Health Physics Society taps ORNL’s Schwahn

Friday, September 13, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 37


Scott O. Schwahn, a neutron science facilities health physicist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been named fellow of the Health Physics Society.

Schwahn, who works in ORNL’s Nuclear & Radiological Protection Division, was recognized for “outstanding contributions to the profession of health physics.” Of the society’s almost 3,500 members, just more than 100 have received the designation of fellow.

Schwahn has worked at ORNL since 2008. He holds a Ph.D. in applied physics from Idaho State University.

Professors Cruz, Dalton join UT law faculty

Two new faculty members, Sherley Cruz and Shamika Dalton, have joined the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Cruz has joined the Legal Clinic faculty where she will lead students in the Advocacy Clinic.

She is a past practitioner-in-residence with American University’s Washington College of Law’s Civil Advocacy Clinic.

She also served as the director of litigation and education and as a clinical fellow at Suffolk University Law School.

Previously, Cruz practiced employment law as a staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services. She earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

Dalton comes to UT as the associate director of the Katz Law Library and assists with the library’s daily operations.

She began her career as a reference librarian at the University of Florida Levin College of Law Legal Information Center in 2012 and rose through the ranks to become the associate director for public services and professor of legal research.

In July 2019, she received the Joseph L. Andrews award for her book “Celebrating Diversity: A Legacy of Minority Leadership in the American Association of Law Libraries.”

AC’s Capps recognized with state’s top honor

Knoxville’s Ashley Capps, the founder of AC Entertainment and co-founder of the Bonnaroo music festival, has received the Tennessee Governor’s Arts Award, Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts.


Eleven other individuals and the Country Music Hall of Fame were honored. A ceremony will be held on Oct. 23.

In addition to Capps, the honorees in the Arts Leadership Award category are Brenda Lee, Little Richard, Charlie Daniel, Joanna Higgs Ross, Rich Boyd, Linda Caldwell and the Hall of Fame.

In the Folklife Heritage award category, the honorees are Janice Birchfield, Hattie Marshall-Duncan, Sue Wells and Sue Williams.

Family nurse practitioner joins Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine West welcomes Connie Hamilton, FNP-BC, to the practice’s primary care team.

She is a family nurse practitioner with clinical interests in preventive medicine and wellness, diabetes, hypertension and lipid disorders and women’s health.

Hamilton received her master’s in nursing from the University of Tennessee and her bachelor’s from North Carolina State University.

ETSU honors 3 distinguished professors

East Tennessee State University has bestowed its highest honors upon three professors.

The faculty members earned the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Awards for teaching, research and service and received a medallion, a plaque and $5,000 from the ETSU Foundation.

The teaching award was presented to Dr. Lori Meier, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Clemmer College.

Prior to receiving this award, Meier twice received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching within the Clemmer College (2015 and 2019), as well as the college’s Faculty Award for Diversity and the Excellence in Teaching Award from ETSU’s student chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success in 2018.

Also in 2018, Meier was selected by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to serve as a solar system ambassador.

Meier, who earned her M.A.T. at ETSU, also holds a B.A. in English from Milligan College and a doctor of education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Central Florida.

The faculty honor for research went to Dr. Alok Agrawal, professor in the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Agrawal earned recognition for his 34 years of research related to C-reactive protein. His research has contributed immensely to the identification of possible new therapeutic approaches to treatment of pneumococcal infection, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Agrawal received his first National Institutes of Health RO1 grant funding in 2002, and since that time has received approximately $6 million in NIH funding to expand his CRP research. Agrawal holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Banaras Hindu University and a Ph.D. from Visva Bharati University.

Dr. Andrea Clements, a professor and assistant chair of curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology, was given the award for service.

Clements, who has served in many capacities at the department, college and university levels, is best noted for her work in the community and region in two areas: promoting trauma-informed practices in court, police, education and mental health systems, and collaboration with faith-based groups to address the problem of opioid use and addiction.

