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Nominees for the UT President’s Awards


Message from the Chancellor:

I am pleased to announce that we have nominated five exceptional faculty and staff for the University of Tennessee President’s Awards. This prestigious award program recognizes outstanding contributions of staff and faculty in the areas of the university’s three-fold mission to provide education, conduct research, and to offer outreach.

Our nominees include:

Michael Alston, EdD, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Equity and Diversity and Title IX Coordinator, Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs, for the Diversity Award which honors the extraordinary effort of a faculty or staff member in support of the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence. His supporters noted Michael’s personal and professional investment that exceeds expectations in creating an inclusive environment at UTHSC and in creating an equity and diversity program that is the gold standard across the UT System.

Kathy Gibbs, MEd, MS, NCC, BCC, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion, Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs, for the Support Award which honors efforts in support of educational excellence, discoveries and applications of knowledge; and outreach, engagement and service. Her letters of support described how Kathy was at the forefront of assisting students with strategies to manage the academic rigors of professional school, long before student academic support was in vogue.

Karen Johnson, MD, MPH, FAHA, FACPM, FACP, Professor, Departments of Preventive Medicine and Medicine, College of Medicine Endowed Professor of Women’s Health, for the Discover Award which honors discoveries and applications of knowledge. Her supporters described Karen’s key leadership on research studies that have changed the worldwide guidelines for the definition of hypertension and resulted in the highest level of Black Box warnings on medications containing estrogen and progestin.

Orpheus Triplett, DDS, Associate Professor and Director of Head Start Outreach, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health, College of Dentistry, for the Connect Award which honors outreach, engagement and service efforts and programs. His letters of support described his exemplary and consistent record of outreach, engagement, and public service that has led to more than 3500 children receiving dental screening and treatment at various Head Start centers, the College of Dentistry, and Le Bonheur Hospital.

Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Professions, for the Educate Award which honors accomplishments that enhance educational offerings and diverse learning environments. Her supporters described her use of innovative educational techniques, implementation of unique interprofessional and community-based learning opportunities, and creation of the Rachel K Stevens Therapy Center which, as the Mid-South’s only pro bono clinic, provides students with direct hands-on experiences with babies and young children.

We expect to be notified about the winners in each category in the coming months. Please join me in congratulating these deserving nominees as their materials are moved forward to the UT System for review and selection of recipients of these prestigious UT President’s Awards. These representatives are examples of the many dedicated faculty and staff we have at UTHSC.