Angela McCarter will retire this fall after 42 years of service to the Tickle College of Engineering. Her current long-standing role is as administrative specialist II in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, working with Associate Dean Ozlem Kilic.
McCarter has worked here through many changes and with a few storied names in the history of the college.
“I have enjoyed working in this college and feel truly blessed,” said McCarter.
She joined what was then called the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics in July 1980, working as administrative assistant for Professor Bill Snyder, who is well-known for eventually becoming UT Chancellor and for his hobby of playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ at Knoxville’s Tennessee Theatre.
McCarter recalled the many names of the mechanical engineering department as its scope expanded over the years.
“I worked in the engineering science and mechanics department; the mechanical, aerospace, and engineering science department; the mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering department (MABE); and the Office of Engineering Academic and Student Affairs (ASA),” she said.
McCarter saw the tenures of department heads like Snyder, Jerry Stoneking, Jerry Carley, Don Dareing, Tom Shannon, and Masood Parang—whom she followed in 2004 into her role with the academic and student affairs office.
“Masood was department head of MABE,” she recalled. “When he was selected as associate dean, he asked if I would be interested in working with him in the ASA office. My answer was a resounding, ‘Yes!’”
McCarter says the friendships she has made are her favorite memories of working here. She cherishes the relationships that went beyond the work day.
“I felt so grateful when Bill Snyder accepted my invitation to play the organ at my wedding,” she said. “Also, I’ve played on intramural volleyball faculty-staff leagues, with faculty such as Masood, Kevin Kit, and Rupy Sawhney. On one of our game-nights, Masood arrived, but he forgot his tennis shoes. So, he played in his t-shirt, shorts, business socks, and shoes. I can’t remember if we won our games, but I remember his dedication to the team and determination to play that evening! Fun times!”
In spring semesters, McCarter has led in planning and coordinating the TCE commencement ceremony.
“I’m most appreciative for the assistance which Margie Russell, Lisa Byrd, and their advising team have always provided me during this wonderful and happy occasion,” she said. “It is truly a team-effort event.”
McCarter also enjoyed seeing her son, Matt, succeed in achieving his civil engineering degree at UT. He earned his BS in May of 2016 and his MS in 2017.
“I had proud mom moments whenever I would see my son on campus—especially graduation day,” she said. “After receiving his MS, he began working for an engineering firm in Atlanta, where he worked for a couple of years. In July 2019, he began working for an engineering firm here in Knoxville.”
She now looks forward to adventures with family, realizing some personal goals, and enjoying the region.
“I’m just wanting to step away now while I’m still young and healthy,” said McCarter. “I’ll be available to assist family whenever needed. I’ll also focus on getting in better physical shape, and one day would like to hike Mt. LeConte in the Great Smokies!”
The TCE community will miss McCarter’s presence and guidance, but cheers her on in sharing her Volunteer Spirit in her ongoing endeavors.