Chris Smith

Endia Butler

Chris Smith and Endia Butler from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga have been selected to the 2020-2021 All-Southern Conference team of distinguished faculty and staff, which recognizes members from each of the conference’s 10 institutions.

The Southern Conference annually honors faculty and staff who have demonstrated the common characteristics of dedicated service to their institution and contributions to both campus life and the local region their institution serves. Faculty members have demonstrated strong contributions to teaching, research and/or service. Staff members are recognized for bringing out the best in others in their collegiate community and creating conditions for student success. All recipients receive an engraved plaque presented by Southern Conference Commissioner Jim Schaus.

Past UTC recipients include Mike Jones (2015-2016); Gretchen Potts and Lisa Tarr (2016-2017); Valerie Rutledge and Emily Quinn (2017-2018); Jamie Harvey and Melanie Ribaric (2018-2019); and Debbie Ingram and Terry Denniston (2019-2020).

Smith, who came to UTC in 2001, serves as the University’s chief health affairs office, director of the School of Nursing and UC Foundation professor. She is a member of the UT System COVID-19 Task Force, the UTC COVID-19 Campus Support Team, Emergency Operations Command, the Facilities Use Committee and the Implementation Task Force. She also served on the UTC Fall 2020 Task Force, chairing the Campus Safety and Risk Management subcommittee.

She has been awarded the Carolyn and Roger G. Brown Community Engagement Award, the UT System President’s Connect Award, the Outstanding Research and Creative Achievement Award for the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, the Dean Stinnett Award and the Girls’ Inc. Unbought and Unbossed Award. She was selected as one of the College of Nursing Top 60 Alums at Eastern Tennessee State University and earned the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga Keystone Award and the Dedicated to Youth Service Award and also is an American Lung Association Woman of Distinction.

Butler, the student employment coordinator for the UTC Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, is responsible for federal work-study, academic service and job location and development. She partners with other departments on campus to create programs that focus on underrepresented students’ career and personal development. She also teaches a first-year experience course and is an active volunteer in programming for first-generation students at UTC.

In 2020, Butler and Lisa Piazza, director of the Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor, created the Undergraduate Research Training Opportunity Program Scholars, which allows students to learn research methodology and work as a research assistant under a faculty mentor.

Butler earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UTC and was selected to participate in the inaugural GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Leadership Academy.

Other 2020-2021 SoCon faculty and staff honorees are:

  • The Citadel: Chip Taylor and Henry Bouton
  • East Tennessee State University: Virginia Foley and Janet Stork
  • Furman University: Marian Strobel and Todd Duke
  • Mercer University: Mahkin Thitsa and Matt Brownback
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro: Jeremy Bray and Amy Collins Moore
  • Samford University: Celeste Hill and Paige Mathis
  • Virginia Military Institute: Col. Timothy Hodges and Michael Marshall
  • Western Carolina University: Kelly R. Kelley and Courtney Gauthier
  • Wofford University: Anna Catllá and Lisa Lefebvre



Media Relations Contacts: Email UTC Media Relations or call 423-425-5119.

Chuck Wasserstrom is an executive staff writer in the UTC Office of Communications and Marketing.

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