Maryville College students honored at 2016 Academic Awards Ceremony

Maryville College students honored at Academic Awards Ceremony

April 24, 2016

Scholarship and the ideals of the liberal arts were celebrated April 23, 2016, when 55 awards were presented to 59 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 sensitivity to nuance, their appreciation for social and 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. Macebearer Dr. Drew Crain, professor of biology, 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.

CORE CURRICULUM

For outstanding work in Ethics 490: Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Ethical Thought, the Glenn Hewitt Award in Ethics was presented to senior history major Melanie Mullins of Knoxville, Tenn.

For earning the highest grade point average in all core courses taken at Maryville College, senior Raine Palmer, a writing communication major from Maryville, Tenn., was recognized with the Liberal Arts Award. 

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

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, Amy Oaks, a senior psychology (counseling) major from Louisville, 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 Victoria Pinkard of Maryville, Tenn.

The Irma Young Outstanding Senior Award in Interpreting, which is presented to the student who has shown exemplary potential for interpreting by performance and scholarship, went to Tori Bassett, a senior American Sign Language-English Interpreting and American Sign Language-Deaf Studies double major from Johnston, R.I.           

EDUCATION

Justin Collett, a junior exercise science major from Hiram, Ga., 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.

Michael Chait, a senior physical education and health for K-12 teacher licensure major from Knoxville, 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.

The Outstanding Student Teacher in the Elementary Grades Award was presented to senior Katie Quesnell, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Peralta, N.M.

Haley Sullivan, a senior theatre studies for teacher licensure major from Franklin, Tenn., received the Outstanding Student Teacher in the Secondary Grades Award.                

FINE ARTS

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 Joshua Sumter, a music major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Caroline Stuart, a junior music major from Cartersville, Ga., 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.

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 three students: Rachel Britt, a sophomore design major from Maryville, Tenn.; Kathryn Norris, a junior design major from Maryville, Tenn.; and Alicia Yarlett, a junior design major from Maryville, Tenn.

Lounedine Louis, a senior psychology and theatre studies double major from Lehigh Acres, Fla., was presented the Bates Forensic-Drama Award, which is presented to the most outstanding senior in drama.

Jenna Hunt, a sophomore theatre studies for teacher licensure 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.         

Haley Sullivan, a senior theatre studies for teacher licensure major from Franklin, Tenn., took home the Outstanding Senior Theatre Student Award, which is presented to the graduating senior theatre major who has demonstrated the most outstanding achievement in the major field. 

HUMANITIES

For writing the best paper on relationships between philosophical, theological, social, political and/or economic issues, Caleb Smith, a philosophy major from Maryville, Tenn., won the T.T. Alexander Award. 

Sarah Dianne Jones, a senior religion major from Jonesboro, Ark., was the 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.

Morgan Strain, a senior history major from Athens, Ala., was the recipient of the Frank A. Kramer Student Award, which is given to a junior history major who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, exceptional service to the college and significant involvement in extracurricular activities.

Aaron Woods, a senior history major from Vonore, Tenn., was recognized as the recipient of the Otto P. Pflanze Prize for Excellence in History.

The Verton M. Queener Award for History went to Brian Gresham, a senior history major from Walland, Tenn. The award recognizes outstanding study of American and English history by a junior. 

LANGUAGES & LITERATURE

For achieving the best four-year record in the study of English, Raine Palmer, a senior writing communication major from Maryville, Tenn., was awarded the Alexander English Prize.

Tobi Scott, a senior writing communication and design double major from Fairview, Tenn., received 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 2016 recipient is senior English for teacher licensure major Erika Hipsky of Knoxville, Tenn.

Impressions, MC’s campus literary magazine, presented three awards to magazine contributors. Senior writing communication major Ephraimia Pearson of Powell, Tenn., was honored with the award for best poetry; senior history major Brian Gresham of Walland, Tenn., earned the award for best prose; and the award for best art/photography went to sophomore design major Brandi Payne of Kodak, Tenn.

Five students were recognized for outstanding achievement in foreign language study. Junior history major Allison Franklin of Rogersville, Tenn., was honored for her work in French. Junior music major Caroline Stuart of Cartersville, Ga., was recognized for her work in German. The award for outstanding achievement in Japanese went to Ji Eun Park, an international exchange student from Korea. Recognition for achievements in Spanish went to freshman engineering major Derek Hurt of Marietta, Ga.

