Educate Honoree

Award honors accomplishments that enhance educational offerings and diverse learning environments

Photo of Jason Roberts

Jason Roberts

Jason Roberts, associate professor of animal science at UT Martin, is passionately committed to helping his students achieve their dream of becoming veterinarians.

“Few on our campus have had the impact on our students as Dr. Roberts,” wrote former UT Martin Interim Chancellor Robert Smith in his nomination letter. “During his tenure and under his leadership, we have seen new program development and significant outcomes.”

More than 90 percent of students in Roberts’ pre-veterinary science program are accepted in veterinary school each year—with last year’s students averaging three offers from schools across the country.

In addition to teaching and advising, Roberts serves as director of the West Tennessee Animal Disease Diagnostics Laboratory and of the UT Martin Veterinary Technology Program. In 2015, he received the UT Martin Coffey Outstanding Teaching Award and is credited a team player, devoted mentor and selfless employee by those with whom he works.

“I’ve seen firsthand the magical talent Dr. Roberts has for teaching and the lasting impact on our students,” Smith wrote.

Educate Nominees

  • Noma Anderson, UT System, Special Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion
  • Joanne Logan, UT Institute of Agriculture, Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
  • Laurie Melnik, UT Chattanooga, Executive Director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts
  • Elisabeth Schussler, UT Knoxville, Associate Professor, Director of Biology Teaching and Learning
  • Trevor Sweatman, UT Health Science Center, Professor, Pharmacology and Medical Education

Discover Honoree

Award honors discoveries and applications of knowledge

Photo of Guy Reed

Guy Reed

Guy Reed, Lemuel Diggs Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center, has developed a novel treatment for dissolving the blood clots that kill and disable millions of patients each year.

“He began more than 10 years ago to research a safer, more effective therapy for dissolving blood clots, the cause of most strokes,” explained UT Health Science Center Chancellor Steve Schwab. “The outcome of his research is a novel thrombus (blood clot) dissolving agent, TS23, which is currently undergoing clinical trials.”

Reed’s work, particularly significant to the Mid-South as it sits in the center of the “Stroke Belt,” has gained international recognition. In September 2015, the research company Reed founded to translate his science into therapy—Translational Sciences, Inc.—signed a multimillion dollar exclusive partnership license with Daiichi Sankyo Company, headquartered in Tokyo, to complete the clinical trials needed to get TS23 approved by the FDA.

Reed, a prolific researcher, has secured 22 grants, including 11 National Institutes of Health and four American Heart grants, since 1989. He holds 23 U.S. patents and has more than 90 peer-reviewed publications. He was one of four recipients of the Inside Memphis Business magazine’s 2016 Innovation Awards.

“As a scientist, clinician and entrepreneur, his efforts will save lives and create new economic opportunities both in and far beyond Tennessee,” wrote Richard Magid, vice president of the UT Research Foundation.

Discover Nominees

  • Michael Gibson, UT Martin, Professor, Geology
  • Hope Klug, UT Chattanooga, UC Foundation Associate Professor, Biology, Geology and Environmental Science
  • Daniel Simberloff, UT Knoxville, Professor, Environmental Studies
  • Neal Stewart, UT Institute of Agriculture, Ivan Racheff Chair of Excellence and Professor, Plant Sciences

Connect Honoree

Award honors outreach, engagement and service efforts and programs

Photo fo Christine Smith

Christine Smith

Christine Smith, director of the School of Nursing and Student Health Services Clinic at UT Chattanooga, embodies the University’s commitment to connect with its constituents.

“She goes above the call of duty for her University and the larger Chattanooga community,” wrote Steve Angle, chancellor of UT Chattanooga, in his nomination letter. “Her service is truly exceptional.”

On top of her demanding administrative positions, Smith supported nursing faculty members in their development of a foot care clinic to combat chronic disease in the region’s homeless residents. Nursing students are involved at the clinic, and Smith also looks for opportunities to expose them to the international medical care through in-service trips to Haiti and Costa Rica.

“Chris educates the next generation on the importance of community outreach, and our students see firsthand the importance of reaching out to those in need,” Angle wrote.

Connect Nominees

  • Justin Crowe, UT Institute of Agriculture, Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development
  • Nan Gaylord, UT Knoxville, Associate Professor, Nursing
  • Margaret Thorman Hartig, UT Health Science Center, Professor, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Walter Idol, UT Institute for Public Service, Manager, Health, Safety and Preparedness
  • Carey Whitworth, UT System, Director of Advocacy and Special Assistant to the Vice President

Support Honoree

Award honors efforts in support of educational excellence; discoveries and applications of knowledge; and outreach, engagement and service

Photo of Steve Butler

Steve Butler

Steve Butler uses technology to deliver health education and consultation across the state and around the world.

In nominating him for the award, UT Health Science Center Chancellor Steve Schwab credited Butler’s work for helping transform the campus into a 21st century academic health science center.

Butler, director of instructional technology services, designed and supported the first distance education classroom at UTHSC. The installation has grown to connecting more than 20 classrooms in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Technologies brought on and supported by Butler and his team allow communication among pharmacy residents at rural locations across the state; participation in lectures, seminars and rounds by medical residents at various hospitals; and follow-up treatment with the Hamilton Eye Institute for patients around the world.

Butler joined UT in 1981 and has more than 35 years of experience in information technology. He directs a team that serves multiple campus sites and received the UTHSC Exceptional Service Award in 2011.

“He is admired and respected by everyone who works with him,” wrote Jan van der Aa, UTHSC vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer.

Support Nominees


  • Dorothy Bryson, UT Foundation, Executive Director, Development
  • Alice-Catherine Carls, UT Martin, Tom Elam Distinguished Professor, History
  • Teresa Lynn Fisher, UT Institute of Agriculture, Program Director, Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee
  • Yancy Freeman, UT Chattanooga, Associate Provost, Enrollment Services
  • Trevor Moeller, UT Space Institute, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering