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King University Students Honored for Achievements and Service

April 17, 2024

King University recently honored a number of students for their academic, athletic, and community service accomplishments during the 2023-2024 academic year.

“It is an honor and a delight to celebrate our students’ academic accomplishments, as well as the many acts of service they invest in others,” said Matt Roberts, Ed.D., provost of King. “They contribute not only intellectual capital to their home communities, but a sense of duty and kindness that improves the well-being of all those around them.”

Photos from the convocation are available for review and download at King University 2024 Honors Convocation | Flickr

During the annual Honors Convocation, held at King’s Memorial Chapel in Bristol on Monday, April 15, students received the following awards, fellowships, scholarships, and recognitions (listed among the varying colleges of study):


Jack E. Snider Honors Fellows

These students have completed an additional 17 hours of honors credit through participation in independent research; a publicly presented and defended senior honors thesis; overseas and domestic travel, study, and service; and campus and community service.

  • Joshua Clements – North Yorkshire, England
  • John Harbaugh – Bristol, Tennessee
  • Samantha King – Bristol, Virginia
  • Kacey Roarke – Cedar Bluff, Virginia
  • Christina Passamonte – Bristol, Virginia
  • Donna Walker – Bluff City, Tennessee
  • Ronni Wilmot – Saltville, Virginia


King Institute for Faith & Culture Award

Given to a student who demonstrates the mission of the King Institute for Faith and Culture (IFC). The IFC brings some of the contemporary faith landscape’s most influential thinkers, writers, and artists to campus to cultivate conversation on issues of Christian faith and popular culture.

  • Aidan Swatzell – Black Mountain, North Carolina




Philosophy Award

Given to a philosophy student who has excelled academically, and has exhibited the scholarly qualities of creative questioning, analytical reasoning, and critical thinking.

  • Trevor Hansard – Abingdon, Virginia


Evelyn W. Snider English Award

Given to a student who has made outstanding contributions to the English Department through service.

  • Brandon Nunley – Blountville, Tennessee


Spanish Language Award

Given to the student who demonstrates the best performance in Beginning Spanish.

  • Samuel Cox – Johnson City, Tennessee


Advanced Studies in Spanish Award

Given to the student who demonstrates the best performance in upper level Spanish courses.

  • Vanessa Neubauer – Greensboro, North Carolina


Allen Trousdale Guild Players Awards

Given to senior students recognized by their peers for outstanding achievement and contributions to the King Theatre Program.

  • Luke Gray – Bluff City, Tennessee
  • Clathon Henfield – Freeport Grand Bahama, Bahamas


History Award

Given to a graduating senior who exhibits a strong performance in the field of history.

  • Emily Kaczka- Bristol, Tennessee


Women’s History Club Award

Given to outstanding rising seniors in the field of History and supported by a special endowment from the Women’s History Club.

  • Donna Walker – Bluff City, Tennessee


John W. Burgess Award in Political Science

This award is named for Tennessee native John W. Burgess, the first president of the American Political Science Association, and is sponsored by the Tennessee Political Science Association.

  • Aidan Swatzell – Black Mountain, North Carolina


Security and Intelligence Scholar (SIS) Award

Given to the student with the highest cumulative grade point average across all courses taken for the SIS major.

  • John Harbaugh – Bristol, Tennessee


Psi Chi | National Honor Society in Psychology Inductees

The mission of this honor society is to recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology.

  • Elena Rice – Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Sean McDermott – Suffolk, Virginia
  • Montana Delawder – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania


Eula Cosby Coffey Awards in the Basic Sciences

Given to the female students with the highest overall grade point averages for the two semesters of each basic science course.

  • General Biology: Alexa Gramann – Jefferson City, Tennessee
  • General Chemistry: Whitney Brooks – Bristol, Virginia
  • General Physics: Brooklyn Quark – Manitoba, Canada
  • Diana Holmes – Suwanee, Georgia


Betty Wallace Cornelius Mathematics Excellence Award:

Given in memory of a member of the King College Class of 1966 who made teaching mathematics at the college level her life’s work.  This award is given in honor of her great love of mathematics.  The recipient of this award should be a rising senior who has demonstrated exceptional skill in mathematics.

  • Claire DiCugno – Lake Tapps, Washington


William E. Torbert Memorial Scholarship:

Given to a returning outstanding mathematics major.

  • Chloe Clayton – Bloomington, Illinois


Natural Science and Mathematics Award

Given to the most outstanding graduate in the basic sciences and mathematics.

  • Gideon Bezuidenhout – Wake Forest, North Carolina
  • David Medina – Murfreesboro, Tennessee


Interdepartmental Sciences & Mathematics Seminar Award

Presented to the student who achieves the top scoring presentation in seminar.

