Institutional Honors

*Financially supported by Student Activity Fees

Division of Student Development 
Campus:  Blountville
Office:  Dean of Student Development
Room:  C2110, General Studies Building
Office Hours:  8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Address:  2425 Highway 75, P.O. Box 246, Blountville, TN 37617
Phone:  423.354.5120 or 423.354.5232
Fax:  423.323.0240
Email:  studentdevelopment@NortheastState.edu
Web:  www.NortheastState.edu/InstitutionalHonors



  • Institutional Honors LogoBe proud of yourself
  • Congratulate your peers
  • Celebrate your achievements
  • Update your résumé

Recognizing significant milestones and celebrating accomplishments are important aspects of the educational experience at Northeast State Community College. The College administers and awards various institutional honors to students, faculty, staff, and alumni that reflect their commitment to excellence in academics and service.

Each year Northeast State Community College recognizes an exemplary adult student who is enrolled in an educational program to enhance or improve his/her educational credentials. The Adult Learner of the Year Award honors a student who achieves high performance within the program of study; demonstrates good citizenship; exhibits personal desire and motivation; and meets one or more of the social definitions of adulthood: married, a parent, or self-supporting.

Students are nominated for the award by faculty and staff. The award is sponsored by the Division of Student Services, and the recipient is selected by an ad hoc committee from the Northeast State community. Priority consideration is given to individuals who have overcome significant obstacles in the pursuit of their academic and career goals.

Recipients of the Adult Learner of the Year Award include:

  • 2016-17 – Konah Buckman
  • 2015-16 – Alicia N. Blasini
  • 2014-15 – Paul E. Taylor III
  • 2013-14 – Willie J. Riddle 
  • 2012-13 – Elizabeth S. Ross 
  • 2011-12 – Joshua A. Johnson 
  • 2010-11 – Sandra M. Bullins 
  • 2009-10 – Larry H. Templeton 
  • 2008-09 – Yuezhu Liu 
  • 2007-08 – Beverley R. Ehrhart 
  • 2006-07 – Lisa D. Kilby Adams 
  • 2005-06 – Wendi J. Pickel 
  • 2004-05 – Judith V. Shannon 
  • 2003-04 – Leona C. Holman 
  • 2002-03 – Debra M. Stout 
  • 2001-02 – B. Joyce Hyder Sweeney 
  • 2000-01 – Leigh M. Fox 
  • 1999-00 – Melanie R. Highsmith 
  • 1998-99 – Mitzi L. Gibson 
  • 1997-98 – Connie J. Goddard 
  • 1996-97 – P. Darlene Jolly 

Administered by the Tennessee Region of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team recognizes outstanding students from each of the state’s community colleges. The All-Tennessee team is one of 38 All-State Academic Teams sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa at the national level. Recipients of All-State honors are then placed in competition for the All-USA Community College Academic Team and the Coca-Cola Community College Team. The All-USA team is presented by USA TODAY.

Students from Northeast State are nominated to the All-Tennessee team by the Institutional Student Nominating Committee. Nominees are selected from students scheduled to complete associate degrees during the academic year of nomination with GPAs ranging from 3.5 to 4.0, who make significant service contributions to the College or community, and who meet national eligibility criteria. Northeast State recipients include:

  • 2017
    Nathan P. Carrier
    Shannon D. Yerton
  • 2016
    Victoria G. Hewlett (Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for Tennessee)
    Paul E. Taylor III (Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar)
  • 2015
    Emmaline H. Bragg (Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar)
    David J. Shepherd (Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar)
  • 2014
    Olivia A. Orten (Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for Tennessee)
    Nikki D. Sumner (Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar)
  • 2013
    Elizabeth S. Ross
    Anne N. Rowell
  • 2012
    A. Kelly Stapleton
    Brittany L. Thomas (Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for Tennessee and All-USA Community College Academic Team)
  • 2011
    Brittany N. Boone
    F. Lee Boyd II
  • 2010
    April M. Barrett (Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar)
    Jennifer N. Miller
  • 2009
    Kimberly M. Coalson
    L. Nichole Manz
  • 2008
    Elaine M. Henry
    Debra A. Oglesby
  • 2007
    Kelley M. Hatch (Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for Tennessee)
    Caleb P. Pearson
  • 2006
    Christina M. Huffines
    Sean P. Rupley
  • 2005
    Erika M. Adams
    Tracy L. Mantell
  • 2004
    Brian E. Moody
    Jason E. Tipton
  • 2003
    Rhonda G. Castle
    Lydia R. Prior
  • 2002
    David W. Buchanan
    Pamela A. Echols
  • 2001
    Leigh M. Fox
    Jacqueline R. Robinson
  • 2000
    Marsha H. Elam
    Elizabeth C. Nicely
  • 1999
    Anthony M. Lewis
    Alvin L. Murphy
  • 1998
    Michaela C. Boggs
    Joyce Lawson Noto
  • 1997
    F. Arlene Miles
    Marie M. Sandidge
  • 1996
    John P. Forbes
    Kristen E. Rudder
  • 1995
    Robert W. Wagner

