2018 Academic and Leadership Awards Ceremonies recognize Maryville College students

An annual celebration of scholarship and academic achievement, Maryville College’s 2018 Academic Awards Ceremony took place on April 21. Held within the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theater in the Clayton Center for the Arts, a grand total of 53 awards were given out among 62 students of various class levels.

Core Curriculum:

There were four senior recipients of the Liberal Arts Award: Cara Coleman, Kameron Graves, Jenna Hunt and Kathleen Staller. This award recognizes each student as having maintained the highest grade point average in all of Maryville College’s core courses.

Behavioral Sciences:

This year the David H. Briggs Award, one that recognizes a senior psychology major who has exhibited the best academic performance within psychology based on in-class performance, overall scholarship and grade point average, was presented to Kristie Lee.

An award which is given to a senior child development and learning major who has displayed great ability with children along with outstanding performance in the major and general scholarship as exemplified by grade point average, the Child Development Award, was presented to Kerigan Hartline.

This year, the Irma Young Outstanding Senior Award in Interpreting recognized two students: Sarah Gregory and Brooklynn Stallsmith. Presentation of this award is based on each student’s demonstration of excellent potential in interpreting by performance and scholarship.

Given to a senior neuroscience major who has shown the best academic achievement in neuroscience based on classroom performance, overall scholarship, and grade point average, Eddie Small, Jr. was presented with the Neuroscience Award.


Lillian Marttala was given the Phi Epsilon Rho Scholarship Award, which is presented to a rising senior in physical education or recreation who has shown great leadership on campus and in departmental activities and professional organizations all while maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

The Exercise Science, Physical Education, Health & Outdoor Recreation Outstanding Senior Award, which recognizes a graduating senior with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 who has also served as a great role model in both classroom and community with additional involvement in professional organizations, was awarded to Jacqueline Eul.

Senior Sydni Elkins received the Outstanding Student Teacher in the Elementary Grades award, while senior Madalyn Carpenter received the Outstanding Student Teacher in the Secondary Grades award.

Fine Arts:

The Barraclough Choir Award is given to a student who has been a member of the Maryville College Choir for at least two years has been outstanding in their service to the choir. Senior Ethan Morrison was presented with this award.

Jennings Kelley was the recipient of the Bates Forensic Drama Award, which is given to the most outstanding senior in drama.

This year the Clark Family Prize was presented to four students: Savannah Bain, Evan Gambill, Grace Gordon and myself, Lauren McCarter. The award is given to rising juniors or seniors who have shown outstanding academic and artistic achievement.

Junior Anna Dieter was awarded the Evelyn Seedorf Prize in Dramatic Arts, which annually recognizes the most deserving student with a theatre major.

The Sarah Hardrath Kramer Art History Award was awarded to senior design major Brandi Payne for her excellent achievements, while senior LaKwan Bain was presented the Robert Bonham Music Faculty Award for exhibiting superior performance.  

Presented to a senior majoring in theatre who has shown excellent achievement within the field, the Outstanding Senior Theatre Student Award was accepted by Jenna Hunt.


An award given to a graduating senior who has displayed the most ability within the study of religion or philosophy, the Bates Bible Award was presented to Marshall Dillon Carpenter.

Kaitlyn Carringer was the recipient of this year’s Frank A. Kramer Student Award, which recognizes a junior majoring in history who has shown excellent academic achievement, outstanding service to the college, and notable involvement in extracurricular activities.

The Otto P. Pflanze History Award was presented to two students this year: seniors Madalyn Carpenter and Jordan McCullough. This award is given to students who demonstrate excellence in history.

Danielle O’Brien was awarded the Verton M. Queener Award in History, which recognizes outstanding study of American and English history by a junior student.

Languages & Literature

The Alexander English Prize is given to a student who has achieved the best four-year record in studying English. This year it was awarded to senior Rachel Resciniti.

Presented to junior David Peters, the Charlotta Cook Hensley Memorial Award recognizes a student who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in combination with significant involvement as a staff member of “The Highland Echo.”

The Edwin R. Hunter Award for Excellence in research in English or American Literature is given to a senior who has produced the most outstanding senior study in English or American Literature. Janelle Piper was this year’s recipient.

Given to a junior majoring in English who has shown excellent academic achievement, outstanding service to the college, and significant involvement in extracurricular activities, the Ruth Lloyd Kramer Student Award was presented to Megan Wright.

