2010 Alumni Award Recipients: Barbara Jared, Mike Winchester, Mike Ingram, Don Jackson, Kent Johnson, Barry Wilmore      








Six TTU Graduates honored as Outstanding Alumni

A nurse, lawyer, accountant, musician, astronaut, and recreation director will be honored as Tennessee Tech University Outstanding Alumni at a dinner and reception on Feb. 5, 2010.

These six TTU alumni, representing each academic division, will receive recognition at a celebration in the Leslie Town Centre.

College of Agricultural and Human Sciences

Barbara S. Jared, B. S. Nursing, ’84

Barbara Jared’s service commitment to the Upper Cumberland region is well known. Whether to her church, the public school system or to the area’s public health system, Jared’s valuable talents as a teacher and healer have been counted on for many years.

As a TTU assistant professor of nursing, she teaches multiple courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in the School of Nursing. She’s noted for her currency of content, her excellence in clinical practice and her skill in presenting information to both students and the public.

Her noteworthy service commitments are evident on a number of fronts. She has served on the White County School Board since 1994 and as its chairperson since 1998. She is an invaluable link between the public school system and TTU.

In the public health care area, she has worked diligently to help establish the Upper Cumberland Affiliate for the Susan G. Koman cancer cure initiatives and serves on the speakers’ bureau for breast cancer awareness. She is an OB-GYN nurse practitioner who provides care to the under-insured in the Prenatal Clinic at the Putnam County Health Department. Her practice includes providing comprehensive care for prenatal clients, post partum clients and family planning clients. Her connections allow the TTU School of Nursing to provide valuable educational experiences to nursing students.

In addition to her degree from TTU, Jared also holds a master of science in nursing from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (1991). 

Jared is married to Max Jared, has two daughters, Julie and Hannah, and resides in Sparta.

College of Arts and Sciences

J. Michael (Mike) Winchester, B.A. History, ’75

Mike Winchester, recognized as one of the top banking lawyers in Knoxville based on a Knoxville Bar Association magazine survey, began a legacy of excellence at Tennessee Tech. 

A member of the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame, Winchester attended TTU on an Ohio Valley Conference baseball scholarship from 1971 to 1975. He was selected to three consecutive OVC baseball teams (1973, 1974, 1975), the NCAA All-South baseball team (1975), and the American Association of Baseball Coaches All-American baseball team (1975). 

Academically, Winchester graduated first in his class in the School of Arts and Sciences and received the Derryberry Award, the university’s most prestigious student award given to an outstanding graduating senior. 

After graduation, he attended the University of Tennessee College of Law and received a doctor of jurisprudence degree. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar and the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Tennessee. 

A member of the Knoxville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations, Winchester is the founding member and president of Winchester, Sellers, Foster & Steele, P.C., a law firm formed in 1983 concentrating in creditor’s rights, banking, commercial, and business litigation in Knoxville and surrounding areas. 

He is the past president of the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute and a member of the Knoxville Bar Foundation. He has been recognized on a national peer-review by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV (pre-imminent) rated attorney for more than 15 years.

Winchester has been giving back to Tennessee Tech since 1986.  He initiated and continues to fund the Winchester History Lecture Series in the School of Arts and Sciences and has been an advocate in many ways for the Tech Athletics Association and Tennessee Tech Baseball. 

A Nashville native, Winchester has been married to Patty M. Winchester for 34 years and has two grown children, Jared and Celia. He is also the proud grandfather of two grandchildren, Gavin Luke and Caroline. 

College of Business

Mike Ingram, B.S. Accounting, ’73

Mike Ingram has been employed in public accounting with KraftCPAs PLLC since 1974. The member in charge of the firm’s assurance services function, he serves clients in the manufacturing, wholesale and services industries, not-for-profit entities and financial institutions. 

He also has been the director of quality control at KraftCPAs since 1980, serving as the principal liaison during the firm's successful peer reviews and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspections since 1981.

Ingram is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is registered with the AICPA's Peer Review Program as a qualified peer reviewer and participates as a review team captain and participant in reviews of other CPA firms across the country. He serves on the Peer Review Committee and Report Acceptance bodies of the Tennessee Society. 

Ingram graduated from Tennessee Tech in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. In addition to being a certified public accountant, he is a graduate of the Cannon Financial Institute of Internal Bank Auditing and is a certified financial services auditor.

His other civic involvement includes treasurer and elder of Donelson Presbyterian Church, a trustee of the Middle Tennessee Presbytery, a director of Healing Wings, and an audit committee and advisory board member of the Armed Services Mutual Benefit Association. For 20 years, he was a Scoutmaster of Troop 260, Boy Scouts of America, and is an incoming director of the BSA’s Middle Tennessee Council.

Ingram serves his alma mater as an at-large director of the Tennessee Tech College of Business Administration Foundation.  He has been instrumental in furthering the mission of the College of Business and was one of the first, along with other TTU alumni partners at Kraft, to sponsor the renovation of a classroom in Johnson Hall. Ingram and Kraft CPAs are dedicated to the continued partnership between the College of Business and the accounting firm.

Ingram serves his alma mater as an at-large director of the Tennessee Tech College of Business Administration Foundation. 

