Kathleen Staller honored with LeQuire Award

Kathleen Staller honored with LeQuire Award

May 2, 2018 

Kathleen Staller, a biochemistry major from Seymour, Tenn., was presented the distinguished LeQuire Award during Maryville College’s Academic Awards Ceremony held April 21, 2018 in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center for the Arts.

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 and an engraved pewter julep cup.

Winners of the award are nominated by faculty members in the College’s humanities and natural sciences divisions.

According to Maryville College President Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart, who presented the award, Staller is no stranger to MC’s Academic Awards Ceremonies, receiving at least one award at every ceremony since her freshman year. Those awards have recognized outstanding performances in general chemistry and organic chemistry, as well as selection as a West Chevrolet Scholar. She also has made the Dean’s List every semester of her college career, and her current GPA is a 4.0, the president said.

“Wrote one faculty member in a nominating letter: ‘She is one of the best students I have had the pleasure to work with in my entire career. Not only is she highly capable academically, but her work ethic and interpersonal skills are remarkable as well,’” Bogart said, adding that the faculty member praised Staller for her willingness to serve as a mentor to up-and-coming science majors.

During her time at MC, Staller has served as a supplemental instructor in general chemistry, a laboratory assistant and a tutor for the STEM Success Center. Last summer, she was one of only three Maryville College students chosen to work on an ORAU-funded project that made possible several solar eclipse presentations, laboratory experiments and related activities for local students and their teachers.

“In true liberal arts fashion, she is not just a scientist – but a musician and linguist, too,” Bogart said. “She has played the flute and saxophone in the Maryville College Orchestra and Pep Band, and she has taken upper-level Spanish courses. She completed the College’s Highland Leadership Program as a freshman.”

For her Senior Study, she focused on the phylogenetic analysis of Eastern Box Turtles in the Maryville College Woods and a significant practical experience that includes a summer of work as a CHNOS analyst for Galbraith Laboratories in Knoxville.         

Regarding her future, Staller’s career interests include pathology, and she is in the process of applying to the University of Tennessee’s Medical Laboratory Science Program.

“Wrote one of her professors: ‘She sets a tone of confidence and excellence in all that she does. In the future, she will be able to explain complex diagnoses to her patients with patience and caring,’” Bogart said.

During the Academic Awards Ceremony on April 21, Staller also was recognized with the Liberal Arts Award for earning the highest grade point average in all core courses taken at Maryville College and the Distinguished Chemistry Award for demonstrating the most outstanding accomplishments in chemistry.

She is the daughter of Tracy and Sharon Staller of Seymour, Tenn., and a 2014 graduate of Seymour High School.

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 2018 semester is 1,154.