Amid piles of paperwork and inter-campus mailing envelopes in an office on the third floor of Ayres Hall is where Jennifer Barnett spends most of her time. People in every department of our college interact with Barnett – whether one-on-one, via email, or through personnel files. She is one of the key people who keeps the college running at full steam.
Barnett, the assistant director of human resources for the College of Arts and Sciences, is celebrating her 25th year at UT. She joined the College of Arts and Sciences Office of the Dean as a temporary employee in September 1993. A few months later, an opportunity to work part time in the Germanic and Slavic languages opened up and Barnett became a full-time UT employee.
“I am very fortunate to have a job where I enjoy what I do every day,” Barnett says. “I really enjoy the people I work with, and working with and learning from Ann (Robinson-Craig) has been – and continues to be – a true pleasure.”
Barnett is originally from Knoxville. She lives in Maryville now with her two sons and loves the area. When she is not at work, she enjoys hiking and reading.
“As a true soccer mom, I really like watching my younger son’s soccer games,” Barnett says.
If she could do anything in the world, Barnett said she would audition for musicals in local theatres. For now, however, she sings in her church choir, which she thoroughly enjoys.
As for lunch with anyone, Barnett would love to dine with Samwise Gamgee – her favorite hero from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
“He never gets all the credit he deserves!”