McMinnville resident Misty Griffith, associate professor of biology at Motlow State, has been 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.
Griffith teaches biology and microbiology at the McMinnville campus.
The award is sponsored by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. It is named after the late state Rep. Harold Love, who was instrumental in passing legislation in 1991 to create community service recognition programs at the state level.
“Misty is always helping someone or doing something for the community. I never met a kinder, more caring individual,” said Laura Brown, completion coach and Phi Theta Kappa advisor for Motlow. 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!”
Said Griffith, “Part of PTK’s mission is to expose students to service projects, so Laura and I have worked closely for years on various community outreach projects. I was so thankful to her for nominating me. When I found out I had also received Dr. Torrence’s recommendation and that I was a winner, I felt as if I had won twice!”
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.
Griffith 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,” said Griffith. “While I enjoy helping, I feel my biggest community service is my profession as a teacher.”
Griffith graduated from Motlow State in 2003. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech, and master’s degree from MTSU, 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.
“This award is another example of excellence among the Motlow State community,” said Dr. Michael Torrence, president of Motlow State.
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.
Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient, and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. The system offers associate degrees and certificate programs, workforce development programs, and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit Motlow at mscc.edu.