The Extraordinary Customer Service award is given to a university employee who is consistently optimistic and serves students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors with great care.
Wanda Davis is the business manager and administrative coordinator for the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, a joint initiative with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and has been with the center since it opened in 2011. The center attracts some of the world’s best minds to study energy science and engineering. Its current students come from 16 different countries. Director Lee Riedinger said he knew from the start that a key to the center’s success would be to create a supportive family atmosphere. Davis has helped the center do that. Colleagues say she gets to know students personally, helps them work through problems, and “cares about each of them as if they were her own children.” One of the Bredesen Center students said that Davis “is more than an efficient administrator. She’s a fierce mother figure who takes care of all the details so we can focus on our academics.” Before joining the Bredesen Center staff, Davis worked for six years in UT’s Office of Budget and Finance.
Glenda Hurst is an administrative support assistant for the Department of Management in the Haslam College of Business. She has worked in the department for decades, and numerous current and former students and colleagues attest to her pleasant outlook and helpfulness. One graduate student said that Hurst “has been an unwavering positive voice in my life. In the midst of the highs and lows in this doctoral program, she has been a voice of encouragement, inspiration, and understanding.” Another said, “As an international student, I moved to Knoxville to start the PhD program and left behind my family. Glenda has made the management department feel like family, a home away from home.” A faculty member noted that “her positive disposition radiates to those around her and is definitely contagious.” Hurst received the Chancellor’s Commission for Women Award in 2005 and is a two-time recipient of the Haslam College of Business staff award (2003, 2012).