COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech recently honored more than 30 students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends for their “Wings of Kindness” with an awards ceremony held on Aug. 31.
Established in 2019 by Tech First Lady Kari Oldham, the Wings of Kindness initiative recognizes the university’s values, work ethic and culture of kindness. The individual awards pay tribute to those who demonstrate kindness on campus to others in various ways.
Award recipients included: Michael Davis, Lisa Bowman, Kim Williams, Devon Cotter, Cheri Hunter, Robby Sanders, Abigail Faith Thomas, Hunter Dinger, Sylvia Horne, Lisa Rice, Jake Oligny, James Baier, Leeann Shipley, Brittany Bajo, Debbie Gunnels, Michel Turpeau, David Burnett, Mason Hilliard, Michelle Huddleston, Charlene McClain, Leigh Ann Ray, Joseph Slater, Michael Best, Becky Smith, Casey Thyen, Kelvin Norman, Chuck Cushman, Randi Kaplan, Denette Way, Jennifer Goad, Angela Alexander, Tracy Pelphrey, Melinda Smith, Michael Brown, Christopher Robbins, Glenda Shanks, Sara McCall Price and the TTU Upper Cumberland Community Host Group and Dewayne Alexander and the Golden Eagle football team.
“Wings of Kindness is our way to recognize those who choose kindness in today’s busy, often hectic world,” said Tech First Lady Kari Oldham. “Kindness is often displayed by simple acts such as opening a door for someone, taking time to say please and thank you, making eye contact and smiling, paying an unsolicited compliment, helping campus visitors feel welcome or cleaning up someone else’s mess. These are simple but selfless acts that powerfully demonstrate the importance of someone other than self.”
For example, on the nomination for one of this year’s recipients, Leigh Ann Ray, who serves as the director of health services for campus, it said, “Leigh Ann worked tirelessly in providing guidance and direction to help keep the university community safe during the pandemic. Leigh Ann goes above and beyond in her role to help others and has been a tremendous asset to me and the university.”
Another nomination was submitted by a student to recognize chemical engineering professor Robby Sanders. That nomination said, “He goes above and beyond what is required of him as a professor to help students, because he genuinely cares about our learning experience and our future. No matter how busy the semester gets or how much work he has to do, he continues to take the time to help the students and have a caring spirit toward others. He encourages us and tells us that we are awesome and truly gets excited when students learn and succeed.”
Nominations are accepted throughout the year for the Wings of Kindness awards. To nominate someone for consideration, fill out the form at tntech.edu/kindness.