While the selections were left up to each institution’s discretion, the recipients all shared the common characteristics of demonstrated service to the institution and contributions to campus life and the local community. Faculty members selected have demonstrated strong contributions to teaching, research and/or service, while staff members are being recognized for bringing out the best in others and creating conditions for success.
The faculty and staff recipients include: The Citadel’s Dr. Matthew Zommer and Lori Hedstrom; ETSU’s Dr. Amy Greene and Ronda Gross; Furman’s Dr. William Pierce and Vince Moore; Mercer’s Dr. R. Scott Nash and Jim Tessmer; UNCG’s Dr. Gabriela Stein and Melanie Carter; Samford’s Dr. Mark S. Gignilliat and Ginger Robertson; Chattanooga’s Dr. Jamie Harvey and Melanie Ribaric; VMI’s Col. Tom Baur, who is being honored posthumously, and Col. Vern Beitzel; Western Carolina’s Dr. Yue Cai Hillon and Mark Haskett; and Wofford’s Dr. William Eddie Richardson and Elizabeth Dashiell Wallace.
Greene is a three-time ETSU graduate, as she earned undergraduate and master's degrees in sport management and her doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy analysis. She started her career with ETSU as the Fit Kids Program Coordinator in what is now the Department of Sport, Exercise, Recreation, & Kinesiology and is now a tenured associate professor.
She loves diving into the lives of her students and navigating the college journey with them and says that one of the greatest rewards in her career is hearing the words "I am hired!"
Greene’s research interests involve consumer behavior and marketing of sport and she has worked alongside the ETSU athletic department to conduct research that focuses on its fan experiences and marketing efforts. Greene is also passionate about helping those in need through a children's feeding program established in 2016, Feeding5000.
Gross began her career at ETSU in 1990 as an admissions counselor. In 2010, Gross moved to the ETSU Scholarship Office and now serves as assistant director. She oversees five major scholarship programs: Carter, Carter Plus, Gilbreath, Dual Enrollment and Creative Arts Scholarships.
She works with the Office of Graduate Studies to award the graduate level Carter, Carter Plus, Gilbreath and International Merit Scholarships. She represents ETSU and the Scholarship Office at nearly all on campus and off-campus events.
Gross has the inherent ability to make every person feel like he is speaking with a valued, supportive friend. Alumni often stop by to catch up with her when visiting ETSU.