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2020 Awards & Promotions

On August 21, 2020, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture presented more than 30 awards and promotions to Institute personnel.

More information about each award winner may be accessed at the links included below. Scroll down for all awards and promotions.

The awards and promotions ceremony was recorded via Zoom and is available for viewing on the UTIA YouTube channel.

Awards

The Charles and Patricia Goan Excellence in Customer Service Award

This new award, established by Dean Emeritus Charles Goan and his wife, Pat, recognizes Extension employees who complete or aid in completing exemplary work to further Extension priorities, and provide or aid in providing Extension customers with excellent service, knowledge, and information as requested.  The award recognizes excellence and is open to all faculty and staff.

Ruth Correll

Allie “Ruth” Correll

Extension Agent II & County Director, Wilson County


The Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements

Established by long-time supporters of the Institute of Agriculture Charles Wharton and his late wife Julie, and now supported by Charles and Lori Wharton, this award recognizes Extension employees who complete or aid in completing exemplary work to further Extension priorities, and provide or aid in providing Extension customers with excellent service, knowledge, and information as requested.  This award is presented to three UT Extension agents annually. These agents may conduct programs in any area, including agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and resource development. Special consideration is given to those individuals who have demonstrated excellence in serving local needs for five years or more.

Allie "Ruth" Correll

Allie “Ruth” Correll

Extension Agent II & County Director, Wilson County

Michele Atkins

Michele M. Atkins

Extension Agent III and County Director, Henry County

Sharon Davis

Sharon Ann Latham Davis

Extension Agent III, Knox County


Ann and Bill Hicks Outstanding New Extension Worker Award

Established by Dr. Bill and Ann Hicks, dean emeritus of Extension.  Awarded annually to recognize an outstanding employee with at least three years, but not more than five years, of service with UT Extension. The award recipient is selected by a committee that includes past winners of the Outstanding New Extension Worker Award, and is presented each year to an Extension Agent, Area Specialist or Specialist.

Kayla Jenkins

Kayla P. Jenkins

Extension Agent I, Macon County


J. E. Moss Achievement Awards

Established in memory of J.E. and Ann Moss, this award recognizes excellent achievement in teaching, research, and Extension for the Institute of Agriculture. Awards are provided each year for each of the four units of the Institute of Agriculture. They are selected by a committee of the chancellor and the four deans of the Institute.

William "Willie" E. Hart

William “Willie” E. Hart

Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science

Shawn Hawkins

Shawn A. Hawkins

Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science

Robert Reed

Robert B. Reed

Professor, Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences

David White

David G. White

Associate Dean & Professor, AgResearch


TAAA&S-Hicks Awards of Excellence

Established by the Tennessee Association of Agricultural Agents and Specialists and other endowment funds, this award is presented annually to up to three agricultural Extension faculty who are also members of TAAA&S.

Justin Hargrove

Justin D. Hargrove

Extension Agent II, Benton County

Adam Hopkins

Adam M. Hopkins

Extension Area Specialist II, Eastern Region

Heath Nokes

Heath D. Nokes

Extension Agent III, Warren County


Vernon and Ida Darter Award

Named for the late Extension Dean Emeritus Vernon W. Darter and his wife, the late Ida Darter, this award recognizes excellence among the ranks of Associate Extension Agents.

Sarah Ransom

Sarah A. Ransom

Extension Agent II and County Director, Johnson County


The Lloyd and Nettie Downen Endowment Fund Leadership Enhancement Award

Established by Dr. and Mrs. M. Lloyd Downen, dean emeritus of the Agricultural Extension Service, this award recognizes Extension faculty members who serve in leadership roles across the state.

Stacy Clark

Stacy L. Clark

Extension Agent I, Lawrence County


G. L. Carter Jr. Outstanding 4-H Youth Development Agent Award

This award was established by Dr. G.L. Carter Jr., whose Extension career began in 1949 in Greene County where he served as a 4-H agent. He was also a Hamblen County 4-H member. Dr. Carter was the first in his family to graduate from college, later earning an MS and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. His 44-year career included working as the youth editor of a farm and ranch magazine; serving as a state 4-H staff member in both Tennessee and North Carolina; and helping to create the Journal of Extension, a professional publication for Extension agents and specialists. Dr. Carter has provided the funding through an endowment to recognize an Outstanding 4-H Youth Development Agent.

