Students, groups honored during 2019 Leadership Awards Ceremony

Students, groups honored during 2019 Leadership Awards Ceremony

April 9, 2019

More than 50 Maryville College students, faculty, staff and student organizations were honored for outstanding campus and community leadership during the institution’s annual Leadership Awards Ceremony on April 8, 2019. Students, families, College faculty and staff, and community members attended the event held in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ William Baxter Lee III Grand Foyer.

“Through our annual awards, we recognize students who provide exemplary leadership within our campus community. These are students who go above and beyond, consistently demonstrating compassion and passion; these are students who seek the opportunity to serve and give back,” said Dr. Melanie Tucker, vice president and dean of students. “We also have the opportunity to honor partners, including faculty and staff, who model outstanding leadership in their day-to-day lives, and notably, through their advocacy and support for student success.

“Taking time to celebrate with our Leadership Awards provides us an opportunity to reflect on how our campus lives out the mission of the College,” Tucker continued. “Our mission reflects our commitment to prepare students for lives of citizenship and leadership – as we challenge each one to search for truth, grow in wisdom, work for justice; we urge our students to live a life full of creativity and service to the world. Our award recipients tonight are living proof of the Maryville College mission.”

Students, faculty and organizations recognized during the April 8 ceremony are listed below.

Spirit of the Covenant Award

Five members of the campus community were named recipients of the College’s Spirit of the Covenant Award, which recognizes individuals who embody the spirit of the principles of scholarship, respect and integrity as outlined in the College's Covenant.

Recipients are Jacob Williams, a senior economics major from Cleveland, Tenn.; Ashley Hancock ’10, Gamble Hall resident director; Zachary Plants, a junior religion major from Rome, Ga.; Dr. Traci Haydu, chair of the Division of Education and associate professor of exercise science; and Jan Taylor, lecturer in composition.

Residence Life Awards

Eleanor Forester, a junior history major from Memphis, Tenn., was named Resident Assistant of the Year. Cassidy Mahan, a senior psychology major from Knoxville, Tenn., received the Resident Assistant Distinguished Service Award.

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s Outstanding NLA Student Award went to Daniel Boyer, a senior international business major from Lebanon, Tenn. He also received the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential.

In addition to Boyer, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance also recognized the following students who received the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential: Gabriella Chavarria, a senior child development and learning major from Philadelphia, Tenn.; Keylee DeSheles, a senior child development and learning major from Cottontown, Tenn.; Adam Diggs, a senior finance/accounting major from Knoxville, Tenn.; Tiffany Hursh, a senior psychology major from Maryville, Tenn.; Ariel Kaylor, a senior psychology major from Memphis, Tenn.; Caroline Kelley, a senior neuroscience (psychology) major from Gallatin, Tenn.; Emily Sessoms Keith, a senior design major from Sevierville, Tenn.; Brianne Sidner, a senior neuroscience (psychology) major from Marietta, Ga.; Rachael Weaver, a senior environmental studies major from Ephrata, Pa.; Taylor Williams, a senior biology major from Old Hickory, Tenn.; and Taylor Youell, a senior child development and learning and finance/accounting double major. 

Community Engagement Awards

Jacob Williams, a senior economics major from Cleveland, Tenn., received the Student Volunteer of the Year award.

The Student Activist of the Year award went to Alan Miramontes-Flores, a senior biochemistry major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Maryville College’s Circle K student organization was recognized with the Building and Strengthening the Human Community Award. The purpose of Circle K is developing college students into a global network of responsible citizens and leaders with a lifelong commitment to service. 

The Staff/Faculty Volunteer of the Year award went to Randy Lambert, who recently retired from a nearly 40-year career as head coach of the Maryville College men’s basketball team

Blount Memorial Hospital was recognized as the Community Agency Partner of the Year.

MC Ambassador Awards

Maryville College’s Admissions Office recognized outstanding leadership in its Ambassador program, which trains current students to give tours, assist with special events and represent the campus community to prospective students and their families and other guests to the campus.

The First-Year Spirit of the Ambassador Award went to Diamond Cronan, a sophomore history and theatre studies major from Cleveland, Tenn.

The Maryville College Ambassador of the Year Award went to Morgan Corso, a senior management major from Loxahatchee, Fla.; Sarah Glenn, a senior biochemistry major from New Tazewell, Tenn.; Alex McCullough, a senior music education (vocal) with teacher licensure major from Lebanon, Tenn.; and Jacob Williams, a senior economics major from Cleveland, Tenn.

