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UTSI’s Burks-Jelks one of 2022 President’s Awards Winners

Patricia Burks-Jelks

University of Tennessee System President Randy Boyd recognized seven employees from across the UT System following the summer Board of Trustees meeting held in Knoxville, including UT Space Institute Human Resources Director Patricia Burks-Jelks, who earned the “Transparent and Trusted” award.

The President’s Awards were established in 2016 to annually recognize the exceptional achievements of employees across the UT System in the areas of the University’s three-part mission to educate, discover and connect as well as to acknowledge outstanding contributions in the areas of support and diversity.

In 2022, the awards were enhanced to exemplify the seven Be One UT values. These values are intended to shape culture across the system and build purpose, improve team cohesion and create a sense of shared commitment in the workplace.

The awards are named after the values and each recipient is recognized for embodying one of the seven. This is the first time there have been seven recipients instead of six.

“These winners represent the ‘best in class’ in our University system,” Boyd said.  “It is not only humbling but gratifying to work alongside these devoted employees.”

The President’s Awards are the highest honor a UT employee can receive from the University. Winners receive commemorative plaques and a monetary reward of $3,000. Nominations come from campus and institute leaders and are annually selected from a system-wide pool.

Winners, their awards, and their roles within the UT system can be found on the full story at