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UTSI’s HR Director Receives UT President’s Award

Patricia Burks-Jelks

Patricia Burks-Jelks, Director of Human Resources at the UT Space Institute, was recently awarded the UT President’s Award, Transparent and Trusted.  Patricia practices stewardship and accountability, and models it for those whom she works with daily. For more than 30 years, Patricia has had a great impact in all she does. She serves as the director of human resources, equity and diversity and compliance as well as Title IX coordinator and Institutional Compliance Officer at the UT Space Institute.

Patricia joined UTSI in 1988 as a Personnel Services Assistant, was promoted in 1991 to the Personnel Manager handling payroll and taking on the responsibility as Affirmative Action Officer.  In 1998, Patricia was promoted again to Assistant Director for Personnel, Payroll, and Affirmative Action Office, ADA Coordinator.  In 1999, Patricia became the Director for Human Resources, Payroll, Equity and Diversity Officer, and ADA Coordinator.  Over the years, she has gained more responsibility as the Title IX Coordinator, and Institutional Compliance Officer.        

Patricia’s unwavering drive is also illustrated in her philanthropy work. She is a two-time recipient of the June Anderson Award presented by Women in Higher Education (WHET), the Meritorious Service Award from the Southern Region of College and University Professional Association for Human Resources and the Exemplary Woman of the Year Award presented by Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church in Winchester. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social work from Middle Tennessee State University in 1983 and her Master’s Degree in Professional Studies with an Emphasis in Strategic Leadership in 2009.  Every day, she continues to be the definition of transparent and trusted.

What a wonderful journey I have had working for the University of Tennessee, specifically the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma.  I appreciate every opportunity I have been afforded since employed with UTSI.  I appreciate all the wonderful staff that have worked for me over the years.  I have had and still have some of the best!  Thank you to the entire UTSI family for allowing me to serve you over the years.”

Patricia Burks-Jelk