Individuals, groups honored for service at MC's annual Leadership Awards Ceremony

May 7, 2008
Emily Peery, Communications Assistant

More than 50 Maryville College students were honored for outstanding campus and community leadership during the institution’s annual Leadership Awards Ceremony. Students, parents, College faculty and staff and community members attended the April 29 event held in the Alumni Gym.

Opportunities for involvement in and leadership of various campus causes is a long-held hallmark of the Maryville College educational experience, which seeks to prepare students for an enriched life as citizens, leaders and educated persons.

Vice President and Dean of Students Vandy Kemp introduced the awards.

“Each year, this annual event follows the Academic Awards ceremony, and it provides another opportunity for the Maryville College community to recognize exceptional students,” she said. “At this particular event, we focus on those students who have demonstrated positive character and who have provided exemplary leadership within our campus community.

“The very first time you step onto the Maryville College campus, you hear much about the importance of leadership in this community as well as the many opportunities available to develop leadership skills both in and out of the classroom,” Kemp continued. “Tonight, we gather to recognize those students who have emerged from the Maryville College experience to shine with particular brightness as leaders among their peers.”

Students, faculty and organizations recognized during the April 29 ceremony are listed below.

The Black Student Association (BSA) Leadership Award was presented to sophomore Ayesha Turner, a Sign Language interpreting major from Dallas, Ga.

Freshman Chelsey Kimsey, a theatre studies major from Cleveland, Tenn., and sophomore Erin Cooper, a psychology major from Corbin Ky., were honored as Most Dedicated Staff Members of The Chilhowean, the College’s yearbook.

Junior Robbie Champion, a political science major from Herndon, Va., was the recipient of the MC College Republicans Distinguished Service Award.

Freshman Ashley Bell, an international business major from Madisonville, Tenn., received the Global Citizenship Organization’s Outstanding Leader Award.

Sophomore Marshall Flora, an international business major from Nashville, Tenn., received the award for outstanding leadership of The Highland Echo, the College’s campus newspaper.

Junior Bobby Nicholson, a religion major from Knoxville, Tenn., was honored with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s Folami Ford Servant Award.

Christian Lockhart, a first-year student from New Tazewell, Tenn., received the first-ever Sportsmanship Award for his participation in the College’s intramural program.

The Dance Team’s Scotties Spirit Award was presented to Amber Chenault, a senior child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Lenior City, Tenn.

Julianne Hickman, a senior mathematics for teacher licensure major, was named Peer Mentor of the Year. She is from Knoxville, Tenn.

Ashley Bell, a first-year student from Madisonville, Tenn., received the Residence Hall Association’s (RHA) First-Year Experience Award. LetaAnn Thompson, a sophomore majoring in child development from Gainesville, Ga., received the RHA Student of the Year Award. The resident assistants from Davis Hall were recognized as the College’s Hall Council of the Year. The RHA Distinguished Service Award went to senior Amy Hoover, a history for teacher licensure major from Limerick, Pa.

Three students were recognized for their outstanding leadership on the College’s Student Government Association (SGA): Representative of the Year honors went to Nikki Wilks, a first-year student from Loudon, Tenn.; Joe Norskov, a senior psychology major from Fayetteville, Tenn., was named Senator of the Year; and Rachel Rushworth, a senior English for teacher licensure major from Chattanooga, Tenn., was named Outstanding Member of the Year.

Lucas Oelfke, a senior business major from Burgwedel, Germany, was recognized by the Student Programming Board as its Outstanding Member of the Year.

The Voices of Praise Leadership Award went to Jesse Zabal, a senior child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Woodbridge, Va.

Junior Priyanka More, an international business major from Revah, India, received the International Student Award.

The Nancy Smith Wright Unity Award, named for the first African-American to graduate from Maryville College following reintegration, went to the Erskine Tutorial Program. The award recognizes an organization that consistently demonstrates unity through diversity within the Maryville College community and beyond.

Dominique McCraven of Millington, Tenn., a junior majoring in business and organization management, was honored with the Sojourner Truth Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in a Maryville College female student of color.

Phillip McCants, a junior majoring in music education from Hephzebah Ga., accepted the College’s W.E.B. Dubois Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in a Maryville College male student of color.