Ingram and wife, Diane, have three children, Eric, Melissa and Lauren, all graduates of Tennessee Tech. 

College of Education

Don Jackson, B.S. Music Education, ’69

What do Placido Domingo, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Brenda Lee and the London Symphony Orchestra have in common? Well, it’s none other than Tennessee Tech University music education alumnus Don Jackson.

Jackson studied conducting at TTU under James Wattenbarger and upon graduation became Hendersonville Junior High School’s band director for 10 years. He then took a position with Iliad, a Nashville recording and music production studio. That opened the door to a job that extended to 2003, when Iliad moved to New York City. During his tenure at Iliad, Jackson conducted 48 major orchestral albums, all recorded in London with world-class orchestras: the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

His Platinum album credits (sales of 1 million or more) include Victoria’s Secret - Classics By Request (Volumes 1-5), Nutcracker Highlights, and Hallmark Christmas (Volumes 1 and 2). Volume 2 included recordings with Placido Domingo and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Jackson’s Hallmark Christmas album with Tony Bennett released in 2003 was Bennett’s first holiday album recorded in 35 years.

As of 2003, only 13 true classical albums had sold more than 1 million units. Jackson conducted 8 of those albums.

He has recorded or performed with a variety of pop, country and other artists over his career. Among them are Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Brenda Lee, Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, B.B. King, Jimmy Ruffin, Kenny Rogers, the Four Tops, The Temptations, Mary Wilson, Al Hirt, Bob Hope, pan-flutist Zamfir, Dolly Parton and Tony Bennett.

Jackson resides in Hendersonville and is married to Carole Lanham Jackson, a former TTU Golden Girl. He has four children: Donald, Eric, Suzanne and David.

School of Interdisciplinary Studies 

Kent Johnson, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies, ’09

As a mentor to about 80 children in after-school programs at Cecil Webb Center in Knoxville, Kent Johnson is creating what he hopes is a nest of Golden Eagles, future students who take on challenges, beat odds and adjust expectations for themselves. 

And his love of purple and gold in the land of orange stands out; he was named 2009 City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Employee of the Year and was recently featured on a Knoxville television station for promoting purple pride. As center director for the City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department since 2001, he’s responsible for all daily operations and management and supervises after-school and summer programs. He also creates and organizes citywide special events. 

Johnson’s efforts to promote academic excellence and a sense of family in his kids revolves around his pride for Tennessee Tech. Johnson’s methods to instill purple pride include visits to campus, quizzes, contests, decorations and rewards. He’s created bulletin boards filled with Tech trivia. He’s given the children shirts with “Top 10” funny facts about TTU. And his grand prizes—given to students who play one sport, have high grade point averages and show exemplary behavior—are Golden Eagle football jerseys personalized on the back.

A three-sport athlete in high school who excelled in football, wrestling and track, Johnson continues to place a high value on physical fitness and excellence. He was a competitive weightlifter from 1985 until 1997 and a competitive martial artist from 1987 to 2001. 

He holds a third degree black belt in Shingitai, a black belt in Jujitsu from USJA and a black belt in Kenpo. He was also a martial arts instructor for 21 years. He is certified as a lifeguard and water safety instructor as well as a personal trainer. His career background includes positions as an ergonomics program director and an industrial medicine coordinator. 

Johnson serves as the children’s church director at Dotson Memorial Baptist Church. He and his wife of 17 years, Mikell, have two sons, Storm and Dalton.

College of Engineering

Barry Wilmore, B.S. Electrical Engineering, ’85, M.S. ’94

Barry Wilmore has seen earth from a perspective only a handful of people ever experience. As pilot of NASA’s STS-129 space shuttle mission to the International Space Station last November, he put his hometown of Mt. Juliet and Tennessee Tech University in the national spotlight. 

Before he became a Navy captain and an astronaut, he was reaching for the stars at TTU as a student-athlete. He was one of the university’s first graduate-student athletes. Having been redshirted with a knee injury as an undergrad, he took advantage of remaining eligibility and established himself in TTU’s record books, reaping several post-season honors. He was voted Academic All-District and named to Leonard’s All-America team. He also won a scholar-athlete award from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. He was elected to TTU’s 2003 Sports Hall of Fame class.

In 1987, he was in Corpus Christi, Texas, flying A-4s for the Navy. He flew 21 missions in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, then conducted initial flight tests for the T-45, and later spent a year as a Navy Test Pilot School instructor.

After five years of flying F-18s and two more deployments, Wilmore became a test pilot instructor at Edwards Air Force Base as part of a Navy/Air Force exchange. He was chosen as an astronaut candidate in 2000. 

During the STS-129 mission, his crew delivered two Express Logistics Carriers to the International Space Station, about 30,000 pounds of replacement parts. The mission was completed in 10 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes and 13 seconds, traveling 4.5 million miles in 171 orbits.

Wilmore’s wife, Deanna, is a TTU graduate. His father, Eugene, is a 1958 graduate in industrial management. His brother, Jack, is a 1984 graduate in industrial technology, and Jack’s wife, Selena, is a 1985 graduate as well. Add to that TTU legacy, Jack’s children – Lucas, a senior, and Elizabeth Ann, sophomore.