Carson-Newman University honored Steve Dean, the creator of "The Heartland Series," Tuesday night. 

Dean received the 2017 Outstanding Educational Service to Appalachia Award.

He created, wrote and produced the Emmy award-winning "The Heartland Series" for WBIR starting in 1984. The series' nearly 2,000 episodes and 150 specials promoted pride and respect for the Appalachian culture.

"It's for educating people about Appalachia, and I think that was really our highest and best purpose was to tell people the stories of their past and of the people that lived among them that they didn't even know," Dean said. 

"the heartland series" has won numerous film and television awards.
Dean is the creative genius behind WBIR's over-arching "straight from the heart" theme.