The Notable UT Woman Award recognizes a female faculty or staff member, student, or alumna whose accomplishments bring great distinction to the university.
Visionary. Leader. Trail blazer. These are all words that describe Susan Riechert. In her more than forty years at UT, Riechert has built a legacy that will benefit students for decades to come. She began the Biology in a Box program over a decade ago as an effort to provide K–12 teachers and students with science education materials. It is now used in seventy-seven public school systems. In 2009, Riechert successfully co-developed the proposal to establish VolsTeach, an initiative that is already helping to improve the quantity and quality of mathematics and science teachers in Tennessee. A professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Riechert embodies UT’s mission in her dedication to education. She served for ten years as chair of the department’s undergraduate affairs committee, where she coordinated curricular changes, spearheaded petitions, and fielded enrollment issues for large numbers of undergraduates. She has served on and chaired every major standing committee in the Departments of Zoology and Ecology. Powell Elementary School has twice presented Riechert with the Principal’s Award for Outstanding School and Community Service, and a nature trail at Powell Middle School is named in her honor.