Students honored at Academic Awards Ceremony

April 20, 2012
Contact: Karen Eldridge, Director of Communications

Scholarship and the ideals of the liberal arts were celebrated April 14, when 57 awards were presented to 61 students at Maryville College’s annual Academic Awards Ceremony.

“All of us at the College take great satisfaction in the accomplishments of these students as we recognize them for their special commitment to learning, their passion for understanding, their engagement of intellectual complexity, their appreciation for cultural diversity, and their willingness to use their growing wisdom for the common good,” said Dr. Barbara Wells, vice president and dean of the College, who served as the evening’s emcee.

Held in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center for the Arts, the ceremony was attended by numerous students, parents and family members. Bagpiper Sam Newton, a junior at Maryville College, led the procession of faculty members and administrators.

Below is a list of awards given and students recognized in all eight academic divisions, core curriculum and other departments.


For outstanding work in Ethics 490: Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Ethical Thought, the Glenn Hewitt Award in Ethics was presented to two seniors: writing/communication major Jessica Francis of Spring Hill, Tenn., and writing/communication major Karen Leu of Lebanon, Tenn.

For earning the highest grade point average in all core courses taken at Maryville College, senior J. Ridge Carter, a biochemistry major from Maryville, Tenn., was recognized with the Liberal Arts Award.


The David H. Briggs Award recognizes the senior psychology major with the best academic performance in psychology as judged by classroom performance, overall scholarship and grade point average. This year, Page Sloan of Madisonville, Tenn., was honored.

The Child Development Award, which is awarded annually to a senior child development and learning major who has demonstrated competence with children and achieved outstanding performance in the major, as well as in overall scholarship as reflected in grade point average, was presented to Donald Rucker, Jr., of Cartersville, Ga.


Ryne Anderson of Dayton, Tenn., was awarded the Phi Epsilon Rho Award, which goes to a rising senior in physical education or recreation who has at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA and has exhibited leadership in campus and departmental activities and professional organizations.

The Outstanding Student Teacher in the Elementary Grades Award was presented to senior Elizabeth Dunn, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Benjamin Hargett, a history for teacher licensure major from Gallatin, Tenn., and Craig Owens, a biology for teacher licensure major from Huntsville, Tenn., were named recipients of the Outstanding Student Teacher in the Secondary Grades Award.

Morgan Goodman of Jackson, Tenn., received the Physical Education, Health & Outdoor Recreation Outstanding Senior Award. This award recognizes a graduating senior in the major who has at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA, serves as a role model in the classroom and community and is involved in professional organizations.


This year, the Barraclough Choir Award, which recognizes a senior who has been a Maryville College Choir member for at least two years and who is judged to have been outstanding in service to the choir, was awarded to two students: music education for teacher licensure major Ashley Abbott of Maryville, Tenn., and Jade Watts, a music education for teacher licensure major from Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Watts also was presented the Dorothy Barber Bushing Award, which goes to a junior or senior majoring in music composition or music education who has demonstrated achievement and leadership in professional activities and organizations.

Seth Tinsley, a sophomore music performance major from Knoxville, Tenn., took home the Robert Bonham Music Faculty Award for Superior Performance.

The Clark Family Prize recognizes rising juniors or seniors in art who have demonstrated outstanding academic and artistic achievement. This year, the award went to five students: Aaron Carroll of Maryville, Tenn., Shelby Floris of Maryville, Tenn., Laura Greeley of Knoxville, Tenn., Emily Julian of Powell, Tenn., and Carrington Lemons of Maryville, Tenn.

For outstanding academic achievement, art history major Felicia Maldonado of Franklin, Tenn., was recognized with the Sarah Hardrath Kramer Art History Award.

Caitlin Campbell, a sophomore theatre studies major from Maryville, Tenn., was recognized with the Evelyn Seedorf Prize in Dramatic Arts, which goes annually to the most deserving student majoring in theatre.


For writing the best paper on relationships between philosophical, theological, social, political and/or economic issues, Ellison Berryhill of Jefferson City, Tenn., won the T.T. Alexander Award.

