Student excellence in academics and service were recognized during Tusculum College’s annual Honors Convocation Thursday, April 28.
The two top honors for students presented by the College are the President’s Award and the Bruce G. Batts Award. Nick Forsberg from Staples, Minn., was presented the President’s Award and Carly Payne of Greeneville, was presented the Bruce G. Batts Award.
The students were also addressed by Brian Click, a 1999 graduate from Tusculum, who spoke about the difference earning a degree at Tusculum has made in his life. The co-owner of Cornerstone Wealth Management Group encouraged the students to use their college education as a foundation for success and to take steps to plan their future if they had not.
The Student Government Association officers for the upcoming 2016-17 academic year were also sworn in during the program. Sworn in were Carrie Rose of Knoxville as president; Oliver Hancock of Mooresburg, TN, as vice president; Julie Bielowski of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., as treasurer, and De’Erica Garrett of Greeneville as secretary.
Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College, presents the President's Award to Nick Forsberg.
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.
Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the college, presented the award to Forsberg, a sport management major, who has excelled in both the classroom and on the links as a member of the Pioneer Men’s Golf Team. Throughout his time at Tusculum, he has been listed on the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Commissioner’s Honor roll, the Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, the Tusculum College Dean’s List and the Charles Oliver Gray Scholars List. He was named the SAC Men’s Golf Scholar Athlete of the Year for both 2015 and 2016 and has received Capital One Academic All-District first team and Golf Coaches Association of America All America Scholar honors. In 2015, he received the top academic award presented to students in the physical education, sport management and sports science majors.
Forsberg has also earned numerous athletic honors including being named the 2015 SAC Tournament Most Valuable Player Award and chosen for the 2014 and 2015 SAC All-Tournament Teams. He was also a member of the 2015 SAC Tournament Championship team that was also the first in school history to advance as a team to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
With a packed academic and athletic schedule, Forsberg has also committed himself to being an active member of the Tusculum College community and giving back. He has served for the past two years as the president of the Pioneer Student Athlete Advisory Council. He is a volunteer for the Greene County Food Bank and the Make-A-Wish Foundation and has served as a volunteer for junior golf camps at a golf course in Minnesota.
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.
Carly Payne receives the Bruce Batts Award from the Rev. Dr. Ronda Gentry.
This year’s recipient, Carly Payne of Greeneville, has demonstrated her commitment to excellence and serving others at Tusculum. She is currently president of the Tusculum Student Nurses Association and is a member of the National Student Nurses Association.
Payne has led the Tusculum organization through a variety of service and fundraising projects. For example during this past year, the organization has conducted a bake sale fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, sponsored a “Dress Down Day” to raise funds to help provide nutritious meals for children through the Feeding America summer program, collecting donations and boxes for Operation Christmas Child and promoting blood donation during the American Red Cross blood drive on campus.
Exemplifying the importance of serving others, Payne is a volunteer member of the East Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps and volunteer trainer for the Tennessee READY’s program.
In her nursing studies, Payne has achieved a high level of scholarship and uses critical thinking skills to carefully plan individualized care for all of her assigned patients, noted the Reverend Dr. Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement, in presenting the award. “Carly consistently exhibits those characteristics that most define individuals we call ‘nurses’ – compassion, respect, civility, humility and kindness,” Gentry said.
In addition to the Bruce Batts Award, Payne also received the Nursing Student of the Year Award for the senior class. The award recognizes a student who demonstrates high moral values, communicates and acts with integrity, provides safe and effective nursing care, promotes and practices life-long learning, demonstrates a commitment and passion for the practice of nursing and has demonstrated academic excellence.
Dr. Ken Brewer was presented the Outstanding Service to Students Award by Dr. Alan Corley, representing the Greene County Partnership.
Presented during the convocation were faculty, staff and community awards whose recipients were selected by student vote. Receiving the Outstanding Service to Students Award, a faculty honor, was Dr. Ken Brewer, assistant professor of psychology.
In presenting the award on behalf of the Greene County Partnership, Dr. Alan Corley said that Brewer has earned the respect and praise of his students for his teaching style and his availability and willingness to help students. This is the second year that Brewer has been honored with the award.