  • Charles Swiggett – Greensboro, North Carolina


Arthur W. King Memorial Scholarship in Physics

Made possible through the generosity of the Louis King family, this scholarship is awarded annually to a physics major who, in addition to maintaining an outstanding academic record, exhibits an enthusiasm for experimental and theoretical physics.

  • Yago Rio Aja – Asturias, Spain


Sarah Katherine Stamper Award in Biology

This award honors the memory of the daughter of a 1950s assistant to the President of King University.

  • Whitney Brooks – Bristol, Virginia


Ida B. Wells Social Work Students of the Year:

Given to student social workers who best exemplify the characteristics of advocacy, courage, and truth telling in the pursuit of racial and gender equality and overall human rights.

  • Kayla Barron – Ennis, Texas
  • Savannah Burt – Bristol, Tennessee
  • Kayla Cooper – Church Hill, Tennessee


William E. Torbert Memorial Scholarship

Given to a returning outstanding mathematics major.

  • Chloe Clayton – Bloomington, Illinois




Mary Richmond Social Work Students of the Year Award

Bestowed upon students who are active members of both Chi Omega and the Social Work Action Group, and best exemplify the Social Work Code of Ethics. The award is named for Marcy Richmond, who brought professional standards of practice to the profession of social work in the late 19th century.

  • Vanessa Bigness – Jonesborough, Tennessee
  • Angelia Ramsey – Mosheim, Tennessee


Jane Addams Social Work Student of the Year Award

Given to the students who strongly uphold the Social Work Code of Ethics and are nonjudgmental innovators who exemplify outspoken advocacy, while being fully dedicated to the enhancement of communities and to the service to and empowerment of vulnerable populations. The award is named for Jane Addams, who introduced the social work profession to community well-being through the provision of services to vulnerable populations and excellence in scholarship.

  • Tracey “Nickie” Tedder – Bristol, Tennessee
  • Tabatha Fatolitis – Elizabethton, Tennessee


Outstanding Humanitarian Service:

Granted to the top six student social workers who best exemplify the tenets of social and economic justice for all through humanitarian service and who fight to eliminate barriers that prohibit equity.

  • Lakyn Henson – Atlanta, Texas
  • Nicole Hayward – Elizabethton, Tennessee
  • Megan Compton – Coeburn, Virginia
  • Brittiany Tackett – Caryville, Tennessee
  • Makayla Boyd – Wise, Virginia
  • Stacey Chapman – Marion, Virginia


Phi Alpha | Chi Omega Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award

CHI OMEGA is the honor society for social work. Members have achieved excellence in scholarship, with a minimum GPA of 3.5, and exemplify honor, exceptional quality of character, altruism, scholarship, and have made a commitment to uphold the Social Work Code of Ethics.

  • Mason Hunt – Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Michelle Hill – Bristol, Virginia
  • Allison Porter – Max Meadows, Virginia
  • Kaitlyn Shoun – Elizabethton, Tennessee
  • Zephanie Snyder – Seymour, Tennessee



Outstanding Undergraduate Business Award:

  • André Ventura Schiabel – São Carlos, Brazil


Outstanding Master of Business Administration Graduate Award

  • Alex Sodré – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




John S. Gaines Excellence in Student Teaching Award

Named in honor of Professor Emeritus John S. Gaines, who came to King in the fall of 1969 and began the process of establishing what is now the School of Education.

  • Annah Blankenship – Abingdon, Virginia


Outstanding M.Ed. Graduate

Presented to an outstanding graduate education student whom the faculty believe will be a standard-bearer of King’s mission and be a teacher who will make a difference in the lives of their students and the community in which they serve.

  • Brittney McGlothlin – Bristol, Tennessee


School of Education Distinction Award

  • Emma Harmon – Bristol, Virginia


Teachers of Promise Award

The Teachers of Promise Institute, which celebrates the decision to be a teacher, invited King’s School of Education to identify its best and brightest future educators.

  • Gwendolyn Haag – Houston, Texas
  • Emma Harmon – Bristol, Virginia
  • Madison Jones – Bristol, Virginia
  • Alexis Wynn – Waynesville, Ohio




Nursing Pillar Awards

The Nursing Pillar Awards are based on the School of Nursing professional pillars of Integrity, Commitment, Service, Accountability, Civility, and Compassion.

  • Integrity: Erin Miller – Carollton, Texas
  • Service: Travis Finkle – Bristol, Tennessee




Student Leadership Award:

  • Brennan Cherry – Signal Mountain, Tennessee
  • Desiree White – Springfield, Tennessee



  •  Ruthie Fripp – Watertown, Tennessee
  • Jordan Keith – Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee


Student Organization of the Year Award:

  • Pickleball Club


Student Organization Leader Award:

  • Jessica Campbell – Graysville, Tennessee


SGA Faculty Appreciation Award

Selected by the SGA Senate, this award recognizes a faculty member who has excelled in service to students and provided new and exciting opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.

