Maryville College student leaders lauded at annual ceremony

Maryville College student leaders lauded at annual ceremony

May 6, 2003
David Rasnake, Office of Communications

More than 30 awards were presented to Maryville College students during the annual Leadership Awards Ceremony held April 30 in the Music Hall of the College’s Fine Arts Center. The awards recognized individual and group achievement in campus and community leadership.

“The Leadership Awards Ceremony is significant because it represents Maryville College’s commitment to leadership and service, and recognizes the many meaningful learning experiences that take place outside the classroom,” Seymour stated. “Although the ceremony recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to our community through leadership and service, in reality we honor all students who get involved in the life of our college.”

Awards for leadership in campus clubs, organizations and residence halls, and the prestigious Spirit of the Covenant and Student Development Awards were presented at the ceremony.


  • Amber Burley, a junior deaf studies and Sign Language interpreting major from Cincinnati, Ohio, received the Black Student Association Leadership Award.
  • Sophomore Sarah Roberts of Knoxville, Tenn., was named Most Dedicated Staff Member by her colleagues at “The Chilhowean,” the College’s yearbook.
  • The WZUP Leadership Award for directing and managing the College’s student radio station went to Ben Roe, a senior business and organization management major from Maryville, and Andy Robinson, a senior psychology major from Winchester, Va.
  • D’Lisa Hopewell, a senior Sign Language interpreting major from Lithonia, Ga., was recognized with the Erskine Leadership Award.
  • “The Highland Echo,” MC’s student newspaper, honored editor Jennie Lowe, a senior English major from Powell, Tenn., with an award for outstanding leadership.
  • Intervarsity Christian Fellowship recognized junior Lydia Edrington, a deaf studies and Sign Language interpreting major from Bradenton, Fla., with the Folami Ford Servant Award.
  • International studies major Rachael Garza, a senior from Springfield, Va., was named the Outstanding Peer Mentor of the year. Garza and Lenoir City, Tenn., native and political science major Tim Self were honored with the President Rob Lough Award for Outstanding Service later in the evening.
  • Ben Wicker, a senior business major from Farragut, Tenn., was recognized as MC Student Government Association’s Representative of the Year.
  • Junior business majors Frank Twum-Barimah, of Accra, Ghana, and Aaron Yarborough, of Oliver Springs, Tenn., received praise as MC Student Government Association’s Senators of the Year.
  • Seniors Roy Bartlett, a business major from Alpharetta, Ga., and Rebecca Garvin, a psychology major from Carrollton, Texas, and sophomore Diego Herrera, an international business major from Argentina, were named Student Programming Board Members of the Year.
  • Business major Dejaesic Zellers, a Hapeville, Ga., junior, was presented the Voices of Praise Leadership Award.
  • The MC Wellness Council conferred its Leadership and Commitment Award upon junior Stevie Neifert, a computer science and business major from Hendersonville, Tenn., and sophomore Tia Xixis, an international studies major from Hillsboro, Tenn.


  • Brianna Merrill, a sophomore English and religion major from Bradenton, Fla., was named MC’s Resident Assistant of the Year.
  • The Residence Life Distinguished Service Award was presented to senior Kenneth Kirby, Jr., a biology and physical education major from Kodak, Tenn.


  • The prestigious Sojourner Truth Award, which recognizes efforts to advocate campus diversity, was presented to sophomore deaf studies and political science major Echoe Lewis, of St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands.


  • Knoxville Central High School graduate Joseph Ambler, a senior sociology major at the College, was recognized as the student volunteer of the year with the Spirit of Service Award.
  • Jennifer Rock, a senior history major from Louisville, Ky., received accolades as Student Activist of the Year.


The six students honored with the Spirit of the Covenant Award, which recognizes dedication to the MC campus and community, included:

  • Gisele Campos, a senior ESL and Spanish major from Miami, Fla.; Lois Gray, a senior child development for teacher licensure major from Shelbyville, Tenn.; Meredith Maynard, a sophomore environmental studies major from Elkin, N.C.; and Tony Murchison, a senior theatre major from Manchester, Tenn. Hopewell and Twum-Barimah were also recipients.


  • The Outstanding Freshman Leader Award was presented to Eric Weatherbee of Maryville.
  • Mary Amber Brooks, a political science major from Clinton, Tenn., received the Outstanding Sophomore Leader Award.
  • Child development major Christie Latimer, of Hickory, N.C., was honored with the College’s Outstanding Junior Leader Award.
  • Junior Mary Rose Linker, a sociology major from Louisville, Ky., accepted the Sharon A. Murphy Crane Award for outstanding campus leadership and activism.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.