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Student Government Association Executive Council Honors Faculty and Student Leaders at Awards Banquet

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Former SGAEC president Dina Ali congratulates Sonya G. Smith on her Imhotep award.

A total of 12 UTHSC faculty members were honored with one of the most prestigious awards that can be granted from students to a faculty member, the SGAEC Excellence in Teaching Award. The honorees were recognized at this year’s SGAEC Awards Banquet held at the Student Alumni Center on May 3.

The annual awards ceremony recognizes two faculty members within each college, with the award presented by each college’s SGAEC representative. Requests for nominations go out during the spring with students nominating faculty they feel meet the following criteria— demonstration of outstanding teaching ability, presentation of materials in a way that sparks interest and independent thought, effective organization and communication of the subject, responsiveness to students inside and outside of classrooms, and genuine concern for students’ learning.

Members of the 2015-2016 SGAEC were presented with Student Service Awards from Lori Gonzalez, PhD, vice chancellor in the Office of Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs.

SGAEC also presented the Imhotep award to Sonya G. Smith, EdD, JD, associate vice chancellor in Student Affairs at the banquet. This special award is the highest honor given to a staff member by the students of UTHSC for their dedication and involvement in student activities and initiatives. The award is presented only during years when students believe someone deserves the recognition.

“I am so grateful to be the recipient of the Imhotep Award. What makes it extra special is that it not only comes from the students but honors something that I truly enjoy doing every day, serving students,” said Dr. Smith.

Along with the Imhotep award, the Imhotep Society inducted new members into the honor society. The Imhotep Society is an invitational society established by the UTHSC SGAEC to recognize students who have shown dedication in service, leadership and student life. SGAEC recognized that student leaders sacrificed high academic achievement and may not necessarily receive recognition through organizations that traditionally recognize academic and clinical performance. The Imhotep Society wanted to honor these student leaders and volunteers in a way that gave appreciation and encouragement in leadership and volunteerism as students and alumni. The society was named after the Egyptian god of medicine, and each college SGA has its own classification and point system for nomination into the society.

Campus Recreation recognized Shaw Dickerson, doctor of physical therapy student in the College of Health Professions, with the Phil C. Webb Award for his outstanding contributions and leadership service in extracurricular activities and student life.

Liz Roemer, in the Office of Student Life, received a special recognition and gift by the SGAEC for her outstanding dedication and service to the students of UTHSC over the past 42 years.

2016 SGAEC Excellence in Teaching Award Winners: Vickie Jones, RDH, instructor in the department of Periodontology in the College of Dentistry; James C. Ragain, DDS, PhD, associate professor in the department of Restorative Dentistry in the College of Dentistry; P. David Rogers, PharmD, PhD, First Tennessee Chair of Excellence in the department of Clinical Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy; Sajeesh Kumar, PhD, associate professor in the department of Health Informatics and Information Management in the College of Health Professions; Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L, assistant professor and chair of the department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health Professions; Penny L. Head, PT, MS, assistant professor in the department of Physical Therapy in the College of Health Professions; Vicki M. Park, PhD, associate professor in the department of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine; Robert Bradsher, MD, instructor in the department of Internal Medicine in the College of Medicine; Tommie L. Norris, DNS, RN, associate dean for Evaluation and Effectiveness in the College of Nursing; Kathy L. Putman, MSN, RN, instructor in the College of Nursing; Jonathan M. Hoover, PharmD, assistant professor in Clinical Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy, and Catherine M. Crill, PharmD, associate professor in Clinical Pharmacy and Pediatrics in the College of Pharmacy.

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New members of the Imhotep Society were recently recognized at the SGAEC banquet.