King University Students Honored for Achievements and Service

Apr 19, 2022 | King University

Faculty, staff, and students of King University gather in Memorial Chapel for the annual Honors Convocation on Monday, April 18. (Photo by Earl Neikirk)
Faculty, staff, and students of King University gather in Memorial Chapel for the annual Honors Convocation on Monday, April 18. (Photo by Earl Neikirk)

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 19, 2022 — King University recently applauded a number of students for their academic, athletic, and community service accomplishments during the 2021-2022 academic year.

“We are very proud to honor these students for their impressive accomplishments,” said Matthew Roberts, Ed.D., provost of King. “They have excelled in rigorous academic programs and we are particularly proud of how they have persevered during challenging years.”

During the annual Honors Convocation, held at King’s Memorial Chapel in Bristol on Monday, April 18, 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.

  • Brooke Hatcher – Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Caroline Hawkins – Abingdon, Virginia
  • Josie Gunn – Gainesboro, Tennessee
  • Claire Guittard – Connelly Springs, North Carolina
  • Kiki Samsel – Louisville, Kentucky
  • Rebekah Thomas – Glade Spring, 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.

  • Presley Overbey – Gate City, Virginia


Religious Studies Award 

Given to a graduating Religious Studies major who has demonstrated the finest overall performance in Bible & Religion.

  • Sydney Bailey – Mendota, Virginia

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Award

Given to the students who exhibit exemplary work, professional demeanor, and excellent writing in this core class. This award also recognizes students’ enthusiasm to learn new material and a passion to honestly explore the Christian worldview.

  • Fall 2021: Piper Banks – Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Spring 2022: Brooklyn Arant – Winchester, Tennessee

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.

  • Abigail Williams – Bean Station, Tennessee

Evelyn W. Snider English Award

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

  • Courtney Reese – Abingdon, Virginia

Geneva King Award 

Given to a student who has performed well academically and helped foster a love for the English language at King.

  • Phoenix Dubose – Yelm, Washington

Spanish Language Award

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

  • Brianna Dunbar – Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Advanced Studies in Spanish Award

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

  • Noah Melendez – Bristol, Tennessee

Allen Trousdale Guild Players Awards

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

  • Austin Bailey – Abingdon, Virginia

Digital Media Art & Design Award of Excellence

Recognizes a student who has demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement, leadership, and service. The recipient is a student who is self-motivated, proactive, and has shown skill in critical thinking while taking on leadership roles within the program. 

  • Sasha Gardiner – West Sussex, United Kingdom

History Award

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

  • Kelsey Corley – Kingsport, 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.

  • Hannah Rogers – Soddy Daisy, 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.

  • Presley Overbey – Gate City, Virginia

Security and Intelligence Scholar Award

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

  • Kendall Morrison – Culpeper, Virginia

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.

  • Biology: Brooklyn Quark – Winnipeg, Canada
  • Chemistry: Kenley Karlon – Wesley Chapel, Florida
  • Physics: Elizabeth Spetrini – Maryville, Tennessee
  • Physics: Katy Neubert – Johnson City, Tennessee

Natural Science and Mathematics Award

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

  • Trinity Lee – Knoxville, Tennessee

Interdepartmental Sciences & Mathematics Seminar Award

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

  • Alexis McDowell – Gray, Tennessee

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.

  • Frankie Medina – Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Max Weaver Award in Organic Chemistry

The Howard and Pearl Weaver Award in Organic Chemistry was established in 1993 by Max Weaver, an alumnus of King University, in honor of his father and mother.

  • Charles Swiggett – Greensboro, North Carolina

Sarah Katherine Stamper Award in Biology

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

  • Anya Gross – Whangarei, New Zealand

William E. Torbert Memorial Scholarship

Given to a returning outstanding mathematics major.

  • Gideon Bezuidenhout – Wake Forest, North Carolina

American Choral Directors Association National Student Award

Given annually to a graduating senior who has contributed to the efforts of the choral program over a four-year period.

  • Grayson Howe – Abingdon, Virginia


Mary Richmond Social Work Student 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 19thcentury.

  • Jordan Smith – Oliver Springs, Tennessee
  • Jennifer Zurmuehlen – Fallbrook, California
  • Alexys Palmer – Lititz, Pennsylvania

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.

  • Jennifer Starr Jones – Elizabethton, Tennessee
  • Daniel Robertson – Lenoir City, Tennessee
  • Emily Eversole – Marion, Virginia


The School of Business and Economics presents awards to graduating students in each of its degree programs. The recipients are selected based on their grade point averages and on their services to the University and to the School of Business, Economics, and Technology.

Outstanding Business Administration Graduate Award 

  • Claire Guittard – Connelly Springs, North Carolina

Outstanding Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration Graduate Award

  • Laurel Henning – Catawba, South Carolina

Outstanding Master of Business Administration Graduate Award

  • Jamie Edwards – Sandton, South Africa


John S. Gaines Excellence in Student Teaching Awards

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.

  • Megan Alyssa Davis – Bristol, Tennessee

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.

  • Leidzina Leana Leitao-Duff – Knoxville, Tennessee

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.

  • Megan Alyssa Davis – Bristol, Tennessee
  • Rebecca Grace Gillen – Bristol, Virginia
  • Abbey Robinette – Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Kaitlyn Overstreet – Bristol, Virginia
  • Fred Daniel Day – Bluff City, Tennessee


Nursing Pillar Awards 

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

  • BSN: Abigail Hefely – Blountville, Tennessee (Integrity)
  • MSN: Virginia “Ginny” Dionne – Knoxville, Tennessee (Service)


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. 

  • Martin Dotterweich, Ph.D.

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.

  • Finley Green

Faculty/Student Lecture Series for 2022-2023

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: Kevin DeFord and Gail Helt
  • Student: Gracie Delaney – Lyles, Tennessee, and Amanda Meadows – Bristol, Tennessee
The accomplishments of King University students were celebrated by faculty and staff during the annual Honors Convocation. (Photo by Earl Neikirk)



Corporate Image

Get In Touch