Congratulations to Katherine Waxstein, Ellen Renfroe, and Cole Liles for their Chancellor Honors
Congratulations to Katherine Waxstein for receiving the UT Torchbearer award, Ellen Renfroe for receiving a Chancellor's award for Extraordinary Community Service, and to Cole Liles for receiving a Chancellor's award for Extraordinary Campus Leadership and Service. See below for greater descriptions.
- Torchbearer Award
The highest UT student honor is the Torchbearer award. We are thrilled to have a Psychology major, Katherine Waxstein, receive this prestigious honor this year. The Torchbearer honors graduating seniors for academic excellence and service to the university and society at large.
Katherine Waxstein, a senior from Maryville, Tennessee, is a leader, mentor, and public servant on campus and in the community. Waxstein, a child and family studies and psychology major, has dedicated herself to UT’s Center for Leadership and Service, playing vital roles in the Ignite program. She is one of UT’s first Leadership Knoxville Scholars. She mentors Pond Gap Elementary students weekly through the Character Development Program, which she created to help elementary school youth overcome behavioral issues in the classroom. She is working to develop the program into a UT course. Waxstein “understands the power and potential of making other people a priority and giving to them more than she gives to herself,” said a nominator.
- Extraordinary Community Service (Students and Organizations)
Given to students and student organizations that exhibit the Volunteer spirit in the community.
Ellen Renfroe, senior in psychology, is a leader on the softball field and in the community. The Lady Vol spends much of her time inspiring Knoxville youth through softball clinics, visits to children’s hospitals, and community events that promote female athleticism. She also finds time to serve through Habitat for Humanity, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Giving back to those in need and involvement in the community are core to who Ellen is as a human being,” her nominator said.
- Extraordinary Campus Leadership and Service
Awarded to graduate and undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to the university.
Cole Liles is a leader’s leader. From 2011 to 2013, he helped incoming freshmen transition smoothly into college life as a resident assistant for the Chancellor’s Honors Living and Learning Community in Morrill Hall. “He excelled at mentoring and transforming the experiences for his residents but also balanced this call to action with coaching concerned parents,” his nominator wrote. As an orientation leader, the senior psychology major from Franklin, Tennessee, mentored both incoming students and his orientation leader peers, many of whom still seek his guidance. His service as a Leadership Knoxville Scholar included creating a weeklong summer program curriculum for rising high school juniors to teach them about servant leadership, social change, cultural awareness, and entrepreneurship. The experience teaches high school students more about the Knoxville community and ways they can serve. Liles is an intern in his church’s music program and also mentors a group of high school musicians training to be church leaders.