The campus’ literary magazine, “Impressions,” recognized magazine contributors as well. Senior Sherilyn Smith received the Best Art or Photography award, senior Albrianna Jenkins was awarded Best Poetry, and junior Megan Wright received Best Prose.

Eight students were recognized for outstanding achievement in the study of a foreign language. Senior Cara Coleman and freshman Dawson Hope were both recognized for their achievements in French. Leah Hensley was honored for her work in German.

For excellent achievement in Japanese, juniors Shane Byerley, Amber Vickers, and Katherine Zacapa were each recognized. Junior Bryce Dills was honored for his achievements in Latin, and senior Yasmeen Chan was recognized for her accomplishments in Spanish.

The Spanish Major Award is given to a student with a Spanish major who has shown the best academic performance based on in class performance, scholarship overall, study abroad experience, and grade point average. Junior Colleen Nordstrom was the recipient this year.

The Spanish Minor Award, which is given to a student with a Spanish minor who has demonstrated the best academic performance based on classroom performance, scholarship, study abroad experience, and grade point average, was awarded to senior Grace Costa.

Mathematics & Computer Science:

Given to two senior students this year, Joshua Metcalf and Ian Schomer, the Russell N. and Frances Lane Edwards and Troy Bell Lane Waggoner Award recognizes outstanding students in the department of mathematics and computer science.

The George A. Knapp Mathematics Award goes to the most outstanding and most promising junior or senior student with a major in mathematics. This year it was given to senior Nicasio Velez.

There were two recipients of the West Chevrolet Academic Award: sophomore Cassandra Clements and freshman Daniel Hernandez. This award is given to students who score within the top 10 in the mathematics competition, which is held through the college’s division of Mathematics and Computer Science.  

Sophomore Christopher Fernandez was presented with the William H. Dent Calculus Award for demonstrating the most excellent performance in calculus.

Senior Evan Ezell was given two similar awards. He received both the Jerry Pietenpol Computer Science Award for most outstanding and promising student majoring in computer science along with the Outstanding Achievement in Statistics Award.

Natural Sciences:

Annually given to the most outstanding junior or senior biology major, the Susan Allen Green Award was presented to junior Kathryn Maley this year.

For her achievement of an outstanding four-year record in the study of biology, senior Molly Hamant was recognized with the A. Randolf Shields Award.

The Robert K. Godfrey Freshman Biology Award is given to a student who has shown excellence in the study of biology during his or her first year. Anevay Nichol was presented this award.

The Sophomore Biology Award is given to a student who has shown outstanding ability and promise within the biological sciences. Megan Houston was this year’s recipient.

Recognizing a woman from the junior class who has shown excellence in the study of chemistry, the Elizabeth Hillman Award was accepted by Katelyn Moats.

Anastasia Dunn was given the Outstanding Performance in General Chemistry Award, while the Outstanding Performance in Organic Chemistry Award was presented to two students: juniors Christopher Fraley and Megan Houston.

This year, Kathleen Staller was awarded the Distinguished Achievement in Chemistry Award, which recognizes a senior who has demonstrated the most outstanding accomplishments in chemistry.

Social Sciences:

The Agnes Thornton Bird Award is given to a locally residing sophomore or junior woman with an interest in pursuing a career within the legal profession. Sophomore Maria Vanegas was this year’s recipient.

Awarded to senior Joshua Anderson, the John W. Burgess Award is presented to a student who has displayed honorable achievement in the field of political science.

The Judson B. Murphy Endowed Business Award was given to two students this year: Jerod Dickey and Kameron Graves. This award is presented annually to seniors who have demonstrated excellent work in business and organization management with outstanding character, well-rounded achievement, and promise of career.  

Presented to an outstanding local student with a major in business, the Kyle and Roberta Myers Petree Endowed Award was accepted by junior Jordan Berry.

The Outstanding Senior Award in Economics, which is awarded annually to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding work in economics, excellent character, and promise of career, was presented to Patrick Messinger.

Additional Awards:

Junior Leanna Beeler was recipient of the Ryan Newhouse Award, which is given to a junior or senior who typifies the finest characteristics of liberal arts by unifying fields of business with humanities or fine arts in his or her academic life, personal growth, and values.

The Outstanding International Student Award is given to a senior who has been a student of the college for one academic year, has a GPA of at least 3.5, and demonstrated leadership in and out of class. This year’s recipient was Shintaro Kurachi of Nisshin, Japan.

