UT Institute of Agriculture Presents Top Faculty and Staff Awards for 2021
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 July 30, 2021. The event was conducted in person, a welcome return to normalcy after having an online ceremony because of the pandemic last year. The awards honor the extraordinary performance of UTIA employees during a difficult year of online education and changes to procedures because of the pandemic. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.
UTIA Senior Vice President Tim Cross hosted the award winners and praised them for their work. “After a challenging and stressful year, it’s a pleasure to recognize excellence as exemplified by these award-winning members of the UTIA faculty and staff,” Cross says. “Their continuing dedication to our land-grant mission of serving Tennessee ensures that we develop and deliver real life solutions to improve health, grow the economy and enhance our environment.”
Susan Schexnayder, senior research associate and the associate director for the human dimensions lab in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, is the winner of the AgResearch Dean’s Award for Outstanding Professional Staff. The human dimensions lab uses social science research to explore issues in agriculture and natural resources. She has also worked for the energy, environment and resources center for FWF in her 31 years at the Institute.
“I’m grateful to receive this award for professional staff at UT AgResearch,” Schexnayder says. “My position allows me to work with stellar research, Extension faculty and specialists all across UTIA with equally great staff at state agencies and the Forest Service. Each project is a chance to learn something new. It never gets old!”
Past work for Schexnayder includes collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory – and ORNL colleagues have twice awarded her the Globe Award for her contribution to successful research activities. She adds that she is most proud of the graduation record and post-gradation success of the students who have worked in her lab.
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.