On Friday, January 16, UTC held a luncheon to honor employees who have received the UTC Blue Ribbon Award during the past six months.

Blue Ribbon Award honorees are nominated for going above and beyond. A committee appointed by the Chancellor selects monthly an award winner who exhibits outstanding service to others.

The honorees were:


Bengt Carlson, Experiential Learning Coordinator, Walker Center for Teaching and Learning, was more than just a respectful host when two visiting faculty from Moi University in Kenya, Africa spent the spring semester on Campus with the Walker Center.

Mary Marr, Senior Instructional Developer, noticed just how hard Carlson worked to make sure the visiting faculty felt at home during their time here.

“[He] took the time to really get to know these gentlemen, inviting them on campus walking tours, visiting with them at downtown points of interest, and even inviting them to a friend’s cookout!” Marr said, “His ability to make them feel more welcome and more a part of our campus surely made their semester away from home more enjoyable and special.


Jewell Chason, Administrative Specialist, Department of Finance and Economics, is always willing to go above and beyond to help those around her. Irina Khmelko, UC Foundation Assistant Professor, is especially grateful for help over the past six years.

Over the years Chason has provided technical assistance in the classroom, helped with moves, and even assisted one time when birds were trying to nest in a classroom. “Her professionalism and excellent attitude have not only been very helpful in my work, but she has been a pleasure to work with,” said Khmelko.

“I believe staff members like her make our UTC into a ‘Students First’ University where faculty and staff work together to give the most to our students” Khmelko added.


Susan Cardwell, Assistant to the Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science, is proactive, a team leader, and a prime example of servant leadership.

“In my time at UTC, Cardwell has been, by far, one of the kindest and most helpful people I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” explained John Freeze, Director, Continuing Education.

In many instances she’s rushed to the aid of Freeze and his Continuing Education colleagues when they host events in the EMCS.

“Because of her willingness to help (at a moment’s notice), her ability to solve problems effectively, her upbeat attitude, and her commitment to serving ALL of UTC’s students, she is a true asset to UTC” Freeze added.


Michelle Prince, Director, Auxiliary Services, recently took time out of her day to help a new student on Campus.

When Prince received a call from a particularly upset parent whose daughter was late to, and locked out of class because she was unable to find parking, Prince reached out to the student herself. After speaking with the student on the phone, she left her desk and went to find the emotional student on Campus. She showed the student around the University, pointing out areas where she could park, and eased some of the student’s anxieties about being new to UTC, Chattanooga, and a metropolitan area in general.

Tyler Forrest, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget and Financial Services, who saw the incident take place, said, “Parking is often a hot button issue on Campus. We frequently only hear negative things, but I thought this was an example in which Prince went above and beyond to serve our most important constituent group, the students. I witness her doing this all of the time, but this instance in particular stood out to me.”


Lindsay Hyden, Associate Director of Campus Recreation, and Allison Hughes, Coordinator of Outdoor Recreation, Campus Recreation, went above and beyond their job responsibilities to make the Chattanooga Heroes Run event happen with numerous hours of planning and preparation.

The University, in partnership with Erlanger Trauma Center, the City of Chattanooga, and Rock Creek, held the event to honor the Fallen Five and raise money for their families.

“This was a great partnership and collaboration with the community of Chattanooga to contribute to a great cause. Allisona and Lindsey donated their time, space, and resources to make this event happen. Their work and effort supports the University’s mission to inspire positive change and enrich our community,” said Caesar Wood, Executive Director of Campus Recreation and University Center.

The race raised $15,000 for the families who were affected by the tragedy on July 16, 2015, which would not have been possible without Lindsay and Allison’s contributions.


As a Student Success Specialist for Student Support Services, Christopher Stokes provides activities and services which contribute to the academic success of our students, but he tirelessly provides additional support beyond his assigned duties, always dedicated to putting students first.

Chris does whatever he can to make the UTC experience a positive one and goes out of his way to make sure students get the assistance they need. He has been there for them when they have had both academic and personal problems, even if it meant missing his lunch or working after hours and weekends. He celebrates their successes by attending every commencement ceremony.

He promotes the success of the students in the Black Males on Campus initiative by building partnerships with community leaders. This student group went from having the lowest retention and graduation rates to achieving the highest retention and graduation rates of any Student Support Services group.

Chris uses his wide knowledge of the community to identify resources to help students achieve their goals. He coached one pre-med student for three years to ensure his medical school application was exceptional. Chris also helped the student arrange a volunteer shadowing experience by connecting him with his own physician. That student graduated in May 2016 and was accepted into five medical schools.

You can read about the rest of the 2016 Blue Ribbon Award winners here.

Submit a Blue Ribbon nomination by filling out this short form and sending it to the UTC Human Resources Department. You can also email your nomination to Melanie-Sadler@utc.edu. All non-faculty staff (full or part-time) with at least one year’s regular service are eligible for the award. Nominations should be specific in identifying incidents or situations that show the nominee has served his/her customers with special distinction. Any UTC faculty, staff, student, alumnus, or member of the community are invited to submit nominations.

Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call 423-425-4363.

University Relations Staff Writer. (423)425-4363

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