Gadsden State students recognized at Honors Day

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Photo courtesy of Gadsden State
Gadsden State Community College recently held its 55th annual Honors Day at the Cheaha Center on the Ayers Campus in Anniston and at the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center in Gadsden. The programs spanned two days of recognizing student achievements and scholarship presentations. Almost 300 awards and scholarships were given with scholarships totaling more than $812,000.
Featured at every honors day program over the past 54 years, the Allen-Ray is presented in honor of the late Sen. James B. Allen and the late Jack Ray, former CEO of the Exchange Bank of Alabama. Both men were active supporters of Gadsden State. Ricky Ray, the son of the late Jack Ray, presented the 2022 Allen-Ray Award to Kourtney Tillman.
Tillman, a resident of Southside, is the vice president of the Student Government Association representing Gadsden State-Cherokee. She is a peer tutor with the Cardinal Tutoring Center and is embedded in remedial math to assist her fellow students. She is president of her nursing cohort and a member of the Trio for Success Club, the Student Disciplinary Committee and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Tillman has been on both the President’s and Dean’s List and was a member of the 2022 Homecoming Court. She was awarded a certificate in Practical Nursing at the May 5 commencement ceremonies. Tillman assisted in writing a grant with fellow SGA officers for outdoor learning space in the quad on the Wallace Drive Campus. She spearheaded student activities such as the Halloween Dance and a bed build with Trio for Success Club for Sleep in Heavenly Peace. She also organized a campus blood drive and a clothes closet for students in need of professional attire for job interviews. In addition to winning the prestigious Allen-Ray Award, Tillman was awarded a Student of Distinction Award, Outstanding SGA Officer Award and Outstanding CTC Peer Tutor Award.
The President’s Cup is designated for students who demonstrate exceptional su-ccess in all phases of college life and is presented by Gadsden State President Dr. Kathy Murphy to students in both the academic and technical divisions. The Academic Division recipient for the Etowah County campuses and Gadsden State-Cherokee was Kennedy Fox of Hokes Bluff. Fox received her Associate in Science in General Studies with a short-term certificate in Surgical Operating Room Technician at the May 5 commencement ceremonies at Gadsden State-Cherokee. While at Gadsden State, she served as president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and served as a tutor in the Cardinal Tutoring Center. She was named to the All-Alabama Academic Team and was instrumental in PTK achieving the Distinguished Honors in Action Hallmark Award. In February, she was crowned Gadsden State’s Homecoming Queen. Fox also received the Jacksonville State University Presidential Transfer Scholarship and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Transfer Presidential Scholarship She plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree before applying to a physician’s assistant graduate program.
The Technical Division recipient of the President’s Cup is Hannah Kate Dale of Centre. Dale, who is a student in the Precision Machining Program, started her educational journey at Gadsden State as a dual enrollment student. She went on to earn the Gene Haas Scholarship Award and became the first in her family to enroll as a college student. At Gadsden State, Dale is a member of the Project MFG Machining Competition Team. She and her teammates participate in joint machining, programing and welding competitions that are funded and supported by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Outstanding Achievement Awards, which recognize students who have succeeded in pursuit of higher education in spite of varying traumas, adversities, personal losses and difficulties, was given at the Wallace Drive Campus event to Janice Underwood of Gadsden, Joshua Parrish of Gadsden and Roberta Bush of Attalla.
Underwood’s college journey began years ago but was halted after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and required constant care. When she recovered, Underwood went to work at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company instead of enrolling in college. When the plant closed in 2020, Underwood decided to enroll at Gadsden State since the class schedule was convenient and allowed her the time necessary to care for her special-needs child.
While at Gadsden State, Underwood maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Student Support Services, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Beta Gamma Business Honor Society, Trio for Success Club and Phi Beta Lambda. In addition to winning the Outstanding Achievement Award, Underwood earned scholarships to Auburn University at Montgomery and Athens State University. She plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a degree in Human Resources Management.