The Staff Award was presented to Tiffany Dearstone, senior student life coordinator. In presenting the award, Student Government Association President Michael Fernando noted that while Dearstone has held a variety of positions in the Office of Student Affairs, her first priority has always been the students and making sure their campus life experience is the best it can be.
Tiffany Dearstone, senior student life coordinator, receives the Staff Award from SGA President Michael Fernando.
Well known and respected local musician John Brown was the recipient of the Community Award, which is presented to an individual, organization or business that has made a significant contribution to the Tusculum campus community. In presenting the award, Fernando noted that Brown decided several years ago to find ways to give back to the community, including organizing the Dogwood Park summer concert series in Greeneville. Brown has provided support to the College’s Band Program and has been instrumental in the return of the Old Oak Festival to campus, serving as coordinator of the musical performers that appear at the festival.
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:
Accounting – Samuel Davis of Harriman;
Athletic Training – Grace Arthur of Maryville;
Art Education K-12 – Lindsey Lewis of Luttrell;
Art and Design, Graphic Design Concentration – MaKenna Lewis of Sevierville;
Biology – Ben Arnold of LaFollette;
Criminal Justice – Lawson Burrow of Greeneville;
Economics and International Business – Erin Mills of Duluth, Ga.;
English, creative writing concentration – Sarah Holly of Jonesborough, TN;
English, journalism and professional writing concentration – Stephanie Turner of Shelbyville;
Environmental Science – Jonathan Blaylock of Chuckey;
Field Guide Naturalist – Shane Lawson of Talbott;
History – Billi McKenzie of Allegan, Mich.;
Interdisciplinary Studies K-6 – Cheyene Arnold of Morristown;
Interdisciplinary Studies K-6/Math 7-12 – Staci Knipp of Greeneville;
Management – Jonas Winkelmann of Boeblingen, Germany;
Museum Studies – Alexis Joiner of Wesley Chapel, Fla.;
Nursing – Cynthia Adkins of Bristol, Va.;
Political Science –Jeffrey Johnson of Greeneville;
Psychology – Hannah Lefler of Chapel Hill;
Special Education Early Childhood – Calley Lawson of Gaithersburg, Md.;
Special Education Modified and Comprehensive – Megan Buczek of Chattanooga;
Sport Management – Curtis Moneyhun of Kingsport, and
Sports Science – Drew Schreder of Cosby.
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. Those recognized included Grace Arthur of Maryville; Samuel Davis of Harriman; Madilyn Elliott of Hampton; Michael Fernando of Ragama, Sri Lanka; Sarah Holly of Jonesborough; Brittney Horton of Afton; Adrienne Kaye of Egg Harbor City, N.J.; Staci Knipp of Greeneville; Erin Mills of Duluth, Ga.; Tiffany Rednour of Mohawk; Britney Turner of Morristown. and Nicholas Wasylyk of Ontario, Canada.
Jonathan Spicher received the Alpha Chi Excellence Award from Dr. Troy Goodale.
The Alpha Chi Academic Excellence Award, which honors the highest academically ranked members of the junior class, was presented to Kaitlin Brown of Chuckey and Jonathan Spicher of Lindlar, Germany.
Eight students inducted in the Tusculum College chapter of the Psi Chi psychology honor society during the past year were recognized. The 2015-16 inductees include Amber Duke of Oak Ridge, Roben Hartsell of Seymour, Oliver Hancock of Mooresburg, Katelyn Jennings of Greeneville, Juliana Pressley of Morristown, Chelsey Reed of Morristown, Kathleen Samples of Greeneville and Carly White of Sevierville.
The Undergraduate Research Excellence in Psychology award was presented to Kelsey Freeman of Johnson City. This award recognizes a student who has completed a research project and presented it in a public forum.
Kelsey Freeman was presented the Psychology Research Award by Dr. Jennifer Harper.
The Outstanding Achievement in Psychology, Behavioral Health Award was presented to Zoe Holcomb of Knoxville. This award recognizes academic excellence, achievements and aptitude in the major, as well as personal characteristics and leadership in and out of the classroom.
