Treasure Howard, of Murfreesboro, Sidney Church, of Santa Fe, and Mason Ferrell, of Pegram, received the Paul and Martha Meek Leadership Award during the University of Tennessee at Martin spring 2022 commencement Saturday, May 7. The Paul and Martha Meek Leadership Award is presented to graduating seniors who demonstrate outstanding
campus and community service during their time at UT Martin.
Howard, a veterinary science graduate, has made a sizeable impact on UT Martin during
her four years. As a SOAR orientation leader, she welcomed incoming freshmen to campus. She has been instrumental in shaping the social side of students’ collegiate involvement through her role in Flight Crew, a student activities organization. She served as the interorganizational officer for the Black Student Association and as the student representative for the UT Martin Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. In addition to her on-campus involvement, she also volunteered at animal shelters, the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and Boys and Girls Club of Union City.
“Treasure can develop meaningful relationships and is an unapologetic leader,” wrote
Anthony Prewitt, co-interim director for the Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs, in his nomination letter. “She looks for ways to bridge the gap across organizations and cultures.”
Church, a political science graduate and SGA president, has been involved in leadership
and service from the very start at UT Martin. She served as the president for the Tennessee
Intercollegiate State Legislature and a First-Year Initiative PEP leader for the College of
Business and Global Affairs. In the midst of the pandemic, Church pioneered the We Feed
Weakley Thanksgiving Dinner Project. This student-led initiative raised $5,000 in donations and provided 100 families with a Thanksgiving meal. Her volunteer and leadership roles did not go unnoticed. In May 2021, she was named Student Leader of the Year for her dedication and involvement in student organizations.
“From her first day on campus, she has sought to be involved and make a difference for
her fellow students,” said Rachel Stephens, interim director for the Office of Student Life.
“While Sidney’s resume is impressive for someone her age, what is even more impressive is what can’t be shown on a resume – her true character.”
Ferrell, a biology graduate, served as a resident assistant for the Office of Housing and
eventually became a team captain demonstrating a strong work ethic and leadership skills.
During the pandemic, he volunteered to be one of five resident assistants to remain on campus to help with the university’s immediate response plan. While earning his bachelor’s degree in environmental biology, he conducted and presented research to the Tennessee Academy of Science and the Association of Southeastern Biologist Conference. As a senior research technician intern, he trained in backpack electro-fishing and water chemistry measurements.
“Between being a team captain for the Office of Housing, supporting professors on
campus in their academic research, and finding time to be an exemplary student, Mason has demonstrated all the qualities recognized in the criteria for the Paul and Martha Meek Award,” said Laura Kepler, hall director for the Office of Housing.
Dr. Paul Meek served the UT Martin campus as executive officer, dean, UT vice
president/chancellor from 1934 to 1967. This award was originally established and funded by the three Meek children to honor their parents. The Paul and Martha Meek Leadership Award is the only award given during commencement each semester.
For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of University Relations at 731-881-7615.