Educate Honoree

Award honors accomplishments that enhance educational offerings and diverse learning environments

Trevor Sweatman

Trevor Sweatman

Trevor Sweatman, UT Health Science Center professor of pharmacology and medical education, has made significant and ongoing educational contributions across multiple colleges and academic programs.

Sweatman transformed curricula for professional and graduate students in innovative ways using learner-centered, active learning approaches such as interprofessional education, flipped sessions, podcasts and simulation. His goal is not just to teach pharmacology, but also that students understand the importance of pharmacology across disciplines and how they must work with other disciplines. To that end, eight years ago, he and a colleague developed a professional exercise involving medical and pharmacy students solving problems of medication non-adherence in healthcare.

“I can think of no one who comes close to the positive academic influence Dr. Trevor Sweatman has had on students across our colleges and academic programs over such a sustained period of time,” Steve Schwab, UT Health Science Center chancellor, wrote in his nomination letter.

Along with teaching and advocacy, Sweatman is a member of the UT Center for Cancer Research and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention for the College of Medicine.

Educate Nominees

  • Noma Anderson, UT System, Special Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Trevor Moeller, UT Space Institute, Associate Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • Richard Robinson, UT Martin, Associate Professor, Communications 
  • Elisabeth Schussler, UT Knoxville, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • John Sorochan, UT Institute of Agriculture, Distiguished Professor, Plant Sciences
  • Henry Spratt, UT Chattanooga, Professor, Biology, Geology and Environmental Science

Discover Honoree

Award honors discoveries and applications of knowledge

Samuel Dagogo-Jack

Samuel Dagogo-Jack

Dr. Samuel Dagogo-Jack, a UT Health Science Center professor of medicine and chief of the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, has made outstanding contributions that have added to the understanding of and interventions for diabetes and prediabetes.
Internationally known for diabetes education, treatment and research, Dagogo-Jack discovered and developed treatments for hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure and leptin regulation in humans. Dagogo-Jack has been awarded 32 grants, including 10 National Institute of Health and three American Diabetes Association grants, which have totaled more than $20 million during the past 20 years. He has published seven books along with more than 270 peer-reviewed publications.
“Dr. Dagogo-Jack has my strongest recommendation. His work not only brings positive recognition to UTHSC and the University of Tennessee, but more broadly, it has national and international impact,” said Steve Schwab, UT Health Science Center chancellor.

Dagogo-Jack directs the Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program and serves as the A.C. Mullins Endowed Professor in Translational Research. He serves on the World Health Organization’s Strategic Planning Committee on Diabetes Mellitus. The National Medical Association named him Internal Medicine Section Physician of the Year and the American Diabetes Association awarded him the Banting Medal for Leadership. He also received the Distinction in Endocrinology Award from the American College of Endocrinology.

Discover Nominees

  • Mina Sartipi, UT Chattanooga, UC Foundation Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
  • John Schmisseur, UT Space Institute, Professor and Chair, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering
  • Daniel Simberloff, UT Knoxville, Gore Hunger Professor, Environmental Studies
  • Charles Stewart, UT Institute of Agriculture, Ivan Racheff Chair of Excellence, Plant Molecular Genetics

Connect Honoree

Award honors outreach, engagement and service efforts and programs

Elizabeth Strand

Elizabeth Strand

Elizabeth Strand, director of veterinary social work and clinical associate professor of biomedical and diagnostic sciences at UT Knoxville, is a pioneer in her field of study and works to educate veterinary professionals nationwide.
Strand developed “veterinary social work” and is the founding director of the UT College of Veterinary Medicine’s veterinary social work program, which is the first of its kind in the world. Her initial discipline vision went from the creation of programs focused on client grief and the importance of human-animal bond to include comprehensive veterinary social work services and related education.
“She has brought considerable experience to the veterinary social work program and has educated and equipped faculty, staff and students to address and deal with issues of professional grief and human-animal bond loss,” said Tim Cross, chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture.
In addition, Strand teaches veterinary teams how to manage compassion fatigue and stress. She recently launched SAVE (Suicide Awareness in Veterinary Education) to educate veterinary professionals and students nationally about mental health issues and raise awareness of the resources available. 
“Through her steadfast, focused and relentless work, she has established unbreakable connections between veterinary social work and leading medical organizations,” said Cross. “Her work to make these connections centers firmly on providing people access to wellness healthcare to ensure, as best she can, that people lead balanced, rewarding lives.”

Connect Nominees

  • Nan Gaylord, UT Knoxville, Associate Professor, Nursing
  • John Oelrich, UT Martin, Associate Professor of Music, Director of UT Martin Bands
  • Beth Phillips, UT Institute for Public Service, Program Manager, Economic Development
  • David Stern, UT Health Science Center, Vice Chancellor, Statewide Health Initiatives
  • Nikolasa Tejero, UT Chattanooga, Associate Professor, Performing Arts 
  • Carole Thomas, UT Space Institute, Program Manager, STEM Outreach 
  • Carey Whitworth, UT System, Assistant Vice President for Government Relations, Director of Advocacy

Support Honoree

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

Charley Deal

Charley Deal

Charley Deal, UT Martin associate vice chancellor for alumni relations and annual giving, is passionate about serving the people of West Tennessee and helping others realize their dreams. 
 “Through determination, planning, fundraising, advocating and diligence, Dr. Deal has been instrumental in assisting UT Martin in founding and opening the Regional Educational Center in Fayette County,” said Andy Wilson, UT Martin vice chancellor for university advancement. “His efforts helped a region of Tennessee that was in need of higher education access and turned a dream into one of the region’s most beautiful facilities.” 
Deal solicited private contributions to substantially fund the Fayette County Center, one of UT Martin’s five, and it attracts students from Memphis and surrounding counties. Deal also gives of himself. He and his family sponsor students from his home county of Hickman to visit the UT Martin campus without concern for travel costs. 
“Dr. Deal epitomizes a volunteer spirit, as he gives of his time, treasures and his big heart,” Wilson wrote. “He pens a column in the university alumni magazine, Campus Scene, under the heading, ‘The Real Deal.’ That exemplifies who he is… the real deal. Charismatic, servant leader, friend, one who never asks more of others than he is willing to do himself.
“His most significant achievements will be felt by Tennesseans for generations.”

Deal is an active member of his community and an advocate for UT Martin and Weakley County.

Support Nominees


  • Chandra Alston, UT Health Science Center, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
  • Dorothy Bryson, UT Knoxville, Executive Director of Development, Tickle College of Engineering
  • Jason Cottrell, UT Knoxville, Assistant Director for Landscape Services, Facilities Services
  • Teresa Fisher, UT Institute of Agriculture, Program Director for the Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee, Small Animal Clinical Sciences
  • Laurie Melnik, UT Chattanooga, Executive Director, Southeast Center for Education in the Arts