Northeast State honors its Most Distinguished Faculty, Administrative/Professional, and Support Staff members with awards presented annually at the Honors Convocation ceremony in April. The Distinguished Staff Awards recognize employees who demonstrate excellence in teaching and service that impacts the College and the student body. Staff members who meet eligibility criteria are nominated by students or fellow employees. The recipients of the awards are selected by the Distinguished Staff Awards Committee. 

Award recipients include:

Year Faculty Administrative Support Staff
2016-17   Charles Charlton Chris Hitechew Melissa Brickey
2015-16  Tempi Hale Jennifer Starling  Dottie Corey
2014-15 David Haga Malissa Trent Debra Johnson
2013-14 Brent Lockhart Patricia Chandler Mike Collins
2012-13 Jim Kelly Sandra Gardner David Lewis
2011-12 Ed Osborne Nancy Forrester Erin Blevins
2010-11 Connie Marshall Chris Lefler Brenda Denton
2009-10 Garry Grau Josh Crowder Angela Huddle
2008-09 David Maldon Donald Coleman Patricia Haynes
2007-08 David Wollert Pete Miller Jeff Grindstaff
2006-07 Mark Pollock Pat Moody Joyce Sweeney
2005-06 Michael Aulick Kathy Coleman Sherry Mott
2004-05 William Wilson Crusie Lucero Linda Hamilton
2003-04 Robert May Tammy Street Linda Carpenter
2002-03 Fred Cope Ranee Baker Lory Fulton
2001-02 Mary Ella Poteat Duncan Parsons Mary Plank
2000-01 Donald Whitaker Jon Harr Janet Gregg
1999-00 Charlie Bloomer Margaret Lester Zoe Witcher
1998-99 Sam Stevenson Pat Moody Debra Johnson
1997-98 Carolyn McCracken Susan Graybeal Patricia Chandler
1996-97 Lana Hamilton Susan Allen Sandra Gardner
1995-96 Pashia Hogan Lydia Knight Dianne Grant
1994-95 Brian McRae Elaine Boone David Haga
1993-94 Ramona Stephens Greg Walters Debi Beverly
1992-93 Carole Shaw Donald Coleman Sue Cunningham
1991-92 Rita Quillen No Award James Sell 


Full-time tenured faculty who have served Northeast State Community College for a minimum of 15 years and who are eligible for state retirement benefits, who have made significant contributions and service to the College, and who have retired in good standing from Northeast State are considered for emeritus faculty status upon retirement. Candidates for the Faculty Emeritus Award must be recommended for emeritus status within two years from the date of retirement.

Faculty Emeritus recipients and their dates of service:

  • Dottie L. Whitesides, English, 1979-1995
  • Nancy F. Forrester, Mathematics, 1984-2013
  • Dr. Kurt W. Kominek, Computer and Information Sciences, 1994-2016

Students receiving associate degrees with final cumulative grade point averages of 3.9 to 4.0 will be awarded Summa Cum Laude (Highest Honors), while those with final cumulative grade point averages of 3.75 to 3.89 will be awarded Magna Cum Laude (High Honors). Graduates with final cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 to 3.74 will be awarded Cum Laude (Honors). Learning Support grade point averages will not count toward calculation of either semester or graduation honors. Northeast State has one commencement ceremony per year, which is at the end of the spring semester; therefore, graduation honors are calculated at the end of the fall semester. The graduation honors designation will be included in the graduation program, the graduation ceremony, and all news releases concerning graduation.


Community service recognition programs for higher education students and faculty/staff at the campus level were created in Tennessee through legislation enacted by the General Assembly in 1991. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) administers the program to recognize Outstanding Community Service performed by the faculty, staff, and students of Tennessee’s higher education institutions, including public and private two- and four-year institutions. In 1997, the awards were named for the late Representative Harold Love, Sr. who was instrumental in passing the enabling legislation.

