Annual Conference

UT Institute for Public Service employees gathered in Murfreesboro in September for the organization’s annual conference – the one time a year all 130 employees statewide gather for professional development and networking.

The conference kicked off with an inspirational message from former UT football player Inky Johnson, whose career came to an end during a routine play in 2006. He makes a living now as a motivational speaker and discussed overcoming adversity with the IPS crowd. Throughout the remaining day and a half, employees participated in breakout sessions on various topics including leadership, forensic science, cybercrime and social media.

Scholarships and annual awards were also handed out during the conference. Here is a look at the award winners.

Mary and Jack Jinks Scholarship

Katie Shoup, step-daughter of Brett Howell, CTAS

Lindsay Howell, daughter of Brett Howell, CTAS

Adrienne Branch, daughter of Lori Barton, IPS Administration

Bradley Arms, son of Linda Arms, IPS Administration

Jim and Marie Murphy Scholarship

Heather Sandefur

Service Awards

10 Years

Keith Groves, CIS

Walter Idol, CIS

Ben Rodgers, CTAS

20 Years

Rex Barton, MTAS

Brett Howell, CTAS

Robin Roberts, CTAS

Lisa Shipley, MTAS

Chuck Shoopman, IPS Administration

Russell Toone, CIS

Gail White, IPS Administration

30 Years

Sharon Rollins, MTAS

Linda Winstead, MTAS


Faculty Excellence Award

Dr. Susan Speraw, UT Knoxville School of Nursing

John McRae, UT Knoxville School of Architecture


Horizon Award The Horizon Recognition award is presented to a regular full-time or part-time employee with less than three years of service with an IPS agency. The recipient must demonstrate a positive attitude, show initiative, be a team player, and exemplify excellence in performance.

Lori Barton, IPS Administration

Patrick Mills, MTAS

Beacon Award

The Beacon Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a continued capacity for providing top-notch services behind the scenes, usually by having first-hand knowledge of projects and by helping support agency outcomes.

Cyndy Edmonds, MTAS


Pinnacle Award

The Pinnacle Award recognizes an employee who has demonstrated an ability to provide services that go above the normal high quality services we all seek to provide.

Dwaine Raper, CIS

Five Franklins

The Five Franklin Awards are given to employees that have shown exemplary service during the past year.

Mary Ann Moon, CTAS Brent Lackey, LEIC

Kristy Godsey Brown, CTAS

Jim Hart, CTAS

Jill Marling, IPS Administration

Paul Middlebrooks, CIS

Tom and Diane Ballard Award

The Tom and Diane Ballard Award of Excellence is presented to a non-exempt employee who has demonstrated sustained high-quality job performance, initiative, and good communication skills, flexibility and commitment to the institute.

Sherri Brown, MTAS

Robert S. Hutchison Outstanding Public Service Professional Award

The Robert S. Hutchison Outstanding Public Service Professional Award is presented to an exempt staff member who has consistently shown extraordinary commitment to the public service mission, the institute and the university.

Dr. Macel Ely, MTAS

Project of the Year

To be considered as project of the year, a team of employees must be working on an ongoing project or have completed a project that supports the IPS five year strategic plan.

Gallatin Online Training, MTAS

Collaboration Award

The Collaboration of the Year award recognizes a project resulting in or from the purposeful collaboration of a cross-agency team, association and agency team, or a group of varying customers and an agency.

Memphis Street Cut Project

John Chlarson, MTAS

Michael Codega, CIS

Keith Groves, CIS

Ronnie Neill, MTAS

Vice Presidential Citation

The Vice Presidential Citation recognizes a special effort by an IPS staff member or team who has gone above and beyond normal job assignments or has worked

relentlessly on a complex project. This award is selected from the many projects nominated this year.

Tennessee Sheriff’s School

Steve Austin, CTAS

Jim Hart, CTAS

Terry Hazard, CTAS

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