Anup Kaphle '07 tells students about how he came to Tusculum from his native Nepal and how persistence helped him achieve his career dreams.
Student excellence in academics and service were recognized during Tusculum College’s annual Honors Convocation Thursday, April 19.
The two top honors for students presented by the College are the President’s Award and the Bruce G. Batts Award. JohnDavid Howard, of Perry, Ga., was presented the President’s Award and Yu Wen Steven Lin of Hilton Head, S.C., was presented the Bruce G. Batts Award.
Students were also addressed by Anup Kaphle, a 2007 graduate of Tusculum. Kaphle, who now works at The Washington Post, told the students about his life coming from Nepal to study in the United States and follow his dream to become a journalist. He encouraged the students to be persistent and work diligently to meet their goals.
JohnDavid "J.D." Howard, pictured with Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, was the President's Award recipient for 2012.
The President’s Award is presented to the graduating senior who has contributed the most to the College and who has been the most outstanding achiever in the combined areas of academic work, athletics, campus leadership and personality. The selection is made on the basis of the student’s total four-year record at Tusculum.
In presenting the award, Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody said that Howard “has made an impact on the Tusculum College community, giving his best whether he is in the classroom, on the athletic field or serving in campus organizations.”
Howard, who is an accounting and economics major, is a member of Tusculum College’s President’s Society and the Business Club, for which he serves as treasurer. He was named Student of the Block in February 2011 and has participated in the Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day and is a volunteer at Perry Presbyterian Church in Georgia.
He has excelled academically, earning the 2009 Tusculum Academic Freshman of the Year for highest grade point average. He has been named to the President’s List, the Dean’s List and the Charles Oliver Gray Honors List. He was named to the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was a Warren Lynn Drain Award recipient, an award that recognizes the graduating senior determined to be the most outstanding in business and economics.
Howard has been a member of the Tusculum College baseball team as a relief pitcher since 2010,where he has recorded 32 strike outs.
Steven Lin, at left, was the recipient of the Bruce G. Batts Award. He is presented the award by Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum.
Presented in memory of a beloved educator at Tusculum who helped define the college’s civic arts curricular focus, the Bruce G. Batts Award is presented to a student who clearly demonstrates the qualities that reflect the civic arts ideals.
This year’s recipient, Steven Lin, is a native of Taiwan and a biology major with a pre-medicine concentration and a minor in chemistry. He aspires to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and work with the international program, “Doctors Without Borders” to help others in need. He has been accepted into the dentistry program at the New York University College of Dentistry.
Lin has excelled in his academic performance, his musical talent on the guitar and his athletic accomplishments on the tennis court. He has been a member of the Dean’s List, the Charles Oliver Gray Honors List, the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. He has served as captain of the Tusculum Men’s Tennis Team and was named two times to the All-South Atlantic Conference team and three times has been named an ITA Scholar Athlete. He was also named South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week in 2010.
He is an Emergency Medical Technician for the Greeneville-Greene County Rescue Squad and has served as a volunteer at the Greeneville Boys & Girls Club. He has worked at the Greeneville Soup Kitchen and participated in Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day. He is also an ALS Community Service project volunteer, working to assist the organization to raise money for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research.
Dr. Bill Garris, assistant professor of psychology, was presented the Outstanding Service to Students Award by Dr. Thomas J. Garland.
Also presented were faculty and staff awards whose recipients were selected by student vote. Receiving the Outstanding Service to Students Award, a faculty honor, was Dr. Bill Garris, assistant professor of psychology.
In presenting the award, Dr. Thomas J. Garland, representing the Greene County Partnership, said that Dr. Garris quickly became an active member of the Tusculum community after joining the college in 2008. As director of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Dr. Garris has become a familiar face in promoting the college’s plan to improve students’ problem-solving skills through the use of reflective judgment.
“However, he has not let his additional duties deter him from being a favorite with students on campus,” Garland said. “He always has a welcoming smile for a questioning student and has the distinctive trait of remaining calm even in the face of whatever crisis of the day may be coming.”
Dr. Brandon Conner, left, and Mary Kay Munson were presented Staff Awards by Isiah Lyman, president of the Student Government Assocation.
The Staff Award was presented to Dr. Brandon Conner and Mary Kay Munson. In presenting the award to Conner, Student Government Association (SGA) President Isiah Lyman said that Conner’s “commitment to the students of Tusculum College and his unflagging efforts to help them succeed here has made an impact on many students’ lives.” Conner, who recently earned his doctorate in evangelism and church growth, is the coordinator of entering transfer and freshman services.
In presenting the award to Munson, Lyman said that she “is never too busy to help a student and makes extra efforts to get them on the right track and to find ways to make them successful.” Munson serves as certification officer for the School of Education.
Jennifer Grant was presented the Alpha Chi Excellence Award by Dr. Troy Goodale, faculty sponsor of Tusculum's chapter of the national honor society.
