Maryville College students receive 2020 Academic Awards

Maryville College students receive 2020 Academic Awards

April 11, 2020

More than 70 students have been recognized with 64 academic awards for the 2019-20 school year.

The awards are typically given out during the Academic Awards Ceremony, held every April in the Clayton Center for the Arts; however, the ceremony, along with other campus-sponsored events scheduled through May 31, were cancelled, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, awards are being mailed to the student recipients.

“We take enormous satisfaction in the accomplishments of these Maryville College students,” said Dr. Daniel Klingensmith, vice president and dean of the College. “In a normal year, one of the highlights for me is presiding over the Academic Awards ceremony and calling out the names of each award winner, so I’m really disappointed that we can’t observe this annual tradition this year. Even still, though we can’t confer these awards in person, we can still give them. We are delighted to honor the special commitment of these students 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.”

Below is a list of awards given and students recognized in all nine academic divisions, core curriculum and other departments.

Core Curriculum

The Glenn Hewitt Award in Ethics is given to the student demonstrating the most outstanding work in Ethics 490. The student’s name is engraved on a permanent plaque displayed in Anderson Hall. This year’s recipient is Zachary Bible, a senior philosophy and religion double-major from Lebanon, Tenn.

For earning the highest grade point average in all core courses taken at Maryville College, four seniors received the Liberal Arts Award: Brooke Denney, a math with teacher licensure major from Seymour, Tenn.; Megan Houston, a biochemistry major from Maryville, Tenn.; Allison Parton, a theatre studies with teacher licensure major from Knoxville, Tenn.; and Brenna Tipton, an English with teacher licensure major from Louisville, 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, Elizabeth Coyle, a psychology (counseling) major from Louisville, Ky., was honored.

Abigail Tonos of Knoxville, Tenn., received the Neuroscience Award, which acknowledges 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, went to Hannah Clothier of Knoxville, Tenn., and Julie Hardin of Seymour, 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 Amanda Matthews, psychology and American Sign Language-English Interpreting double major from Newburgh, N.Y.

Bronte Taylor, a senior American Sign Language-Deaf Studies major from Maryville, Tenn., received the American Sign Language (ASL) Outstanding Senior Award, which is awarded to a senior ASL major who has demonstrated high competence with ASL as indicated by ASL performance and scholarship.

Education

The Outstanding Student Teacher in the Elementary Grades Award was given to senior Regan Walczyk, a child development and learning for teacher licensure major from Alcoa, Tenn.

Brenna Tipton, a senior English with teacher licensure major from Louisville, Tenn., received the Outstanding Student Teacher in the Secondary Grades Award.

Fine Arts

The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts scholarships are awarded annually to two junior or senior students majoring in art or design, and covers tuition, room and board, and art supplies for a weeklong intensive workshop at that prestigious school in Gatlinburg. This year’s recipients are Chloe Melton, a junior art major from Crossville, Tenn., and Christen Watson, a junior design major from Wartburg, Tenn.

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 two students: Robby Clemens, a music major from Maryville, Tenn., and Lindsey Lively, a music education (vocal) with teacher licensure major from Pikeville, Tenn.

Bailee Burleson, a criminal justice major from Knoxville, Tenn., received the Bates Forensics Drama Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding senior in drama.

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: Chloe Melton, a junior art major from Crossville, Tenn.; Caroline Hood, a junior art major from Seymour, Tenn.; and Alyssa Kral, a junior design and marketing double major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Diamond Cronan, a junior history and theatre studies double major from Cleveland, Tenn., received the Evelyn Seedorf Prize in Dramatic Arts, which goes annually to the most deserving student majoring in theatre.

For outstanding achievement in art history, Bill Tate, a senior art major from Maryville, Tenn., was recognized with the Sarah Hardrath Kramer Art History Award.

Brianna Bakoledis, a senior music education (vocal) with teacher licensure major from Clarkesville, Ga., received the Robert Bonham Music Faculty Award for Superior Performance.

Allison Parton, a senior theatre studies with teacher licensure major from Knoxville, Tenn., took home the Outstanding Senior Theatre Student Award, which is presented to the graduating senior theatre major who has demonstrated the most outstanding achievement in the major field. 

