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UTHSC President's Award Honorees and Nominees

The President’s Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions of staff and faculty in the areas of the University of Tennessee’s three-fold mission to provide education, conduct research and to offer outreach.

Many excellent recognition programs exist at each UT campus and institute. The President’s Awards program is designed to enhance those efforts on a system-wide platform by honoring our best from across the state. Simply put, the program is the highest honor a UT employee can receive and is intended to spotlight success and inspire excellence. Honorees are selected each year from a system-wide pool of candidates nominated by campus and institute leaders. Commemorative and monetary awards are presented during an annual ceremony, and faculty and staff winners will help select honorees in future years.


To be eligible for consideration, faculty and staff nominees must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Regular, full-time faculty or staff member
  • Employed for at least five full calendar years prior to date of nomination
  • Free from any disciplinary actions for the past five years
  • Overall performance regularly and consistently exceeds expectations

In addition, the following general restrictions on eligibility apply:

  • Self-nominations are not permitted
  • Previous President’s Award winners are not eligible for nomination for five years
  • UT System Administration vice presidents and campus/institute chancellors and vice chancellors are not eligible for nomination

Award Criteria

General award criteria for each category include:

  1. Efforts resulted in a significant boost in quality, productivity and/or cost savings
  2. Nomination letters should specify:
    • Opportunity/Problem/Challenge (Describe environment that prompted nominee’s action)
    • Action taken (Process, collaborations, implementation)
    • Results (Can be measurable, change in work process, impact)

Specific criteria for each category include: 

  • Bold and Impactful – Award honors an individual that serves the state by tackling grand challenges. Behaviors include thinking big, making a difference and serving with purpose.
  • Embrace Diversity – Award honors an individual that respects our individual and organizational uniqueness that makes us stronger. Behaviors include listening with empathy, expecting civility and collegiality, and modeling inclusive behaviors.
  • Optimistic and Visionary – Award honors an individual that empowers courageous leadership. Behaviors include finding the positive, inspiring others, and leading by example.
  • Nimble and Innovative – Award honors an individual that inspires creative and transformational action. Behaviors include trying new things and keeping what works, embracing change and removing barriers.
  • Excel in All We Do – Award honors an individual that commits to continuous improvement and outstanding performance. Behaviors include setting high standards, pursuing learning and growth, and recognizing and celebrating quality.
  • United and Connected – Award honors an individual that collaborates internally and externally for greater collective impact. Behaviors include being a team player, seeing yourself as part of the larger purpose, and sharing experience and knowledge.
  • Transparent and Trusted – Award honors an individual that fosters integrity through openness, accountability, and stewardship. Behaviors include believing in the good intentions of others, being honest, and proactively communicating.

2022 Nominees

UTHSC nominated seven incredible members of our community for the 2022 President's Award. Read more about UTHSC's honorees and nominees here.

  • Damon Davis
  • Alejandro Dopico
  • Debbie Jackson
  • Phyllis Richey
  • David Shibata
  • Gabor Tigyi
  • Orpheus Triplett


Feb 28, 2023