Kathleen Staller was also this year’s recipient of the prestigious LeQuire Award, which is given to a student who has decided on medicine as a career goal. It is meant to help with the expenses that come with applying to medical school.

Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award:

Jordan McCullough, a history major, was named this year’s Outstanding Senior. One of the most prestigious honors a student could receive, the award recognizes a senior who exemplifies the “ideal” Maryville College graduate, has been active in a range of activities, and shows great potential to become an outstanding alumnus. Other nominees for this award included: Sarah Gregory, Jenna Hunt, Byjan Kajaei and Corrinne McClure.

The 2018 Academic Awards Ceremony also took a moment to recognize honor society members, with a total of 97 students inducted this year. Societies recognized included: Alpha Gamma Sigma, the national honor society of seniors; Alpha Psi Omega, national theatre honor society; Alpha Sigma Lambda, Zeta Phi chapter; Kappa Delta Pi, international honor society in education; Phi Alpha Theta, history honor society; Psi Chi, national honor society in psychology; Sigma Delta Phi, a national honor fraternity for outstanding work in Spanish; and Sigma Tau Delta, national English honor society.


On Thursday, April 26, many students and several faculty were also honored at the Leadership Awards Ceremony for exhibiting various qualities of leadership and positive demonstration.

Non-Profit Leadership Alliance:

Senior Hannah Kirby received the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s Outstanding Student Award. The alliance also recognized seniors Liz Menendez, Albrianna Jenkins, Jennings Kelley, Hannah Kirby, Sammi Pamfil, Haleigh Smith, Josh Smith and Sarah Smith with a Certified Nonprofit Professional credential.

Community Engagement Awards:

The Harold Love Outstanding Community Involvement award was given to senior Molly Ridegeway, while sophomore Tatyania Watts received the Spirit of Service/student Volunteer of the Year Award. The Student Activist of the Year award recognized sophomore Aaron Solomon.

Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Fine Arts Division, Dr. Adrienne Schwarte was named Staff/Faculty Volunteer of the Year, while Amelia Geis-Scott, food-service director at a local Presbyterian church, was recognized as Community Agency Representative of the Year.

The student organization Peace and World Concerns was awarded the Building and Strengthening the Human Community Award.

MC Ambassador Awards:

Both junior Anna Dieter and sophomore Aaron Solomon were recognized with The First-Year Spirit of the Ambassador Award, while four other students accepted the MC Ambassadors of the Year Award: senior Sarah Glenn, junior Juwan Hill, junior Alex McCullough, and senior Mindy Reagan.

Seniors Jordan McCullough and Molly Hamant were both presented the Outstanding Lifetime Service Award.

The Highland Leadership Program, specifically meant to aid first- year students in developing leadership skills, recognized eight students for their participation: Jinming Chen, Meridith Daffron, Nancy Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Benajmin Kamden-Talom, Margaret Nielsen, Claire Willenbrink and Autumn Phillips.

Multicultural Service Awards:

International Leader of the Year went to junior Claudia Pires, while junior Danaya Randolph was recipient of the Sojourner Truth Award, which is given to a female student of color with outstanding leadership. Sophomore Aaron Solomon received the W.E.B. DuBois Award, which recognizes a male student of color who shows outstanding leadership.

The Black Student Alliance was given the Nancy Smith Wright Unity Award, which recognizes an individual or organization for consistently demonstrating unity through diversity within the community.

Religious Life Awards:

Seniors Grace Plemmons and Sarah Gregory were recognized for their role in religious life on campus with the Charles and Mary Ensign Scholarship.

Residence Life Awards:

Resident Assistant of the Year went to junior Cassidy Mahan, while the Resident Life Outstanding Service Award was given to senior Alexis Black.

Spirit of the Covenant Award:

Several students and faculty members were recipients of MC’s Spirit of the Covenant Award: Dr. Terry Simpson, Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, Dr. Jesse Smith, and seniors Alexis Black, Molly Hamant and Ian Schomer,

Student Development Awards:

The Outstanding Freshman Leader Award was given to Margaret Nielsen, and the Outstanding Sophomore Leader Award was received by Aaron Solomon. Jacob Williams was recipient of the Outstanding Junior Leader Award.

The Sharon A. Murphy Crane Award was given to senior Ginnylyne Guisadio. This award recognizes a student who actively participates in theatre or student programming activities.

Admissions counselor and multicultural recruitment coordinator, Jerica Johnson received Student Organization Advisor of the Year, while MC’s Black Student Alliance was named Student Development’s Organization of the Year.

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