More than 60 students honored at Academic Awards Ceremony

April 20, 2004
Karen B. Eldridge, Director of News and Public Information

Christie A. Latimer, a senior child development major from North Carolina, was named the 2004 Outstanding Senior at Maryville College during the Academic Awards Ceremony held on campus April 17.

Established by the Maryville College Alumni Association in 1974 and first presented in 1975, the Outstanding Senior award recognizes those students whose overall record of academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities stand out as most exemplary.

According to Helen Bruner, director of alumni and parent relations at the College, the purpose of the award is to recognize a senior “who has been active in a broad range of activities in college, who exemplifies an ‘ideal’ Maryville College graduate and who has the potential to be an outstanding alumnus/alumna – both as a representative of the College and in his or her service to the institution.”

Latimer, the daughter of Garry and Vicki Latimer of Pfafftown, N.C., enrolled at Maryville College in 2000, following graduation from Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, N.C.

In presenting her advisee at the April 17 ceremony, Dr. Crystal Wright, assistant professor of psychology, described Latimer as “the total MC package.”

“This is the response I received from a faculty colleague when I asked her impression of this Outstanding Senior nominee. During her four years at Maryville College, Christie Latimer has developed the true love of learning that we strive to inspire in all of our students.”

Latimer’s “love of learning” is found outside the classroom as well as inside, Wright explained, enumerating her advisee’s long list of activities and involvement: President and vice president of the College’s Student Government Association, charter member of the College’s affiliate chapter of American Humanics, member of College and community choirs, MC Ambassador, Peer Mentor and member of Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology.

Through her involvement with American Humanics, Latimer also has interned with various non-profits, including the American Red Cross, the City of Maryville and Girl Scouts of America.

Only those seniors with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 are considered for nomination for the Outstanding Senior Award. A committee that includes student, faculty and staff representation is given the responsibility of choosing five finalists. Those finalists are invited to respond in writing to questions about their view of their future role as alumni of Maryville College, their goals for the future and their understanding of how the College has influenced them and helped shape those goals.

In her essay, Latimer wrote that in the next five years, she hopes to identify a career path that suits her interests.

“My specific interests lie in fundraising/development, event planning and a special love for children. Through my internship experience and speaking with individuals already out in the workforce, I know that it is possible to hold a job that you will wake up excited about every single day. That is what I want for myself,” she wrote. “Once I have identified a more specific career path that I want to pursue, I will enroll in a graduate program.”

Latimer wrote that Maryville College, through its curriculum, has introduced her to ideas and disciplines that she wasn’t interested in before, and that the College’s extra-curricular activities assisted her in identifying “what is and isn’t for [her].”

“Maryville College has challenged me to do my best at each and every thing I do, and that is how I plan to continue to carry out all of my actions,” she wrote.

In presenting her student at the Academic Awards Ceremony, Wright concluded: “… when she graduates in just a few weeks, Christie Latimer will also become the kind of person we’ll be honored to call an MC alum – someone who will make us proud as we watch all that she accomplishes and, more importantly, as we watch the world discover the kind of person she is.”

Finalists for the Outstanding Senior award included Scott King, a writing/communication major from Blountville, Tenn.; Stevie Neifert, a computer science for business major from Hendersonville, Tenn.; Michael Rickman II, a sign language interpreting/Deaf studies major from Knoxville; and Helen Tadsen, a sign language interpreting major from Alpharetta, Ga.

As finalists, King, Niefert, Rickman and Tadsen were all presented a framed award. Latimer was presented a framed award, as well, plus a cash award of $500. Her name will be added to the Outstanding Senior plaque displayed on campus.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.