Extraordinary Service to the University honors faculty members, staff members, or friends for noteworthy service to the university.
Sally Parish has found her dream job. As director of the Center for Leadership and Service, she is well suited to engage our students in the university and the community. She helped launch the new center two years ago and has been the driving force behind many new and reinvigorated programs. She has also helped increase development activity for student leadership programs. “On any given day she seeks to break down silos on campus and create a unified and supportive environment,” a nominator said. Parish worked with Leadership Knoxville by advocating for the Student Scholars Emerging Leader course to become the Senior Leadership capstone course and for the Leadership in Sport class. “Sally is an advocate for students. She is authentic, passionate, caring, and expects the best from others while modeling the way and being the best version of herself every day,” said a student.
Rita H. Smith
Rita H. Smith, executive associate dean of UT Libraries, has been key in making sure that library services keep up with students’ changing needs. For thirty-eight years, she’s stayed a step ahead in growing UT Libraries into an advanced technological and academic hub for the campus community. Smith led a pivotal working group that sought to keep pace with technological changes and learning needs. Their work resulted in the Commons, which has made Hodges Library a source for student support. Thanks in large part to her efforts, the library is both relevant to and appreciated by students. Smith has created workshop series to train students and researchers in the use of online information resources. She has led the libraries’ diversity residency program and been an inspiring mentor to all who have worked beside her. Steven Smith, professor and dean, said that her “forward thinking combined with her ability to manage people and projects has ensured the successful implementation of services that have changed the face of learning and research at the University of Tennessee.”