More than 270 receive degrees Saturday at Tusculum College

Posted on 16 December 2013 by

Graduating from Tusculum College during winter commencement ceremonies were 276 individuals in two ceremonies held on Saturday, Dec. 14.

On Saturday 76 students earned Bachelor of Science degrees and 119 earned Bachelor of Arts degrees. In addition 81 graduates earned Master of Arts degrees.

The first graduates of Tusculum’s new MBA program were conferred degrees in the afternoon ceremony.

The new graduates were addressed by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, who recognized the hard work of the path to graduation, saying “you have made a commitment and stuck with it to the point that you have forever changed the direction of your life for the better.” Adding, “I am confident that you learned to think critically, not to accept at face value everything you read, hear, or see. You demonstrated your ability to debate ideas and to see both sides of an argument before making judgment. These are a few of the qualities of an educated person.”

She told the group, “May you be fortunate enough to earn in the years ahead, and may you be wise enough to return some of your blessings to those who aspire to follow in your footsteps.”

The afternoon commencement opened with local entrepreneur Scott Niswonger addressing the students. Niswonger is the chairman of Landair Transport, Inc. and is chairman emeritus of Forward Air Corporation. In addition, Niswonger is an alumnus of the college, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1987 and then a Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2006. He also serves as a member of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees.

Local Philanthropist Dr. Scott M. Niswonger '87 H'06 was the commencement speaker at Tusculum College’s afternoon ceremony on Saturday, December 14.

Niswonger talked about his motto, “Learn, Earn and Return.” He told the graduates, “The learning is what we continue to do every day. It does not end with your graduation today. It’s just beginning. As Louis Pasteur once said, ‘Change favors the prepared mind.’ Being informed and educated is a major part of your preparedness.

“The second part of this concept is earning. Earning money is what we do to provide for ourselves and loved ones needs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to earn money, but money in itself or simply striving to attain material possessions should not be your driving motivation.

“The third element, return, means you have the responsibility to return a portion of your time, talents and resources to help your church, community, state, nation and alma mater. Just being educated isn’t enough. You have to be a good citizen.”

Four student speakers addressed the graduates, including Robin Barnett of Talbott, Tenn., who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in behavioral health.

Robin Barnett, left, and Amanda McCamey represented their classmates as the speakers for the morning ceremony.

Barnett spoke about the challenges of going to college after an extended period of time after high school. “I think I knew deep down that I could be more,” she said. “Even though I was thrilled with my life with my kids, I felt like I would end up stuck and in turn short changing my children as well as myself by not finding something that would make me whole.”

Also speaking at the morning ceremony was Amanda McCamey, graduating with a Master of Arts in Teaching. McCamey is from Knoxville and prior to her enrollment in the Graduate and Professional Studies Program was a stay-at-home mother.

“Everything seemed to fall into place from there. Still, there existed some hesitancy on my part. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to school, it was a huge commitment for me at the time. And if the thought of going back to school wasn’t scary enough, I was selecting a totally different career path,” McCamey told her fellow graduates.

“It was definitely one of those moments when you find yourself at a crossroads. And, sometimes in this type of decision dilemma you simply need to be courageous and take a risk.”

Representing their classmates as the speakers for the afternoon ceremony were Rick Monroe, left, and Tyler Bright.

In the afternoon ceremony, speakers included Tyler L. Bright of Limestone, Tenn., and Rick Monroe of Knoxville. Bright, a junior majoring in mathematics in the residential program, is a member of the Honors Program, and he is a member of the Tusculum College marching, concert and jazz bands. He also serves as a peer tutor in the Tutoring Center. Monroe received an MBA and previously received his bachelor’s degree in organizational management in 2000 from Tusculum.

Bright provided advice about future achievement by citing examples from his own college career. “I wanted to get involved at Tusculum College and become immersed in what it had to offer,” he said. “What resulted was Tusculum seeming like a home away from home.”