Karen Nelms

Karen M. Nelms

Extension Agent III and County Director, Jefferson County


Alice Ann Moore Outstanding 4-H Agent Award

This award was established by Alice Ann Moore, former director of UT Extension 4-H Youth Development programs, who, for over thirty years, has provided exemplary service to the University of Tennessee in many capacities. She herself was a 4-H member in Crockett County. Under her leadership, Tennessee 4-H developed a life skills evaluation system that is nationally recognized as a ground-breaking scientific means of providing feedback on the effectiveness of 4-H youth education programs. She is also an honorary life member of the Tennessee 4-H Foundation.

Tonya Bain

Tonya G. Bain

Extension Agent III, Crockett County


Cavender Outstanding Award for Best Publication

Established by Dutch Cavender, former director of communications, and his wife, Marilee, this award recognizes excellence in the development of published material produced by professionals in the Institute of Agriculture. This year, we recognize two publications series. These co-winners were chosen from peer-reviewed publications produced by units of UTIA.

Cavender Outstanding Award for Best Publication Award Announcement

Lori Duncan
Tyson Raper

Cotton Nitrogen Management in Tennessee (W783)

Lori A. Duncan

Extension Specialist II, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science

Tyson B. Raper

Associate Professor, Plant Sciences

Alan Windham
Mark Windham

Rose Disease: Identification and Management (W833)

Alan S. Windham

Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology

Mark T. Windham

Distinguished Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology


William D. Bishop Outstanding Service Award

Presented in memory of Dean Emeritus William D. Bishop, this award recognizes a member of the field force of University of Tennessee Extension who has contributed most to the attainment of Extension objectives.

Rob Holland

Robert “Rob” W. Holland

Director and Extension Specialist III, Center for Profitable Agriculture


Williams – E. R. “Prof” Lidvall Outstanding Teaching Award

Established by Mr. Donald E. Williams, a 1961 graduate of the College of Agriculture, this award honors his former professor and mentor, Professor E.R. Lidvall. The award recognizes faculty who exemplify Lidvall’s commitment to excellence in the classroom and his commitment to the needs and interests of the student.

Lacey Johnston

Lacey H. Johnston

Lecturer, Animal Science


T. J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award

Established by Dr. Thomas Whatley, associate dean emeritus of the Agricultural Experiment Station, this award recognizes a young scientist who has less than twelve years of professional experience, with a minimum of five years of service on the agricultural faculty.

Nourredine "Nour" Abdoulmoumine

Nourredine “Nour” H. Abdoulmoumine

Assistant Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science


E. J. Chapman Outstanding Service Award

Established by the late E.J. Chapman, who served the university in a wide range of capacities from agronomist to assistant vice president for agriculture, this award recognizes a member of the supporting staff of the teaching, research or Extension divisions.

Susie Nicholson

Susie A. Nicholson

Administrative Support Assistant III, Western Region


AgResearch Impact Award

This award is presented to an AgResearch faculty or professional staff member whose efforts have had a profound effect on improving the efficiency, sustainability, and/or economic viability of the food and fiber industry of rural areas of Tennessee.

Nicole "Niki" Labbe

Nicole “Niki” Labbé

Professor, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries


Webster Pendergrass Outstanding Service Award

This award is presented in memory of former Vice President for Agriculture Webster Pendergrass and recognizes a teaching, research or Extension faculty member who has contributed most to the fulfillment of the Institute’s goals and objectives.

Marcy Souza

Marcy J. Souza

Professor, Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences


Mildred Pendergrass Award for Outstanding Service

This award, presented in memory of Mildred Pendergrass, wife of the former Vice President for Agriculture Webster Pendergrass, is given to employees among the technical, skill and service staff of the Institute.

Leslie R. Wereszczak

Senior Clinical Specialist II, Small Animal Clinical Sciences


Professional/Academic Award for Outstanding Service

Provided by the Institute of Agriculture administration, this award is given to a recipient among the professional and other academic employees who has contributed most to the attainment of the objectives of the Institute of Agriculture.

