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Carson-Newman presents highest awards to faculty, staff during 2022 Honors Convocation

The University presented its highest honors during its annual Honors Convocation. Those who honored were (front row, left to right) Teresa Dailey, SOAR Award; Robert Key, SOAR Award, Rita Castañon and Jesse West, recipients of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. (Second row) President Charles A. Fowler; Dr. Christine Dalton, Distinguished Faculty Award; Provost Jeremy Buckner. (Not pictured: Dr. Nathan West, Community Service Award)

Carson-Newman University presented the institution’s most prestigious faculty and staff recognitions during its 53rd annual Honors Convocation. Those honored were Dr. Christine Dalton, Teresa Dailey, Robert Key and Dr. Nathan West.

Dalton is this year’s Distinguished Faculty Member. The honor is the University’s highest recognition of a tenured faculty member who is active within the community and recognized by their peers, students and alumni as an outstanding teacher and mentor. Along with serving as dean of the School of Natural, Applied, and Health Sciences, Dalton is professor of chemistry.

A member of the Carson-Newman class of 1993, she earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry before pursuing her doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

She held various levels of chemist positions, including temporarily detailed to chief and technical manager of the Organic Chemistry Toxicology Division for the Department of Laboratory Sciences, USA-Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine-Europe, Landstuhl, Germany.

She returned to East Tennessee, joining Carson-Newman’s faculty in 2003. Over the course of 19 years, her impact on students is immeasurable. Noted for teaching in a way that is relatable, understandable, but also academically challenging, Dalton’s relationship with students goes beyond elements and atomic numbers. To her students, she also plays the role of mentor, encourager and cheerleader. She is credited as helping students find their direction and even stopping to pray with them.

Emily Feist, who serves as coordinator of Alumni Relations championed her former professor in her letter of nomination. “Dr. Dalton embodies what it means to be part of the Carson-Newman family. She loves her students, celebrates their successes, and helps in their times of need. She knows how to incorporate laughter and graduate school advice in a lecture about High Performance Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry.”

“Dr. Dalton is the one of the very best among our faculty,” said C-N Provost Jeremy Buckner. “She has a keen mind, a generous spirit, and an infectious exuberance. Her nomination for Distinguished Faculty Award was quickly received and supported by students, faculty, and staff. Christine embodies the ideal Christian educator. She is present for her student and colleagues,” said Buckner. “She sets highly rigorous academic expectations and helps our students achieve these. Her love for chemistry has inspired countless undergraduate student research projects. She is well loved and esteemed.”

Teresa Dailey and Robert Key are recipients of the 2022 SOAR Award, the highest honor given to staff members. Recipients must have served C-N for at least five years and exhibit passion for furthering the University’s mission, excellence in their job performance, and positivity in their spirit and attitude.

Dailey serves as creative director for Marketing and Communications. Since joining Carson-Newman in 2017, Dailey has used her skills in the promotion, growth and protection of the University’s visual brand. Her heart for C-N, its mission, and community, routinely goes above and beyond to ensure the University is represented with true excellence. She is championed for never running from a challenge, all the while exhibiting humor and a positive spirit to those around her.

A 2012 C-N graduate, Key serves as chief financial officer and treasurer. He joined the University staff in 2012 as staff accountant. His love for his alma mater is often labeled as second to none. He is described as approachable, professional and possessing a calm attitude and flexibility when helping others. His colleagues’ nomination letters refer to him as humble, happy, and express their admiration for how he approaches tasks with a smile.

An assistant professor of counseling, Dr. Nathan West is recipient of the 2022 Community Service Award. An active member of West End Church of Christ, he has taught weekly youth group classes, bi-weekly classes for college students, helped deliver food and other items to families in need, and helped with planning for various church events. His heart for his community and desire to help address substance abuse in East Tennessee is evidenced in his volunteer work with Knoxville’s Metro Drug Coalition, Hope Market and Susannah’s House.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

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