UT-TSU Extension Agent Kane Reeves and UT Extension Agent Sharon Tubbs Honored with Diversity Multicultural Award​

Picture of Kane Reeves and Sharon Tubbs accepting award
UT-TSU Extension agent Kane Reeves, left, and UT Extension agent Sharon Tubbs, center, were honored with the Diversity Multicultural Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi for their mentoring program in Madison County. Also pictured is Johnny Barnes, past president of the Tennessee Omega chapter of ESP. Image courtesy UTIA. Download image​

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture faculty members have been recognized with six awards for their commitment to Extension and outreach work across Tennessee. The honors are given by Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), a national organization that includes thousands of Extension professionals from land-grant universities across the country. Tennessee Extension professionals were recognized in six of 12 categories across the South.

“These awards really highlight the incredible talent and leadership of UT Extension agents, specialists and professors,” says Michele Atkins, Tennessee ESP Omega Chapter president. “We submitted entries in nine categories, and won six of those. That’s an impressive number,” continues Shelly Barnes, awards and recognition chair for the chapter.

Kane Reeves, UT-TSU Extension agent in Madison County, and Sharon Tubbs, UT Extension agent in Madison County, have received the Diversity Multicultural Team Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi. This honor acknowledges outstanding efforts and accomplishments in developing, achieving and sustaining Extension programs or audiences in our diverse and multicultural society.

In cooperation with the OJJDP/National 4-H Council Mentoring Grant, Reeves and Tubbs were successful in developing a mentoring program within Madison County to help combat the juvenile delinquency rate in Jackson, Tennessee. The program provided mentoring to at-risk youth in direct one-on-one, group, peer, or a combination of settings for 12 consecutive months. Through meetings, communications and community input, the program was able to meet the needs of youth and the family as a whole, incorporating “Family Night Out” events and two out-of-state field trips for participants.​ 

The full list of UT Extension award winners are listed below:

Continued Excellence Award – Janie Burney, professor and nutrition specialist

Administrative Leadership Award – David Perrin, Eastern Region director

Visionary Leadership Award – John Toman, Extension evaluation and staff development specialist

International Service Award – Patsy Watkins, UT Extension Williamson County

Diversity Multicultural Team Award – Kane Reeves, UT-TSU Extension Madison County, and Sharon Tubbs, UT Extension Madison County

Distinguished Team Award – Allisen Penn, Central Region program leader, team leader​

Full descriptions of the award categories and a comprehensive list of winners nationwide is available at the Epsilon Sigma Phi website.

When asked about the success of UT Extension, UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross credits dedicated people and partnerships. “UT Extension has more than a 100-year history of advancing Tennessee, thanks to exceptional county financial support, dedicated employees and volunteers, and a strong partnership with our 1890 institution - Tennessee State University,” he says. “Long-term successful state programs tend to result in professionals who are heavily engaged in associations like Epsilon Sigma Phi.”

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu.



Beth Hall Davis, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 865-974-7141, bethdavis@tennessee.edu​