Senior Honor Key Awards were presented to students who have earned a 3.25 grade point average or higher in their major, shown achievement and aptitude in the major, and possess strong character. The following are the award recipients and their degree programs:
Art and Design – Nathan Carver of Crossville, Tenn.;
Accounting – Kirstie Gust of Rutledge, Tenn.;
Athletic Training – Mara Rutherford of Morristown, Tenn.;
Biology – Derek Murrell of Bulls Gap, Tenn.;
Business Administration with a concentration in economics and international business –Taylor Rakes of Norcross, Ga.;
Digital Media – Christopher Burton of Lafollette, Tenn.;
English with a concentration of creative writing – Danielle Armstrong of Blountville, Tenn.;
Wayne Thomas, center, associate professor of English, presented the Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prizes to Justin Reed, left, and Danielle Armstrong. Drew Baker also received an honorable mention in the annual competition.
English with a concentration of journalism and professional writing – Marcus Taylor of Kodak, Tenn.;
English with a concentration of literature – Michelle Hoover of Smyrna, Tenn.;
Environmental Science – Morgan Baese of Chattanooga, Tenn.;
History – Scott Duffy of Afton, Tenn.;
Human Growth and Learning, Early Childhood PreK-3 – Kimberly Carter of Greeneville, Tenn.;
Human Growth and Learning, Elementary Education K-6 – Whitney Duncan of Greeneville, Tenn.;
Mathematics Education, 7-12 – Kaitlyn Morgan of Hartford, Tenn.;
Reba Leedy was presented the Outstanding Education Student Award by Dr. Polly Johnson, assistant professor of education.
Museum Studies – Erika Witt of Roanoke, Va.;
Physical Education – Angie Michaud of Surgoinsville, Tenn.;
Psychology – Jessimine Strauss of Walterboro, S.C.;
Special Education, Modified and Comprehensive – Heather LeMay of Naperville, Ill.;
Sport Management – Justin Steigerwald of Cincinnati, Ohio, and
Sports Science – Chad Shelton of Greeneville, Tenn.
Recognized as Honor Students for having the highest grade point average of their class were:
seniors – Jennifer Grant of Franklin, Tenn., and Derek Murrell of Bulls Gap;
juniors – Ashley N. Sarmiento of Dayton, Ohio; Alex Wiedemann of Rogersville, Tenn., and Luis Zamora of Santiago, Chile, and
Amanda Holt receives the Jean Hixon Memorial Award for the northeast region from Anne Hall, Hixon's sister.
sophomores –Ryan J. Byars of Sevierville, Sarah Clabo of Sevierville, Tenn., and Andrian Fernandopulle of Kochchikade, Sri Lanka, and
freshmen – Nicole Arthur of Brights Grove, Ontario; David Cooper of Greeneville, Tenn., Brian Fisher of Tucker, Ga.; Martin Jorgensen of Beder, Denmark; Staci Knipp of Greeneville, Tenn.; John Landers of Lithonia, Ga.; Haylee Ramsey of Bybee, Tenn.; Danielle Threet of Springfield, Tenn.; and Lukas Winkelmann of Boeblingen, Germany.
Senior members of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society were also recognized. Upperclassmen ranked in the top 10 percent academically of their classmates are invited to join the honor society. Recognized were:
Danielle Armstrong of Blountville, Tenn.;
Kelly Dixon of Chuckey, Tenn.;
Melissa Frazier receives the Jean Hixon Memorial Award for the southeast region from Anne Hall as her husband, James, looks on. The award is named for a long-time College staff member.
Scott Duffy of Afton, Tenn.;
Kirstie Gust of Rutledge, Tenn.;
Kenneth Hill of White Pine, Tenn.;
Michelle Hoover of Smyrna, Tenn.;
JohnDavid Howard of Perry, Ga.;
Katie Kelley of Tellico Plains, Tenn;
Steven Lin of Hilton Head, S.C.;
Derek Murrell of Bulls Gap, Tenn.;
Quyen Nguyen of Greenbrier, Tenn.;
Erica Pomona of Pauline, S.C.;
Taylor Rakes of Norcross, Ga.;
Lucas Shipley of Greeneville, Tenn.;
Jacob Norris receives the Doug Ratledge Environmental Science Scholarship from Dan Barnett, associate professor of chemistry.
Jessimine Strauss of Walterboro, S.C.;
Katy Stuckwish of Friendsville, Tenn.;
David Terrell of Saltillo, Tenn.;
Kayla Watts of Greeneville, Tenn.;
Roxie Whitt of Mooresburg, Tenn.;
Priscilla Wampler of Greeneville, Tenn., and
Abigail Wolfenbarger of New Market, Tenn.
The Alpha Chi Academic Excellence Award, which honors the highest academically ranked member of the junior class, was presented to Jennifer Grant of Franklin, Tenn.
