Students and faculty recognized for achievements during 2017 Honors Convocation

Posted on 09 May 2017 by

Alex Wiedemann, a 2013 alumnus of Tusculum, was guest speaker for the Honors Convocation.

Student excellence in academics and service were recognized during Tusculum’s annual Honors Convocation Wednesday, April 26.

The two top honors for students presented by the College are the President’s Award and the Bruce G. Batts Award. Jonathan Spicher of Cologne, Germany, was presented the President’s Award and Denise Coffey of Reagan was presented the Bruce G. Batts Award.

The students were also addressed by Alex Wiedemann, a 2013 graduate of Tusculum, who pursuing a doctorate in mathematics at the University of South Carolina. Wiedemann encouraged the students to take an active role in making a difference in their world.

The Student Government Association officers for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year were also sworn in during the program. Kristopher Adams of Rogersville will be serving as student body president; Donald Townsend of Greeneville as vice president, Savana Wheeler of Crossville as treasurer and Jazmyn Bishop of Rogersville as secretary.

President’s Award

Jonathan Spicier, a senior accounting major, was presented the President's Award by President Nancy B. Moody.

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 Spicher, noting both his academic achievements, his service to others and his athletic accomplishments. An accounting major, Spicher has a 4.0 cumulative grade point average. He was named the Men’s Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2016 by the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) and has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team for a two consecutive years. Spicher was also named as the inaugural recipient of the SAC Men’s Soccer Elite 18 Award for having the highest GPA at the final site of the 2016 Men’s Soccer Championship.

Spicher is a member of the Tusculum College President’s Society where he serves as an ambassador for the college in giving campus tours and assisting with alumni events.  He has served with Knoxville Pays It Forward as an accounting assistant with small businesses in the Knoxville area. A two-year member of the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, he helped the group lead the league with over $3,500 dollars raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

On the soccer pitch, in his 62 career games, which include 40 starts, Spicher posted 15 goals and four assists, with five of his goals being match-winners including one this past season that gave the Pioneers the victory over sixth-ranked and defending NCAA II national champion Pfeiffer University.

In addition, Spicher received the Senior Honor Key Award in accounting. Senior Honor Key Awards recognize students with exceptional capacities, abilities, achievements and aptitude in their major field, as was as their personality or personal characteristics.

Batts Award

Denise Coffey was presented the Bruce Batts Award to senior Denise Coffey, who has served as multi-cultural intern for the past year and a half.

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, Denise Coffey has been fully engaged in the Tusculum College experience and has seized many opportunities to serve and make others’ lives better.

Coffey has served as multicultural intern for the past year and a half, and has organized numerous activities and events to increase students’ awareness and appreciation of other cultures and differences. These include “community conversation” events regarding topics such as women’s issue, TED Talks screenings and a drum circle at the Old Oak Festival.

She is a member of the President’s Society, serving as an ambassador for Tusculum with such groups as prospective students and alumni. Coffey has also been committed to serving others in the community. She was recognized in 2015 with the Newman Civic Fellows Award, a honor given by National Campus Compact, recognizing her efforts as a volunteer for ASafeHarborHome, a local agency that serves victims of domestic violence.

Coffee also received the Senior Honor Key Award for the art and graphic design major. This award recognize students’ academic achievement, capacities, special abilities and aptitude in their major field.

Student-Chosen Awards

Dr. Ken Brewer

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 third year that Brewer has received the honor, selected through a vote of the students.

The Staff Award was presented to Terra Graham, office coordinator. In presenting the award, Student Government Association President Carrie Rose said students quickly discover Graham has a heart for serving others and has been a caring friend and mentor to numerous students.

The Community Award, which is presented to an individual, organization or business which has made a significant contribution to the Tusculum campus community, recognized Eric and Lynette Price, owners of the Creamy Cup, for the business’ continued support of the college and its students. The business actively promotes and support campus events and activities and provides employment opportunities to students.

