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KNOXVILLE — Mary Hodge Jinks, associate vice president of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service (IPS), received a 2007 “E” Award from the Tennessee Economic Council on Women.

The awards were given during the council’s annual Economic Summit for Women on Oct. 22 in Nashville.

The Economic Excellence and Equity Awards, known as the “E” Awards, recognize individuals from across Tennessee who have distinguished themselves in a specific field or life commitment that has contributed to improving the lives of girls and women.

Arlene Garrison nominated Jinks for the award. Garrison is associate vice president for research at UT and the university’s representative on the council.

“Under her leadership, IPS is addressing needs of companies and governments throughout the state, helping companies create new jobs and maintain their existing jobs by remaining competitive. The economic status of women in the state is greatly influenced by the availability of good corporate and government jobs,” Garrison said.

Jinks explained that IPS has extensive reach: “IPS answered 26,000 requests for assistance last year and helped create or retain nearly 14,000 jobs in Tennessee. I have to thank the nearly 200 IPS employees who get the job done for communities in our state. Also, I have tremendous support from my family and the university leadership that enables me to travel across the state representing IPS and serving Tennessee.”

In addition to her work with IPS, Jinks is a board member of the East Tennessee Economic Council, the Southern Growth Policies Board’s Council on the Southern Community and the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.

The Tennessee General Assembly formed the Economic Council on Women in 1998 to assess the economic status of Tennessee women. Today, the council continues to examine issues such as pay equity, representation on corporation’s boards of directors and legislative activity; and it helps develop and advocate solutions to help women achieve economic autonomy.

The council’s summits provide Tennessee women with information to improve their personal and professional lives and the opportunity to network with others from various cultures and careers. Among this year’s speakers was former U.S. Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who presented the “E” Awards to Jinks and five others. The other “E” Award winners were Rosalyn Carpenter, president and CEO of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee; state Sen. Thelma Harper; state Rep. Sherry Jones; Agenia Clark, president and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee; and Deborah Reed, assistant director for minority business development, Southwest Community College.


Queena Jones, (865) 974-1533,
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,