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News Release

Student Achievements Highlighted during Annual Awards Ceremony

Primary Media Contact:
Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager

Secondary Media Contact:
Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager

Released on May 23, 2017

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – John Tyler Community College recognized more than 95 students for their academic achievements, leadership skills, community service and creative talents during the college’s annual Awards Ceremony held at Tyler’s Chester Campus on April 28, 2017. During the ceremony, the following awards were presented (zip codes follow recipient names):

Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges
Students named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5; have an outstanding record of participation and leadership in extracurricular and/or community activities; and be nominated by faculty. Recipients are selected by a faculty committee after committee members meet with the nominees.  

Carter Wesley Bain (25233)
Tonia Marie Baylor (23236)
Marshall Maloney (23233)
Qu'Tashia Malika Muhammad (23838)
Marilyn Holt Powell (23832)
Ashley Elizabeth Pollard Snider (23114)
Tara Stevens (23225)
Robyn Gayle West (23231)
Damian Anthony Winn (23831)
Darlene Winn (34441)
Shing Wai Yam (22152)

Sherwood Forest Art & Literary Review
John Tyler Community College publishes the Sherwood Forest Art & Literary Review each year in conjunction with its annual student literary and art contest. The publication has highlighted the creativity and talent of John Tyler students since 1968. Students submit entries in the categories of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and art. Judges review and select first, second and third place winners in each category. Honorable mention awards may be given if the judges choose to recognize additional entries. The winning entries are published in the Review. An electronic copy of the publication may be downloaded at

1st Place – Esther Herdman (23225)
2nd Place – Laura Ingram (23842)
3rd Place – Daniel Nordvig (23139)
Honorable Mention – Savannah Shomette (23836)

Creative Nonfiction
1st Place – Mary Czeizinger (23040)
2nd Place – Linden Edwards (23002)
3rd Place – Charles Edwards (23114)
Honorable Mention – R.D. Lewis (23234)
Honorable Mention – Joanna Wallace (23860)

1st Place – Laura Ingram (23842)
2nd Place – Lori Mears (23235)
3rd Place – Schuyler Humphries (23836)
Honorable Mention – Elizabeth Lewis (23112)
Honorable Mention – Whitney Cook (23139)
1st Place – Jack Goolsby (23114)
2nd Place – Zach Duke (23238)
3rd Place – Shaquan Herring (23225)
Honorable Mention – Elise Blakely (49053)
Honorable Mention – Alexander Doughtery (23236)

Social Sciences Research Expo Awards
Students are given the opportunity to present research they have conducted on a number of subjects at Tyler’s annual Social Science Research Expo. During the Research Expo, visitors, who spend time viewing the research and talking to the students about their findings, are given an opportunity to vote on their favorite projects. This year’s winning project was presented by Dana Legere (23114). Honorable mentions went to Gerry Jamison (23114) and Will Cloud (23936).

Tau Rho and Beta Omicron Omicron Phi Theta Kappa Academic Awards
John Tyler Community College’s two Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society chapters, Tau Rho and Beta Omicron Omicron, recognized graduating PTK members with a 4.0 cumulative GPA.

Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts
Noëlle Catherine Hisle (23120)

Associate of Science Degree in Business Administration
Edgar Geovany Chavarría (23234)
James Youngblood Evans (23112)
Casey Renee Lawson (23231)
Miranda Elise McCollum (23120)
Ashley Pollard Snider (23114)

Associate of Science Degree in Engineering
Omar Nicolas Morales (23112)

Associate of Science Degree in General Studies
Eli Joseph Marcellus (23139)
Katelyn R. Stuart (23838)
Eric Winn (34441)

Associate of Science Degree in General Studies, Computer Science Specialization
Daniel Scott Lysinger (23002)
Associate of Science Degree in General Studies, Pre BSN Specialization
Christina Faith Dalane (23113)
Regan Waters (23039)

Associate of Science Degree in General Studies, Science Specialization
Valerie J. Marley (23235)
Mercy Hope Mazurek (23114)

Associate of Science Degree in Information Systems
Kimberly Mockler Ganzert (23237)

Associate of Applied Arts Degree in Visual Arts, Photo Specialization
Amy Aileen McVaugh (23139)

Associate of Applied Arts Degree in Visual Arts, Photography and Film Specialization
Frederick S. Morton IV (23231)

Theresa Windham Service Award
This award was first presented in 1996 in honor of Theresa Hands Windham, who succumbed to a sudden illness in 1993 at the age of 37 while serving as the College’s coordinator of grants and development.  During her short tenure at the College, Ms. Windham’s kindness and selflessness touched the lives of countless students, faculty, and staff.  Always smiling, always striving to help others, she was loved by all who had the good fortune to make her acquaintance. This award recognizes students who personify Ms. Windham’s dedication to service without regard for personal gain or adulation. This year’s recipient was Marilyn Powell (23832), who has inspired so many while at John Tyler. After retiring from a career as a sales operations manager, Powell said she wanted to find a way to help senior citizens become more engaged, remain active, and live full lives. She decided to go back to school, and she enrolled in Tyler’s Human Services program. While at the college, Powell took a job as a work-study student, was selected to be part of the college’s student group that met with state legislators, and participated in an internship that allowed her to work with seniors through Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation. Although busy with her work and studies, Powell always found time to lend an ear and a hand to her classmates.