Academic Honors

Morgan Mahaffey receives the Alpha Chi Award from Dr. Troy Goodale, faculty sponsor for the Tusculum chapter of the 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 award recipients and their degree programs:

Athletic Training – Miriah Martin of Roanoke, Virginia;

Biology  – Samantha Vogt of Maryville;

Criminal Justice – Morgan Jones of Winston, Georgia;

Economics – Eliza Davis of Lexington, North Carolina;

English, Creative Writing concentration – Macy French of Kingsport;

English, Literature concentration – Kiah McIsaac of Memphis;

Environmental Science – Jake McCracken of Bristol, Tennessee;

History – Zachary Lane of Fayetteville, Georgia;

Interdisciplinary Studies K-6 – Saasha Shirooni of Knoxville;

Management – Preston Tucker of Knoxville;

David Breeden, recipient of the Dr. Shirley Beck Award

Mathematics – Darian Tipton of Shelbyville;

Museum Studies – Hannah Arnett of Butler;

Nursing – Rachel Garnett of Middletown, Ohio;

Physical Education – Carolyn Williamson of Knoxville;

Political Science –Tiaira McCloud of Columbus, Ohio;

Psychology – Chelsey Reed of Morristown;

Special Education, Early Childhood – Rachael Hensley of Etowah;

Sport Management – Lindsay Butler of Milan, Ohio, and

Sports Science – Robin Stoner of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Rachael Hensley receives the Outstanding Education Student Award from Dr. Betsy Loveday, associate professor of education.

Recognized as Honor Students for having the highest grade point average of their class were:

Seniors – Jaime Arnold of Fall Branch; Kaitlin Brown of Chuckey; Jeremy Cooper of Knoxville; Karli Fisher of Greeneville; Rebecca Jenkins of Philadelphia; Katelyn Jennings of Greeneville; Joseph McCarter of Sevierville; Daniel Miget of Kingston; Chelsey Reed of Morristown; Jonathan Spicher of Cologne, Germany; Mark Taylor of Strawberry Plains, and Carlie Thornber of Oshawa, Ontario;

Juniors –  Makenzi Alley of Cincinnati, Ohio; Jule Brass of Duisburg, Germany; Franziska Funke of Bochum, Germany; Gregory Hilemon of Jonesborough; Bradford Hinkle of Mosheim; Gina Hobson of Knoxville; Morgan Mahaffey of Belmont, North Carolina; Brooke Schreder of Cosby, and Jordan Smith of Talbott;

Sophomores –Katja Andersson of Enstaberga, Sweden; Laura Carr of Surgoinsville; Elizabeth Fisher of Greeneville; Hannah Graham of Chapin, South Carolina; Emma MacDonald of Whitby, Ontario; Fabian Paier of Feldbach, Austria; Kayla Sager of McEwen; Samuel VanAmberg of Greeneville, and Parker Wright of Knoxville;

Freshmen – Kevin Ball of Greeneville; Brittani Brooks of Allen, Texas; Alyssa Clifton of Chuckey; Kayli Dempster of Floyds Knob, Indiana; Emily Iorga of Greeneville; Vithuran Karvannathasan of Brampton, Ontario; Alyssa Kolb of Gray; Katarina Majorova of Martin, Slovakia; Annie McCullough, of Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dewey Pendley of Bristol, Tennessee; Katie Potter of Bristol, Tennessee; Lyndsey Pulliam of Suwanee, Georgia; Bladimir Santiago Bautista of Graysville, and Mindy Taylor of Morristown.

Allen Thacker, left, and Sunday Reeves were presented the Jean Hixon Memorial Award by Dr. Jason Pierce, vice president of academic affairs.

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 Sarah Baker of Marietta, Georgia; Eliza Davis of Lexington, North Carolina; Rachael Hensley of Etowah; Zachary Lane of Fayetteville, Georgia; Treslyn Reese of Auburn, Alabama; Shannele Sunderland of Georgetown, Texas; Preston Tucker of Knoxville, and Samantha Vogt of Maryville.

The Alpha Chi Academic Excellence Award, which honors the highest academically ranked member of the junior class, was presented to Morgan Mahaffey of Belmont, North Carolina.

Five students inducted in the Tusculum College chapter of the Psi Chi psychology honor society during the past year were recognized. The fall 2016 inductees included Kendra Lane of Knoxville, Samantha Vogt of Maryville and Brooke Wagner of Snellville, Georgia. The spring 2017 inductees include Tabitha Dyer and Hannah Parton, both of Knoxville.