Monroe spoke of dropping out of high school and the perception on education it gave him, “It was at this time I received one of those life lessons that developed one of my philosophies for life, that being – success happens when preparation meets opportunity. I felt I had missed out on a golden opportunity because I didn’t have a diploma. From that point on, I made a commitment to make sure that wouldn’t happen again.”

Mark Stokes, director of religious life, church and community relations at Tusculum College, presented a sermon titled “Learn Something New.” He addressed life-long learning and the awareness of what is still left to learn. He told them never to think they know so much that they no longer need God’s guidance.

Tusculum College faculty members salute the graduates with their gauntlet of congratulations following the conferral of degrees on Saturday.

“College was never meant to teach you everything you need to know. It merely equips you. An education is meant to give you all the mental tools you need to dig out the deep treasures of life. But, you must do the digging.”







The following are the graduates from the morning ceremony listed by degree:

Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction Concentration
ME175 – Greeneville
Nathan Scott Darnell
Johnna Lynn Harris, High Honors
Angela Carol Jones
Hope D. Penley
Samantha Brooke Ramsey, High Honors
Leslie Sierra Shelton
Deborah May Tipton, High Honors

ME176 – Knoxville
Tracey Christine Ackermann, High Honors
Ashley Nicole Bowlin
Amy Renee Coile, High Honors
Christopher Gordon Crisp
Tera Leigh Graves
Laura Renee Harrison, High Honors
Emily Diane Headrick
Carla Marie Henry, High Honors
Nicole Nather Keller, High Honors
Stephanie Lambdin McCune
Elizabeth Baker Miller, Honors
Emma Jane Mills, High Honors
Chasity Birchfield O’Quinn
Ronald Dexter Overton, High Honors
Susan Roark Overton
Stacy Lorene Trentham, Honors
Laura Lail Wilson, Honors

ME177 – Knoxville
Megan Lynn King
Calvin Ray Maddox II
Michelle Renee Robinson*
Ronald Aubrey Roskelly

ME178 – Morristown
Laura Suzann Cobb, High Honors*
Stephanie Dawn Davidson, Honors*
Tammy Elaine Dudley, Honors
Drew Lynn Garland
Miranda Jo Garland, High Honors
Rebecca Leigh Gorenflo, Honors*
Tara Lynne Kinsler, Honors
Kerri Lynn Leon, High Honors
Mario Garcia Leon, High Honors
Amber Brooke McAnally, High Honors
Melinda Jean Shillington, High Honors
Whitney Terran Spurgeon

Master of Arts in Education, Human Resource Development Concentration
MH024 – Knoxville
Debra Benedict, High Honors*
Jessica Jane Darnell
Mabrey Raymond Duff*
Polly LeAnn Duncan, High Honors*
Vickie Renae McCroy, High Honors*
Sharon Marie Shanks, Honors*
Robert Reede Snow
Karen Marcum Watson, High Honors

MH025 – Gray
Jamie Lea Blake Jones
Matthew L. McKeever
Mary Elizabeth Oxendine-Woodby
Amanda Ann Sells
Keima Shanell Talley

Master of Arts in Teaching
MT003 – Knoxville
DereSika GerVonTia Beaty
Dyron Layne Birdwell, High Honors
Catherine Blair Harrison
Amanda Dawn McCamey*
Matthew Austin Traylor

MT004 – Greeneville
Todd Bennett
Tiffany Ann Nicole Colbaugh*
Jonathan Keith Davis, Honors

Bachelor of Arts in Human Growth and Learning, Elementary K-6
BA075 – Knoxville
Tammy Denise Clark, Magna Cum Laude*
Shani Lee Cutler, Cum Laude*†
Kristy Michelle Goins Daugherty
Beth Nicole Ellison
Christopher Scott Fine
Rachel Lynn Geier
Bethany Booker Mincey
Heather Louise Raffield
Robin Norene Smith†
Angela Judy Carol Stevens
Jennifer LeAnn Tidwell
Sara Wilson Waid
Latoshia Ann Wilson, Cum Laude*

