Haslam College of Business Honors Faculty and Staff at Awards Reception

The annual celebration took place on May 8 in the Lauricella Center at Neyland Stadium

May 17, 2024

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business recognized outstanding faculty and staff achievements at its annual awards reception on May 8 in the Lauricella Center at Neyland Stadium. Chad Autry, the college’s associate dean for research and faculty, emceed the ceremony, with musical accompaniment from Shadyland, a band consisting of Haslam faculty members.

“Within the Haslam College of Business, there are countless individuals deserving of recognition for remarkable accomplishments,” Autry said in his opening remarks. “We are fortunate to have such talented and dedicated individuals among us, and each year, they and you raise the bar higher. Being nominated by peers for recognition at this annual event is indeed a prestigious honor.”

Staff Awards in Haslam Undergraduate Business

The Haslam Undergraduate Business (HUB) Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Service went to Katie McCay, executive director of undergraduate programs. She was commended for her responsiveness and for making extra effort to ensure the programs run smoothly.

Jared Worsham, assistant director of student engagement, won the HUB Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Results. One nominator stated, “Jared does excellent work and is always a positive influence,” while another noted, “Jared has been so wonderful to work with and accommodating around student engagements events.”

The HUB Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Innovation was presented to Laurel Cox, senior academic advisor for undergraduate programs. She was lauded for changing the office’s file review process and developing a course registration waitlist app.

The Office of Access and Community Connections received the HUB Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Teamwork and Collaboration. One nominator said, “Everyone in this office is the embodiment of what it means to be student-facing here on campus. From the time I stepped foot in Haslam, they have welcomed me with open arms.”

Staff Awards in Graduate and Executive Education

The Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Service in Graduate and Executive Education (GEE) was awarded to executive education program manager Christie Knapper for consistently performing at a level above and beyond her normal job requirements in the areas of customer service, student engagement and support for faculty and external groups. 

Hannah Carter, program manager for the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management Online program, was the winner of the Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Results in GEE. Nominators described her as a team player who “goes to great lengths to ensure that the student’s experience is exceptional.”

Sharath Sriman, director of executive education, received the Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Innovation in GEE. He was lauded for his role in creating digital badges that students can share on LinkedIn to raise awareness of the ROI of being a Haslam GEE student.

The Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Teamwork and Collaboration went to employee relations manager Taylor Ward. One nominator said, “Her approach to her work focuses on ways that she can maximize impact across all teams and programs for the benefit of the students and employers.”

Departmental and College Staff Awards

Kaitlyn Wray, administrative coordinator in the Department of Finance, was honored with the Staff Award for Superior Customer Responsiveness. Nominators called her “very knowledgeable about processes and who to contact for any- and everything” and praised her communication skills and patience.

The Staff Award for Innovation and Creativity was presented to Christine White, director of partnerships and growth initiatives for the Department of Marketing. She was recognized for launching new internships, career fairs and numerous other endeavors to support students.

The Tim Williams Staff Award for Professionalism went to Tyler Orr, associate director of student development and career management for the Global Supply Chain Institute. One nominator said, “Tyler always goes the extra mile to connect with employers and create a positive reputation for the supply chain department and Haslam as a whole.”

Blythe Kanaswood, financial manager for the Department of Marketing, won the Outstanding Staff Service Award. She received commendations for her “enormous leadership and selflessness” and “commitment to exceptional service.”

Faculty and Doctoral Student Awards

The Richard C. Reizenstein Outstanding Commitment to Students Award was presented to Ryan Farley, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Finance and director of the Torch Fund program. One nominator commented, “Beyond excellence in the classroom, Ryan invests in the personal development, professional development, and placement of his students.”

Adam Spannbauer, lecturer in the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics, was the recipient of the Allen H. Keally Excellence in Teaching Award. One student nominator said, “Adam is such a kind, understanding and patient professor. I feel so comfortable coming up to him for help and can confidently say he is the best professor I have ever had.” 

The Outstanding Doctoral Student Teacher Award went to Melissa Baucum from the Department of Marketing. Nominators praised her for fostering critical thinking, creativity and collaboration among students and for bringing a real-world, industry perspective to the classroom.

Becca Arwine from the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship was recognized with the Outstanding Doctoral Student Researcher Award. She received praise for “a stellar scholarly record as a doctoral student, with a premier publication and an article in an excellent journal that has the highest citation rate in management.”

The Vallett Family Outstanding Researcher Award went to Linda Myers, Haslam Chair of Business and Distinguished Professor of Accounting in the Department of Accounting and Information Management. Autry commented on Myers’ “amazing track record of research that has truly impacted thought across the breadth of the field of accounting.”

The Rising Star Research Award was presented to Annika Abell, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing. Autry said, “In just a few years since graduating, Annika Abell has amassed a strong research record, with multiple premier publications in consumer research and a robust pipeline of papers in advanced review.”

Joe Buckley, director of executive and non-degree education for the Global Supply Chain Institute and a lecturer in the Department of Supply Chain Management, received the Richard Sanders Faculty Leadership Award. He was commended for his mentorship and role in launching the Supply Chain Leadership Academy, Supply Chain Finance Academy and Supply Chain Planning Academy.  

John Gallagher, a founding faculty member of the Professional MBA program, and Don Lighter, a founding faculty member of the Physician Executive MBA program, were honored with the George Miller, Jr. Award for Lifetime Achievement in Executive Education. They were recognized for their continued service and commitment to executive education.

The Bank of America Faculty Leadership Award went to Tim Munyon, professor in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. One nomination stated, “Tim is the epitome of the servant leader in all that he does and the way he lives his professional and personal life.”  

The Martin and Carol Robinson Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service Award was presented to David Williams, the Ergen Professor in Business in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. He was commended for his teaching, mentorship, leadership and award-winning scholarship.

Alex Zablah, Gerber/Taylor Distinguished Professor and marketing department head, was the recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Award. He was recognized for his focus on inclusive leadership, advocacy for underrepresented faculty and student populations and his involvement in pre-collegiate programs and recruitment efforts for doctoral students.

Special Recognitions

In addition to the annual awards listed above, the college presented a university award as well as two honors reserved for occasions when college deans feel a faculty or staff member is deserving of special commendation.

The Spirit of a Volunteer Award, a campus-wide honor, was presented to David Ecklund, emeritus member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. In presenting the award, Paul Clark, interim executive director of advancement, said, “David exhibits a passion for preparing Haslam students to excel as working professionals in a global economy, and his own life serves as a beacon for what it means to be a servant leader.” 

Izabela VanDeest, program manager for supply chain management in GEE, was honored with the college-wide Volunteer Spirit Award. She was lauded for her exemplary leadership, resourcefulness and organizational skills in keeping three GEE Executive MBA programs running in downtown Knoxville hotels when their 65 students were snowed in during their first residence period in January 2024.

The award ceremony concluded with the presentation of the 1974 Award, a new honor created to recognize Ernest Cadotte, Emeritus Fisher Professor of Innovative Education. Named for the year Cadotte joined UT, the award honors his numerous contributions, including teaching more than 100,000 students, inventing the Marketplace Simulations software used in Haslam’s advanced courses and publishing dozens of articles and books. Autry said, “This all epitomizes his dedication to what he calls Conscious Capitalism — the belief that despite what you may hear, business can indeed be a force for good.” 

Photo: Office of Access and Community Connections staff (L-R) Donna Collier, Pamela Sanchez, LaKietha Jackson, Nayasha Farrior and Clarence Vaughn


Stacy Estep, writer/publicist, sestep3@utk.edu