Daniel Dalton Award
The Daniel Dalton Award, named in honor of a John Tyler Community College founding faculty member, is presented annually to an outstanding club or student organization that exhibits excellence in the areas of service to the College, commitment to community service, and dedication to academics. This year’s award was presented to the STEM-H Club. Accepting the award was the club member Bret Dereski (23890) along with the club’s faculty advisors.

Marshall Denison Society
The Marshall Denison Society, named for the College’s second president, was established to recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the student activities program at John Tyler. Michael Rutz, instructor of sociology, was this year’s inductee. Rutz continually looks for ways to improve the learning experience for students of all ages. He is a leader in the college’s Open Educational Resources initiative, which looks for ways to create and utilize textbooks and learning resources that are free to students. In his role as advisor of the college’s Sociology Club, he has continued to work to engage students in the topic of sociology by bringing speakers to the college who have addressed a variety of issues and by working with students on efforts such as a recent collection of much-needed supplies to support hurricane survivors in Haiti. In addition, Rutz created the college’s annual Social Sciences Research Expo, which gives Tyler students the opportunity to showcase research they have conducted for their classes.  

Student Ambassador Awards
Tyler’s Student Ambassador Program, which was formed about 18 months ago, gives current students the opportunity to represent the college and become student leaders. Student ambassadors lead tours; assist during special events; help their fellow students in a variety of ways; visit area high schools and organizations; and more.

2016-2017 Student Ambassadors
Geovany Chavarría (23234)
Shuja Hassan (23238)
Kristina James (23831)
Dana Legere (23114)
Erica Mokun (23832)
Savannah Shomette (23836)
Matt Villiott (23112)
Takura Zingoni (23112)
Carolynn Zinsmaster (23139)

Student Ambassador of the Year
Erica Mokun (23832)

Academic Trailblazer Awards
John Tyler faculty were given the opportunity to give the Academic Trailblazer Award within their discipline. Faculty nominated students who were the highest achieving; showed the most improvement over time; were the most engaged in class; and/or were able to overcome challenges and succeed.

Bob Aboul Hosn (23234)  

Ayana Ames (20155)
Funeral Services

Heather Ashbeck (23112)

Heather Ashback (23112)

Jenna Bernsley (23112)

Kaylinn Bezenar (23224)
Funeral Services

Lindsey Bixler (23237)

Kendall Allen Brown (23831)

Evita Cancel (23860)

Vince Cassino (23233)
Electrical Engineering Technology

Hyun Soo Choi (23235)

Rebecca Coons (23112)

Bret Dereski (23890)

Josh Fenner (23229)

Everardo “Ev” Flores (23112)

Betty Gentry (23236)

Nathan Goad (23834)

Malcolm Harris (23223)
Anatomy and Physiology (Biology)

Brea Hill (23235)

Liliana Holcombe (23120)

Heather James (23116)

Coleman Johnson (23002)
Precision Machining Technology

Sarandeep Kaur (23875)

Isaac N. Ketcham (23113)

Tanner A. Lester (23803)
Architectural Engineering Technology

Shanice McCutchen (23834)
Early Childhood Development

Ben Millefolie (23832)

Omar "Nick" Morales (23112)

Nathan Patskan (23235)

Marilyn Holt Powell (23832)
Human Services

Kyle Pressler (23236)

Julie Reutter (23060)
Emergency Medical Services

Jennifer Rose (23112)

Savannah Shomette (23836)
Mass Communications

David Skinner (23899)
Criminal Justice

Katheryn “Katie” Stettler (23139)
Anthony Taylor (23219)
Visual Arts
Jesslyn Walker (23832)

Trailblazer of the Year Award
The Trailblazer of the Year Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a student. The award is presented annually to a student for outstanding performance and volunteer service to John Tyler Community College and who the faculty and staff believe will achieve great success.  This year’s Trailblazer of the Year is Deaja Carter (23836).

John Tyler Community College, celebrating 50 years of providing educational opportunities to Central Virginia, is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers affordable, quality programs for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 14,100 students during the 2015-16 academic year, offers more than 60 majors, including associate degrees and certificates. The institution also serves more than 12,000 non-credit trainees and over 900 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance.

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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager


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