BA076 – Morristown
Trina Jean Barrett
Tammy Yvonne Brewer, Cum Laude
Laura Elizabeth Cribley, Cum Laude
Sharon Elizabeth Galford, Summa Cum Laude*
Stephanie Michelle Morgan
Carla Mae Nelson
Misty Ann Owens, Cum Laude*
Kelly Lynn Ownby, Cum Laude
Nessa Kay Trentham, Cum Laude
Stella Coleen Yeary, Magna Cum Laude

BA077 – Morristown
Lillie Travis Bullard
Linda Jean Burchett
Casie Shalynn Cope†
Angela Denise Hilton, Magna Cum Laude†
Amanda Caroline Kite, Magna Cum Laude
Scott Douglas McGaha, Magna Cum Laude
Cathy Renee Rich, Magna Cum Laude*
Charlotte Marie Slagle
Jamie Dee Smith, Magna Cum Laude
Misti Nicole Smith

BA078 – Knoxville
Sara Elizabeth Daugherty
Amy Denise Hettmansberger, Summa Cum Laude*
Sarah Elizabeth Jennings
Alyssa Nicole Jordan
Amanda Nichol Whitehead, Summa Cum Laude*

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Behavioral Health Concentration
BP001 – Knoxville
Michelle Shiraine Pacleb, Cum Laude
Andrea Shay Reidy, Cum Laude

BP002 – Morristown
Robin Jean Barnett, Magna Cum Laude
Kelly Lynn Carter
Jessica LeAnn Collins
Shonda Lynn Johnson
Larry Steven Lamb, II
Bonnie Jo Patterson
Laurel Anne Stallard
Paula Renee Stokes
Raymond Matthew Thompson
Carla Catina Turner
Ricky Glenn Varney
Christina Nicole Walton
Pamela Jane Yount

BP003 – Greeneville
Heather Cecelia Benevento
Christine Michelle Hughes
Aurlin Joseph Kelley
Taylor Brooks Kelley
Delta Dawn Lane
Allison Hinkle Nunley
Diana M. Wells Showman
Shani Lynne Warren*

BP004 – Knoxville
Tonya Clift Andrew
Cassandra Lee Bale
Lisa Renea Boshears
Jeremy James Crenshaw
Jeffrey Lee Harig Sr.
Cathy Ann Huff
Angela Dale Paxton
Melissa Walker Reed
Anna Marie Sams
Sarah Ellen Schenck-Jeffers
Velissa Rocheal Smith
Amber Nicole Summerall

BP005 – Gray
Monica Anne Dyson
Heather K. Shelton
Edward Keith Williams

*Omicron Psi National Honor Society Member
†Double major in Special Education, Modified and Comprehensive


The following are the graduates from the afternoon ceremony listed by degree:

Master of Business Administration
MB001 – Knoxville
Tracy Edward Allsup*
Dustin Lee Brackins
Jason Don Brantley*
Charles Avery Burton
Amber Kay Collins*
Richard Alex Franco, Honors
Melissa Kay Frazier
Amy L. Garrett
Jonathon Christian Gresham
Stephanie Fawn Guthrie*
Christopher William Lawson*
Amy Mae Livingston*
Ricky Dean Monroe*
Dale Tarwater Phelps
Joshua Lee Phillips
Nathan McKay Robinette
Sondra Renee Sarten*
Allison Marie Shepherd
Brandi LaShea Summerour

