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2022 Extraordinary Service to the University

The Extraordinary Service to the University Award honors faculty members, staff members, and friends for noteworthy service to the university.

Melissa Parker

Melissa Parker smiling at the cameraMissy Parker has dedicated her 38 years at UT to supporting the success of our undergraduates. Beginning her career in Student Life as a hall director, she helped coordinate the first UT living-learning community. Making the shift to academic advising in the College of Arts and Sciences, Missy found her calling helping students develop academic plans consistent with their aspirations, strengths and values. For the past 21 years, she has been in a position she proudly calls the “best job on campus.”  As the director of Arts and Sciences Advising Services, Missy co-chaired a team of advising and career development directors in the creation of a new model of advising focused on self-exploration, career-exploration and experience learning. Missy retires from UT this summer leaving a dedicated, amazing team of advisors to continue her legacy by inspiring and empowering our students to make the most of their Volunteer Experience.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere?

To say I’m a Vol for Life is not hyperbole. I was in my first play at Carousel Theater when I was 5 years old and my father was the director. I spent an incredible four years as an undergraduate (I might have snuck up on the Ayres Hall tower a time or two), and began my professional career six months after graduation while working on my masters degree. I’ve been so honored to work with the most amazing students, faculty, and staff over these many years and to witness the transformation of the undergraduate experience where we celebrate our students’ successes and challenge them to achieve their full potential. And I’ve been able to do this with a view from the Hill on the third floor of Ayres Hall.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Ann Robinson-Craig

Ann Robinson Craig Ann Robinson-Craig, budget director for the College of Arts and Sciences, holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master of accountancy from UT. She and her husband Christopher Craig, professor emeritus of classics, are parents of two adult daughters, with whom they share a love of the liberal arts.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere?

I received both my bachelor’s in history and my master’s of accountancy from UT. As a CPA, I helped clients minimize their tax liability legally, but there was little joy in that. I took a position in the College of Arts and Sciences while I was on maternity leave with my first child. I thought this position would be a better alignment of my values and skills because I believe in the singular mission of this college. Whether it was thinking creatively about how to minimize the loss of faculty and staff during a 6% base budget cut, helping a faculty member find needed resources for a project, or helping international students who couldn’t pay their fees when they arrived in this country in the fall, for over 30 years I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful colleagues to make a positive difference in many lives.