The Outstanding Achievement in Psychology, Behavioral Health Award was presented to Gregory Hurd of Rogersville. This honor recognizes a student who has earned a 3.25 GPA or higher in the major and emphasizes the student’s achievements and aptitude in the major as well as his leadership in and out of the classroom and personal characteristics.

Bryson McCarter was presented the Walter Johnson Award, recognizing an outstanding business and economics student, by Walter Johnson, center, and Dr. Antonio Bos, professor of business administration.

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 this past year were Laura Carr of Surgoinsville; Andrew Kransberger of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Chuck Morgan of Chuckey; Jonathan Nicholson of Mosheim, and Kristen Wiggins of Johnson City.

Students who were chosen for the 2017 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prizes were honored. Students submit original, creative works in the annual writing competition. Emily Warcyck of New Concord, Ohio, was the recipient in the poetry, nonfiction and fiction categories. Macy French of Kingsport was the recipient in the scriptwriting category.

The Dr. Shirley Beck Award for an outstanding Master of Arts in Education major was presented to David Breeden of Morristown.

Tara Willoughby of Knoxville was recognized with the Outstanding Human Resource Development Major Award, which is presented to a graduate student in the major who demonstrates excellence in academics, work ethic and character.

The Outstanding Master of Arts in Teaching Major Award was presented to Chesnea Hamilton of Talbott. The award recognizes a student in the major who demonstrates excellence in academics, work ethics, character and student teaching.

Eric Bowers, left, and Calyn Kelly were presented Nursing Student of the Year awards, for the junior and senior class, respectively. from Dr. Lois Even, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and professor of nursing.

The Outstanding Education Student Award, recognizing overall achievement and aptitude in the major, was presented to Rachael Hensley of Etowah.

Sunday Reeves of Morristown and Allen Thacker of Harriman were presented the Jean Hixon Memorial Award, named in honor of a long-time member of the Graduate and Professional Studies staff. The award recipients, one from the Northeast region and one from the Southeast region, are chosen by Tusculum faculty as students who have demonstrated academic achievement with a GPA of 3.50 or better and dedicated community service.

Joseph “Bryson” McCarter of Sevierville was presented the Walter R. Johnson Award, which recognizes the graduating senior determined most outstanding in business and economics, with grade point average and achievement part of the criteria for the award.

Calyn Kelly of Ellenwood, Georgia, was presented the Nursing Student of the Year award for the senior class and Eric Bowers of Greeneville was presented the honor 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.

Zach Gass receives a Theatre Award from Marilyn duBrisk, director of Tusculum's Arts Outreach program.

Theatre Awards were presented for Zach Gass of Greeneville and Micheal Emery of Bean Station for their participation and dedication to the theater program at Tusculum.

Carrie Rose of Knoxville was the recipient of the David Behan Award for her contributions to the theater program. Rose has appeared on stage in productions and also worked backstage in a variety of roles, including as lighting director for the production of “My Son Pinocchio, Jr.” this past spring.

The Pinnacle Award for highest scores on annual comprehensive examinations taken by athletic training education majors was presented to Allyson Rines of Jefferson City.

Presented the James E. Ward Future Professionals Award for her achievement in the physical education major was Christina Blevins of Jonesborough.

Service Awards

The Service-Learning Award was presented to Alex Rolison of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. Rolison went above and beyond in his volunteer activities at a non-profit organization in Jonesborough as part of his Service-Learning Class and now has an internship at the organization, said Courtney Washburn, coordinator of the Center for Civic Advancement and the Bonner Leader program, in presenting the award.

Micheal Emery received the Theatre Award from Marilyn duBrisk.

The Bonner Leaders Program Award was presented to Morgan Jones of Winston, Georgia. 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.

The David Behan Award was presented to Carrie Rose for her support of the Theatre program by duBrisk.












Allyson Rines was presented the Pinnacle Award by Amy Brooks, assistant professor of athletic training.













Christina Blevins received the James E. Ward Future Professionals Award from Dr. Suzanne Byrd, assistant professor of physical education.













Morgan Jones received the Bonner Leaders Progam award from Courtney Washburn, coordinator of the Center for Civic Advancement and Bonner Leader Program.













Alex Rolison receives the Service-Learning Award from Washburn.

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