursing students. Not only do they have a full load of classroom assignments, more than 150 of them must find time to head to the lab and practice their nursing skills.

Academic Support Specialist Michelle Rosana found a way to make it easier on the students, and her creative solution is one of the reasons she is a winner of a Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award for February 2019.

Under her direction, the lab is now open evenings and weekends, giving students more time to fit lab work into an already-packed schedule. She also incorporates new items that make the lab more like a working hospital. When students enter the clinical setting, they are better prepared and job-ready, one of the major goals for the School of Nursing.

But Michelle doesn’t stop there. She gives additional assistance to faculty members with the logistics of scheduling, anticipating their needs, states Tessa Mullinax-Baker who nominated her for the Blue Ribbon Award.

Michelle Rosano truly goes the extra mile to ensure a positive experience for the students and faculty in the School of Nursing, making her an excellent choice for the Blue Ribbon Award.



The Rollins College of Business employs a number of Graduate Assistants and, according to Christine Estoye, Sheri Carmichael likes to surprise them with little gift bags and hosting a chili dinner several times a year. She also lends a hand to the international students who attend the Rollins COB and ensures they feel at home in their dorms by lending them kitchen items for the semester and making grocery runs with them. The students truly appreciate having a “UTC mom”.



Bob Jackson and Robie Robinson recognized the impact of Faith Garner’s actions when a fellow employee was attending a national conference out-of-state and fell ill.  Faith’s dogged efforts…safely brought our Moc back to Chattanooga.  Jean-Marie Lawrence said “Her diligence and care helped me focus on healing and allowed me to get home as quickly as possible.”



Shirl Gholston and Melissa Laseter of Student Support Services are co-recipients for the month of May.

In her nomination letter, Stacie Grisham stated that Shirl’s dedication was apparent during the 50th Anniversary TRIO Ceremony that she coordinated. She used her own personal funds to purchase food and cook for the attendees. During the program, countless students vocalized their appreciation of “Mrs. G” for her support and guidance in their academic journey.

Melissa performs duties outside of her position description, states Shirl Gholston when nominating Melissa. She understands that student engagement with SSS leads to positive student outcomes. She maintains a student first attitude, no matter what the student need may be.



Whether it was an early morning meeting to discuss the budget, or a discussion about the HR process that continued well beyond business hours, Terri Bearbower was always available and accessible. Furthermore, states Lisa Piazza, I have been most impressed with how she consistently goes above and beyond to support our unit although it is by no means her obligation to do so.  In my view, Ms. Bearbower exemplifies the spirit of the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award. She is a role model, and she consistently demonstrates professionalism, dedication to her position and the institution, and a collaborative spirit.



Sergeant Harry Wolverton serves as the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Liaison Officer (SARVLO) for the UTC Police Department. In his nomination letter, Craig Hamilton states that Sgt. Wolverton consistently demonstrates compassion with victim-focused investigative responses while interacting with internal and external partners.  Sgt. Wolverton is often the first to respond to shift and special event staffing needs, as well as being a key contributor in improvement to the process necessary for hiring staff members.  He has been a great asset to the UTC Police Department since 2012.



Ruby Jordan is always cheerful and helpful with kind words for everyone states Judy Gallagher in her nomination letter.  She goes beyond what are considered her normal responsibilities. For instance, when she saw that the wife of a staff member who had passed away had run out of boxes while packing his office, Ruby found boxes and packed them for her. She then made sure to dust all of the shelves.  Ruby has served as a Custodian in Building Services for 20 years.



According to Faith Garner, Megs Hazare is one of those people who is happy to help in whatever way is needed.  This was very apparent late one Friday evening when we were having phone issues and I called the IT hotline hoping to catch someone before 5:00.  My call was forwarded to Megs who quickly determined what happened. Even though he had to leave to pick his child up from daycare, he came back to campus after hours to fix the problem. Not many people will willingly, and without complaint, come back after hours on a Friday night to help a co-worker, but I don’t think this is unusual for Megs.



Nominated by Amie Haun, Sue Culpepper and Jaclyn York are co-recipients for the month of October.  According to Amie, on Wed 8/28/19 Sue noticed out her window that police were running into Fletcher Hall. She alerted her coworkers and they began working to gather students and alert faculty. Jaclyn then went down to the first floor and opened Amie’s closed classroom door to alert her and to lock her door so as to give her some protection from any unwanted visitor that might attempt to harm them.  Their acts of courage and concern were appreciated.



Nominated by 12 different people, Kim McCroskey was recognized for the impact of her efforts in the School of Nursing at UTC.  When nominating Kim, Dr. Susan Thul & the School of Nursing faculty stated “This nomination represents our recognition of and appreciation for Kim’s approach to the very challenging & time consuming task of transition Nursing courses to Canvas. At a time when technology advances can reduce human interaction & customer service, Kim went above & beyond to make sure the School of Nursing faculty felt empowered & well supported.



In her nomination form, Amye Warren recognized recognized Angelique Cook, Academic Advisor in Psychology, stating “She advises over 500 students per semester and often arrives early and stays late to accommodate the students’ schedules. She takes the time to learn students’ goals to devise individualized recommendations, plans & opportunities for each student.” We believe that Angelique exemplifies the “Students First” approach advocated by UTC.

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