Members of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society were also recognized. In order to become a member of this honor society, students must have taken at least 15 hours of history courses, have an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.1 GPA in history. Inducted during this past year were Mamie Hassell of Hermitage; Victoria Hawk of White House; Zachary Lane of Fayatteville, Ga.; Aaliyah Montgomery of Memphis, and Allison Woody of Newport.
Recognized with the Billie and Curtis Owens Literary Award were Jennie Frost and Sarah Holly. Presenting the award was Wayne Thomas. Not present for the photo was Emily Waryck.
Students who were chosen for the 2016 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prizes were honored. Students submit original, creative works in the annual writing competition. Jennie Frost of Friendsville earned top honors in the fiction category; Sarah Holly of Jonesborough in the non-fiction category, and Emily Waryck of New Concord, Ohio, in poetry.
The Dr. Shirley Beck Award for an outstanding Master of Arts in Education major was presented to William Scott Kilgore of Kingsport.
The Outstanding Education Student Award was presented to Jaime Arnold of Fall Branch.
William Scott Kilgore was presented the Dr. Shirley Beck Award by Dr. Raymond Hatfield.
Trisha Gossett of Greeneville and Roben Hartsell of Seymour 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 recipients are chosen by Tusculum faculty and staff and are students who have demonstrated academic achievement with a GPA of 3.50 or better and dedication to community service.
The Barnett, Conley and Davis Award in Natural Sciences and Mathematics was presented to Nicholas Wasylyk of Ontario, Canada. The award recognizes a graduating senior outstanding in the combined fields of natural sciences and mathematics. The award is based on overall GPA, science and math GPA, depth of interest in science and math and academic service to the college such as tutoring and/or research.
Jaime Arnold received the Outstanding Student in Education Award.
Josh Suttles of Seymour 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.
Michael Fernando of Sri Lanka was presented the Walter R. Johnson Award, which recognizes the graduating senior determined most outstanding in business and economics.
Rachel Garnet of Middletown, Ohio, was presented Nursing Student of the Year award for the junior class. The award recognizes a student who demonstrates high moral values, communicates and acts with integrity, provides safe and effective nursing care, promotes and practices life-long learning, demonstrates a commitment and passion for the practice of nursing, demonstrates high professional standards of conduct and has demonstrated academic excellence.
Receiving the Jean Hixon Memorial Award were Trisha Gossett, left, and Roben Hartsell, right. The award was presented by from Hixon's sister and brother-in-law Anne and James Hall, center.
The Theatre Award was given to Alexis Joiner from Wesley Chapel, Fla., for her participation and dedication to the theater program at Tusculum College.
Toni Bates of Chuckey of Greeneville was the recipient of the David Behan Award for her contributions to the theater program both onstage as an actress and part of the backstage technical crew.
The James E. Ward Future Professionals Award is selected by the physical education faculty to recognize an outstanding major in the field and was awarded to Shannele Sunderland of Georgetown, Texas.
Nicholas Wasylyk was presented the Barnett, Conley and Davis Award by Dr. Debra McGinn.
The Service-Learning Award was presented to Robert Nichols of Dresden. Nichols was recognized for his many hours of volunteering in various capacities at the Paul E. Hayden Wetlands on campus.
The Bonner Leaders Program Award was presented to Megan Buczek of Chattanooga. The award is presented to a student within the Bonner Leaders Program, who has exhibited exemplary long-term dedication to the six keys of the program – community building, civic engagement, diversity, international perspective, social justice and spiritual exploration.
Josh Suttles receives the Doug Ratledge Environmental Science Scholarships from Dr. Melissa Keller.
Michael Fernando was presented the Walter Johnson Award by tho honor's namesake, a 1971 alumnus of the College.
Rachel Garnet and Carly Payne receive Nursing Student of the Year Awards for the junior and senior classes.
Toni Bates is presented the David Behan Award by Marilyn duBrisk.
Shannele Sunderland was the recipient of the James E. Ward Future Professionals Award, presented by Suzanne Byrd.
Dr. Gentry presented the Service Learning Award to Robert Nichols.
Megan Buczek receives the Bonner Leaders Program Award from Dr. Gentry.