MTSU Says "Thank You"

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(MURFREESBORO) More than 230 faculty and staff members at MTSU were recognized for their years of working with and for students at the university's annual Service Award Luncheon, held Dec. 5, 2019 in the James Union Building.

The university annually honors employees with a decade or more of service at a special lunch and recognition ceremony, where they receive pins and/or plaques saluting their work with MTSU and the state of Tennessee. This year's honorees totaled 233.

The longest-served MTSU employee for 2019 is George Vernardakis of Murfreesboro, a professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations who joined the university in 1969. He also coordinates the political science department's graduate programs.

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Professor Jim Huffman, also of Murfreesboro, was saluted for his 45 years of service to MTSU's College of Education. Now chair of the Womack Department of Educational Leadership, Huffman joined the university faculty in 1974.

Those who've worked with MTSU 25 years or more also gathered for special group photos at the event. Those 2019 honorees and their departments include:

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25 years of service:

  • Sue Alexander of Woodbury, Tennessee, Telecommunications Services Department.
  • Earl Bogle of Woodbury, Construction Administration Department.
  • Janine Brink of Bradyville, Tennessee, Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance.
  • Norman Buck of Bradyville, Energy Services Department.
  • David Carleton of Franklin, Tennessee, Department of Political Science and International Relations.
  • Teri Davis of Murfreesboro, Department of Psychology.
  • Margaret Fontanesi-Seime of Antioch, Tennessee, Department of Social Work.
  • Dana Fuller of Murfreesboro, Department of Psychology.
  • Jette Halladay of Murfreesboro, Department of Theatre and Dance.
  • Jana Hinz of Murfreesboro, University College.
  • Kathy Kano of Murfreesboro, Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
  • Paul Kline of Murfreesboro, Department of Chemistry.
  • Lisa Jones of Woodbury, Human Resource Services.
  • Preston MacDougall of Murfreesboro, Department of Chemistry.
  • Les Mayberry of Murfreesboro, Energy Services Department.
  • Irma Melton of Woodbury, Department of Media Arts.
  • Barbara Money of Murfreesboro, University Housing and Residential Life.
  • Melodie Phillips of Lascassas, Tennessee, Department of Marketing.
  • Jim Piekarski of Murfreesboro, Department of Recording Industry.
  • Angie Price of Murfreesboro, Office of the University Provost.
  • Lori Pugh of Christiana, Tennessee, Facilities Services Department.
  • Joan Raines of Murfreesboro, Department of University Studies.
  • Rick Rishaw of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, Department of Art and Design.
  • John Schmidt of Christiana, Information Technology Division.
  • Melbra Simmons of Murfreesboro, Education Resource Channel/Center for Educational Media.
  • Bill Whitehill of Murfreesboro, Department of Health and Human Performance.
  • Betsy Williams of Murfreesboro, Office of Development and Advancement Services.

30 years of service:

  • Denise Cathey of Rockvale, Tennessee, School of Journalism and Strategic Media.
  • Kevin Donovan of Murfreesboro, Department of English.
  • Greg Hunt of Manchester, Tennessee, WMOT Radio.
  • Linda Jordan of Murfreesboro, Facilities Services Department.
  • Jwa Kim of Murfreesboro, Literacy Studies Ph.D. Program.
  • Phyllis Kitzler of Murfreesboro, Information Technology Division.
  • David Loucky of Murfreesboro, School of Music.
  • Ron Malone of Murfreesboro, Events and Transportation Services Department.
  • Gale McLean of Murfreesboro, James E. Walker Library.
  • Joyce Reed of Murfreesboro, Facilities Services Department.
  • Greg Schmidt of Murfreesboro, Department of Psychology.
  • Donna Victory of Murfreesboro, Registrar's Office.
  • John Vile of Murfreesboro, University Honors College.
  • Bill Yelverton of Murfreesboro, School of Music.
  • Cornelia Wills of Nashville, Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success.
  • Maureen Young of Murfreesboro, Office of International Affairs.

35 years of service:

  • Connie Huddleston of Murfreesboro, College of Liberal Arts.
  • Sharon Parente of Christiana, James E. Walker Library.
  • Bob Petersen of Murfreesboro, Department of English.
  • LeAnn Sensing of Murfreesboro, Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.
  • Paula Thomas of Murfreesboro, Department of Accounting.

40 years of service:

  • Jack Ross of Estill Springs, Tennessee, Division of Marketing and Communications.
  • Lance Selva of Murfreesboro, Department of Criminal Justice Administration.
  • Gail Sneed of Murfreesboro, Department of Media Arts.
  • Martin Stewart of Murfreesboro, Department of Chemistry.

MTSU, which employs more than 2,500 faculty and staff members campuswide, honors its employees regularly with opportunities that include the MTSU Employee Recognition Program for administrators, classified and technical/service personnel and the MTSU Foundation Awards and Faculty Recognition presentations for faculty.

For more information about MTSU employee recognition programs, visit the university's Human Resource Services department at https://www.mtsu.edu/hrs

MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth and service. A simple phrase conveys these values: "I am True Blue." Learn more at www.mtsu.edu/trueblue. For MTSU news anytime, visit www.MTSUNews.com.

