Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 7, 2023

Three UTC faculty receive President’s awards

Three University of Tennessee at Chattanooga faculty and staff members have received 2023 President’s Awards – the highest accolade an employee can receive from the UT system.

UT system President Randy Boyd announced that the executive director of the Disability Resource Center, Michelle Rigler, the associate vice chancellor for student affairs, Abeer Mustafa, and the associate dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, David Rausch, are among 14 award winners from across the UT System recognized for their accomplishments.

The announcement was made during the annual UT board of trustees meeting in Memphis.

Rigler won the President’s Award in the Embrace Diversity category, which honors an individual who respects individual and organizational uniqueness.

Rigler, the Disability Resource Center executive director since 2004, was cited in her nomination letter for recognizing the uniqueness of each student and embracing the chance to make a difference in their lives.

In addition to ensuring the day-to-day delivery of services supporting students with a broad range of disabilities, Rigler is a respected expert on autism, notes a news release from UTC.

One example of her impact is the development of Mosaic, a multifaceted program UTC created to support the needs of degree-seeking students on the autism spectrum. The retention and graduation rate of students in Mosaic has surpassed the rates for the general student population and has made UTC a school of choice for students with autism.

Rigler has received nominations for awards from disability-related organizations across the U.S. and has been invited to speak and share expertise at conferences and other higher education institutions.

Rausch received the President’s Award in the Nimble and Innovative category, which honors an individual who inspires creative and transformational action.

Rausch was one of the architects in creating and designing the Bachelor of Applied Science: Applied Leadership program at UTC, which serves nontraditional students with previous college, military or work experience who want to complete their undergraduate degrees. All courses are online.

A Navy veteran and adult learner, Rausch also is the director of Learning and Leadership Programs at UTC. He’s added an online component to the curriculum, which helps adult learners with full-time jobs earn a doctoral degree or a doctor of education.

UT selected Mustafa for the President’s Award in the Excel in All We Do category. The award honors an individual who commits to continuous improvement and outstanding performance.

In her role as associate vice chancellor for student affairs, Mustafa oversees housing and residence life at UTC.

Mustafa fostered the Residential Learning Communities program. Representing all four academic colleges at UTC, each in a single housing unit, the RLCs have increased retention rates by connecting freshmen and prospective students with others who share their academic programs or interests.

UT established the President’s Awards in 2016 to annually consider the exceptional achievements of employees across the statewide system, which includes UTC, UT Knoxville, UT Health Science Center, UT Martin, UT Institute of Agriculture, UT Institute for Public Service and UT System Administration.

Gay named executive director of The Lantern

The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence in Chattanooga has named Angie Gay as its new executive director.

In this role, Gay oversees daily operations at the Alzheimer’s and memory care community located at 7620 Shallowford Road. She works with a team of directors, nurses, nursing assistants and other support staff to provide resident care and family support.

Gay has been a nurse for 24 years, during which she worked in geriatrics, assisted living and hospice. Years ago, she served as a floor nurse at The Lantern at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga.

Originally from Detroit, Gay currently resides in Cleveland.

State CPA Society sets new local leadership

The Tennessee Society of CPAs recently announced the election of its 2023-24 Chattanooga chapter officers. The newly elected officers include Andrew Glenn of Mauldin & Jenkins, president; Courtney Brock of Unum, president-elect; Bryan Mattice of McKee Foods Corporation, vice president; Hunter Williams of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, secretary; and Joyce Ann Mattice of ELD Associates, treasurer.