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KNXOVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Center for Educational Leadership is recognizing five individuals for contributing significantly to education through innovative work, leadership, learning, and service.

The Prometheus Leadership Medal recipients are forensic anthropologist William Bass, vice provost Sarah Gardial, architect Hansjörg Göritz, President Emeritus Joe Johnson, and Lady Vols Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt.

The newly established award will be given to the recipients during the center’s 2012-2013 Leadership Summit, which will be announced at a later date.

It is named after the courageous warrior in Greek mythology who stole fire from Zeus and, at great personal expense, gave it to mortals to improve the conditions of humanity.

Videotaped interviews with recipients will become part of a virtual library of staff development tools that will be available to school leaders. The center developed the library in conjunction with Oklahoma State University and Auburn University.

“The field of education is dependent on the integration of multiple perspectives and professions,” said Autumn Cyprès, director of the Center for Educational Leadership. “The leaders selected by our jury have inspired countless people, pushed the boundaries of leadership and service, and ultimately have made the world a better place.”

The Center for Educational Leadership is housed in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences and provides rigorous training for aspiring school leaders through the Leadership Academy, a collaboration between Knox County Schools and the college. The academy uses academics from a variety of fields to provide classroom instruction for leadership academy fellows.

“I am very proud of the impressive record of work completed thus far in the preparation of future school leaders,” said Bob Rider, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. “I am also proud that our college and center are recognizing such outstanding members of the community of educators as those who comprise our very first class of Prometheus Leadership Medal award winners. Each of these individuals has distinguished themselves in ways that make them truly worthy of this recognition and most certainly raises the bar for future award winners.”

Here is more about each winner:

William BassWilliam Bass is one of the most famous Americans in the field of forensic anthropology. He is the former director of UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center, a two-acre compound commonly known as the “Body Farm.” Bass’s research has helped countless crime scene investigators determine the cause of death in cases where police are working with victims’ skeletal remains. His innovations changed the field of criminology and forensic anthropology.

Sarah GardialSarah Gardial has served as vice provost since 2008 and oversees faculty recruitment and development. In March, she was named the next dean at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, becoming the first woman to assume the role at the school. She begins the position July 1. Gardial’s area of research is customer value and satisfaction. A frequent public speaker, she has served as a consultant to such companies as Procter and Gamble and Frito-Lay.

Hansjörg GöritzHansjörg Göritz is a professor of architecture whose work is associated with minimalist architecture that emphasizes place, space, light, and material. He maintains architecture studios in Germany. He designed Liechtenstein’s State Forum and Parliament buildings—the first in the country’s history—and was subsequently awarded the 2010 International Brick Award. His Expo 2000 train station project used custom, Florentine, cobalt, blue glass blocks and became an exhibit at the sixth Biennale di Architettura. International publications about his works, values, and commentaries on architectural solutions for urban sprawl are recognized around the world.

Joe JohnsonJoe Johnson is a president emeritus who joined the university in 1958 as a research associate and instructor in the Department of Political Science. He has served as executive assistant to former president Andy Holt, vice president for development, chancellor of the UT Health Science Center in Memphis, executive vice president, and vice president for business and finance. He was named president in 1990 and served until 1999 and again from 2003 to 2004. He continues to help raise money for the university through chairing countless campaigns.

Pat SummittPat Summitt is the Lady Vols’ head coach emeritus. She has won more games than any men or women’s basketball coach in NCAA history. Her elite program produced eight NCAA titles, thirty-two Southeastern Conference tournament and regular season championships, thirty-one consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, twelve Olympians, twenty Kodak All-Americans named to thirty-four teams, and seventy-seven All-SEC performers. Along with success on the court, Summitt’s student-athletes have tremendous productivity in the classroom. Summitt has a 100 percent graduation rate for all Lady Vols who have completed their eligibility at UT.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,

Autumn Cyprès (865-974-4555,