Cutline info:

MTSU 2019 service awards Vernardakis

MTSU professor George Vernardakis of Murfreesboro, a member of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, poses with a plaque recognizing his 50 years of service to the university. Vernardakis, who also coordinates the political science department's graduate programs, was among more than 230 faculty and staff members at MTSU recognized for their years of service at the university's annual Service Award Luncheon, held Dec. 5 in the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

MTSU 2019 service awards Huffman

MTSU professor James O. "Jim" Huffman of Murfreesboro, chair of the Womack Department of Educational Leadership in the university's College of Education, poses with a plaque recognizing his 45 years of service to the university. Huffman, who joined the university faculty in 1974, was among more than 230 faculty and staff members at MTSU recognized for their years of service at the university's annual Service Award Luncheon, held Dec. 5 in the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

MTSU 2019 service awards 25 year group

MTSU employees honored for 25 years of service to the university pose with pins and certificates recognizing their work at the university's annual Service Award Luncheon, held Dec. 5 in the James Union Building. More than 230 faculty and staff members were saluted at the 2019 event for their years of service. Seated on the front row are, from left, Jim Piekarski of Murfreesboro, Department of Recording Industry; Jana Hinz of Murfreesboro, University College; Sue Alexander of Woodbury, Tenn., Telecommunications Services Department; Melbra Simmons of Murfreesboro, Education Resource Channel/Center for Educational Media; Rick Rishaw of Bell Buckle, Tenn., Department of Art and Design; Jette Halladay of Murfreesboro, Department of Theatre and Dance; Margaret Fontanesi-Seime of Antioch, Tenn., Department of Social Work; Irma Melton of Woodbury, Department of Media Arts; Dana Fuller of Murfreesboro, Department of Psychology; and Kathy Kano of Murfreesboro, Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs. Standing on the middle row are, from left, Melodie Phillips of Lascassas, Tenn., Department of Marketing; Paul Kline of Murfreesboro, Department of Chemistry; Betsy Williams of Murfreesboro, Office of Development and Advancement Services; Joan Raines of Murfreesboro, Department of University Studies; Angie Price of Murfreesboro, Office of the University Provost; Lori Pugh of Christiana, Tenn., Facilities Services Department; Janine Brink of Bradyville, Tenn., Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance; Lisa Jones of Woodbury, Human Resource Services; Teri Davis of Murfreesboro, Department of Psychology; and Barbara Money of Murfreesboro, University Housing and Residential Life. Standing on the back row, from left, are Norman Buck of Bradyville, Energy Services Department; Earl Bogle of Woodbury, Construction Administration Department; John Schmidt of Christiana, Information Technology Division; David Carleton of Franklin, Tenn., Department of Political Science and International Relations; Bill Whitehill of Murfreesboro, Department of Health and Human Performance; Preston MacDougall of Murfreesboro, Department of Chemistry; and Les Mayberry of Murfreesboro, Energy Services Department. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

MTSU 2019 service awards 30 year group

MTSU employees honored for 30 years of service to the university pose with plaques recognizing their work at the university's annual Service Award Luncheon, held Dec. 5 in the James Union Building. More than 230 faculty and staff members were saluted at the 2019 event for their years of service. Seated on the front row are, from left, Maureen Young of Murfreesboro, Office of International Affairs; Denise Cathey of Rockvale, Tenn., School of Journalism and Strategic Media; John Vile of Murfreesboro, University Honors College; Bill Yelverton of Murfreesboro, School of Music; Gale McLean of Murfreesboro, James E. Walker Library; Donna Victory of Murfreesboro, Registrar's Office; and Cornelia Wills of Nashville, Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success. Standing from left are Ron Malone of Murfreesboro, Events and Transportation Services Department; Kevin Donovan of Murfreesboro, Department of English; Greg Hunt of Manchester, Tenn., WMOT Radio; David Loucky of Murfreesboro, School of Music; Joyce Reed of Murfreesboro, Facilities Services Department; Phyllis Kitzler of Murfreesboro, Information Technology Division; Linda Jordan of Murfreesboro, Facilities Services; Jwa Kim of Murfreesboro, Literacy Studies Ph.D. Program; and Greg Schmidt of Murfreesboro, Department of Psychology. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

MTSU 2019 service awards 35 year group

MTSU employees honored for 35 years of service to the university pose with plaques recognizing their work at the university's annual Service Award Luncheon, held Dec. 5 in the James Union Building. More than 230 faculty and staff members were saluted at the 2019 event for their years of service. From left are Bob Petersen, Department of English, and LeAnn Sensing, Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, both Murfreesboro residents; Sharon Parente of Christiana, Tenn., James E. Walker Library; and Murfreesboro residents Paula Thomas, Department of Accounting, and Connie Huddleston, College of Liberal Arts. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

MTSU 2019 service awards 40 year group

MTSU employees honored for 40 years of service to the university pose with plaques recognizing their work at the university's annual Service Award Luncheon, held Dec. 5 in the James Union Building. More than 230 faculty and staff members were saluted at the 2019 event for their years of service. From left are Jack Ross of Estill Springs, Tenn., Division of Marketing and Communications; and Martin Stewart, Department of Chemistry; Lance Selva, Department of Criminal Justice Administration; and Gail Sneed of Department of Media Arts, all Murfreesboro residents. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

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