Motlow biology professor wins state award

Misty Griffith, associate professor of biology at Motlow State, was recently awarded the 2021 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award. Griffith was one of five honorees and the only community college recipient selected by a statewide task force for this award. (Photo Courtesy of Motlow State)

LOCAL EDUCATION NEWS — A state higher education body recently named Motlow State Associate Professor of Biology Misty Griffith as the 2021 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award winner. Griffith and five other honorees were nominated and Griffith was the only community college recipient selected by a statewide task force for this award.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) sponsors the award and it is named after the late state representative Harold Love, who was instrumental in passing legislation in 1991 to create community service recognition programs at the state level.

Griffith graduated from Motlow State in 2003. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University, and master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University, she returned to Motlow in 2005 to teach. In addition to her associate professor position, she also serves as a microbiology laboratory technician, advisement specialist, and advisor to Motlow’s award-winning Phi Theta Kappa Chapter. In 2019, she received the Faculty Excellence Award sponsored by the Motlow College Foundation.

“Misty is always helping someone or doing something for the community. I never met a kinder, more caring individual,” said Motlow Completion Coach and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Laura Brown. The two have worked together for about 10 years. “She is a cheerleader for so many, and I was happy to nominate someone so deserving.”

To give back to her community, Griffith is a member of the McMinnville Young Professionals, Motlow Ladies’ Philanthropic Society, Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Association, and American Cancer Society Action Network. She is also a TN Promise mentor, Certified Wilderness First Responder, and Narcan administrator. She has been featured in multiple publications, including Ovation magazine, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development magazine, and MTSU Research magazine.

“Community service is a small way that I give back to the community that laid the foundation for my professional career at Motlow, and I will continue to pay that forward in any way that I am able. While I enjoy helping, I feel that my biggest community service is my profession as a teacher,” said Griffith.

The Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award is open to students, faculty, and staff in all public and private, two-year, and four-year colleges and universities engaged in dedicated community service. A task force of institutional and board representatives is convened each year to review each proposal submitted by the campuses and select the five students and five faculty/staff recipients.​ For more information on the award, visit the THEC website.

“This award is another example of excellence among the Motlow State Community!” said Dr. Michael Torrence, President of Motlow State. •

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