The Psi Chi psychology honor society was established this year at Tusculum College. Students must be a psychology major or minor and be in the top 35 percent of their respective class. In announcing the students, Dr. Bill Garris said that many of the students not only excel in the classroom but have conducted research and presented their findings at conferences. Students recognized included:
Patrick Orr, left, and Jabari Bunch received the Theatre Award from Marilyn duBrisk, director of Arts Outreach.
Robert Arrowood of Unicoi, Tenn.;
Kate Barford of Alpharetta, Ga.;
Joy Beeler of New Tazewell, Tenn.;
Ashley Fritz of Duffield, Va.;
Megan Gililland of Knoxville, Tenn.;
Jennifer Grant of Franklin, Tenn.;
Paige Hudson of Hixson, Tenn.;
Kayla Jones of Jonesborough, Tenn.;
Theodore Oing of Hixson, Tenn.;
April Poitras of Chuckey, Tenn.;
Alyson Pugh of Harrisburg, Pa.;
Joshua Davis receives the David Behan Award for his contributions to the Theatre-at-Tusculum from duBrisk.
Laura Rees of Kingsport, Tenn., and
Jessimine Strauss of Walterboro, S.C.
Students who were chosen for the Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prizes were honored. Students submit original, creative works in the annual writing competition. The winners were: poetry and scriptwriting – Justin Reed of Florence, S.C.; and creative non-fiction – Danielle Armstrong of Blountville, Tenn. Andrew Baker of Athens, Tenn., received an honorable mention in the creative non-fiction category.
The Dr. Shirley Beck Award, given to an outstanding Master of Arts in Education major, was presented to Michael Yarnell of Talbott, Tenn.
The Outstanding Education Student Award was presented to Reba Leedy of Jonesborough, Tenn.
Amanda Holt of Bybee, Tenn., and Melissa Frazier of Knoxville, Tenn., were presented the Jean Hixon Memorial Award, named in honor of a long-time member of the Graduate and Professional Studies staff. Hixon’s sister Anne Hall and her husband, James Hall, presented the award. The award is presented to students who have demonstrated academic achievement with a grade point average of 3.50 or better and dedicated community service.
Andy Goellner received two top awards from the Physical Education Department, which were presented by Dr. David Bow, professor of physical education.
The E.H. Sargent Award in Science was presented to Steven Lin of Hilton Head, S.C. In choosing the recipient, science faculty members consider overall grade point average, total hours in science and variety of areas covered in the sciences.
Jacob Norris of Maynardville, Tenn., was the recipient of the Doug Ratledge Environmental Science Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to an outstanding student majoring in environmental science or the field guide naturalist program.
The Warren Lynn Drain Award was presented to JohnDavid Howard of Perry, Ga. A graduating senior determined most outstanding in Business and Economics is presented the award and GPA and achievement are the criteria for the choice of recipient.
Erica Pomona receives the Pinnacle Award from Tom Stueber, assistant professor of athletic training.
The Theatre Award was given to Jabari Bunch of Stone Mountain, Ga., and Patrick Orr of Nashville, Tenn., for their participation and dedication to the theater program at Tusculum College. Bunch and Orr have spent numerous hours building sets and working backstage for Theatre-at-Tusculum programs.
Joshua Davis of Sharp’s Chapel was the recipient of the David Behan Award for his contributions to the theater program. Davis had leading roles in the Theatre-at-Tusculum productions of “Beauty and the Beast,” “The King and I” and most recently, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” He also served as assistant music director for the production of “Carnival!”
The Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Outstanding Major Award and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education Award were both presented to Andrew Goellner of Denver, Co.
The Pinnacle Award for highest scores on annual comprehensive examinations taken by athletic training education majors was presented to Erica Pomona of Pauline, S.C.
Kirstie Gust receives the Service Learning Award from Rachel Edens, program coordinator for the Center for Civic Advancement.
The Service-Learning Award was presented to Kirstie Gust of Rutledge, Tenn. Gust founded the Pioneer Green Team to address a need for recycling and environmental awareness that she saw in the campus community. She worked diligently as its president for the first three years to make the program sustainable. Under her leadership, the organization had recycling bins placed in the residence halls and other high-traffic buildings on campus, raised awareness about environmental issues through such activities as Earth Day events and started a successful community flower garden for the campus.
Gust has also served as president of the Tusculum College Business Club and president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. As a senior, she has served as community outreach project leader for the Bonner Leader program, a service leader program for students. Gust is also a member of the Student Alumni Association and the Point, a weekly campus worship service.
Calysha Smith receives the Bonner Leader Award from Amanda Waddell, the staff sponsor of the student organization.
The Bonner Leaders Program award was presented to Calysha Smith of Nashville, Tenn. Smith has been an active leader in the Bonner Leaders program, coordinating such events as the Oxfam Hunger Banquet and a fashion show to benefit the Greene County Habitat for Humanity chapter. In presenting the award, Amanda Waddell, director of career advancement and sponsor of the Bonner student organization, commended Smith for her individuality, creativity and commitment and desire to serve others.