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UTSI Employees Recognized at Service Awards Ceremony

The University of Tennessee Space Institute recognized twelve employees on May 10, for their service and dedication to the university. A luncheon was held for all employees at the UTSI cafeteria and each employee reaching milestones of five to thirty-five years of service were recognized. Greg Sedrick with the Office of Academic Affairs presented each of the twelve employees with gifts for their years of service.

Trevor Moeller received an award for five years of university service. Moeller is Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. He received his PhD from UTSI in 1998 and worked at InnovaTek, a small business organization in Washington state before returning to UTSI as Research Associate Professor in February 2004. Moeller has broad interests in plasma physics and high temperature gases. He has more than 30 papers in journals and conference proceedings and has received one US patent. He is a member of IEEE, ASME (Associate Fellow), Tau Beta Pi, and Pi Mu Epsilon. Moeller lives in Manchester with wife Laurie, a former UTSI student and son Zach. The Moeller’s will soon welcome a new son into their family.

Ying Ling Chen received an award for ten years of service. Chen received her PhD from UTSI in 1998 and worked in Sandia National Laboratory, Livermore, California for a brief period. She returned to UTSI in 1999 as a Research Assistant Professor. She worked in vision science after returning to UTSI and in the past ten years has been granted a US patent in vision screening technology and published two book chapters in visual science. Chen and her family live in Tullahoma where her son is a junior at Tullahoma High School (THS). Her daughter was last year’s Valedictorian at THS and currently attends Johns Hopkins University where she is majoring in biophysics.

Dean Ferrell received a twenty year award for his service with the university. Dean has been employed with the UTSI Physical Plant during this time. Dean lives in Lynchburg and is an outdoorsman and an avid hunter and fisherman.

Charlene Hane received a service award for twenty years of service. Charlene has worked as the Registrar since 2000. Before becoming Registrar she held several positions including Program Coordinator and the Director for Distant and Continuing Education. She received her BS and MS while working at UTSI. She was awarded the UT Top Graduating Senior in the College of Education in 1994. Charlene and husband Joe, who is also a UTSI employee, live in Tullahoma.

Laura Horton received an award for her service of twenty years. Laura started as a photographer/videographer, working in the darkroom, developing and printing pictures. During this time, she also worked in the Online Education Department videotaping graduate level classes. In 1993 she became a permanent employee in the Online Education Department as well continuing as the UTSI photographer. In addition, she works closely with the students and their proctors and is the backup producer for the classes. Laura and husband Jerry live in Estill Springs with their son Jonathan who will be a 2010 graduate of Franklin County High School.

Barbara Birdsong received a twenty year service award. Barbara began her career with the university as a Senior Clerk in the Personnel Department. In 1995 she was named Administrative Service Assistant for the Dean for Academic Affairs. Barbara received her Associates of Science from Motlow State Community College while a university employee. She is currently Administrative Coordinator in the Office for Academic Affairs. Barbara and husband, Rex, live in Tullahoma.

Montgomery (Monty) Smith received a twenty-five year service award. Smith, a native of Chattanooga, TN, is Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. He received his PhD from UTSI in Electrical Engineering in 1988. Smith is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Tennessee, a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), a Member of Optical Society of America (OSA), a Member of Sigma Xi, a Member of Sigma Pi Sigma. He spent two summers as a NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellow at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. He has authored over 20 refereed journal publications and holds one US Patent. In 1994 he received the Award for Outstanding Young Scientist, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. Smith lives in Tullahoma.

Denise Jackson, Associate Professor of Engineering Management in the Industrial and Information Engineering Department at UTSI, received her twenty-five year service award. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in Tennessee. She received her PhD degree from UTK in Engineering Science with a concentration in Industrial Engineering in 1989. Her affiliations include The Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE); The American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE); Examiner for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence; and the American Society of Engineering Management (ASME). Jackson lives in Knoxville with husband Andrew and their two sons, Zack and Chris.

Betty Bright received an award for 30 years of service. Betty began working at the UT Space Institute in 1979 as a clerk in the Short Course Office. Currently, Betty is Administrative Support Assistant III in the Office of Continuing Education Programs where she assists in coordinating engineering programs to industry, government and various non-government agencies. She holds an associate of science degree in sociology, a bachelor of science in sociology/psychology and in 1996 received a master of education degree. Betty lives in Winchester.

Charlotte Henley received an award for thirty years of service. Charlotte began her career with the university as a clerk-typist with the DOE Energy Conversion Research and Development Programs. Charlotte was also Secretary for the Applied Fluid Dynamics Group and Administrative Specialist for the Arnold Chair. In July of 2008, she was promoted to the position of Administrative Specialist in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance and continues to serve in that capacity. Charlotte and husband David, live in Franklin County.

Madge Gibson received an award for thirty years of service. Madge began in the Energy Conversion R&D Programs (ECP) as secretary in the Electrical Engineering Department. She later worked in the Combustion Group of ECP. During her career she was Assistant to the Director of Public Relations, Assistant to the ECP Deputy Program Manager, and Assistant to the Administrator of ECP. She obtained her certificate as a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) in 1990. In recent years she was Secretary to the Assistant Vice President for Research and Development and is currently the Administrative Coordinator for UTSI’s Executive Director. Madge lives in Franklin County.

Keith Walker received an award for 35 years of service. Keith began work at UTSI in 1974 working on the MHD project of the DOE Energy Conversion R&D Programs. In 1978, Keith began work in the MHD Coal Fired Flow Facility and continued until the project ended in 1998. He transferred to the Propulsion Lab to work with the Research Support Group and continues to serve in that capacity today. Keith and wife Karen live in Decherd.

Also recognized was Student Government President, Andrew Wilson; Outstanding Graduate Research Assistants, Brian Maicke and Jason King; Resident Assistant, Nadim Zgheib; Faculty Assembly President, Chris Parigger and Employee Relation Committee members, Tonya Battles, Laura Horton, Rebecca Layman and Pam Ledford.