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Nan Gaylord, professor and associate dean of practice and global affairs in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Nursing, has been named the university’s 2023 Macebearer. The recognition is UT’s highest faculty honor and symbolizes the faculty’s commitment of service to students, scholarship and society.

“I am so honored to be recognized with this award and surprised by my colleagues in the College of Nursing,” said Gaylord, who was notified of her selection by Chancellor Donde Plowman and College of Nursing Dean Victoria Niederhauser.

Improving Access to Health Care

Nan GaylordGaylord has served the university for 36 years, rising from clinical instructor to her current role. She helped found the college’s Vine School Health Center in 1995 with a goal of increasing access to health care and improving the overall health and wellness of Knox County children. The center has since expanded to serve 10 additional schools in Knox County through direct care and telehealth services. Gaylord continues to serve as a senior pediatric nurse practitioner and provides administrative oversight of the center’s accreditation and funding.

“Over the last 36 years Nan Gaylord has demonstrated exemplary service to the university, its students, this community, the state and the world,” said Niederhauser. “Her impact has been monumental. Through her tireless work providing quality care, creating community partnerships and mentoring future nurses, she has embodied the essence of what is means to be a true Volunteer and Vol nurse.”

In 2011 Gaylord wrote a grant to expand the Vine School Health Center’s care to include mental health evaluations, counseling and play therapy services for children and their families. The grant also provided assistance with food, housing, clothing and health insurance applications.

“We know that health is not just being physically well. There are so many other social determinants of health,” said Gaylord. “We address the whole child and the needs of that child. It is a holistic approach has profoundly impacts children’s physical and mental health as well as their academic standing.

“Because we provide care at the school, children miss less classroom seat time,” she said. “A visit with us takes only a few minutes — then the child is sent back to the classroom, or home if they’re too ill to stay.”

Niederhauser described the wide importance of Gaylord’s work: “She has led so many of the college’s educational efforts as well as our outreach in the community. With her help, we have served thousands of children and families in the East Knoxville area.”

Gaylord will be officially presented with the award at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet this spring.


Lindsey Owen McBee (865-974-6375,

Kara Clark Cardwell (865-974-9498,