On Wednesday, Nov. 14, two of ETSU’s faculty — Dr. Kelly Atkins of the Department of Management and Marketing and Dr. Jodi Polaha with the Department of Family Medicine — accepted the Notable Women of ETSU award in a ceremony held in the Reece Museum.

“I’m glad it’s over, very honored and really grateful for all the people who came to support me,” said Atkins.

Atkins was nominated for the award, in part, because of her work as an associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing and her research on multi-dimensional, gender-neutral measures for shopping and her research on effective classroom management and evaluation of group assignments.

She has also presented at over 20 conferences across the country and has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of International Consumer Marketing and the International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management.

Jones, however, was nominated because of her work as an associate professor at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine, her role as Assistant Director of Interpersonal Education with the Academic Health Sciences Center, her position as co-editor of the Families, Systems, and Health journal. She also serves as Washington County Commissioner and is a member of the Johnson City Development Task Force and Tannery Knobs Task Force.

“I am touched, really, by all the people who came to hear me,” Polaha said. “I’m feeling a lot of gratitude.”

While nominees are notified that they would be recognized as a Notable Woman of ETSU since the summer, for Polaha, her receiving the award the award has not fully set in, yet.

“I’ve had some time to kind of build up for this, and it has set in, but when you think about all the women who’ve won this award it’s still kind of like, ‘Wow, is it really me? Am I one of them?’” she said.

Atkins, however, noted she felt the weight of the win after being presented with the award on Wednesday.

”Yes [it’s sunk in,]” she said. “I also really like hearing the other person’s story, so it’s become even more of an honor.”

The Notable Women of ETSU award is given to help expose the university and surrounding community to the accomplishments ETSU’s women on campus and how their work has advanced the understanding of women and their lives. Something Dr. Phyllis Thompson, Director of Women’s Studies at ETSU, felt these women embodied.

“Make no mistake, we at ETSU cannot make a claim as bold as ‘People First’, without the work done by Dr. Kelly Atkins and Dr. Jodi Polaha,” Dr. Thompson said during her opening remarks at the event.