Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Jimmy and Ileen Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence

The Jimmy and Ileen Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The award is given to a student pursuing a PhD and has completed at least four semesters of study. The applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • High academic potential and achievement;
  • Leadership and community involvement (campus or local community);
  • Commitment to and passion for the chosen field of study;
  • Personal sacrifice for his/her education; and
  • Effort above and beyond the call of duty.

The recipient of the Jimmy and Ileen Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence will be invited to the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet and will receive a medal and a monetary award.

Applicants must submit the following to their respective college/department (materials should specifically address the five evaluation criteria listed above) as one pdf document:

  1. Letter of nomination from the student’s supervisory committee chair
  2. Brief CV (two-page maximum)
  3. Personal statement (two-page maximum)
  4. Two additional letters of support
  5. Waiver of Access form

Each college/department will review the submissions, make their selection(s) and submit the appropriate number of nominees to the Office of the Provost.

One Nominee

  • Communication and Information
  • Comparative and Experimental Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Social Work

Two Nominees

  • Haslam College of Business
  • Herbert College of Agriculture
  • UT-ORII (includes DSE, ESE, & GST)

Three Nominees

  • Education, Health, and Human Sciences

Four Nominees

  • Arts and Sciences
  • Tickle College of Engineering (includes UTSI)


The Graduate School will add a copy of the student’s UT transcript to the packet prior to committee review.

All nomination packets must be submitted via the form on this page by February 2, 2024.