2016 grads pursue impressive paths

2016 grads pursue impressive careers, internships, graduate school studies

May 19, 2016

Maryville College graduates go on to do great things, and the Class of 2016 is no different. Ready and excited to go out into the world, members of Maryville College’s Class of 2016 will scatter to all parts of the country – and world – to pursue internships, graduate school studies and jobs. Read more about some of these graduates and their impressive plans. 

Elizabeth Ballew

 Elizabeth Ballew, a psychology major from Decatur, Tenn., has been accepted to Marymount University in Arlington, Va. This fall, she will begin the university’s dual program in clinical mental health counseling with forensic and legal psychology.

“I chose this field because I want to be able to help individuals that most people would deem not worthy of help or just beyond help,” Ballew said. “I wanted a field that was both challenging and rewarding. Although I do not know exactly what I plan to do after graduate school, my goal is to be working in the court/justice system while counseling.”

Ballew said she chose Marymount mainly because of the dual program it offers – but also because of the location.

“With Marymount being in the Washington, D.C. area, there are a lot of internship, work and other experience options available in my intended field,” Ballew said. “Marymount had a lot of connections in the area, which allows for many opportunities. I love the area, and the school seems to be similar to Maryville College in a lot of ways.”


MarQuis ChappellMarQuis Chappell, a literature in English major from Chattanooga, Tenn., will teach at Esperanza Academy, an independent, all-girls middle school in Lawrence, Mass.

According to the school’s website, Esperanza Academy is “an independent, tuition-free middle school where girls of modest means from Lawrence are welcomed into an empowering learning community. Esperanza offers its students a transformative education that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum with co-curricular programs in athletics, the arts, community service, cultural enrichment, social skills and spirituality.” The school’s enrollment is 60 and consists of fifth through eighth grade girls who reside in Lawrence, Mass. One hundred percent of incoming students qualify for free or reduced lunch under the National School Lunch Program, and 91 percent speak a language other than English at home.

At Esperanza, Chappell will teach several sections of English Language Arts, in addition to serving as an academic advisor and supervising extracurricular theatre and music programs. He said he found the opportunity after talking to Amy Gilliland, MC’s director of community engagement, and Christy McDonald, director of the Maryville College Career Center.

“They both told me about the existence of independent, private schools that serve underserved youth,” Chappell said. “This information was exactly what I had been searching for; thus, I did some extensive research on independent schools that served underserved youth and discovered Esperanza. I went through their extensive interview process and ultimately was flown to the school for a final interview. I got the job and am so excited and blessed!”

Chappell said his ultimate career goal is to be the principal or director of an independent school that serves underserved youth.

“This job will allow me to gain experience in urban education and also learn how independent schools are managed,” he said. “Urban education is my passion, and I have dedicated my life to serving youth through my work in the classroom.” 


Chase CondroneChase Condrone, a writing communication major from Maryville, Tenn., has been accepted to Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications to pursue a master of arts degree in advertising; however, he has decided to defer a year to attend with his brother in June 2017.

“I chose the program for its connections to the advertising world in New York City, the extremely prestigious professors and the reputation of the Newhouse School,” Condrone said. “In the long run, I hope to work as a creative director and ultimately open my own ad agency with my twin brother, who will be going to the same program to pursue the business/sales side of advertising.”

 In the meantime, he and his brother are working for the University of Tennessee to brand the university’s new leadership studies minor and complete documentary work that showcases civil rights work done by college students during the 20th century.

“I am very excited about all the opportunities in front of us and to have a clear career path ahead of me,” Condrone said. 


Allie HaskewAllie Haskew, a child development and learning major from Hixson, Tenn., will pursue a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College in Nashville. It is a three-year program.

Haskew said she wants to pursue this degree in order to become a child and adolescent mental health counselor.

“I decided on Vanderbilt because the department's faculty seems to develop close relationships with its students,” Haskew said. “It also focuses on putting your name out into the Nashville area for job opportunities within your first couple of weeks there. Of course, it does not hurt that it is Vanderbilt.” 


Caitlin JenningsCaitlin Jennings, a biochemistry major from Maryville, Tenn., will attend the University of Tennessee School of Pharmacy in Memphis, Tenn. She hopes to pursue a career in hospital pharmacy or in medical research/pharmacology.

Jennings was presented the distinguished LeQuire Award during the College’s Academic Awards Ceremony held April 23. Established in 1987 by descendants and friends of Maryville physician Granville Dexter LeQuire and his wife Ellen Brickey LeQuire, the LeQuire Award includes a cash gift to help defray the expenses of applying to medical school.