Lauren McCarter of Seymour, Tenn., received the Outstanding Senior Design Student Award, which is awarded to the graduating senior design major who has demonstrated the most outstanding achievement in the major field. 

Health Sciences & Outdoor Studies

Meagan Eiselstein, an exercise science major from Hixson, Tenn., was awarded the Phi Epsilon Rho Scholarship Award. The award goes to a rising senior in Health Sciences & Outdoor Studies who has at least a 3.0 GPA and has exhibited leadership in campus and departmental activities and in professional organizations.

Savanna Gregory, an exercise science major from Maryville, Tenn., received the Health Sciences & Outdoor Studies Outstanding Senior Award. This award recognizes a graduating senior in Health Sciences & Outdoor Studies who has at least a 3.5 GPA, serves as role model in the classroom and community and is involved in professional organizations.

Humanities

Jonathan Bates, a senior philosophy major from Hilham, Tenn., received the T.T. Alexander Award, which is given to a student with the best paper on a subject from one of the following areas: the relationship of philosophical or theological inquiry to social issues; the application of such inquiry to social issues; the consequences of social, theological or philosophical problems on religious doctrine; the consequences of religious doctrine upon social, political or economic thinking or social science method; or the consequence of religious doctrine upon social, political or economic issues and conflicts.

Natalie Tankersley, a 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.

Eleanor Forester, who is from Memphis, 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.

Brinley Knowles, a senior history and writing communication double major from Marietta, Ga., received the Otto P. Pflanze Prize for Excellence in History.

The Verton M. Queener Award for History went to Brylie Mays, a history major from Crossville, 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, Brenna Tipton, an English with teacher licensure major from Louisville, Tenn., was awarded the Alexander English Prize.

Katie Conner, a junior writing communication major from Maryville, 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 2020 recipient is Jordan Stafford, a junior writing communication major from Kennesaw, Ga.

Megan Wright Robertson received 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.

Impressions, MC’s campus literary magazine, presented awards to magazine contributors. The award for best art or photography went to Hannah-Rose Libby, a senior environmental studies major from Knoxville, Tenn.; the award for best poetry went to Grace Mathews, a junior writing communication and theatre studies double-major from Lebanon, Tenn.; and the award for best prose went to Eliza Komisar, a senior literature in English major from Dickson, Tenn.

Nine students were recognized for outstanding achievement in foreign language study.

Emilee Fowler, a freshman child development and learning with teacher licensure major from Andersonville, Tenn., was honored for outstanding achievement in French.

Three students were recognized for outstanding achievement in German: Rachel Neal, a sophomore biology major from Cullman, Ala.; Michael Hall, a senior international business major from Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; and Joshua Campbell, a sophomore criminal justice major from Cookeville, Tenn.

The award for outstanding achievement in Italian went to Autumn Carroll, a freshman psychology major from Benton, Tenn.

The award for outstanding achievement in Japanese went to Andy Kelley, a freshman history with teacher licensure major from Powell, Tenn.

Recognition for achievements in Latin went to two students: Sydnee Hansraj, a freshman from Knoxville, Tenn., and Danielle MacDonald, a freshman history major from Alcoa, Tenn.

Brandon Spurlock, a sophomore religion major from Maryville, Tenn., was recognized for outstanding achievement in Spanish.

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 major Allison Spurlock of Maryville, Tenn.

Maria Vanegas, a senior political major from Kingston, Tenn., was the 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

Anevay Nichol, a junior mathematics major from Cambridge Springs, Pa., is the recipient of the Russell N. and Frances Lane Edwards and Troy Bell Lane Waggoner Award. The award is presented to the most outstanding junior or senior in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

The George A. Knapp Mathematics Award, which goes to the most outstanding and most promising junior or senior student majoring in mathematics, went to two students: senior mathematics and computer science double-major Chris Fernandez of Maryville, Tenn., and senior mathematics major Luke Koch from Loudon, Tenn.