Elected to the General Assembly in 1968, Rep. Love was known for his compassion and good humor. With the welfare of his community as his primary concern, Rep. Love went to any lengths to help a constituent in need, even if it meant giving from his own pocket. That is why, whenever he was present during a session of the Tennessee House of Representatives, it was said, “Love is in the House.” Five student and five faculty/staff winners state-wide are named each year. Each individual recipient receives a $1,000 prize and is honored at the annual awards ceremony in Nashville.

Love Award recipients from Northeast State include:

  • 2015 – David E. Haga, Faculty 
  • 2014 – Linda W. Calvert, Staff 
  • 2007 – Dr. Laura T. Barnett, Faculty 
  • 2007 – Kelley M. Hatch, Student 
  • 2004 – Keia S. Loveless, Student 
  • 2002 – Janet L. Blankenbecler, Student 
  • 1999 – Jerry Brown Courtney, Student 
  • 1998 – Joyce Lawson Noto, Student 
  • 1997 – Melissa A. Ripley, Student 
  • 1996 – Marie M. Sandidge, Student 
  • 1994 – Thomas L. Turner, Jr., Student 

Honors Convocation is held annually in April and is considered one of the two most important events sponsored by the College. The other is the yearly Commencement Ceremony for graduating students. Awards for outstanding students in each academic program area and the overall Northeast State Outstanding Student Award are announced during Honors Convocation. In addition, students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have made significant contributions in various programs and student organizations are honored. Selection of the recipients varies by award and/or program.

The date and time for the 2016-2017 ceremony was Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. The location was the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport. 

Download a copy of the latest Honors Convocation program book to view a complete list of the award winners: 


The Institutional Student Nominating Committee (ISNC) is a college committee of administrators, faculty, and staff who serve to nominate Northeast State students for state, regional, and national awards that require institutionally approved nominees. The committee reviews award criteria and implements selection procedures to screen potential nominees. The ISNC currently oversees the Northeast State nomination processes for the following awards or programs: the All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the Tennessee Board of Regents Student Regent, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Student Member, and the State's Love Community Involvement Awards. The ISNC also selects the student nominees for transfer scholarships when offered by state four-year colleges and universities as institutional awards.


Northeast State Community College and the Northeast State National Alumni Association recognize a graduate with the Outstanding Alumni Award each year at Honors Convocation. The award honors an alumni who has made significant contributions in one or more of the following categories: Northeast State, career, or community. Alumni are nominated by Northeast State students, faculty, staff, alumni, or community members. The recipient of the award is selected by the Outstanding Alumni Award Committee. 

Outstanding Alumni Award winners include:

  • 2017 – Rep. Timothy Hill '03, Tennessee's 3rd House District
  • 2016 – Donald Coleman '87, Northeast State Community College
  • 2015 – Dannette Williams '04, Marriott International
  • 2014 – Carson Waugh '05, Off The Waugh Productions
  • 2013 – Dr. David Long '92, The University of Auckland (NZ)
  • 2012 – Rep. Matthew Hill '01, Tennessee's 7th House District
  • 2011 – Mary Moore '91, Eastman Chemical Company
  • 2010 – Duke Okes '76, APLOMET/Applied Logical Methods
  • 2009 – Greg Walters '07, Northeast State Community College
  • 2008 – Rayma Gibbs '03, Northeast State Community College
  • 2007 – April Eads '02, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services 
  • 2006 – Allen Hurley '93, Touchstone Wireless, LP
  • 2005 – Robin Eller '00, Hallie Turner Private School
  • 2004 – Becky Berry '99, Northeast State National Alumni Association

Northeast State’s Outstanding Student Award honors a graduating student who demonstrates excellence in academics and service that impacts the College. Nominees for the Outstanding Student Award are selected by faculty and staff from students scheduled to complete associate degrees during the academic year of nomination with a minimum required GPA, who make significant service contributions to the College or community, and who meet additional eligibility criteria. The recipient of the award is selected by the Outstanding Student Award Committee. 