For her Senior Study, Jennings researched the health benefits of natural products found in plants that grow in the College Woods. She was awarded an Appalachian College Association Ledford Scholarship last summer to work on the project, which included extracting, separating and screening the medicinal properties of the plants. She presented her study, titled “Antimicrobial properties of extracts from English Ivy, Hedera helix,” at the American Chemical Society regional meeting last November, impressing professors at other institutions who heard her.


Molly KnouffMolly Knouff of Maryville, Tenn., will work for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. as a business planning analyst.

“I will be looking at data and numbers regarding the costs of building the machinery,” Knouff said. “I am a finance/accounting major, so this position relates very closely. I am hoping that with this position and company, I will be able to grow and move up in this company.”

DENSO is a leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components for all the world’s major automakers. DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc., is the largest DENSO operation in North America and employs more than 3,500 people at its Maryville facilities. 


Joshua LindamoodJoshua Lindamood, an art and management double major from Greenback, Tenn., received a full scholarship to attend the Chautauqua School of Art in Chautauqua, N.Y., this summer. For two months, Lindamood will have the opportunity to work with artists from around the world to further develop his ceramics skills.

“It’s a whole other world, and I’m really looking forward to learning new skills. I’ll be making clay, mixing the glazes, helping load and unload the kilns, helping fire the pieces – there’s a big list of things I’ll be doing,” Lindamood said, adding that he also expects to learn more about the variety of textures and styles of ceramics, and he is excited to work with different types of kilns.

He learned about the opportunity through Polly Ann Martin, an adjunct instructor of art/ceramics at Maryville College who has taught at Chautauqua for many years.

“I have gotten to know her over the last two years I’ve been here, and she has seen my work develop,” said Lindamood, who transferred to Maryville College from Pellissippi State Community College. “She mentioned Chautauqua School of Art and that I could apply for a scholarship. I said, ‘Where’s that? I’m just a kid from Greenback, and I’ll never get it.’ But I submitted my portfolio, and the next thing I knew, I received a full ride.”

Lindamood's ceramic worksLindamood, who displayed his recent work at the Clayton Center for the Arts for his senior art show, titled “Embellished Utility,” said that after he returns from Chautauqua, he would like to have an exhibit to show the progression of his art. In the future, he hopes to combine his art and management skills and open an art therapy business or artist cooperative.

“I’d love to start a nonprofit – or maybe a smaller version of Chautauqua – and create a grassroots effort that supports local artists,” he said, adding that he credits Maryville College with helping prepare him for the future. “MC does open up your mind to multiple perspectives, and it has prepared me for anything.”


Evy Linkous

Evy Linkous, a writing communication major from Clarkrange, Tenn., will be serving with the AmeriCorps FEMA Corps program. FEMA Corps is a National Civilian Community Corps track program for young adults “who want to gain professional skills in emergency management while serving with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff on disaster response and recovery efforts,” according to the Corporation for National and Community Service website.

“This program is a residential program that will give me the opportunity to spend 10 months working on disaster relief service projects,” said Linkous, who will be stationed in Baltimore, Md. “I'm really excited about this opportunity because it is going to allow me move somewhere new and get a bit out of my comfort zone while also providing meaningful and necessary work.”


Rachel LongRachel Long, an international business major from Knoxville, Tenn., is continuing her studies at New York University, where she will pursue a master’s degree in global affairs.

“NYU has been my dream school since I learned about the global affairs M.S. program,” Long said. “I see NYU as an opportunity of a lifetime, because of the deep roots the school has in education, along with the extensive nature of the program. I feel like this is the best opportunity for me to make professional connections as well.”

While she’s undecided about her long-term career goals, Long said she has an interest in pursuing a doctoral degree and possibly working in a corporation focused on international relations.

“Maryville College taught me the value of first-hand experience and stepping out of my comfort zone, which has inspired my passion for learning about other cultures and business practices,” said Long, who spent last spring studying at Karlshochschle International University in Karlsruhe, Germany. “Through my time at Maryville and abroad, I learned to be an independent thinker and am fully confident for what is yet to come.”  


Dustin McAfee

 Dustin McAfee, a mathematics and computer science double major from Maryville, Tenn., was accepted for a Software Engineer for Cardiac Safety Fellowship. The program, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The overall aim of the project is to study and better understand the relationship between advanced electrocardiogram (ECG) biomarkers and arrhythmic risk.