Beginning in 2015, Clements partnered with Becky Haas, then of the Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) and now of Ballad Health, to implement trauma-informed practices in various Johnson City service agencies. Through this effort, more than 4,500 professionals throughout the region have heard Clements’ talks on the effect of adverse childhood experiences on brain development, behavior and interpersonal relationships.

In addition, Clements has been instrumental in engaging faith-based organizations in the fight against the opioid epidemic in southern Appalachia.

She is a graduate of the University of Alabama, from which she holds a B.S. degree in interdisciplinary counseling, an M.A. in rehabilitation counseling and a Ph.D. in educational psychology.

Blount’s Ford earns TCCE staffer of year award

Tammi Ford, Blount Partnership vice president, has been named the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives staff member of the year award.

The award recognizes an outstanding chamber professional who has helped advance the mission of the chamber and is seen as a role model in the community.

Serving in her 31st year with the Blount Partnership and 24th with TCCE involvement, Ford led a historic transformation of the chamber when she took on the role of vice president in 2011, raising membership totals more than five-fold while launching record-setting tiered membership events in 2012, 2016 and 2019.

Ford was evaluated on outstanding achievements, involvement in TCCE and other professional organizations, program development and community participation.

“I’m truly honored and surprised to receive this award by my peers,” Ford says. “There are so many people and volunteers that assist the chamber in accomplishing its goals, that it’s more than a singular award. I couldn’t be happier to bring this award back to Blount County and share with our staff and board members who really give me the support.”

KPD honors several staffers, officers, units

The Knoxville Police Department has announced its most recent honors for staff members.

Becky Kreisa and Diane Lewis were both recognized as the Employees of the Month for their combined efforts in coordinating the composite KPD employee photoshoot.

Kreisa, the chief’s office principal secretary, arranged nearly every aspect of the shoot, including scheduling and communication with the vendor.

Lewis, the patrol division principal secretary, voluntarily worked to ensure that all 273 members of the patrol division had their picture taken.

Lieutenant Chris McCarter was presented with the Life-Saving Award. McCarter, with help from KCSO deputy Brian Rehg, saved the life of a young man who attempted to jump over a a bridge rail of Pleasant Ridge Road.

The Property Management Unit was recognized for completing the destruction of over 1,850 individual pieces of narcotics from over 1,700 cases. It also worked cohesively to prepare for an auction of items and also participated in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back event.

The Drug-Related Death Task Force also won a unit commendation for a large-scale investigation that was initially launched in January 2019.

With coordination among several agencies a wide-spread network of heroin/fentanyl trafficking extending from Knoxville to Detroit was uncovered and brought to justice. The investigation eventually resulted in the arrest of a major drug supplier in Detroit, which led to the discovery of nearly 5 kilos of heroin. All told, the total seizure in the investigation amounted to over 5.5 kilos of heroin and 14 firearms.

West District Patrol Officers Dylan Bradley and Ethan Grantham played a key role in the Drug-Related Death Task Force’s investigation, and the officers were recognized as officers of the month for their efforts.

Women’s health specialists to practice in Newport

Tennova Healthcare recently has announced William B. Harris, M.D. and Jeanette Toney, M.D. are joining Tennova Women’s Care in Newport.

Both Harris and Toney are obstetricians and gynecologists.

Harris specializes in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, pelvic reconstructive surgery and incontinence surgery as well as normal and high-risk obstetrics. He also offers annual well-woman exams and screenings. He performs women’s health surgeries and delivers babies exclusively at Newport Medical Center.

Previously, he had a private practice in Martinsville, Virginia. He earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, and he completed an internship and residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Staten Island, New York. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Toney is experienced in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and has a special interest in adolescent gynecology, well-woman visits, evaluation and management of menstrual issues, and obstetrics care from pre-pregnancy planning through delivery. Toney performs women’s health surgeries and delivers babies exclusively at Newport Medical Center.

She earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth Dominica, West Indies, and she completed a residency at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey.

Prior to joining Tennova, Dr. Toney was in private practice in Manalapan, New Jersey.