Help us find our missing Outstanding Student Award winners! We are searching for the names of the students who received the Outstanding Student Award (then known as the Faculty Scholarship Award) in 1982-83, 1984-85, 1985-86, and 1989-90. If you are the award winner or have documentation of the award winner’s name, please contact studentdevelopment@NortheastState.edu

Outstanding Student Award winners include:

  • 2016-17 – Kerri E. Jones, Biology
  • 2015-16 – Victoria G. Hewlett, Sociology/Speech Communication
  • 2014-15 – Emmaline H. Bragg, Social Work/Sociology
  • 2013-14 – Nikki D. Sumner, Pre-Nursing
  • 2012-13 – Elizabeth S. Ross, Speech Communication
  • 2011-12 – Joshua A. Johnson, Speech Communication/Theatre
  • 2010-11 – F. Lee Boyd II, Speech Communication
  • 2009-10 – Adnan Brka, Nursing
  • 2008-09 – L. Nichole Manz, Electromechanical
  • 2007-08 – Elaine M. Henry, Pre-Nursing/Speech Communication
  • 2006-07 – Caleb P. Pearson, Pre-Health Professions
  • 2005-06 – William H. Bloomer, General Transfer
  • 2004-05 – Tracy L. Mantell, Business/English
  • 2003-04 – Patricia J. Cross, General Transfer
  • 2002-03 – Jason E. Tipton, Mechanical
  • 2001-02 – Cynthia C. Hill, General Office
  • 2000-01 – Dinah L. DeFord, General Transfer
  • 1999-00 – Marsha H. Elam, Accounting
  • 1998-99 – Scott A. Dykes, General Transfer
  • 1997-98 – Kellie E. Arnold, General Transfer
  • 1996-97 – J. David Bowles, General Transfer
  • 1995-96 – Margaret H. Davis, Psychology
  • 1994-95 – Theresa M. Simpson, Management/Small Business Management
  • 1993-94 – Tiffany R. Watkins, General Transfer
  • 1992-93 – Danna K. Pearce, Finance
  • 1991-92 – Susan E. Graybeal, Management Information Science
  • 1990-91 – H. Alan Miller, Instrumentation Engineering Technology
  • 1989-90 – Unknown
  • 1988-89 – Mark Singleton, Drafting
  • 1987-88 – Carolyn Ward, Management Information Science
  • 1986-87 – William E. Whitesides, Welding
  • 1985-86 – Unknown
  • 1984-85 – Unknown
  • 1983-84 – Phillip D. Stanley, Welding
  • 1982-83 – Unknown 


The Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award recognizes faculty and staff who voluntarily serve as advisors to the College's student organizations, clubs, and programs. The criteria for the award include being a student organization advisor for a minimum of two years with the same club or organization and exhibiting model behaviors in the performance of the duties and responsibilities of a student organization advisor as described in the Northeast State and Tennessee Board of Regents policies and procedures. 

The award is sponsored by the Office of Leadership Programs. Recipients are honored each year during Honors Convocation. 

Award winners include: 

  • 2016-17 – Laura Barnett, Volunteer Northeast State
  • 2015-16 – Rayma Gibbs, Northeast State Scholars Foundation
  • 2014-15 – Nona Shepherd, The Sci-fi/Fantasy Guild
  • 2013-14 – Jane Honeycutt, Phi Theta Kappa's Alpha Iota Chi Chapter 

The President's Academic Leadership Award recognizes students who have demonstrated leadership in the advancement of academic life at the College with an impact on the state and/or national level. The recipient(s) is recognized individually during the annual Honors Convocation in April.

Award recipients include:

2017 – Mark T. Sanders

  • hilmor® Retool Your Future Grand Prize Winner

2017 – Shannon D. Yerton

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team
  • Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Case Study Challenge Award

2016 – Phi Theta Kappa's Alpha Iota Chi Chapter Officer Team: Myka M. Baker, Kyla L. Faust, Victoria G. Hewlett, Cassandra L. Ross, Tessa L. Ross, Carly P. Sluder

  • Phi Theta Kappa International Distinguished Chapter Officer Team 

2016 – Victoria G. Hewlett

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team 
  • Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for Tennessee
  • Phi Theta Kappa International Distinguished Regional Officer 

2016 – Paul E. Taylor III

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team  
  • Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar  

2015 – Phi Theta Kappa's Alpha Iota Chi Chapter Officer Team: David Barlow, Emmaline H. Bragg, Anna J. Musket, David J. Shepherd, Isabella K. Smith, Kelsey M. Smith 

  • Phi Theta Kappa International Distinguished Chapter Officer Team 

2015 – Emmaline H. Bragg 

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team  
  • Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar  

2015 – David J. Shepherd

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team  
  • Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar  

2014 – Megan C. Coram 

  • League for Innovation in the Community College's Terry O'Banion Student Technology Champion Award 

2014 – Olivia A. Orten 

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team 
  • Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for Tennessee 

2014 – Nikki D. Sumner 

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team  
  • Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar   

2013 – Elizabeth S. Ross 

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team  
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship    

2012 – Brittany L. Thomas 

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team 
  • Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for Tennessee 
  • All-USA Community College Academic Team  

2011 – Merrisa L. Williams 

  • Outstanding Student Award, Tennessee Association of Higher Education and Disabilities 
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship  

2010 – April M. Barrett 

  • All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team 
  • Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar


The President’s All-Academic Team designation recognizes graduating students who maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their college-level course work. These students are honored individually during a special reception that precedes the annual Honors Convocation in April.

