UT Extension’s Vickie Clark among winners of the Wharton Award

Published 4:39 pm Thursday, August 12, 2021

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized some of its top faculty, staff, researchers and Extension experts at UTIA’s annual awards and promotions luncheon on the UTIA campus in Knoxville July 30. The event was conducted in person, a welcome return to normalcy after having an online ceremony because of the pandemic last year. The awards honor the extraordinary performance of UTIA employees during a difficult year of online education and changes to procedures because of the pandemic. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

UTIA Senior Vice President Tim Cross hosted the award winners and praised them for their work. “After a challenging and stressful year, it’s a pleasure to recognize excellence as exemplified by these award-winning members of the UTIA faculty and staff,” Cross says. “Their continuing dedication to our land-grant mission of serving Tennessee ensures that we develop and deliver real life solutions to improve health, grow the economy and enhance our environment.”

Vickie Clark, director of UT Extension in Carter County, is one of three winners of the Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements. The award recognizes winners from each region of Tennessee, with Clark representing the east. Sondra Ganus-Thorne of Hardin County represents the west, and Timmy Mann from Robertson County is the winner of this award for Middle Tennessee.

 “I was surprised and humbled to be selected for the Charles and Julie Wharton Award,” Clark says. “For 30 years, I have worked alongside so many dedicated and worthy Extension professionals — many of whom deserve this award as much or more than I do. I’ve loved working with people in the counties and watching them learn and prosper from Extension programs. It is truly an honor to accept this recognition on behalf of myself and my fellow UT Extension agents. Thank you!”

Clark has also worked in Sullivan County in her three decades with Extension with past work in both 4-H and family and consumer sciences. Clark is praised for the Eastern Region 4-H quilt camp, where she has taught sewing skills to 160 4-H’ers. There is also a thoughtful service project here — called Quilts of Valor. These are quilts donated to military veterans. Clark also spent the summer of 2016 traveling the region with a special exhibit on FCS housing, the Habitat for Humanity house built by students at UTIA and Virginia Tech.