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Teets Receives R.R. Turner Spirit of the College Award

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Carson-Newman College honored longtime professor Dr. Sharon Teets during Alumni Awards festivities Thursday, March 29.

Teets has worked at Carson-Newman some 30 years beyond what she initially expected. She began in 1980 as director of the College’s Child Development Laboratory. She said she thought she would work there for a couple of years and move on to another institution.

“Having risen through C-N’s ranks from her early days in the CDL, joining the School of Education long before it was a School and by demonstrating throughout her tenure how to be a great teacher by being a great teacher, Sharon Teets is Carson-Newman,” championed Mark Brown, director of News and Media Relations.

Beyond fulfilling her duties as a faculty member and administrator, the professor, along with her husband, Scott, regularly attends evening events to support her students and colleagues as an active member of the Carson-Newman family. The couple chose New York as their destination to celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary because several music students had auditioned and were selected for a Carnegie Hall performance.

Dr. Kim Hawkins says her colleague’s regard for and interest in others is constant. She noted a recent exchange with a commuter student whose car had broken down that morning. “She said that she knew Sharon would have helped her so that who she had been trying to find.”

Hawkins says Teets has assisted her in recent years during the pursuit of a doctorate. “Sharon’s helped me develop as a faculty member and scholar. She helped me select a topic for my dissertation, read multiple drafts of various chapters, and volunteered to help with data collection. Like the student with the broken down car, I know that Sharon Teets will help me whenever I call.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Ross Brummett said that Teets “embodies a Ministry of Presence… I have known her on more than one Saturday to be on campus in the morning, in Knoxville in the afternoon, and back on campus at night, all for C-N events.”

The honor “overwhelmed and humbled” the woman who, as of this year, has spent half of her life teaching at Carson-Newman.

“I am filled with gratitude for being able to work in a place that reminds me so very clearly on a daily basis what it means to be Christian,” effused Teets. “The environments in which we spend our time; the people with whom we interact – shape us in that that we cannot understand. So, if I, in any way, represent the R.R. Turner Sprit of the College it is because I reflect, I reflect the way I have been treated by students, alums, faculty and staff – everyone here at Carson-Newman. It is your spirit of love, respect, faith and intellectual curiosity that have nourished and shaped me. My prayer for each of you is that you to will be so nourished.”

Sharon and Scott reside in Jefferson City and are active members of Knoxville’s St. James Episcopal Church 

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