Kevin Hoyt

Kevin P. Hoyt

Director, Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center


Miles Award for Community Service

Named for William T. Miles, respected medical doctor, this award was established by his son, the late Curtis W. Miles, a longtime devotee of the Field Trials at the Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tennessee.  In accordance with the younger Miles’ life philosophy, “Treat people like you want to be treated,” the award intended to recognize significant contributions and service to the Knoxville community.

Chad Hellwinckel

Chad M. Hellwinckel

Research Associate Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics


B. Ray Thompson Sr. Outstanding Faculty Performance Award

This award is made possible by earnings from the Thompson Faculty Endowment and is presented annually to faculty who have distinguished themselves by their exceptional performance.  This award rotates among the four divisions within the Institute of Agriculture.

John Wilson

John A. Wilson

Extension Agent III and County Director, Blount County


AgResearch Mid-Career Faculty Research Excellence Award

This award recognizes demonstrated commitment and meritorious achievements in research by faculty during the mid-stage of their academic career.  Emphasis will be on the impacts that a faculty member’s efforts in research and technology development have had on UT AgResearch stakeholders or the science community at large, especially during the past five years.  Both tenure and non-tenure track faculty are eligible.

Jennifer DeBruyn

Jennifer M. DeBruyn

Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science


UT AgResearch Dean’s Award for Outstanding Support Staff

The UT AgResearch Dean’s Award for Outstanding Support Staff honors and acknowledges excellence of employees in fulfilling their job responsibilities.  The award recognizes employees who have demonstrated the following: competence and critical thinking; cooperativeness and team building; professionalism and ethical behavior; initiative, and dependability; and excellent communication skills.

Barbara Gillespie

Barbara Gillespie

Research Associate II, Animal Science


UT AgResearch Dean’s Award for Outstanding Professional Staff

The UT AgResearch Dean’s Award for Outstanding Professional Staff honors and acknowledges excellence of employees in fulfilling their job responsibilities.  The award recognizes employees who have demonstrated the following: competence and critical thinking; cooperativeness and team building; professionalism and ethical behavior; initiative, and dependability; and excellent communication skills.

Kimberly Campbell

Kimberly Campbell

Business Manager, Entomology and Plant Pathology


UTIA Institute Professor

The title of Institute Professor may be awarded to a faculty member who has served at the rank of professor for a period of at least seven years, in recognition of consistent outstanding performance over this period. This performance is evidenced by excellence in teaching, research, Extension, or clinical practice, and in the case of faculty members holding joint appointments, would be expected to reflect the distribution of the appointment. Leadership and reputation through service at the national and/or international levels within the faculty member’s scientific discipline is also expected. 

Carl Sams

Carl E. Sams

Distinguished Professor, Plant Sciences

Karen Tobias

Karen M. Tobias

Professor, Small Animal Clinical Sciences


Promotions & Tenure

Morgan N. Beaty – Wilson County
Mary P. Draper – Smith County
Kimberly R. Hall – Rutherford County
Justin D. Hargrove – Benton County
Martha L. Henry – Hamblen County
Autumn L. Vespie – Hickman County
Lamanda D. Weston – Greene County

Meagen Y. Brown – Meigs County
David L. Cook – Davidson County
Amanda Rachel Erwin – Lauderdale County
Elizabeth D. Hobbs – Hamblen County
Heather R. Kyle-Harmon – Knox County
Elizabeth K. Renfro – Washington County

Keith J. Boone – Hancock County
Joy L. Powell – Wayne County

Shannon P. DeWitt – Union County
Anthony M. Shelton – Washington County

Charles D. Parker – Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science

Andrew J. Pulte – Department of Plant Sciences

Jonathan C. Walton – Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Natalie R. Bumgarner – Department of Plant Sciences
Karen L. Delong – Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Thomas B. Gill – Department of Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communication
Luca Giori – Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
Charles Kwit – Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries
Cassie N. Lux – Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Renata N. Oakes – Department of Plant Sciences
Tyson B. Raper – Department of Plant Sciences
Deanna M. Schaefer – Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
Meg E. Staton – Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
Heather Sedges – Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Karen A. McCormick – Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Mee-Ja M. Sula – Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences

Adam S. Willcox – Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries

Bente Flatland – Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
Robert B. Reed – Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
Marcy J. Souza – Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
Brynn H. Voy – Department of Animal Science
Brian K. Whitlock – Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Frank Yin – Department of Plant Sciences
Edward Yu – Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Andrew Muhammad – Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics