LIS to Provide STEM Scholarships Through Partnership with UT Martin

LIS to Provide STEM Scholarships Through Partnership with UT Martin

Through a new partnership with the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM), L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) is thrilled to announce the implementation of two new scholarships. The annual scholarships will be available beginning this semester, Spring 2024, and will provide financial aid to local students pursuing their education in the civil engineering and land surveying fields.

“With nearly 30% of our employees being alumni or current students, UTM has become indispensable in our pursuit of workforce development,” commented LIS President, Patrick Smith. “As the university attracts local talent to remain in the region, LIS is continuously utilizing this strategy to attract and retain local talent. I am excited to further our relationship with UTM by awarding scholarships to these students.”

The scholarships bear the name of our cofounders and were developed to highlight their esteemed legacies. The Lucile D. Smith Land Surveying Scholarship pays homage to our former president and cofounder. She was a trailblazer in the surveying field, becoming the first woman in the state of Tennessee to become a licensed surveyor by passing the state-specific examinations. This scholarship is offered annually to local students on the land surveying and geomatics track at UTM.

The Larry I. Smith Civil Engineering Scholarship will be awarded to a local student earning a four year degree in civil engineering. Larry, from whom we gained our namesake, became a Registered Land Surveyor (RLS) in Tennessee in 1975. This professional licensure marked the birth of LIS, as it provided Larry with the necessary certification to do survey work at the professional level. He went on to earn professional engineering licenses in numerous states throughout the region, which led to the implementation of the civil engineering department at LIS.

“We are excited and honored to have this partnership with L.I. Smith and Associates,” said Jeanna Swafford, UT Martin Interim Vice Chancellor for Advancement. “Scholarships are vital to our students and enable them to earn their degree with less or no debt. We are fortunate that corporations like L.I. Smith see the value in supporting higher education and the impact UT Martin graduates make on the workforce in West Tennessee and beyond.”

Each scholarship is valued at $1,000 and provides financial assistance for recipients. To qualify, students must be in good standing with the university, maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and be considered a sophomore, junior, or senior. Additionally, each recipient must be a native of Henry, Weakley, Carroll, or Benton Counties and will be required to job shadow with LIS once per semester.

“By launching this scholarship and requiring they job shadow with us, we hope to spur the interest of local students to the career options right here in Henry County and the surrounding area, while also providing financial support as they complete their studies,” commented LIS Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Ashley Horn.


LIS plays a Major Role in ASCE Competition at UT Martin 


Two members from the L.I. Smith and Associates surveying team, Aj Maxwell and Tyler LaPointe, were invited to visit the University of Tennessee at Martin campus in early December.   

In preparation for the annual Mid-South American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Symposium surveying competition, Maxwell and LaPointe spent two days setting up a control network. This consisted of 10 metal pins being physically placed into the campus grounds at various locations. Each of the metal pens have a GPS coordinate and elevation assigned to them.   

The competition will be held April 4-6 at the UT Martin campus, and the work conducted by Maxwell and LaPointe is vital to the competition for the students. 13 ASCE Student Chapters from the Mid-South Conference Region will attend the competition. Aside from students using these pens during the ASCE competition in April 2024, UT Martin surveying students and campus staff can use them throughout the following years to collect data. The data collected throughout the years will show changes in elevation of the land and other various characteristics.   

The work LIS has done with UT Martin thus far came into fruition from LIS employee Aj Maxwell, Land Surveyor in Training, having the desire to give back to his alma mater in a professional way that other land surveying students could benefit from. LIS has 10 other employees on staff that are UT Martin alumni and 1 full-time staff member that is currently a student. LIS also currently has an intern who just graduated from UT Martin in December.   

“As a UT Martin alumna myself, and with 10 other alumni on staff as well, this is an amazing opportunity to partner with a local higher education institution that several of us came from. It feels like we’re giving back to UT Martin and we enjoy aiding in providing academic resources for future students as well.”, added Ashley Horn, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at LIS.

Larry Smith Honored as Keynote Speaker at Local Veterans Day School Program

Larry Smith Honored as Keynote Speaker at Local Veterans Day Program

Larry Smith, Executive Vice President and cofounder of L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) was invited to be the keynote speaker for the Veterans Day program at Dorothy and Noble Harrelson School on Friday, November 10th, 2023. 

Located just a few miles from the LIS headquarters in Puryear, TN, the Dorothy and Noble Harrelson School hosted a Veterans Day program that brought together 40 veterans, as well as their families and Harrelson School students. The program showcased several performances from various age groups of Harrelson students to honor the Veterans. These talents consisted of self-written poems, instrumental performances, and singing from Harrelson Chorus. 

During Smith’s keynote speech, he invited all of the veterans in the room to stand up for a moment of recognition for their service and sacrifice to our country. Smith went on to convey his experience of entering the Air Force at a young age and how his time in the service aided in his admiration for those in the military. After the ceremony, veterans and their families were invited to join the Harrelson students for a luncheon in the school cafeteria to honor all those who served our country. 

“It was an honor to speak to a group of Veterans from the different branches of the Military and experiences,” remarked Smith.  

Four Students Selected for Summer Internship Program 

Four Students Selected for Summer Internship Program

Student Interns Nikolas Heath, Jameson Cluver, Juan Henriquez-Hernandez, and Martha Jane (MJ) Hooper

Four collegiate students have been selected for summer internships with L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS). For the duration of the summer, they will complete internships in the Civil Engineering, Land Surveying, and Marketing fields.  

The students represent the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) and Lipscomb University (LU). This will be the first time LIS has offered internships at its branch office located in Nashville.  

“By expanding the internship program to Nashville, we have had the opportunity to hire not only three impressive students from West Tennessee, but an additional student from Middle Tennessee, as well,” stated Ashley Horn, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “I look forward to working with these students and discovering the skills and knowledge they have learned from their respective universities.” 

Jameson (Maluke) Cluver and Juan Henriquez-Hernandez are each new additions to the LIS team. Henriquez-Hernandez will be the first student intern to work full-time in LIS’ Nashville branch office, while Cluver will join returning interns Nikolas Heath and Martha (MJ) Hooper at the Paris office.  

“While I am here at LIS, I am excited to learn more about the engineering and surveying field and how they correlate,” stated Cluver. “I was drawn to this industry because I was born in Haiti and there was bad earthquake, so I want to build safer houses and infrastructures for people.” 

Civil Engineering Intern, Cluver (UTM), will assist the engineering team with projects in a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to land development projects with major tasks such as stormwater management, environmental permitting, and utility design.  

Henriquez-Hernandez (LU) and Heath (UTM) will each complete land survey internships, in which they will spend the majority of their time working on survey crews with an experienced Party Chief. The pair will also spend time in the office performing general design and clerical survey duties and will gain experience in AutoCAD drafting. 

Henriquez-Hernandez commented, “I became interested in LIS when they visited my school and the tools and gadgets they presented to me piqued my curiosity. I knew immediately that my internship at this organization would help me reach my goals.” 

Marketing and Communications Intern, Hooper, will also be returning to the Paris office for the summer term, after working remotely for the fall and spring semesters. She will resume administration of the staff photo content and continue her role in managing LIS’ social media presence.  

LIS President Patrick Smith commented, “The internship program provides energy and inspiration for our staff. I have truly been thrilled with the use of interns. This is largely due to the quality of interns and our staff’s diligence.” 

The LIS student internship program was launched in the fall of 2021, with this year’s group being the first to work in the company’s branch office in Nashville. The students will learn from experienced industry professionals while gaining hands-on experience in their chosen fields of study. Vice President, Chris Conrad, Professional Engineer, Nathan Grasfeder, and Professional Land Surveyor, Mason Peale, along with Horn will serve as staff mentors in the internship program. 

The internships are paid positions, but also provide the option for students to receive college credit upon completion. For more information about the LIS internship program, visit our website at or contact Horn at 

Pat the River Cat Competes in Annual Catfish Races 

Pat the River Cat Competes in Annual Catfish Races

This year marked the 34th Annual Bill Williams Catfish Races, which is a fun, hands-on event held as part of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. The race received its name’s sake the former editor and publisher of The Post-Intelligencer Newspaper, who is recognized for introducing this unique event to Henry County more than three decades ago. The races were sponsored by the REAL Hope Youth Center for the second time.   

On Saturday, April 29, L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) staff members came out to Downtown Paris to support Pat the River Cat as he competed in the event. Among those staff members, Administrative Intern, Kathryn (Katie) Bullion, acted as head fish handler. While Pat didn’t win the competition, he placed second in his heat race. More importantly, he also helped to spread the word about Get Kids into Surveying (GKIS) and the amazing career of land surveying! 

Pat the River Cat's Story

Hello, fellow fish mates! My name is Pat the River Cat, and I am a pro-fish-ional surveyor for L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS). I wasn’t always this way, though! Let me tell you a bit about how I ended up here.   

 I once was a lonely, run-of-the-mill catfish. I wandered the streams and lakes, searching for something new and exciting but never found it. Everywhere I looked was just water and mud. However, one fateful day a huge flood swept through Henry County. I was carried out of the water and dumped on the dry shore! At first, I thought I was in danger. However, I soon realized the beauty and wonders around me. There was so much space! So much to see! With this, I was a free catfish.   

And so, I roamed. I decided to travel around the world to see this new landscape that I had discovered. The first place I traveled to was the deserts of Egypt, a country that is both on the African and Asian continents. The catfish species dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, but did you know that surveying does, too? I was able to learn all about the fish-tory of surveying and how it helps us retrace the steps of what land surveyors before us did.  

Next, I traveled northeast to the Asian continent. I decided to visit China, a country known for its rich culture and fishing. Did you know that Zheng He of the Yunnan Province in China was the first person recorded to have used a compass to navigate? Surveyors use compasses, too!   

Then, I went south to the continent of Australia to see some of the interesting wildlife. Did you know that surveying was used to provide land to settlers in the days of British colonization of Australia and New Zealand?  

 Next, I journeyed northwest to the European continent! I swam down the channels to Rome, a city in Italy, to see the majestic Colosseum, a giant structure left over from the Roman Empire. Did you know that the Romans loved surveying, too? I took a short trip northwest to the British Isles but soon left when I found out their favorite meal is fish and chips! Oh no!  

After that fright, I traveled back to my hometown in North America, Paris, TN, where my best buddies, Larry and Lucile Smith, and I decided to open LIS, a surveying and civil engineering company. Shortly afterwards, we moved our company here to beautiful Downtown Paris!  

Today, I work with the GKIS initiative to teach young people about the wonders of this vast career. I always knew that surveying was something that would allow me to carry out my passion for studying the world. Now, I get to share my passion with others!  

With all the things I’ve learned and experienced in my travels, I know I can conquer anything that comes my way, including this race! 

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