Blue Ribbon Winners, 2019

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 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.

For Your Benefit Fall 2018 Newsletter

For Your Benefit is a newsletter addressing the benefits offered to you as a UT employee. This newsletter provides an opportunity to communicate information and issues that directly affect you. Read MORE… in the Fall 2018 Newsletter.

2018 Service Awards

For the past 38 years staff and faculty have been celebrated for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Recipients will be honored at the Annual Service Awards Program with a luncheon on September 11th at 11:30 AM in the Tennessee Room of the University Center.

Blue Ribbon Winners, 2018

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 (, 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


Carla Mason, Sr Custodian, Building Services

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.


Tim Pridemore, Emergency Management Specialist, Safety & Risk Management

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, Executive Director, Emergency Services

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, Associate Director, Undergraduate Admissions

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.”


Susan Gutshall, Accounting Assistant, Health and Human Performance

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.


Brett Fuchs, Associate Dean of Students for Student Conduct, Student Affairs

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.”


Anthony Storti, Surplus Coordinator, Surplus — Procurement & Contract Services

Although not part of his current job description in the Surplus department, Anthony Storti’s computer skills have helped make the workflow in several UTC departments more efficient and streamlined.

Building databases for the Surplus department made it easier to keep up with inventory and handle the department’s twice-yearly auction. His database for Facilities created a central location showing all the work that needs to be done throughout campus for the next five years. For Safety and Risk Management, his database handles fire extinguisher expiration dates which must be inspected once a month.

Surplus Specialist Sue Garrett, who hired Anthony, calls him “the best co-worker I have ever worked with.”

“Oftentimes in a university we feel divided by our department lines,” she says. “Surplus coordinator Anthony Storti is breaking down those barriers by helping others with his past experience that isn’t necessarily in his job description, creating a more efficient workflow not only for his department, but others he can help along the way.”


Wayne Etherton, General Maintenance Skilled Craft Worker, McKenzie Arena

In McKenzie Arena, when you have an idea or a problem, Wayne Etherton is the go-to guy, a man who, as one person put it: “Work miracles on tasks that seem unattainable.”

In a recent task, he took an basic idea for changing the arena’s condiment stands and designed them to resemble the existing basketball court, with the symbols for the Southern Conference, the three-point line and UTC school colors.

While redesigning the stands, Wayne also maintained his daily schedule for numerous basketball games, a wrestling tournament and UTC Commencements. All without complaining. Describing Wayne’s exemplary behavior, Obie Webster, executive director of the arena, calls it “mind-blowing.”


Kim Sapp, Administrative Assistant, SimCenter – Center of Excellence in Applied Computational Science and Engineering

When graduate and undergraduate students come to the SimCenter to work on applications for a variety of grants, Kim Sapp helps them maneuver through the sometimes-difficult paperwork. She truly cares about each student.

As an example, SimCenter director Tony Skjellum points to an incident in which a UTC student was on her way to a conference in Kansas City, Missouri, when she was hit by a car, causing her to fall, hit her head and be taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

When she found out about the student, Kim called UTC Human Resources to report the accident, then contacted the frightened student, first to find out how she was doing, then let her know the steps for reporting the work-related injury to Human Resources.

“The student was thankful for Ms. Sapp’s guidance as she had never been involved in a workplace injury,” Skjellum says.

Oh, and the student is fully recovered and doing well.


Jessie Wright-Rudez, Office Manager, Theatre

Ever since the merger of the Theatre and Music divisions into the Department of Performing Arts, Jessie Wright’s role of office manager has become an increasingly important and hectic job.

Through dedication and hard work, Jessie has helped everyone weather the storm on the way to becoming a unified department. To do so, Jessie has worked late nights and weekends to handle the roles not only of office manager, but event organizer, caterer, even delivery man.

A few months ago, a reception was planned after a piano recital by Lynn Worcester, a new faculty member. Only a couple of days before the event, its professional planners dropped out. Jessie took over. She ordered all food and drinks then, the night of the reception—after a full day at work—picked up the items, brought in extra help to make sure things ran smoothly and even cleaned up afterwards.

“The reception proved incredibly important for our new faculty member and the community. Without Jessie, none of it would have occurred,” says Jordan Hicks, administrative assistant in the Department of Performing Arts.


Donna Cooper, Assistant Director, University Career Services

Each summer, the New Student & Family Programs hosts its Parent & Guest Orientation, a series of seven two-day sessions in June & July with over 300 parents and guests at each session. For the past five years, Donna Cooper has enthusiastically volunteered to help. At times she has tracked down transportation for parents or family members to attend the sessions; she has worked with overwhelmed parents, offering them assistance and reassurance that the problem will be solved.

“I have seen her give out her personal contact information to stressed out parents who find immediate relief to have the offer of a lifeline at UTC while they send their most prized possession away from home,” says Carrie Sherbesman, director of the New Student and Family Programs Office.

A two-person staff in the office “and there is no way that we could pull off a successful orientation program without the help of Donna,” Sherbesman adds.


Lofton Holloman and Tracy Scott, Information Technology Telecommunications Technicians

When West Campus Housing was about to open this past fall, it was discovered that some rooms did not have working cable TV service. Instead of waiting a couple of weeks for the system’s contractors to return, Lofton Holloman and Tracy Scott took it upon themselves to resolve the issue.

“Instead of waiting for the contractors to come back on site to fix their issue, which would have taken a couple of weeks to resolve, they put in countless hours for three straight days so the students didn’t have a bad experience when they first arrived in the new building,” says Telecommunications Technician Mark Stotts.

The pair fixed the problem without any students knowing there was a problem in the first place.

“If they did not resolve this, it would have turned into a nightmare,” Stotts says.






New Direct Deposit Requirement

In the past, employees have been encouraged to attach a voided check or letter/form from their bank with their bank account number written out when establishing direct deposit or a change to their bank account. Effective immediately, in an effort to prevent fraud, the UT payroll office will not accept new direct deposit forms or changes to direct deposit without a voided check or letter/form from the employee’s bank.

We ask for your cooperation while this change is implemented.

Human Resources Navigation
Admin Tools