Craig Pickett ('10)The College of Education and Communications’ IMPACT Award for the Student Affairs in Higher Education Department was awarded to Craig Pickett ’10. The IMPACT award honors alumni from each department in the college for achievement in their respective fields and the contributions they make to their communities.

Craig is the director for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Prior to his current position, Craig was the national executive director of the Gamma Beta Phi Society, coordinator of student life and diversity programs at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a career counselor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Craig earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Davidson University (NC) and went on to join SAHE in 2008. During his time with SAHE, he was awarded the Outstanding Scholar for the Class of 2010 and was selected by his cohort and faculty as the department’s commencement speaker. Craig is completing his PhD in higher education administration at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Outside of his office and his many professional association activities, Craig is actively engaged in the community as a mentor and as a board member of several community groups, including the United Way, the Urban League, the Emerald Youth Foundation, and his church.

Legna Soto-Gonzalez, a student of Craig’s, describes him as a “Jack of all trades when it comes to educational excellence. He addresses everyone as friend and is very welcoming and open to learning and sharing helpful resources for students, faculty, administrative staff, and other circle groups he actively advocates for here at UTK and other institutions.” Dean and professor Caula Beyl wrote, “Awesomeness in an energetic and dynamic package is one way to think of Craig Pickett. He is charismatic and compelling in his role to promote the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and truly models what it means to be capable, competent, and creative!”

Craig was on campus on April 13, 2022, to receive his award and to engage with SAHE students in several classes.