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Sociology in the News

Shefner Receives Outstanding Service Award

Shefner Receives Outstanding Service Award

The 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards banquet took place Thursday, December 5 at the Holiday Inn Downtown. From Diversity Leadership to awards in research, advising, and teaching, the annual awards banquet honors faculty excellence in all areas of the college mission.

“As we recognize particularly outstanding faculty this evening, I want to thank all of our faculty in the college, individually and collectively, for everything you do— your teaching, research, service on college and university committees, thesis committees, and tenure and promotion committees, and service to the public through community engagement,” said Theresa Lee, dean of the college and emcee for the awards ceremony. “A college can be no greater or stronger than its faculty and the College of Arts and Sciences is a college of excellence because each of you has a passion for our profession and you work selflessly to make our students, departments and university the best they can be.”

Jon Shefner, professor and head of sociology, received the Outstanding Service Award. Anyone who has met Shefner knows he is passionate about and committed to advocacy, social justice, and leadership. He is a Fulbright Scholar whose long and remarkable research record in social justice, social movements, globalization, political economy, and green economic development has made him an internationally recognized and trusted scholar in these areas of sociological inquiry.

Since joining the UT faculty in 1999, Shefner has been promoted through the ranks, served as a member of every departmental committee and as a member of the Faculty Senate. He is the founding director of the Global Studies Interdisciplinary Program and helped the Department of Sociology form a new research and teaching area in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Shefner has nurtured the Knoxville region’s green economy through the UT Green Economy Initiative, a combined service and research endeavor that seeks to increase the number of local green jobs as a way to heighten both the quality of life of working people and reverse the deterioration of the environment. He is also one of the most involved faculty members in the United Campus Workers union and helped coordinate a successful two-year campaign against outsourcing facilities workers’ jobs. Shefner’s record is part of a service and social movement career that began in 1983. He always fights for equitable policies at the college and university level and, as many of us have witnessed, is sometimes the lone voice in the room who reminds us of the stakes at the heart of our decision-making.

Congratulations Professor Shefner on your award.

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