Students, organizations recognized for campus leadership

Students, organizations recognized for campus leadership

May 5, 2011
Contact: Karen Eldridge, Director of Communications

More than 40 Maryville College students and student organizations 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 26 event held in the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall of the Clayton Center for the Arts.

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.

“This annual event follows the Academic Awards Ceremony, and it provides a different opportunity for the Maryville College Community to recognize exceptional students,” she said. “On this particular night, we focus on those students who have demonstrated positive character and who have provided exemplary leadership within our campus community.

“We also honor several faculty and staff at this event who provide models of outstanding leadership in their day-to-day lives,” she added.

Students, faculty and organizations recognized during the April 26 ceremony are listed below.


The Black Student Association (BSA) Leadership Award was presented to senior Brandon Anthony, a business major from Locust Grove, Ga., and Mauriel Rodriguez, a sophomore from Greeneville, Tenn.

Senior Amanda Helton, an art history major from Pigeon Forge, Tenn., was presented the Gay-Straight Alliance Distinguished Service Award.

The College's Global Citizenship Organization recognized two members: freshman Thomas Sykes of the Bahamas, who was named Newcomer of the Year; and senior Danielle Roberge, an international studies major from Rockvale, Tenn., who was honored as Member of the Year.

Junior Elizabeth Dunn, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Knoxville, Tenn., was the Intramural Cup Winner because of her support of and participation in intramurals.

The Pep Band Leadership Award went to senior Laura Belcher, a political science major from Vonore, Tenn.

The Dance Team’s Scotties Spirit Award was presented to Danielle Nagy, a sophomore political science major from Louisville, Tenn.

The MC Literacy Corps’ Linda Clark Literacy Award went to Jordan Sherrod, a senior sociology major from Kingston, Tenn.

“Peer Mentor of the Year” honors went to two seniors: Christina Eastridge, a Spanish major from Kingsport, Tenn., and LeSean Brannon, a junior child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Baltimore, Md.

Jenny Peyrot, a freshman child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Oak Ridge, Tenn., received the Residence Hall Association's (RHA) First-Year Experience Award. Stephanie Barger, a junior psychology major from Harriman, Tenn., received the RHA Student of the Year Award. The resident assistants from Beeson Village were recognized as the College’s Hall Council of the Year. The RHA Distinguished Service Award went to senior Lee Craft, an art major from Nashville, Tenn.

Three students were recognized for their outstanding leadership on the College's Student Government Association (SGA): Representative of the Year honors went to Ellison Berryhill, a junior philosophy major from Jefferson City, Tenn.; sophomore Devan Reynolds, a political science major from Clinton, Tenn., was named Senator of the Year; and Sam Jackson, a political science major from Greenback, Tenn., was named Outstanding Member of the Year.

Leah Petr, a sophomore writing/communication major from Knoxville, Tenn., was recognized by the Student Programming Board as its Outstanding Member of the Year.

The Voices of Praise Leadership Award went to freshman Onyekachi Ononye of Nigeria and sophomore Matthew Morgan, a biology major from Atlanta, Ga.


Maryville College’s Admissions Office recognized outstanding leadership in its Ambassador program, which trains current students to give tours, assist with special events and represent the campus community to prospective students and their families and other guests to the campus.

Maggie Williams, a senior child development and learning major from Knoxville, Tenn., received the Outstanding Lifetime Service Award.

The First-Year Spirit of the Ambassador Award went to Megan Lock, a junior biology major from Buford, Ga. Riley Finch, a senior biology major from Seymour, Tenn., was named the Ambassador of the Year.


Elvira An, a junior math major from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 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 Gay-Straight Alliance, a student organization that provides a welcoming, supportive, and respectful environment that encourages dialogue about issues of gender and human sexuality among the Maryville College community. The award recognizes an individual or organization that consistently demonstrates unity through diversity within the Maryville College community and beyond.

Brannon was honored with the Sojourner Truth Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in a Maryville College female student of color.

Donald Rucker, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Catersville, Ga., accepted the College's W.E.B. DuBois Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in a Maryville College male student of color.

Rebecca Harmon, a senior psychology major from Louisville, Tenn., received the Non-Traditional Student Award.


Beeson Village resident assistants were honored with the Residence Hall Academic Achievement Award. Those awarded: Joyanna West, a senior international studies major from Clinton, Tenn., and Mandi Smith, a junior physical education for teacher licensure major from Mansfield, Ga.

Brannon was also named Resident Assistant of the Year. West also received the Lifetime Achievement Award.


The Charles and Mary Ensign Scholarship, which recognizes students’ contributions to the religious life of the campus, was presented to two seniors: Joey Courtney, a religion major from Knoxville, Tenn., and Arianna Hakiman, an international studies major from Murfreesboro, Tenn.


Kamran Hakiman, a senior philosophy and religion major from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was presented with the Spirit of Service/Student Volunteer of the Year Award.

Helton was named Student Activist of the Year.

MC Hammers, the College’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, received the Student Group Recognition Award for Building and Strengthening the Human Community.


Certificates for successful completion of the Highland Leadership Program were presented to Garrett Painter, a freshman writing/communication major from Knoxville, Tenn., and Keli Shipley, a freshman political science major from Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Highland Leadership Program provides holistic leadership development for underclassmen through one academic year of experiential learning, direct instruction, mentoring and skill application.


One faculty member, one staff member and three students 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 Peggy Carouthers, a senior writing/communication major from Maryville, Tenn.; Karen Eldridge, the College’s director of communications; Dr. Dan Klingensmith, associate professor of history; Allison “Alli” Little, a junior psychology major from Maryville, Tenn.; and Caroline Redmond, an English literature and writing/communication double major from Kingsport, Tenn.


The Outstanding Freshman Leader Award went to Painter. Petr was awarded the Outstanding Sophomore Leader Award. Little was called to the stage to receive the Outstanding Junior Leader Award.

Berryhill also earned the Sharon A. Murphy Crane Award, which recognizes a rising junior or senior who is an active participant in the College theatre and/or student programming activities, and who deeply loves the College and is willing to raise issues intended to benefit the entire campus community.

The College's Black Student Association was named Student Development's Organization of the Year.

Sheree O’Connor, executive assistant for Student Development, was named Student Organization Advisor of the Year for her work with the College's Pep Band.

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 1,197.