MC recognizes staff members’ service at virtual event

MC recognizes staff members’ service at virtual event

Aug. 25, 2020

Maryville College’s 27th annual Staff Recognition Awards ceremony was held Aug. 25 to provide an opportunity for MC staff, faculty and administrators to welcome new employees, recognize outstanding service and congratulate staff members for milestone years of service. For the first time, this event was held virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is held every August to honor staff for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service. A total of 40 staff members were recognized for milestone years.

The virtual event started with a prayer of invocation led by Campus Minister Rev. Dr. Anne McKee.

Caroline Stuart, Staff Council Chair for 2020-21, recognized those employees starting, completing and serving terms on Staff Council.

In his remarks, Maryville College President Dr. Bryan Coker – who began his tenure at MC on July 1 – expressed his gratitude for the College’s dedicated staff members.

“You all are the backbone of this college – we literally could not open each day and successfully function without you,” Coker said. “In recent months, we certainly could not have successfully functioned without you all. COVID-19 has presented unique challenges like none of us have seen previously in our careers, or for that matter, in our lifetimes. … Please know how thankful I am for each of you, and for all you do for this wonderful college.”

Employees recognized for milestone anniversaries

The following staff members were recognized for five years of service: Josh Anderson, wellness coordinator; Scott Brumett, assistant football coach; Chris Cannon, assistant sports information director; Reggie Dailey, director of the physical plant; Nelson Fleming, housekeeper; Amy Gilliland, director of community engagement; Erin Halcott, career consultant; Clint Helton, head baseball coach; Jeff Ingle, vice president for finance and administration; Leah Kelley, head softball coach; Kelly Massenzo, associate director of admissions; Saij Miller-Wildsmith, executive assistant to the vice president and dean of the College; Mike Rogers, painter-boiler attendant; and Lisa Vitale, assistant registrar.

The following staff members were recognized for 10 years of service: Ahmed Abdelrahman, assistant director of international admissions and recruiting; Noah Bowman, assistant director for learning services; Cheri Compton, director of marketing, Clayton Center for the Arts; Chloe Kennedy, assistant director of communications; Christen Khym, equestrian team director; Mary King, custodial services manager; Brian Phillips, Clayton Center business manager; James Reese, part-time assistant baseball coach; Darrin Travillian, head women’s basketball coach; and Kathi Wilson, registrar.

The following staff members were recognized for 15 years of service: Alayne Bowman, vice president for admissions and financial aid; Marina Jaffe, circulation coordinator; Micki Pruitt, office manager, Center for International Education; Kirsten Sheppard, director of international education; and Kent West, pump and piping mechanic.

The following staff members were recognized for 20 years of service at the College: Yosef Addis, security officer; and Jon Baker, assistant head men’s and women’s soccer coach.

Richard Henderson, HVAC specialist, was recognized for 25 years of service to the College.

Members of the College’s 25+ Year Club were recognized. They included: Larry Ervin, director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion; Eric Etchison, assistant athletic director for communications; Vivian Hill, office manager, residence life; and Belinda Kenny, director of corporate sales and events.

Members of the College’s 30+ Year Club also were recognized. They included: Pepe Fernandez, head men’s and women’s soccer coach; Bruce Guillaume, director of Mountain Challenge; Kay Pritchett, student accounts manager and cashier; and Kandis Schram, athletic director and head volleyball coach.

Three recognized for outstanding service

Coker recognized three staff members who had been selected for outstanding service during the 2020-21 academic year. There were 48 nominations total, and Coker recognized the nominees for each award. 

Saij Miller-Wildsmith, executive assistant to the vice president and dean of the College, was named winner of the Nancy B. Hunter Outstanding Staff Award. The award is named in honor of an employee who was noted for both her long tenure and her ability to keep the office running smoothly while her supervisor was traveling for the College. Nancy held the position of secretary to the president of the College for 28 years. Nancy’s influence and love of reading spilled to the community through her support of the Blount County Friends of the Library and the AAUW’s annual book fair.

Erin Johnson, director of financial aid, was presented the Martha Hess Outstanding Administrator Award. The award is named in honor of alumna and former Registrar to the College for more than 30 years. Martha’s attention to detail in all aspects of her work and her dedication to the College is renowned. Her knowledge of the institution, its history and people, is now put to good use in her post-retirement position as College History Collection Coordinator.

Russ Porter, web manager, was recognized with the Sharon Murphy Crane Distinguished Service Award. The award is named in honor of an employee whose spirit of service and commitment to the general good of the College was unmatched. Sharon, an alumna of MC, held the position of director of student life for eight years, but her service reached far beyond her title to include theatre productions, creation of the 100 Days Celebration for seniors and the naming of Isaac’s Café.


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.”