UT Knoxville Alumni recently unveiled the 2022 class of Volunteer 40 Under 40 award winners. This year’s class included six alumni from the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences.

Volunteer 40 Under 40 recognizes forty alumni under the age of 40 who have excelled personally and professionally since completing their degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This honor celebrates outstanding Volunteers and shares their accomplishments with our alumni, campus, and community.

MS (’15), BA (’06)

Occupation: Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Theory, Practice & Teacher Education

Favorite UT Memory: Watching the Pride of the Southland Marching Band!

Bio: Janine Al-Aseer comes from a background of community development and education. She has held diverse roles creating educational programming, growing nonprofits, administering community grants, and teaching. She has liaised with Knox County Schools, first through AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) and then during three years as a site coordinator at a rural community school. For the past five years, she served as the director of innovation for the Knox Education Foundation. She currently oversees the University-Assisted Community Schools initiative for the University of Tennessee and teaches ED 100 to those interested in joining the teaching profession.

Bachelor’s English (’05)

Occupation: Singer/Songwriter/Author

Favorite UT Memory: Standing and cheering for HOURS with dear friends on the front row when we finally beat Arkansas in the SIXTH overtime! Meeting Drew Holcomb on the steps of a friend’s house in the Fort. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that would last for the rest of my life.

Bio: Ellie Holcomb is a singer-songwriter and author whose most recent full-length release, Canyon, captures what she dubs “a deeper sorrow, a higher hope.” For eight years, she recorded and toured full time with her husband’s band, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. Her solo debut, As Sure As The Sun (2014), landed her a GMA Dove Award for New Artist of the Year. Her critically acclaimed sophomore LP, Red Sea Road, followed in 2017. In subsequent years, Holcomb has released two children’s books, the second of which earned her a Dove Award for Children’s Album of the Year in 2020.

Brett HowellBrett Howell

Bachelor’s Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management (’06)

Occupation: Senior Ops Consultation Manager, Starbucks Coffee Company, Seattle, Washington

Favorite UT Memory: Aside from beating Alabama in 2006, my time spent in the Netherlands as an exchange student representing UT.

Bio: Knoxville native turned West Coast resident, Brett Howell is the senior ops consultation manager with Starbucks and Siren Retail Starbucks Reserve and Roasteries in Seattle, Chicago, and New York City. Howell has a passion for creating food, which led to his culinary career with various positions over the years as a sous chef, executive sous chef, executive chef, and multi-unit executive chef. Howell lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.


Michael R. ReynoldsMichael R. Reynolds

MBA, MS Sport Management (’13)
Bachelor’s Recreation Administration (’11)

Occupation: Digital Marketing Advisor, FedEx Services, Memphis, Tennessee

Favorite UT Memory: Meeting the numerous friends who have become family over the years.

Bio: Michael R. Reynolds currently serves as the digital marketing advisor at FedEx Services in Memphis. Michael was a first-generation college graduate and the first African American accepted into Haslam College of Business’s dual MBA/MS in sport management program in 2011. Since then, he helped revolutionize the LTL freight industry as a part of the freight marketing team at FedEx with its automation efforts. Additionally, he launched and managed LTL Select, an industry-leading transportation management system introduced by FedEx. Reynolds gives back to the community as an adjunct business instructor for inmates in the Memphis Federal Correctional Institute through Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Andreanna WilliamsAndreanna Williams

Bachelor’s Sport Management (’15)

Occupation: Special Education Chair, Shelby County Schools, Memphis, Tennessee

Favorite UT Memory: Traveling to the Super Bowl and working with the Big Orange Combine. I will never forget how proud I felt wearing the Power T on such a big stage.

Bio: Andreanna Williams, affectionately known as Ani, is the special education chair at her alma mater, Southwind High School in Memphis. She is a graduate of the LeaderShape program and a Teach for America alumna. During her time at UT, she was a student recruiter with ME4UT, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, and a mentor with the multicultural mentoring program. Additionally, she worked with the media relations department and football recruiting office. Whenever she isn’t busy with work, 100 Leading Ladies, or school, Williams enjoys traveling, singing, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.


Click here to learn about the rest of the 2022 class of Volunteer 40 Under 40.

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