Virginia Grimes, of Martin, and Alisha Melton, of Dresden, received Spring 2019 Outstanding Employee Awards from the University of Tennessee at Martin during a breakfast reception April 3.
Grimes currently serves as coordinator of the WestStar Leadership Program and has worked with the program for almost 30 years. During her tenure as coordinator, the WestStar family has grown to nearly 800 alumni across West Tennessee and the state. Grimes organizes all WestStar board meetings, alumni receptions, class sessions and several conferences, including the Working Women’s Conference, African American Leadership Conference, and both the RisingStar and FutureStar youth leadership summits.
She also serves as treasurer of the Tennessee Association of Community Leadership, a volunteer organization that builds community leadership across the state. Grimes has coordinated TACL meetings since its inception in 1997. She is a graduate of Leadership Weakley County and received the Robert M. Smith Outstanding Leadership Educator Award in 2012.
Melton serves as the budget manager for the U.S. Department of Education Title III grant program at UT Martin and has filled this position for the past four years. Her management of grant funds has allowed the program to expand and continue beyond the original grant timeline. During the five years UT Martin has received Title III funding, the university has improved facilities for the Veterinary Health Technology Program, created a culture of assessment for campus accreditation and improvement, established new student leadership initiatives, implemented new campus advising software and launched a new faculty program yielding more than 20 faculty research projects.
Melton is known for taking on responsibilities outside her job description and was selected to assist with the implementation and launch of the DegreeWorks student advising software program. She also worked closely with UT Martin Online to coordinate the launch of the Skyhawk Summer Academy in 2018 and has collaborated with many departments across the UT Martin campus to ensure that all students and faculty are able to access Title III grant programming.
UT Martin Outstanding Employee Awards are given to one exempt and one non-exempt employee each semester. Recipients are nominated by their coworkers and chosen by a selection committee.
For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of University Relations at 731-881-7615.