Angela Marek of Maryville, Tenn., a sophomore majoring in child development and learning for teacher licensure, received the Non-Traditional Student Award.

Carnegie Hall resident assistants were honored with the Residence Hall Academic Achievement Award. Those awarded: Myranda Austin, a junior psychology major from Andersonville, Tenn.; Caroline Burks, a senior Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) major from Cullman, Ala; Dallas Flint, a senior American Sign Language and Deaf studies major from Roanoke, Va.; and Matthew Mart, a junior biochemistry major from Morristown Tenn.

Junior Jack Casteel, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Tullahoma, Tenn., was named Resident Assistant of the Year.

Tracie Witherspoon, a senior mathematics major from Richland, Wash., received Residence Life’s Distinguished Service Award.

The Charles and Mary Ensign Scholarship, which recognizes students’ contributions to the religious life of the campus, was presented to two seniors: Rachael Whaley, an English major from Muncie, Ind., and Noah Penland, a child development and learning major from Sevierville, Tenn.

David Sullivan, a junior biochemistry major from Dickson, Tenn., was presented with the Spirit of Service/Student Volunteer of the Year Award.

Jennifer Roy, a junior history and economics major from Alcoa, Tenn., was named Student Activist of the Year.

Kemp was named Staff/Faculty Volunteer of the Year.

The Community Agency Representative of the Year recognition went to Jen Case Morgan ‘05, a child & family advocate and volunteer coordinator for New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center.

The College’s Gay-Straight Alliance was the student group recognized with the Building and Strengthening the Human Community Award.

RaeKenya Walker, a junior majoring in child development and sociology from Chattanooga Tenn., was recognized as a recent recipient of the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award. The award, presented April 24 in Nashville, Tenn., by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, recognizes outstanding community service at the campus level.

Certificates for successful completion of the Highland Leadership Program were presented to first-year students Laura Belcher of Vonore, Tenn.; Ashlyn Gurley of Burt, Mich.; Wilks; Jordan Sherrod of Kingston, Tenn.; and Le’Sean Brannon of Baltimore, Md. The Highland Leadership Program provides holistic leadership development for sophomores and juniors through one academic year of experiential learning, direct instruction, mentoring and skill application.

Three students and one faculty member were named recipients of the College’s Spirit of the Covenant Award, which recognizes individuals who embody the spirit of the principles of scholarship, respect and integrity as outlined in the College’s covenant. Recipients were Dr. Lee Davis, instructor of English; Matthew Murrill, a senior chemistry major from Knoxville, Tenn.; senior Jessica Parks, an English major from Knoxville, Tenn.; and Walker.

The J.D. Davis Award, which seeks to honor those seniors who exhibit leadership, athletic ability, Christian values and academic achievement was presented to Andrew Crawford of Graysville Ga., a business and organization management major and All-USA South Athletic Conference offensive linesman on the Scots football team; and Rushworth, an All-GSAC performer as a midfielder on the women’s soccer team.

For the second consecutive year, Andi Morrow, a junior theatre major from Huntsville, Tenn., earned the Sharon A. Murphy Crane Award, which recognizes a rising junior or senior who is an active participant in student programming activities and who deeply loves the College and is willing to raise issues intended to benefit the entire campus community.

The Outstanding Freshman Leader Award went to Wilks. Carolyn Lyden, an English for teacher licensure major from Sevierville, Tenn., was awarded the Outstanding Sophomore Leader Award. Walker was called to the stage again to receive the Outstanding Junior Leader Award.

The Environmental Action Team (EAT) was named Student Development’s Organization of the Year.

Gar Secrist, president of EAT, accepted on behalf of the organization after Kemp recognized the students’ “work on the increasingly significant issue of campus environmental sustainability and creating opportunities for enhanced dialogue across campus,” she said. “On a very practical level, its members manage the campus-wide recycling program on a weekly basis, helping all of us remember the importance of living responsibly on the earth.”

For her work with the College’s Gay-Straight Alliance, Omicron Delta Kappa and Peace and World Concerns group, Kathie Shiba, assistant dean of students, was named Student Organization Advisor of the Year.

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.