The Maryville College Ambassador Outstanding Lifetime Service Award was presented to Mindy Reagan, a senior music education (vocal) with teacher licensure major from Maryville, Tenn. 

International Student Leader Award

Katherine Zacapa, a senior international business and international studies double major from Knoxville, Tenn., received the International Student Leader of the Year Award.

Highland Leadership Program

Eight students were recognized for their participation in the Highland Leadership Program: Lizbeth Galan, a junior neuroscience (psychology) major from Knoxville, Tenn.; Madison Hemphill, a freshman political science major from Knoxville, Tenn.; Kelly Hernandez, a freshman engineering major from Nashville, Tenn.; Amanda Hubbard, a freshman biochemistry major from Knoxville, Tenn.; Grace Kidd, a freshman sociology major from Oneida, Tenn.; Cailin Lampe, a sophomore child development and learning major from Goodlettsville, Tenn.; Julianna Saah, a sophomore political science and sociology double major from Knoxville, Tenn.; and Edith Villalobos, a freshman finance/accounting major from Seymour, Tenn.

The Highland Leadership Program is an empowering experience for students who are new to Maryville College that engages them in leadership development, critical thinking, self-reflection and teamwork.

Religious Life Service Awards

The Charles and Mary Ensign Scholarship, which recognizes students’ contributions to the religious life of the campus, was presented to three seniors: Adam Diggs, a senior finance/accounting major from Knoxville, Tenn.; Mindy Reagan, a senior music education (vocal) with teacher licensure major from Maryville, Tenn.; and Ian Schomer, a senior mathematics major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Ariel Kaylor, a senior psychology major from Memphis, Tenn., received the Harold Love Award for Outstanding Community Service. The state-wide award, established by the Tennessee State General Assembly, recognizes students, faculty and staff across the state who have engaged in exemplary community service. Kaylor will be recognized during an award ceremony in Nashville this month.

The Tennessee Volunteer Star Award seeks to recognize outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Each year, one youth and one adult is selected for the award, and Tiffany Hursh, a senior psychology major from Maryville, Tenn., was selected for this honor. She was recognized during an award ceremony held in February in Nashville.

The East Tennessee Volunteer Award is a regional recognition of people who have given significant volunteer time and energy to help people in need in our area. Tatyania Watts, a junior American Sign Language-English Interpreting major from Lithonia, Ga., was named as a finalist for the award.

Diversity Awards

The Nancy Smith Wright Unity Award, named for the first African-American to graduate from Maryville College following reintegration, went to the Black Student Alliance. The award recognizes an individual or organization that consistently demonstrates unity through diversity within the Maryville College community and beyond.

Tatyania Watts, a junior American Sign Language-English Interpreting major from Lithonia, Ga., was honored with the Sojourner Truth Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in a Maryville College female student of color.

Aaron Solomon, a junior management major from Katy, Texas, accepted the College's W.E.B. DuBois Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in a Maryville College male student of color.

The Spirit of the Tartan Award, which recognizes campus partners whose work positively reflects inclusive excellence and impacts student success on campus, went to Dr. Crystal Colter, MC professor of psychology and assistant dean for retention and the first year.

Student Development Awards

The Outstanding First-Year Leader Award went to Austin Williamson, a physical education and health for K-12 teacher licensure major from Townsend, Tenn. 

Jordan Dopp, a biochemistry major from LaFollette, Tenn., was awarded the Outstanding Sophomore Leader Award.

Zachary Plants, a junior religion major from Rome, Ga., received the Outstanding Junior Leader Award.

Dagen Pointer, a sophomore English with teacher licensure major from Memphis, Tenn., earned the Sharon A. Murphy Crane Award, which recognizes a rising junior or senior who is an active participant in the College theatre and/or student programming activities, and who deeply loves the College and is willing to raise issues intended to benefit the entire campus community.

Doniqua Flack, MC student programming advisor and resident director, was named Student Organization Advisor of the Year. The award recognizes the advisor who has enabled his or her organization to reach its goals and make a significant contribution to student activities at Maryville College.

MC’s Global Citizenship Organization (GCO) was named Student Organization of the Year. The award is presented to the student organization that has made a significant contribution to student activities at Maryville College.

Flickr Album: Leadership Awards 2019


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 2019 semester is 1,148.