  • Alex Moore


SGA Staff Appreciation Award

Selected by the SGA Senate, this award recognizes a staff member who has gone above and beyond in service to students, exhibited a genuine care for student needs and concerns, and worked fervently to assist students in achieving their goals.

  • Chase Arndt


SGA Officers for 2024-2025 Academic Year

  • President, Victoria Thauer – Grand Island, New York
  • Vice President, Gretchen Grambow – Prosper, Texas


Faculty/Student Lecture Series for 2024-2025

The Faculty/Student Lecture Series dates back to 1959, when the faculty and senior students voted for the first faculty and student lecturers. Since then, the faculty nominate and select two students and the students select two faculty members to deliver lectures during the upcoming academic year.

  • Faculty: Professor Martha Liendo and Han Ong, Ph.D.
  • Student: Jessica Campbell of Graysville, Tennessee, and Che Nunez of Kingsport, Tennessee


Senior Academic Athlete of the Year:

  •  David Medina – Murfreesboro, Tennessee


Conference Carolinas Scholar Athlete of the Year for Men’s Cross Country:

  •  Jordan Keith – Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee


Team Academic Award:

  •  Acrobatics and Tumbling


Inductees for CHI ALPHA SIGMA National Collegiate Honor Society:


Acrobatics and Tumbling:

    • Grace Beatty – Conover, North Carolina
    • Brooklyn Dobson – Shoals, Indiana
    • Alexa Mathews – Apple Valley, California
    • Brooklyn Quark – Manitoba, Canada
    • Madeline Robinson – Loganville, Georgia
    • Alyssa Talabac – Wadsworth, Ohio
    • Desiree White – Springfield, Tennessee


  • Baseball:
    • Ian Hart – Merritt Island, Florida
    • Garret Huffman – Raphine, Virginia
    • Tanner Hunley – Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina
    • Evan Hyatt – Johnson City, Tennessee
    • Carson Whaley – Chuckey, Tennessee


  • Men’s Basketball:
    • Oluwadamilol Oladipupo “Dami” Farinloye – Manitoba, Canada


  • Men’s Golf:
    • Gustav Damgaard – Halland, Sweden
    • Harvey Fitzpatrick – Leicester, England


  • Men’s Soccer:
    • Hayden Armstrong – Bristol, Tennessee
    • Anthony Bernardi – Dandridge, Tennessee
    • Joshua Bessinger – Havelock, North Carolina
    • Renan Caruso – Caxambu, Brazil
    • Joshua Clements – North Yorkshire, England
    • Pedronel Herrera – Cali, Colombia
    • Leeroy Matarutse – Harare, Zimbabwe
    • Conrado Mate – Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • Sean McDermott – Suffolk, Virginia
    • Andersen Moore – Dublin, Virginia
    • Bay Moore – Dublin, Virginia
    • Campbell Moore – Dublin, Virginia
    • Kirk Rahill – Louth, Ireland


  • Men’s Swimming:
    • Samuel Osowiecki – Thomaston, Connecticut


  • Men’s Tennis:
    • Rhys Halcrow – Portland, England
    • Mason Hunt – Kingsport, Tennessee


  • Men’s Volleyball:
    • Gannon Chinen – Pearl City, Hawaii


  • Softball:
    • Jessica Campbell – Graysville, Tennessee
    • Lilly Million – Greeneville, Tennessee


  • Women’s Basketball:
    • Michelle Gallegos – Gilbert, Arizona
    • Alexa Gramann – Jefferson City, Tennessee
    • Jaden Potts – Kingsport, Tennessee


  • Women’s Soccer:
    • Georgia Fisher – Ontario, Canada
    • Samantha King – Bristol, Virginia


  • Women’s Swimming:
    • Fanny Legros – Heusy, Belgium


  • Women’s Swimming and Triathlon:
    • Elizabeth Rehkopf – Bakersfield, California


  • Women’s Tennis:
    • Deniz Aytun-Crespo – Talavera de la Reina, Spain
    • Michaela Koricinova – Bratislava, Slovakia
    • Mireia Mas Ortega – Barcelona, Spain


  • Women’s Track:
    • Annah Blankenship – Abingdon, Virginia
    • Emily Christian – Church Hill, Tennessee


  • Women’s Volleyball:
    • Lydia Buchanan – Greeneville, Tennessee
    • Chloe Clayton – Bloomington, Illinois
    • Katie Harless – Abingdon, Virginia
    • Zephanie Snyder – Seymour, Tennessee


  • Women’s Wrestling:
    • Montana Delawder – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
    • Alyssa Guardiola – Sun City, California
    • Diana Holmes – Suwanee, Georgia