University of Tennessee System President Randy Boyd recently awarded seven employees from across the UT System with the 2022 President’s Awards, the highest honor a UT employee can receive from the university. Tyler White, chef and program manager for the UT Culinary Institute housed in the Department of Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Management, was named the United and Connected Honoree.
The President’s Awards recognize the exceptional achievements of employees across the UT System in the areas of the University’s three-part mission to educate, discover, and connect, as well as to acknowledge outstanding contributions in the areas of support and diversity. Nominations come from campus and institute leaders and are annually selected from a system-wide pool.
“These winners represent the ‘best in class’ in our University system,” Boyd said. “It is not only humbling but gratifying to work alongside these devoted employees.”
Below is an excerpt explaining why White received this prestigious honor:
Tyler White shows his unified leadership skills, passion and the Volunteer spirit as the program manager for UT Knoxville’s Culinary Institute. Since taking on this role in 2010, he has created hands-on learning experiences for his students, including planning menus to producing high-quality events. White’s work with a myriad of constituencies on campus made him realize a problem that needed a solution. He found that a large amount of quality food was being discarded after events. As a result, he brought together partners within the UT Culinary Institute, Vol Dining and the Big Orange Pantry to create the Food4VOLS program that began operating in November 2021. The unused food is reclaimed from catered functions, campus dining locations and athletic events, then repurposed and distributed to individuals in need. Food4VOLS has quickly surpassed all goals from its inception. This program has become a leader and model for other universities, as it provides strategies and solutions for reducing food waste. White’s dedication to professionalism and service along with the ability to work successfully with individuals across the UTK campus fully embody what it means to be united and connected.
Dorian McCoy, director of the CEHHS Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and David Cihak, associate dean of professional licensure and director of the David T. Bailey Graduate School of Education were also nominated to receive President’s Awards.
Learn more about the 2022 President’s Award honorees and nominees here.