Academic Support Center director receives Dona Sparger Award

MC Academic Support Center director receives Dona Sparger Award

March 30, 2017

Kim Ochsenbein, Director of Maryville College’s Academic Support Center, is the recipient of the 2017 Dona Sparger Professional Service Award for leadership and advocacy in the field of disability services. The award is the highest honor offered to members of Tennessee AHEAD (TNAHEAD), the state affiliate of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).

Ochsenbein received the award in March, during the annual TNAHEAD conference at Motlow State Community College. Before receiving the award, Ochsenbein gave two presentations at the conference.

Chester Goad, director of disability services at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) and past president of TNAHEAD, nominated Ochsenbein for the award. In his nomination letter, Goad said Ochsenbein has represented TNAHEAD statewide and nationally “with dedication and professionalism.”

“Her commitment to disability-related issues in higher education is unmatchable,” Goad wrote.

Goad wrote in his nomination letter that Ochsenbein has been an active member of Tennessee’s branch of AHEAD for more than 10 years and the national AHEAD organization for three years. In addition to serving as the LEAD affiliate with the national AHEAD organization, she has also served in a variety roles within TNAHEAD, including education chair, president-elect, president and immediate past president of the state affiliate. She is the co-chair for this summer’s national AHEAD conference in Orlando, Fla., working closely with the staff at the national headquarters in North Carolina to plan the entire program for the conference.

Since 2015, Ochsenbein has served as the director of the Academic Support Center at Maryville College, where she provides administrative oversight, visionary leadership and direction for all aspects of student academic and disability programming. Previously, Ochsenbein served as the assistant director of disability services at TTU from 2006 to 2015.

She holds a bachelor of social work degree, a bachelor of science degree in corrections and an associate’s degree in juvenile justice from Eastern Kentucky University; a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a master of arts degree in educational psychology and counselor education from TTU; and a doctor of education degree in educational leadership from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

By Allison Franklin ’18, Communications Assistant


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 2017 semester is 1,181.