Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Excellence in Service


Brenna Butler at GSS Awards Ceremony

photo contributed by the Graduate School, Steven Bridges

Brenna Butler | Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching

“As a graduate student considering a future career involving teaching, this award made me feel validated in my ability to teach in an effective way. It was also great to be recognized for my work as a GTA and realizing that the effort placed into this role was appreciated.”

Brenna is a PhD student in the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program and a Graduate Teaching Associate for EDPY 550 – Applied Statistical Concepts, EDPY 577 – Statistics in Applied Fields I, and EDPY 677 – Statistics in Applied Fields II.

This award is presented to graduate teaching assistants and associates for extraordinary performance in teaching.


Gary J. Skolits at the GSS Awards Ceremony

photo contributed by the Graduate School, Steven Bridges

Gary J. Skolits | Graduate Research Mentor of the Year

The Graduate Research Mentor of the Year award was a special surprise and honor for me. Spending quality time working with graduates students on their research efforts is its own reward. To be appreciated and recognized by the students themselves for these research mentoring efforts is a singular honor for me as a faculty member. This award truly will be a career highlight.

Gary is an associate professor and program coordinator of the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program.

This award recognizes faculty and staff members who have shown outstanding commitment to mentoring graduate research students.


Arden Szepe at the GSS Awards Breakfast

photo contributed by the Graduate School, Steven Bridges

Arden Szepe | Excellence in Service

Service holds a special place in the field of Counselor Education and in my heart. Being recognized with this award was validating in my development as a counselor educator and advocate for the counseling profession.

Arden is a PhD Candidate in the Counselor Education program. She was recently recognized as a Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) Fellow for 2019/2020. Arden currently serves as president of the Upsilon Theta chapter, UT’s local chapter of CSI, and as a member on the Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Board for the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Previously, she served on the National Career Development Month Committee for the National Career Development Association.

This award is presented to graduate and professional students who are extraordinary campus leaders, participate in service learning or other community initiatives, and/or provide service leadership to their academic discipline through service in professional organizations.


Jennifer Moralejo at GSS Awards

photo contributed by the Graduate School

Jennifer Moralejo | Excellence in Teaching

Jennifer is a PhD Candidate in the Counselor Education program and a Graduate Teaching Associate for COUN 480 – Skills for Counseling. She said, “I am honored by this award, it is rewarding to be recognized for something you truly enjoy. The department faculty have been excellent mentors and role models in teaching. It has been an honor to learn from them and have them be such a huge part of my development as an instructor.”

This award is given to graduate teaching assistants/associates for extraordinary performance in teaching.


Erin Garty | Excellence in Service

Erin is a PhD Student in the Learning Environments and Educational Studies program and has been working with UT Service-Learning since 2014 and has served on the Graduate Student Advisory Board the last two years. She said, “I am grateful for this award. It’s wonderful to receive recognition for meaningful work.”

This award is presented to graduate students who are extraordinary campus leaders or participate in service learning and other community initiatives.


Kala Taylor at GSS Awards

photo contributed by the Graduate School

Kala Taylor | Excellence in Research

Kala is a PhD Candidate in the School Psychology program and focuses her research on reading interventions and diversity issues. She said, “I am honored to receive this award, and so grateful for the strong mentors who have encouraged me to grow as a researcher during my time at UT.”

This award is presented to graduate students who have received national and/or international recognition in their fields and show professional promise in their areas of research and creative achievement.

Educational Psychology & Counseling Department
College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

535 Bailey Education Complex
1122 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996-3452
Phone: 865-974-8145 Fax: 865-974-0135