Katelyn Moats honored with LeQuire Award

Katelyn Moats honored with LeQuire Award

April 16, 2019 

Katelyn Moats ’19, a biochemistry major from Maryville, Tenn., was presented the distinguished LeQuire Award during Maryville College’s Academic Awards Ceremony held April 6, 2019 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. Tom Bogart, who presented the award, Moats’s impressive work in the classroom was recognized at the ceremony last year, but “her aptitude and attitude for science has been evident to faculty members for much longer.”  

“In fact, it was as a sophomore that tonight’s LeQuire Award winner was selected by a chemistry professor to become a lab assistant,” the president said. “The professor wrote this in a nominating letter: ‘Throughout that entire year, I observed how she has an extremely high work ethic, the ability to adapt to new challenges, even when those challenges are difficult and painful, and that she has a natural curiosity and love of learning. … I felt that she would be a natural choice to become a lab assistant in my organic chemistry course, to help students struggling with learning independently in lab for the first time and dealing with the underlying anxiety and fear of making a mistake. She’s an excellent person for this role because she shows them that it’s OK to make a mistake, as long as you learn how to improve it in the future - a mentality that is essential to becoming a scientist.”

During her time at MC, Moats has been active in the Student Government Association and the Maryville College Concert Choir. With her eye on a career in medicine, she has volunteered in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital.

Last summer, she was awarded a Ledford Scholarship valued at $8,500 to study cancer immunotherapy in a drug synthesis lab at the Medical University of South Carolina. That work appeared in her Senior Study involving experimental drugs for pancreatic and glioblastoma cancers, which she presented April 5 at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on campus.

“Her advisor said she is not a ‘stamp collector’ – someone who just shows up without concern or motivation to make a meaningful contribution. He wrote: ‘She chooses exactly how much time she is willing to give, and gives her all to the things she chooses to do,’” Bogart said. “We at Maryville College have no doubt that this student will give her all in medical school and then, as a physician (perhaps a surgeon). We have no doubt that she’ll continue to learn. We have no doubt that she’ll practice medicine with a compassionate and sympathetic heart.”

She is the daughter of Kenneth and Kathleen Moats of Maryville, Tenn., and a 2015 graduate of Alcoa 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 2019 semester is 1,148.