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Gene Mitchell Gray Pioneer Award

Gene Mitchell Gray Pioneer Award

This award recognizes the outstanding, pro-active contributions of students who serve the campus community and promote diversity and inclusion. The recipient will have demonstrated service, leadership, social advocacy, and/or a commitment to the spirit of cultural enrichment and the appreciation of differences on campus.

Anyone who has received the award in the preceding five years is ineligible for consideration.

A current biographical sketch of the nominee is requested along with the nomination form and letter.

The honoree will be selected by Commission for Blacks members.


  1. The nominee must be currently enrolled as a full-time UT Knoxville student.
  2. The nominee must be in good standing, in both academics and student conduct.
  3. The nominee must be openly pro-active in his/her beliefs in a diverse & inclusive university community.
  4. The nominee must be actively involved within the UT community, including participating in an organization/group that promotes diversity.

Deadline for 2016: Friday, February 19, 2016

Nomination Form:

Please download the form to your computer first and then complete it.

Download 2016 Nomination Form


Summer Lead Institute Action Committee

The Summer Lead Institute Action Committee, often known as “the committee,” is dedicated to access, advocacy, and representation of underrepresented students. The committee is composed of seniors Rilwan Balogun, Kamille Cheatham, Kierra Richmond, Christopher Smith, and Laquesha Wilson. It was formed last fall to engage with campus administration to help preserve UT’s Summer LEAD Institute. The group’s nominator said, “Words cannot describe how proud I am of Rilwan, Kamille, Kierra, Christopher, and Laquesha. They have truly been exemplary student leaders and pioneers to help make UT a better place for all.”

Previous Awardees

Year Awardee
1998 Gene Mitchell Gray
1999 Spruell Driver, Jr. and Patricia Ann Littlejohn
2000 Not Awarded
2001 Omar Jackson
2002 Sharon Rodriguez-Alicea
2003 Sherica A. Matthews
2004 Ronnie Clark, Jr.
2005 Vanessa Larella Thomas
2006 Jeffery Charles Cohran
2007 Joseph McArthur Cole
2008 Victoria Thomas
2009 Quiteka L. Moten
2010 Quineka Moten
2011 Janay Bryant
2012 Jayanni Elizabeth Webster
2013 Melanie L. Barron
2014 Brityney Jackson
2015 Summer Lead Institute Action Committee

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