Zachary Gekas of Knoxville, Tenn., was recipient of the Bates Bible Award, which is presented each year to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most ability in the study of religion or philosophy.

Tabatha Lloyd of Maryville, Tenn., was recognized as the second recipient of the Otto P. Pflanze Prize for Excellence in History.

The Verton M. Queener Award for History went to Adam Duggan of Alcoa, Tenn. The award recognizes outstanding study of American and English history by a junior.


For achieving the best four-year record in the study of English, Jonathan Brent of Oak Ridge, was awarded the Alexander English Prize.

Brent also took home the division’s Edwin R. Hunter Award for Excellence in Research in English or American Literature, which goes annually to the senior judged to have produced the most outstanding Senior Study in English or American Literature.

MC junior Chelsea Morgan, a writing/communication and literature in English double major from Knoxville, Tenn., was awarded the Charlotta Cook Hensley Memorial Award for outstanding academic achievement and significant involvement on the staff of The Highland Echo campus newspaper.

The Ruth Lloyd Kramer Memorial Award is given to a junior English major who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, exceptional service to the College and significant involvement in extracurricular activities. The 2012 recipient is John Robertson of Turriff, Scotland.

Impressions, MC’s campus literary magazine, presented three awards to magazine contributors. Senior Jessica Francis of Spring Hill, Tenn., was honored with the award for best poetry; sophomore Chelsea Tarwater of Sevierville earned the award for best prose; and the award for best photography went to senior Morgan Hawk of Blountville, Tenn.

Five students were recognized for outstanding achievement in foreign language study. Freshman Ashlyn Kittrell of Oak Ridge, Tenn., was honored for her work in French. Freshman Daniel Pieratt of Knoxville, Tenn., was recognized for his work in German. The award for outstanding achievement in Japanese went to sophomore Jennifer Bivens of Tellico Plains, Tenn. Recognition for achievements in Spanish went to sophomore Geoffrey Bokuniewicz of Maryville, Tenn., and freshman Alexandria Horvath of Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Outstanding Spanish Major Award recognizes the Spanish major who demonstrates the best academic performance judged by classroom performance, overall scholarship, study abroad experience, and grade point average. The award went to Erin Cawthorn of Maryville, Tenn.

Miranda Clower, a religion major from Kingston, Tenn., was recipient of the Outstanding Spanish Minor Award. This award is given to the Spanish minor demonstrating the best academic performance judged by classroom performance, overall scholarship, study abroad experience, and grade point average.


Recognized as the most outstanding juniors in the department of mathematics and computer science, Sarah McGinnis of Hickory, N.C., and Dylan Walker of Springville, Ill., were the recipients of the Russell N. and Frances Lane Edwards and Troy Bell Lane Waggoner Award.

The George A. Knapp Mathematics Award, which goes to the most outstanding and most promising junior or senior student majoring in mathematics, was presented to senior and chemical physics major Katherine Nadler of Greensboro, N.C.

This year, two students were awarded the West Chevrolet Academic Award, which recognizes students who score in the top 10 on the mathematics competition conducted by the College’s Division of Mathematics and Computer Science. Winners were freshman Taylor Huskey and sophomore Adam Spannbauer, both of Maryville.

Judged for having the most outstanding performance in calculus, sophomores Hannah Fry of Buchanan, Tenn., and Travis Sellers of Greenback, Tenn., were presented the William H. Dent Calculus Award.

The Jerry L. Pietenpol Computer Science Award, which recognizes the most outstanding and most promising junior or senior student majoring in computer science, went to Elizabeth Rodriguez of Knoxville, Tenn.

The Outstanding Achievement in Statistics Award went to psychology major Delaney Cornelius of Maryville, Tenn.


For her outstanding four-year record in biology, senior Nicole McNabb of Maryville, Tenn., was honored with the A. Randolph Shields Award.