“To accomplish this aim, it is necessary to develop software that can run in the High-performance Integrated Virtual Environment (HIVE) super computer efficiently and allow for massive parallel analysis of the >8 million available ECGs,” according to the fellowship description. “Analysis of these ECGs will improve our understanding of the relationship between drug-induced changes in the heart and electrocardiographic patterns and help inform risk of new drugs.”

The initial appointment is for one year, but it may be renewed upon recommendation of the FDA contingent on the availability of funds.

McAfee learned about the opportunity through the Maryville College Career Center’s spring career fair on campus. ORAU attended the fair to speak with students about available opportunities. 


Maddie McGuireMaddie McGuire, a mathematics with teacher licensure major from Springville, Ala., is completing her student teaching abroad through Technische Universität Dortmund at the International School Ruhr (IS Ruhr) in Essen, Germany. She has been working with the math classes in grades 6-11, including students working towards the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

The IS Ruhr in Essen offered her a two-year contract for a math teaching position, and she will be teaching math to grades 6-12, including the grades that will receive the IGCSE and IB Diploma.

“Although I'm not sure how long I will teach abroad, I am certain that having this experience will make me become a much more marketable candidate for wherever I apply in the future,” McGuire said. 


Nicholas Norman

 Nicholas Norman, an American Sign Language-English Interpreting and American Sign Language-Deaf Studies double major from Memphis, Tenn., will return to Memphis to work for DeafConnect of the Mid-South, Inc. as a professional Interpreter for the Deaf community. DeafConnect provides approximately 450 interpreted appointments and services to an average of 193 individuals each month.

After a year in Memphis, Norman plans to move to Washington, D.C to work as a professional political Interpreter for the government and possibly attend graduate school.


Joel ThorntonJoel Thornton, a history major from Alpharetta, Ga., plans to continue his education outside the United States. Accepted into the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, he'll soon begin work on a master's degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Thornton hopes to focus on either renewable energy or radical Islam and interpretations, which he plans to pursue further in a think tank for public policy or in academia.

For his Senior Study, “9/11, A Biography,” he chose to focus on Osama bin Laden and nearly 50 years of historical events that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His research sparked an interest to travel to Oman during summer 2015 to take a course in Arabic. And that trip led to a decision to return to the Middle East after graduation.

“Maryville College has allowed me to explore my interests while introducing me to many new ones,” he said. “And, it has taught me the necessary skills of remaining open-minded and thinking for myself, which gives me the confidence to pursue my many goals and interests.”


Terrell WarrenTerrell Warren, a physical education major from Maryville, Tenn., was accepted for a strength and conditioning internship at Colorado State University.

Warren is one of three interns who will work this summer with the university’s football strength and conditioning program. Warren said specific assignments for working with players will be given after he arrives in Colorado, once coaches and players “get a feel for the interns” and their skills.

 “This is the field that I would like to work in,” Warren said, adding that he found the position after becoming a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA). “I have had a passion for strength and conditioning since I was a junior in high school, and I have been on a relentless pursuit to become a Division I strength and conditioning coach.”

Warren said he plans to get his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification after he returns from Colorado. He has applied to graduate school at Florida International University, and he also might apply for the U.S. Olympic Committee Internship Program, which starts in September and ends in December.


Aaron Woods

 Aaron Woods, a history major from Vonore, Tenn., has a summer internship with the Tennessee State Park Service at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park, where he’ll work as a seasonal interpretive ranger.

“For a historic area, it is essentially a historian, naturalist and conservationist [position] all rolled up into one,” Woods said. “An interpretive ranger is basically a park ranger who educates the public on the site's history. With any luck, I will be able to turn it into a full-time career.”

The 1,200-acre Fort Loudoun State Historic Park is one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier, built in 1756. Fort Loudoun State Park’s interpretative center offers information on the area’s history and artifacts that were excavated prior to the fort’s reconstruction from the French and Indian War, according to the Tennessee State Parks website.


Susie Davison and Connar Benson-EpsteinTwo Maryville College seniors are pursuing graduate studies at the prestigious Hult International Business School: Connar Benson-Epstein, a finance/accounting major from Boynton Beach, Fla., and Susie Davison, a finance/accounting major from Maryville, Tenn.

The Hult International Business school is a global business school with campus locations in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, New York, and Ashridge Estate (UK). Read the press release about these two students on the MC website.

By Chloe Kennedy, Assistant Director of Communications 

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.”