Two outstanding leaders at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center were among the six winners of the 2020 UT President's Awards announced today by UT President Randy Boyd.
Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP, chief diversity officer, assistant vice chancellor for Equity and Diversity, and Title IX coordinator at UTHSC, and Robert Williams, PhD, UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor's Chair in Computational Genomics and chair of the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics, were selected for the annual awards, which represent the highest honor a UT employee can receive from the university.
The awards are presented in different categories which include Educate, Discover, Connect, Support Exempt, Support Nonexempt, and Diversity. Dr. Williams was honored in the Discover category and Dr. Alston was honored in the Diversity category. Honorees are selected from across the system from nominations by campus and institute leaders.
Dr. Alston holds a doctoral degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and a professional diversity management certificate from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He is from Brighton, Tennessee and a 1984 graduate of Munford High School.
Robert Williams, PhD
Dr. Williams received his PhD in physiology from the University of California, Davis, and completed postdoctoral work in developmental neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine. He joined UTHSC in 1989 in the College of Medicine's Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. In 2013, he became the founding chair of the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics at UTHSC. Dr. Williams was one of the lead scientists behind the creation of the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium, which developed mouse models for use in studying gene function in humans primarily related to aging, blinding diseases, addiction, and neurological disease.