The Susan Allen Green Award is annually presented to the most outstanding biology major in the junior class. Recipients this year were Matthew Hale of Knoxville, Tenn., and L. Macey Holt of Maryville, Tenn.

Hale and Holt also were recognized as winners of the Outstanding Performance in Structural Chemistry Award, which recognizes outstanding ability in the study of organic chemistry and structural analysis.

Lauren Evans of Clarksville, Tenn., accepted the Sophomore Biology Award for her outstanding ability and promise in the biological sciences.

Recognized as a woman in the junior class who shows excellence in the study of chemistry, biochemistry major Elisabeth Klouda of Knoxville, Tenn., was awarded the Elizabeth Hillman Award.

The award for Outstanding Performance in Inorganic Chemistry was presented to freshman Sophia Lively of Greeneville, Tenn.

Recognized as the senior who has demonstrated the most outstanding accomplishments in chemistry, J. Ridge Carter of Maryville, was awarded the Distinguished Achievement in Chemistry Award.


The John W. Burgess Award for meritorious achievement in the field of political science was presented to senior Nam Dang of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Shannon Giles of Louisville, Tenn., was awarded the Judson B. Murphy Endowed Business Award, which is presented annually to a senior who demonstrates outstanding work in business and organization management with outstanding character and well-rounded achievement and career promise.

The Kyle and Roberta Myers Petree Endowed Award is given to an outstanding local student majoring in business. The 2012 recipient is Callie Keasler of Maryville, Tenn.

For outstanding work in accounting, Hayley Taylor, a senior business and organization major of Maryville, Tenn., was named the second winner of the Marriott Business Services Award.

Allison Little of Maryville, Tenn., was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award in Sociology, which is awarded to the senior who has high achievement in the sociology major, exemplified by GPA in the major, excellence in the senior thesis and comprehensive exam and contributions to the classroom, college and community.

Cory Willis, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award for a Student Majoring in Economics. The award is presented to the senior student demonstrating outstanding work in economics, outstanding character, well-rounded achievement and career promise.

The Hall “Ethical Thinking” Award, which is presented annually to a member of the junior class whose creative or practical essay on ethical thinking on a particular theme from a variety of perspectives could be published in a journal or magazine, was given to two students: Devan Reynolds, a political science major from Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Jordan Tarwater, a religion major from Sevierville, Tenn.


Junior Bonnie Finn, a music major from Maryville, Tenn., was presented the Ryan Newhouse Award. The recognition goes to the junior or senior student who, in the judgment of the business, fine arts and humanities faculty, typifies the finest characteristics of the liberal arts by uniting the fields of business and the humanities or fine arts in his or her academic life, personal growth and values.

Child development major Xiaoxue Li of China was named winner of the Outstanding International Student Award, which goes to a senior, non-native English speaker who has been a student at the College for one academic year, has a minimum GPA of 3.5 and has shown leadership inside and outside the classroom.

Senior biochemistry major J. Ridge Carter of Maryville, Tenn., was presented the prestigious LeQuire Award by Maryville College President Dr. Tom Bogart. Named for Granville Dexter LeQuire, a Maryville physician, and his wife, Ellen Brickey LeQuire, the award was created in 1987 to help defray the expenses of applying to medical school, so preference is shown to a student who has chosen medicine as a career goal.

The Alpha Lambda Delta Award, which goes to a senior Alpha Lambda Delta member with the highest GPA through the fall semester of the senior year, was presented to Donald Rucker, Jr. of Cartersville, Ga.


Rucker also was named the 2012 Outstanding Senior. One of the most prestigious honors given a student, the Outstanding Senior Award recognizes a senior student who has been active in a broad range of activities, who most exemplifies the “ideal” Maryville College graduate and who has the potential to be an outstanding alumnus.

Finalists for the award included Allison Little, a sociology major from Maryville, Tenn.; Ellison Berryhill, a philosophy major from Jefferson City, Tenn.; biochemistry major J. Ridge Carter of Maryville, Tenn.; and political science major Samuel Jackson of Greenback, Tenn.

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.