Pictured above – Dr. Susan Wells is presented with Tech’s 2024 OVC Outstanding Faculty – Commitment to Student Success Award at a Feb. 24 Tech basketball game. From left: Tech Faculty Athletics Representative Jeff Roberts, OVC Outstanding Faculty – Commitment to Student Success Award winner Susan Wells, Tech Provost Lori Mann-Bruce and Tech President Phil Oldham.

She attacks each day as a professor as if it were fourth-and-1 on the goal-line in overtime of the OVC Championship – former Golden Eagle football player Seth Carlisle

A Tennessee Tech University College of Business instructor has been recognized by the Ohio Valley Conference for her commitment to student-athlete success.

Susan Wells, a lecturer in the decision sciences and management department, is the university’s recipient this year of the OVC Outstanding Faculty – Commitment to Student Success Award, which is given annually to an instructor at each OVC member institution.

The award recognizes OVC university instructors who have positively impacted student-athletes through their commitments to their students, departments, university and community through service, curriculum development and consistent professional development. Former Tech student-athletes who recommended Wells for the award say she embodies each of those qualities.

“She attacks each day as a professor as if it were fourth-and-1 on the goal-line in overtime of the OVC Championship,” said Tech graduate and former Golden Eagle football player Seth Carlisle in his nomination letter. Carlisle is now pursuing dental school, partly because of Wells’ encouragement.

Wells teaches several classes, including business intelligence, conflict management and negotiation, leading strategic innovation and change management, programming logic and analytical thinking and computer applications in business. She coordinates the department’s student internships and is the director of the Governor’s School for Technological Innovation and Business Leadership, which brings aspiring high school students to campus each summer.

A self-proclaimed “Tech Mom,” she says she has a passion for teaching at the college level and being able to engage daily with students.

Describing Wells, Thomas Payne, dean of the College of Business, referenced the adage about people “not caring how much you know until they know how much you care.”

“With Dr. Wells, our students have no doubt,” Payne added.

Payne listed the ways Wells understands and provides for the needs of all students, including student-athletes. “She challenges them to do their best, overcome obstacles and act with integrity. She is their encourager and advocate as they face challenges and opportunities in the classroom, on the athletic field and in life,” he said.

The ways Wells’ support for student-athletes extends beyond the classroom, Payne said, include the “Breakfast with Business” events she hosts before each home football game, providing snack bags for golf and soccer teams, leading and organizing team-building seminars for athletic teams and – of course – cheering on Tech’s student-athletes at their games, matches and events.

“Our blood runs purple and gold,” said Wells, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the university before attending Nashville School of Law to earn a Doctor of Jurisprudence.

She teaches in the same department and shares an office at the university with her husband, Stuart “Doc” Wells, who shares her love of university athletics.

Tech graduate and former football player Joshua Poplar said Wells was there for him through both the highs and lows of his college and student-athlete career.

“Dr. Wells has been a pivotal pillar in some of the most traumatic and triumphant experiences I had while I was at Tennessee Tech,” he said.

Because of Wells’ influence, Poplar said he now strives to be a professional and “a man of character [who] has a lasting impact on my community.”

Former graduate assistant Macy Carter says Wells inspires others by example.

“While serving as her graduate assistant for a year and a half, I witnessed just how much Dr. Wells does for others. . . She is constantly assisting students and colleagues who would come to her for guidance,” she said.

In addition to her teaching, direction of the Governor’s School and volunteerism, Wells serves on several university committees, including Information Technology Services, Student Affairs and Hall of Fame.

“I take care of people. That’s just what I do,” Wells said. “Being recognized for doing the things I just do naturally is a little overwhelming, but in a good way. I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and to know I’ve been nominated for this award by students makes it even more special to me.”

Other awards Wells has received include the Curtis Kinslow Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Business in 2017, the College of Business Service Award in 2019 and the Tech Alumni Association’s Outstanding Service Award in 2021.

Learn more about the OVC Outstanding Faculty – Commitment to Student Success Award at https://ovcsports.com/sports/2023/3/15/GEN_0315233209.aspx

Photo courtesy of Tennessee Tech.

Other stories you may want to check out:

Submit your story ideas to the Upper Cumberland Business Journal! via email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.