UT Institute of Agriculture Presents Top Faculty and Staff Awards for 2023
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized some of its top faculty, staff, researchers and Extension experts at UTIA’s annual awards and promotions luncheon on the UTIA campus in Knoxville on August 15, 2023. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute. The event included several new honors this year.
UT Institute of Agriculture Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President Keith Carver hosted the award winners and celebrated their work. “I’m excited to celebrate the amazing work of our UTIA faculty and staff,” says Carver. “These awards are well-deserved and represent our employees’ steadfast dedication to their work, the Institute and the people of Tennessee. The impact of their accomplishments and passion will be felt for generations to come.”
Elizabeth Eckelkamp, dairy Extension specialist and associate professor in the Department of Animal Science, is the recipient of the Ann and Bill Hicks Outstanding New Extension Worker Award. Established by Bill Hicks, dean emeritus of UT Extension, and his wife Ann, this annual award recognizes an outstanding employee with at least three years, but not more than five years, of service with UT Extension. The award recipient is selected by a committee that includes past winners of the Outstanding New Extension Worker Award, and is presented each year to an Extension Agent, Area Specialist or Specialist.
“I am truly honored to be the recipient of the Ann and Bill Hicks Outstanding New Extension Worker Award,” says Eckelkamp. “I would like to thank the hard-working dairy farm families in Tennessee who have welcomed me into their lives, their farms and their families. My job and accomplishments would not be possible without them.”
Eckelkamp was also promoted to associate professor with tenure during the luncheon. She has been with UTIA for six years and specializes in dairy systems management to improve producer profitability and efficiency. Some of her favorite memories with UTIA includes her trips to the American Dairy Science Association awards banquets with her undergraduate students who placed first in national competitions. Additionally, Eckelkamp values the relationships she’s built with dairy farmers, dairy industry partners, and the county and regional Extension personnel in Tennessee and the surrounding states.
Eckelkamp has a doctorate in dairy husbandry and production from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in animal science from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Louisiana State University. She received the Oustanding Faculty Advisor Award in 2022.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.