William J. Allen
Lisa M. Althaus
Courtney L. Arnold
Abigail E. Bell
Allison B. Bennett
Daniel A. Bishop
Sarah L. Black
Harley D. Blevins
Mary A. Bouton
Neal O. Brantner
Gloria J. Bridges
Rachelle K. Byrd
Mark A. Carr
William H. Carr 
Nathan P. Carrier
Cassie E. Charlton
Ansley E. Cook
Patrick B. Cooley
Ashlyn M. Crowe
Christopher D. Estep
Daniel L. Finnie
Mark T. Fleming
Joshua A. Ganious
Michelle K. Grazier
Tiffany A. Hall
Earl K. Hardin
Jason T. Hinkle
Johnathan P. Holmes
Megan B. Honaker
Teresa P. Horton
Anna M. Hunigan
Landis H. Johnson
Tyler M. Jones
Kurt W. Kominek
Terina C. Lovelace
Seth F. Manning
Noah M. Marks
Joely D. McClain
Ashlee M. Miller
Rachel C. Moncier
Lejla Muhic
Jordan A. Ortega
Andrew D. Osborne
Emma S. Perry
J. Harper Pollitte
John D. Porter
Angelia D. Ratliff
Rachel N. Reavis
Jacob A. Reece
Isaac M. Roberts
Brandon D. Sexton
Catherine A. Shook
Sarah E. Stewart
Chelsea M. Temple
Jared L. Thaxton
Kilian S. Thomas
Andrew S. Tokarz
Christina R. Tokarz
Amanda Trent
Ethan C. Troutman
Jared W. Waesche
Kimberly Y. Wheeler
Carly N. Williams


William J. Allen
Jesse A. Ball
Bronston-James K. Batara
Sarah L. Black
Christina M. Blevins
Matthew T. Boyd
Kevin Brown
Shawna L Burrow
William P. Byington
Ryan T. Campbell
Justin R. Carter
Christopher D. Cody
Charity M. Conkin
Ethan C. Crawford
Jason A. Crawford
Austin E. Cross
Whitney B. Culbertson
John J. Deakins
David J. Dexter
Jacob M. Ellis
Christopher D. Estep
Kyla L. Faust
Hannah L. Fink
Victoria T. Fleming
Tina M. Fullington
Melinda S. Gouge
Brent Grindstaff
Peter J. Hartman
Victoria G. Hewlett
Alicia B. Holley
Brittanie L. Hubbard
Landis H. Johnson
Melindalou N. Johnson
Annie L. King
Mary M. Klug
Eileen B. Madden
Savannah A. Maxwell
Ashlee M. Miller
Jimmy L. Murphy
Melissa A. Napier
Andrew D. Osborne
Maria G. Rice
Jeffrey L. Robinson
Taylor L. Slaughter
Darrell D. Smith
Logan B. Taylor
Paul E. Taylor III
Carolyne S. Thomas
Kelly R. Tolley
Christopher B. Vermejan
Suzanne R. Watson
James C. Weaver
Isaac R. Wentz
Kimberly Y. Wheeler
Heather D. White
Heather Willson
Garrett G. Wright
John G. Yeazel


Sharon F. Baird
Alicia LeeAnn Bales
Melissa Botaro Rosa Bowers
Emmaline Hope Bragg
Joshua Lee Capwell
Conner Shane Collette
Hannah Patricia Davis
David J. Dexter
Samuel Jacob Estepp
Sam P. Fanning
Carly Denise Fields
Jennifer Anne Fields
Abigail L. Freeburn
Matthew S. George
Sequan Q. Griffin
Jenny Lynn Hilton
Taylor P. Jenkins
Karen Lawson
McKensie GraceAnn McGee
David T. Medukas
Ronald G. Mullikin
Carie Ann Payne
William Daniel Potter
James Brian Raxter
Bridgette Ilene Smith
Jacob W. Smith
Tabitha Brooke Smith
Charles R. Spencer
Jonathan Ray Stacey