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 senior Spanish major Megan Jilka of Maryville, Tenn.

Brittany Miller, a senior international studies major from Peoria, Ariz. 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. 

MATHEMATICS & COMPUTER SCIENCE

Recognized as the most outstanding junior or senior in the department of mathematics and computer science, Tanner Curren, a senior computer science and mathematics double major from Westover, Ala., was the recipient 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 computer science and mathematics double major Nami Falhan of Nicosia, Cyprus.

Bryce Dills, a freshman computer science major from Maryville, Tenn., and Joshua Metcalf, a freshman mathematics and computer science double major from Maryville, Tenn., 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.

Sophomore computer science and mathematics double major Evan Ezell of Canton, Ga., was presented the William H. Dent Calculus Award for having the most outstanding performance in calculus.

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 senior computer science major Matt Jenkins of Lenoir City, Tenn.

The Outstanding Achievement in Statistics Award went to senior chemistry major Ryan Haley of Maryville, Tenn. 

NATURAL SCIENCES

The Susan Allen Green Award is annually presented to the most outstanding biology major in the junior or senior class. This year’s award was presented to two students: Lauren Wilson, a junior biology major from Bensalem, Pa., and Tommy Wright, a senior biology major from Fort Worth, Texas.

For her outstanding four-year record in biology, senior biology major Shea Bryant of Alcoa, Tenn., was honored with the A. Randolph Shields Award.

Freshman biology major Kathryn Maley of Knoxville, Tenn., received the Freshman Biology Award for demonstrated excellence in the study of biology in the first year.

Molly Hamant, a biology major from West Chester, Ohio, 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 Chehronai Fozil of Istaravshan, Tajikistan, was awarded the Elizabeth Hillman Award.

The award for Outstanding Performance in General Chemistry was presented to sophomore biochemistry major Ian Schomer of Knoxville, Tenn.

Sophomore biochemistry major Kathleen Staller of Seymour, Tenn., was recognized as the winner of the Outstanding Performance in Organic Chemistry Award, which recognizes outstanding ability in the study of organic chemistry and structural analysis.

Recognized as the senior who has demonstrated the most outstanding accomplishments in chemistry, Brandon Denney, a biochemistry major from Gallatin, Tenn., was awarded the Distinguished Achievement in Chemistry Award. 

SOCIAL SCIENCES

The John W. Burgess Award for meritorious achievement in the field of political science was presented to two students: senior political science major Kyle Anthony of Luttrell, Tenn., and senior political science major David Clifford of Louisville, Ky.

Megan Findley, a senior management major from Maryville, 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 2016 recipient is Kelsey Hanko, a junior marketing major from Walland, Tenn.

Gabriel Johnson, a senior sociology major from Chattanooga, Tenn., received the Outstanding Senior Award in Sociology, which is awarded to the senior with high achievement in the sociology major, exemplified by GPA in the major, excellence in the senior thesis and comprehensive exam and contributes to the classroom, college and community.

Olivia Cleveland, a sophomore political science major from Williamson, Tenn., received the Agnes Thornton-Bird Endowed Memorial Award, which is given to a locally residing sophomore or junior woman interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession.

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 that could be published in a journal or magazine, was given to two students: Angel Schild, a senior neuroscience (psychology) major from Gruetli-Laager, Tenn., and Alyssa Hughes, a junior biology major from Griffin, Ga.

ADDITIONAL AWARDS

Joshua Lindamood, a senior art and management double major from Greenback, Tenn., and Tobi Scott, a senior writing communication and design double major from Fairview, Tenn., were 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.

Senior computer science and mathematics double major Nami Falhan of Nicosia, Cyprus, was named winner of the Outstanding International Student Award, which goes to a senior 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 Caitlin Jennings 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. 

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OUTSTANDING SENIOR AWARD

Lounedine Louis, a senior psychology and theatre studies double major from Lehigh Acres, Fla., was named the 2016 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 Cole Burns, a senior finance/accounting and child development and learning double major from Maryville, Tenn.; Blaine Coyle, a senior neuroscience (psychology) major from Knoxville, Tenn.; Nami Falhan, a senior computer science and mathematics double major from Nicosia, Cyprus; and Taylor Rigatti, a senior international studies major from Maryville, Tenn.


Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”