Anne Smith, head of the management department in the Haslam College of Business, has been selected as a University of Tennessee Undergraduate Faculty Research Mentor of the Year. Smith is one of four recipients at the university for the 2015-16 academic year.
The campuswide award was bestowed by the university’s Office of Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate students nominated the recipients, drawing on their experiences in the recent Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement.
Smith, who was surprised with the award while teaching, was caught unawares.
“It was quite a surprise to me, and the class spontaneously clapped!” Smith said. “I very much enjoy working with undergraduate students on their research, so no award was necessary. Seeing the successful completion of their projects is reward enough for an adviser. Still, this was a nice recognition of the joy I get in sharing knowledge with undergraduate students.”
Sarah Aronson, a senior in accounting, and Piper Davis, a senior in finance, nominated Smith.
“Dr. Smith was an excellent thesis mentor for my project,” Davis said. “Sometimes I would feel as if I had hit a roadblock or my topic was too obscure. However, during our meetings, her suggestions would resonate with me in a way that reignited my passion for my project. Dr. Smith truly cares about each one of her students and their individual projects.”
Steve Mangum, dean of Haslam and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair, praised Smith as the consummate scholar.
“She is intellectually curious, gifted in her ability to ask interesting questions, and well-versed in a wide variety of alternative research methodologies and protocols. She seamlessly blends her research and teaching activities,” Mangum said. “Given this, a student with research interests cannot help but come away positively influenced by their association with her.”
Charlie Noble, associate dean for research and faculty at Haslam, said Smith has an ability to blend scholarship and teaching.
“She is able to connect with undergraduate students in ways that assist them to appreciate the value and importance of research, while also making research interesting and enjoyable,” Noble said.
Read more about Smith’s award and the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards on the Office of Undergraduate Research Web page.