DJ Cooper, a sophomore business analytics major from Maryville, Tenn., was awarded the West Chevrolet Academic Award, which recognizes a student who scores in a top 10 on the mathematics competition conducted by Maryville College’s Division of Mathematics & Computer Science or to an outstanding freshman or sophomore from Blount, Loudon or Sevier County majoring in the division.

Reese Pugh, a sophomore engineering major from Maryville, Tenn., received 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 mathematics and computer science double major Chris Fernandez of Maryville, Tenn.

Tyler Lee, a senior mathematics and business analytics double-major from Gallatin, Tenn., received the Outstanding Achievement in Statistics Award.

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 went to Kelsey Birchfield, a junior biology major from Knoxville, Tenn.

The A. Randolf Shields Award, which recognizes the graduating senior who has the most outstanding four-year record in biology, went to Shannon Reagan, a biology major from Tullahoma, Tenn.

Samantha Stacey, a biology major from Springfield, Tenn., received the Robert K. Godfrey Freshman Biology Award for demonstrated excellence in the study of biology in the first year.

Rachel Neal of Cullman, Ala., received the Sophomore Biology Award for outstanding ability and promise in the biological sciences.

Recognized as a woman in the junior class who shows excellence in the study of chemistry, biochemistry major Julia Warrick of Cleveland, Tenn., was awarded the Elizabeth Hillman Award.

The award for Outstanding Performance in General Chemistry was given to Pero Juriel Brittz, a freshman neuroscience major from Kingsport, Tenn.

The Outstanding Performance in Organic Chemistry Award, which recognizes outstanding ability in the study of organic chemistry and structural analysis, went to two students: Ben Walker, a sophomore chemistry and biochemistry double-major from Maryville, Tenn., and Kayla Zimmerman, a junior biochemistry major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Recognized as the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most outstanding accomplishments in chemistry, Brock Hodges, a biochemistry major from Gallatin, Tenn., was awarded the Distinguished Achievement in Chemistry Award.

Social Sciences

The Agnes Thornton Bird Award, which is given to a locally residing sophomore or junior woman interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession, was given to sophomore political science and history double major Madison Hemphill of Knoxville, Tenn.

The John W. Burgess Award for meritorious achievement in the field of political science went to Sammy Zeino, a senior political science major from Crossville, Tenn.

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, went to two students: Jordan Berry, a finance/accounting major from Knoxville, Tenn., and Katherine Zacapa, an international business and international studies double-major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The Kyle and Roberta Myers Petree Endowed Award is given to an outstanding local student majoring in business. The 2020 recipients are Alli-Grace Gilstrap, a freshman international business major from Knoxville, Tenn., and Caden Harbin, a junior management major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Zach Cardwell, a finance/accounting and economics double major from Alcoa, Tenn., received the Outstanding Senior Award in Economics, which is awarded to the senior student demonstrating outstanding work in economics, outstanding character, well-rounded achievement and career promise.

The Hall “Ethical Thinking” Award recognizes a member of the junior class whose creative or practical essay on ethical thinking on a particular theme from a variety of perspectives, including historical, literary, theological, psychological and sociological analyses, could be published in a journal or magazine. Two students received the award: Kaelyn Finnegan, a neuroscience and biochemistry double major from Clarksville, Tenn., and Alyssa Kral, a design and marketing double major from Knoxville, Tenn.

Additional Awards

Aaron Solomon, a senior management major from Katy, Texas, and Katelyn Witucki, a junior design and marketing double major from Seymour, Tenn., received 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.

Katherine Zacapa, an international business and international studies double major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was named winner of the Outstanding International Student Award. The award 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 biochemistry major Megan Houston of Maryville, Tenn., received 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

Maria Vanegas, a senior political science major from Kingston, Tenn., was named the 2020 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 Chris Fernandez, a senior mathematics and computer science double major from Maryville, Tenn.; Cameron Moore, a senior biology major from Clinton, Tenn.; Kelley Wandell, a senior political science major from Powell, Tenn.; and Katherine Zacapa, an international business and international studies double major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The finalists were introduced on social media during the week leading up to the award announcement. The social media announcements included brief videos of the nominating faculty members introducing the finalists (see videos below).

 
 
 
 

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”