Maryville College students honored at 2017 Academic Awards Ceremony

Maryville College students honored at 2017 Academic Awards Ceremony

April 22, 2017 

Scholarship and the ideals of the liberal arts were celebrated April 22, when 57 awards were presented to 65 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 Literature in English major Wesley Blevins of Louisville, Ky.

For earning the highest grade point average in all core courses taken at Maryville College, three seniors were recognized with the Liberal Arts Award: Ryan Haley, a chemistry major from Maryville, Tenn.; Madison Sexton, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Powell, Tenn.; and Katherine White, a psychology (neuroscience) major from Rockford, Tenn.

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, Rachel Zaffiro, a psychology (counseling) major from Liberty Township, Ohio, was honored.

Katherine White of Rockford, Tenn., was awarded the Neuroscience Award, which is presented to a senior neuroscience major with the best academic performance in neuroscience as judged by classroom performance, overall scholarship and grade point average.

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 Annamarie Edwards of Strawberry Plains, 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 Heidi Vowell, a senior American Sign Language-English Interpreting and American Sign Language-Deaf Studies double major from Clinton, Tenn.

Education

Rachel Hawn, a junior physical education and health for K-12 teacher licensure major from Franklin, 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.

Gabrielle Billstrom, a senior exercise science major from Cumming, Ga., 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 Noah Cantrell, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Marie Harp, a senior Teaching English as a Second Language major from Knoxville, Tenn., received the Outstanding Student Teacher in the Secondary Grades Award.     

Fine Art

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 Emily Randles, a music education with teacher licensure major from Knoxville, Tenn.

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 junior design major from Maryville, Tenn.; Brandi Payne, a sophomore design major from Kodak, Tenn.; and Andrew Trotter, a junior design major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Jenna Hunt, a junior 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.         

Humanities

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

Halle Hill, a senior religion major from Knoxville, Tenn., 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.

Allison Franklin, a junior history major from Rogersville, Tenn., 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.

Brian Gresham, a senior history major from Walland, 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 Mariah Franklin, a junior history and political science double major from Knoxville, 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, Erika Hipsky, a senior English for teacher licensure major from Knoxville, Tenn., was awarded the Alexander English Prize. Hipsky 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.

Chandler Chastain, a junior writing communication major from Signal Mountain, 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 2017 recipient is Rachel Resciniti, a senior English for teacher licensure major from Maryville, Tenn.

Impressions, MC’s campus literary magazine, presented awards to magazine contributors. The award for best art went to Taylor Williams, a sophomore biology major from Old Hickory, Tenn.; the award for best poetry went to Elizabeth Myers-Rees, a senior writing communication major from Maryville, Tenn.; and the award for best prose went to Natasha Kollett, a junior writing communication major from Maryville, Tenn.

Six students were recognized for outstanding achievement in foreign language study. Freshman Michael Hall of Nickelsville, Va., was honored for his work in French. Brittany Moore, a junior finance/accounting major from Knoxville, Tenn., and sophomore Samuel Phillips of Knoxville, Tenn., were recognized for their work in German. The award for outstanding achievement in Japanese went to Ian Schomer, a junior mathematics major from Knoxville, Tenn. The award for outstanding achievement in Latin went to freshman Lana Linebarger of Afton, Tenn. Recognition for achievements in Spanish went to sophomore psychology major Caroline Ballinger of Strawberry Plains, 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 senior Spanish and international business double major Bethany Headrick of Walland, Tenn.

Joshua Ramsey, a senior finance/accounting major from Kodak, 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.

Mathematics & Computer Science

Recognized as the most outstanding junior or senior in the department of mathematics and computer science, Evan Ezell, a junior computer science and mathematics double major from Canton, Ga., 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 mathematics major Ryan Kraft of Greenback, Tenn.

Sophomores Nicholas Spurlock of Maryville, Tenn., and Zackary Welch of 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.

Chandler Hunt, a junior engineering major from Cleveland, Tenn., and Joshua Metcalf, a junior mathematics and computer science major from Maryville, Tenn., were 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 Tanner Curren of Westover, Ala.

The Outstanding Achievement in Statistics Award went to senior mathematics major Jonathan Carney 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: Molly Hamant, a junior biology major from West Chester, Ohio, and Reeve Moore, a junior biology major from Suffield, Conn.

For her outstanding four-year record in biology, senior biology major Lauren Wilson of Trevose, Pa., was honored with the A. Randolph Shields Award.

Megan Houston of Maryville, Tenn., received the Robert K. Godfrey Freshman Biology Award for demonstrated excellence in the study of biology in the first year.

Kathryn Maley, a biology major from Knoxville, Tenn., accepted the Sophomore Biology Award for her outstanding ability and promise in the biological sciences. Maley was also 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 a woman in the junior class who shows excellence in the study of chemistry, biochemistry major Kathleen Staller of Seymour, Tenn., was awarded the Elizabeth Hillman Award.

The award for Outstanding Performance in General Chemistry was presented to sophomore Nicholas Spurlock of Maryville, Tenn.

Recognized as the senior who has demonstrated the most outstanding accomplishments in chemistry, Ryan Haley, a chemistry major from Maryville, 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: junior political science and history double major Mariah Franklin of Knoxville, Tenn., and junior political science major Corinne McClure of Memphis, Tenn.

Alex Willard, a senior finance/accounting major from Clinton, 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 2017 recipient is Carlie Sims, a junior finance/accounting major from Maryville, Tenn.

Riley McMillan, a senior economics major from Madisonville, Tenn., received the Outstanding Senior Award for a Student Majoring in Economics, which is awarded to the senior student demonstrating outstanding work in economics, outstanding character, well-rounded achievement and career promise.

Julia Burch, a senior sociology major from Wolftown, Va., 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 junior 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: Jordan O’Neal, a junior writing communication major from Knoxville, Tenn., and Chloe Lawrence, a junior political science major from Ypsilanti, Mich. 

Additional Awards

Erin Ensor, a senior marketing double major from Knoxville, 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 biochemistry major Chehronai Fozil of Istaravshan, Tajikistan, 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 biology major Tommy Wright of Fort Worth, Texas, 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

Alex Willard, a senior finance/accounting major from Clinton, Tenn., was named the 2017 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 Carter Habeeb, a senior religion and international studies (global) double major from Birmingham, Ala.; Ryan Haley, a senior chemistry major from Maryville, Tenn.; Riley McMillan, a senior economics major from Madisonville, Tenn.; and Katherine White, a senior neuroscience (psychology) major from Rockford, Tenn.

By Chloe Kennedy, Assistant Director of Communications


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.