Our colleague, Kathy (Gibbs) Lovett, is retiring from UTHSC after more than three decades of service to our institution. Kathy joined UTHSC in 1993 as an Educational Specialist working on a College of Pharmacy Minority Center of Excellence Grant that was designed to administer and evaluate retention services for pharmacy students and to coordinate and present study skills workshops as part of a pipeline program for local high school students. Aided by her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and her Master of Science in Counseling and Personnel Services, Kathy built on her earlier experiences to purposefully advance her career. She became a counselor for the Memphis McNair program, built new retention programs for students across all our colleges, and then took a leadership role as Director for Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI). In 2018, Kathy was promoted to Assistant Vice Chancellor of SASSI where she provided supervision to Educational Specialists, oversaw retention programs, and instituted the counseling program for UTHSC students.
Kathy has been a consistent caring contact for our UTHSC students. She has made herself available to students at all hours of the day and all days of the week. If we were to poll our alumni and current students for words about the impact that Kathy had on completion of their academic programs, this email would turn into a lengthy dissertation that could likely be summed up in two words: She cares.
A campus celebration is planned for Kathy on December 1, 2023 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm central time. More details will be shared later. We hope that you will join the Office of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs in celebrating this great transition with Kathy and her family and friends.
SASSI is in an excellent place for this transition. Over the last two years, we have evolved to having a Director of the Educational/Learning Specialists (Tia Kofahl) and a Director of SASSI Counseling Services (Kimberly Collins-Williams). Learning Specialists are embedded within several of our colleges to provide better service to our students. Our suite of learning support and retention services is more refined and SASSI has systematically transformed the accommodations process for students who require them. The CARE Team has been institutionalized and it has all the right individuals involved to ensure that our students receive the support and services they need to help them be successful and keep them out of crisis situations.
Kathy’s contributions to SASSI and to the evolution of supportive student services on our campus are indisputable. Like all who desire to make a noticeable and sustained difference in our campus, what she has set in place will last long after her departure.
Share your comments directly with Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org and please join us on December 1st from 12-2pm for her retirement celebration. Additional details will be announced soon.