Students, groups honored during Leadership Awards Ceremony

Students, groups honored during Leadership Awards Ceremony

May 8, 2013
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

More than 45 Maryville College students, faculty, staff 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 30 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.

“Each year, this event follows the Academic Awards Ceremony, and it provides a different 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.

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

Students, faculty and organizations recognized during the April 30 ceremony are listed below.


The Alpha Psi Omega Outstanding Member Award was presented to senior Joseph McBrien, an outdoor recreation major from Loudon, Tenn.

The Black Student Association (BSA) Leadership Award was presented to senior Matthew Morgan, a biology major from Atlanta, Ga., and senior Jerica Johnson, a music major from Chattanooga, Tenn.

Johnson also received the Pep Band Outstanding Member of the Year award and “Peer Mentor of the Year” honors.

Junior Storm Owens, a sociology major from Maryville, Tenn., was the Habitat for Humanity Volunteer of the Year.

Senior Geoff Bokuniewicz, a writing/communication major from Maryville, Tenn., received the Highland Echo Award for Outstanding Leadership for his work with The Highland Echo, the college newspaper.

The Pep Band Outstanding PEP Award went to senior Benjamin Knight, a chemistry major from Townsend, Tenn.

The Pep Band also awarded “Note”worthy Member of the Year honors to freshman Eric Lipka, an international business and international studies double major from Matthews, N.C.

The MC Student Literacy Corps’ Linda Clark Literacy Award went to Miranda Clower, a senior religion major from Kingston, Tenn.

Lounedine Louis, a freshman psychology and theatre studies double major from Lehigh Acres, Fla., received the Residence Hall Association's (RHA) First-Year Experience Award. Sophomore Afton Boles, an international studies global major from Robbins, Tenn., received the RHA Student of the Year Award.

Three students were recognized for their outstanding leadership on the College's Student Government Association (SGA). Representative of the Year honors went to sophomore Carmina de Guia, a mathematics major from Maryville, Tenn. Junior David Sturchio, a psychology major from Knoxville, Tenn., was named Senator of the Year, and junior Keli Shipley, a political science major from Chattanooga, Tenn., was named Outstanding Member of the Year.

Callie Keasler, a senior marketing major from Maryville, Tenn., was recognized by the Student Programming Board as its Outstanding Member of the Year.

The Voices of Praise Leadership Award went to junior Onyekachi Ononye of Nigeria and senior Matthew Morgan of 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.

Paris Wilson, a senior psychology major from Detroit, Mich., and Kiera Payne, a senior child development major from Chattanooga, Tenn., received the Ambassador Outstanding Lifetime Service Award.

The First-Year Spirit of the Ambassador Award went to Mary McAlexander, a sophomore biochemistry major from Knoxville, Tenn.; Melissa Kiewiet, a junior history major from Maryville, Tenn.; Leah Smith, a senior political science and international studies double major from Calhoun, Ga.; and Sheryl Tingling, a sophomore child development major from Bronx, N.Y.

Katie Fair, a junior international studies major from Maryville, Tenn.; Hannah Fry, a junior mathematics major from Buchanan, Tenn.; and Chris Hickman, a junior music major from Knoxville, Tenn., received the Ambassador Excellence Award.


Isaac Mbimi, a junior from Cameroon, 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 Voices of Praise gospel choir. The award recognizes an individual or organization that consistently demonstrates unity through diversity within the Maryville College community and beyond.

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

Jose Perez, a sophomore psychology major from Mosheim, Tenn.,accepted the College's W.E.B. DuBois Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in a Maryville College male student of color.

Tina Watts, a senior philosophy major from Knoxville, Tenn., received the Non-Traditional Student Award.


Davis Hall resident assistants were honored with the Residence Hall Academic Achievement Award. Those awarded: Ashley Avans, a sophomore international studies major from South Pittsburg, Tenn.; Linley Dunn, a sophomore music and psychology counseling double major from Winston, Ga.; Brittani Edge, a junior economics major from Seymour, Tenn.; Iman Harris, a sophomore exercise science major from Acworth, Ga.; and Amber Roberts, a junior writing/communication and religion double major from Morristown, Tenn.

Daniel Roselli, a junior biology major from Wellington, Fla., was named Resident Assistant of the Year. Courtney Phillips, a senior biology major from Clinton, Tenn., and Paris Wilson received the 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: Lauren Voyles, a religion major from Tullahoma, Tenn., and David Large ’12 of Maryville, Tenn., who graduated in December.


Tyler Herron, a senior American Sign Language/English interpreting and Spanish language and literature double major from Blacklick, Ohio, was presented with the Spirit of Service/Student Volunteer of the Year Award.

Kayla Callicutt, a junior political science major from Arlington, Tenn., was named Student Activist of the Year.

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, an organization that strives to “show the students of Maryville College how to grow in God's Word,” 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 Amelia Brumbaugh, Cole Burns, Alex Carr, Mickey Chait, Marquis Chappell, Madison Coker, Blaine Coyle, Ra’sham Dickson, Tess Eisnaugle, Emily Guillaume, Sarah Jones, Nicki Kellaway, Cody Kidd, Loudine Louis, Makayla May, Hannah Morgan, Emilie Perez, Katie Quesnell, Taylor Rigatti and Terrell Warren.

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 one student 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. Angelia Gibson, associate professor of chemistry; Noah Bowman, academic support coordinator; and Eric Lipka.


The Outstanding Freshman Leader Award went to Blaine Coyle, who is from Knoxville, Tenn. Paul Earheart-Brown of Memphis, Tenn. was awarded the Outstanding Sophomore Leader Award. Travis Felder of Orange Park, Fla., was called to the stage to receive the Outstanding Junior Leader Award.

Garrett Painter, a junior writing/communication major from Knoxville, Tenn., 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 Student Programming Board was named Student Development's Organization of the Year.

The Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, campus minister, was named Student Organization Advisor of the Year for her work with the Progressive Christian Community, Worship Committee, Sisters in Spirit, Peace and World Concerns, and the newly formed Grief Support Group.

Special recognition was given to Dr. Andy Lewter, associate dean of students, for excellence in leadership in the division of student development. After 16 years of service, he is leaving Maryville College to serve as dean of students at Georgia College.

“Andy has touched so many students’ lives during his sixteen years at Maryville College,” Kemp said. “He has been the mastermind behind the summer freshman orientation Great Beginnings program for new students and their parents. His influence on our understanding of the transition of high school students to Maryville College students is enormous, and the highly successful Peer Mentor program is his program.”

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.