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Rutan Receives National Recognition for COVID Care Research Paper

Research Focuses on Finite Resources of COVID Care in Higher EducationRUTAN - Gerald Saddlemire Award

Miranda N. Rutan, a first-year doctoral student in the Higher Education Administration Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences (CEHHS) has been nationally recognized for her research paper on the experiences of women working in higher education during COVID-19. The paper titled, “Understanding the Finite Resource of Care: A COVID-19 Narrative,” received the Gerald Saddlemire Masters Research Award from ACPA-College Student Educators International in March.

The Saddlemire Award recognizes master’s students for outstanding scholarship in a student affairs graduate preparation program. Rutan received her masters from the College Student Personnel Program through the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies Studies in CEHHS at UT Knoxville in 2021 and is on track to graduate with her doctorate in 2025.

“I’m excited and humbled by this recognition. As a large focus of my master’s education, this research helped provide clarity and direction to my journey as a scholar-practitioner,” said Rutan.

ACPA-College Student Educators International is a professional development organization advocating for equitable and inclusive learning environments. It was founded in 1924 and serves student affairs and higher education professionals, as well as faculty and students.

Rutan currently serves on the CEHHS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team as a graduate research assistant, where she works to make CEHHS an inclusive environment for all students, faculty, staff and administrators. She plans to make student, faculty and staff well-being a central part of her future career.

“I hope to continue centering care and caregiving in my work and highlight the need for community care within educational settings,” said Rutan.

Through its eight departments and 12 centers, the UT Knoxville College of Education, Health and Human Sciences enhances the quality of life for all Tennesseans through research, outreach and practice. Find out more at