Bachelor of Arts
Kate Ann Barford, Magna Cum Laude**†
Breaira Shaneice Barksdale
Kendal L. Baxter
Paul Edward Bergvin
Tyler Lane Bright, Summa Cum Laude**†
Ashton Elise Bryant
Brandon Judd Burney
Jason Daniel Cannito
Laura Jessica Casey
Cody Allen Darnell
David Christopher Davis, Jr.
Erin Denyse Dewald
Joseph Lee Durham
Keema Danielle Fann
Paisley Paige Fultz, Cum Laude**
Jennifer Leann Gregg
Kimsie Nicole Hall, Magna Cum Laude
Jama Nichole Hammontree
Ashton Marie Hardeman, Magna Cum  Laude**
Tramicka Florenz James
Elizabeth Melissa Marie Johnson
Casey Leigh Jones
Kourtney Marie Kavic, Cum Laude
Ginger Nicole Kelley
Kristen Danielle King
Lee Allen Kizer
Samantha Nicole Lyons
Grace Ann McKinney
Zaily Rodesly Mejia
Colleen Elizabeth Moloney, Cum Laude
Joseph Frank Polichetti
Jared Michael Richmond
Nathan Miles Riddle
Shana Renea Dawn Rinderle
Terrence Juan Smith
Walter Benjamen Swaggerty
Quinten Lain Talley
Ashley Rapheal Thurman
Elizabeth Ann Kathryn Wright, Magna Cum Laude**†
Nicholas Paul York

Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management
BS577 – Gray
Mark Wayne Bailey, Magna Cum Laude
Deanna Carol Branham, Cum Laude
Bridget Ann Hood, Cum Laude
Rachel Akiko James
Ashley Alison Johnson
Bryan Christopher Larkins
Angela Mariea Locke
Wendy Ann McKinney, Cum Laude
Jessica Paige Morgan
Chrystie Lynn Phipps, Cum Laude

BS578 – Morristown
Rebecca Sue Barbee, Cum Laude
Christina Renee Hollaway
Glenn Hollis Morgan
Edie Michelle Rhoads
Autumn Ronielle Smith

BS579 – Knoxville
Annette Marie Bell
Katie Ann Cate
Michael Warren Lucas, Magna Cum Laude
Timothy Scott Taubert, Cum Laude
Austin Kylan Webb
Misty Claudette Windle

BS580 – Knoxville
Rachel Nicole Bargerstock
Kristen Diane Bentley
Timothy Joseph Burke
Michilene Mimose Francois, Cum Laude*
Gwendolyn Dee Kessinger
Cynthia Anne Little
Angela D. Miller
Charles John Nicolls Jr.
Shannon Ray Rasnick, Cum Laude
Amy Leanne Rogers

BS581 – Greeneville
Kyle Wayne Kingery, Cum Laude
Krystal Dawn Ross
Lauren Michelle Turner, Cum Laude*
Lisa Ann Waddell, Magna Cum Laude

BS582 – Morristown
Jenny Lynn Sanders Allen
Christina Marie Dugger
Billie Jean Jones
Kimberly Lynn Tacker, Cum Laude*
Jenny Rebecca Turpin, Magna Cum Laude*

LaDonna Rochelle Chatman
Brian Thomas Franklin
Jessica Michelle Kreis
Kelly Leigh Morton
Jared Matthew Walker
Gregory S. Whited

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

BB010 – Gray
Jesse James Campbell
Michael David Lane
Sharon Kaye Osborne, Magna Cum Laude
Zackary Noah Wright, Magna Cum Laude

BB011 – Knoxville
Zachary Adel Badawi
Karen Claxton Baker, Magna Cum Laude*
Preston Eugene Daniels
Dwight John Faso
Kelly Nicol Harrison
Jeremy Paul Hobson
Jennifer Alaine Lee
Jessica Hope Long
Ibrahima Ismaila Ly
William Kyle Mincey, Cum Laude*
Steven Keene Moore
Craig Eugene Richesin, Cum Laude*
Kent Jamison Settlemyer
Kristin Danielle Throneberry
Eric Jack Tobler
Tanya Nicole Turner
Norman Weathersby, III

BB012 – Morristown
Stacy Byrum Gibson
David Lynn Wolfe II

William Jennings Browning III
Cathrine Elaine Conrad
Shannon L. Funderburk, Cum Laude
Wayne Andrew Palmer Jr., Cum Laude
Benjamin Riley Venable
Lauren Frances Venable

* Omicron Psi National Honor Society Member
** Alpha Chi National Honor Society Member
† Honors Program Graduate







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