Parrish has defied the odds since being born with cerebral palsy. His parents were told that he would be wheelchair bound, but to this day he walks without assistance. He is now majoring in Electrical Technology at Gadsden State and has been on both the President’s and Dean’s lists. Parrish is a member of Student Support Services and Trio for Success Club.
Bush enrolled at Gadsden State 20 years ago but soon dropped out after the death of her infant son. She eventually began working as a surgical technician and was so highly regarded that she was asked to work with students training to be nurses, many of them from Gadsden State. When her husband became ill, Bush decided that she needed a career that would put her in a better financial situation to care for her two daughters. Remembering the positive experiences, she had with Gadsden State nursing students, she applied to and was accepted into the college’s nursing program.
Nursing school has been a challenge for Bush. She worked full time in addition to taking a full load of classes. A tornado struck her house during her first semester and required a repair and remodel. She persevered and graduated from Gadsden State in May. Bush was also honored at the recent Nursing Pinning Ceremony with the highly-coveted Florence Nightingale Award, which recognizes the student who is the most committed to caring and compassionate nursing care. She was the featured speaker at the pinning ceremony and was recognized for being an Alabama Area Health Center Scholar. The AHEC-sponsored program is designed to enhance the education and training of health science students committed to serving Alabama’s rural and underserved populations. Bush now works in a surgical intensive care unit at a local hospital.
Other award and scholarship winners re-cognized at Honors Day included
* Cardinal Foundation. Gerald Acker Scholarship: Chandler McGinnis of Ashville; Alabama Homebuilders Association Scholarship: Reginald Pitts of Gadsden; William Thomas Dawson Family Scholarship: Alyssa Martin and Mason Robinson of Gadsden; Michael Scott Hatten Memorial Scholarship: Joshua Pritchard of Oxford; Chad Hawkins Educational Foundation Scholarship: Hadie Negrete of Gadsden; Louis & Elaine Marsalis Scholarship: Madison Garrett of Cedar Bluff; Tim & Laura McCartney Career Technical Education Scholarship: Lucas Bradley and Daylan Day of Gadsden and Ethan Cothran of Hokes Bluff; Benjamin Steinberg Nursing Scholarship: Nyasa McNeil of Gadsden; Student Access Scholarship: Misty Maddox of Piedmont; Swoop Sprint 5K Scholarship: Kaitlyn Meats of Leesburg and Molly Lopez of Rainsville; and Dr. Aletta C. Williamson Leadership Scholarship: Anna Hipps of Gadsden.
* Alabama A&M University Transfer Merit Scholarship: Ceniyah Williams of Gadsden
* University of Alabama Presidential Scholarship: Isaiah Gallardo of Gadsden and Tyler Roberts of Southside
* University of Alabama Community College Distinguished Scholarship: Everett Kelly of Gallant and Ritik Patel of Rainbow City
* University of Alabama PTK Honors Scholarship: Ritik Patel of Rainbow City
* University of Alabama Achievement Scholarship: Emma Townsend of Gadsden
* University of Alabama Roll Tide Transfer Scholarship: Emma Townsend of Gadsden
* Athens State University Institutional Scholarship: Amanda Salers of Boaz, Madalynn Owen of Decatur and Janice Underwood and Krislyn West of Gadsden
* University of Alabama at Birmingham Transfer Presidential Scholarship: Jackson Clayton and Isaiah Gallardo of Gadsden and Kennedy Fox of Hokes Bluff
* University of Alabama at Birmingham Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship: Ashanti Hawkins, Miracle Oni, Magan Patterson and Jason Santos of Gadsden; Tamara Garner of Huntsville; Carter Huffstutler and Cade Thompson of Southside and Em-ma Chumley of Steele
* University of Alabama at Birmingham Transfer Excellence Scholarship: Kaitlyn Meats of Leesburg; Christopher Braden Lang, Autumn Pentecost and James Wilson of Gadsden; Santee Kyle of Oneonta; Emma Dunaway of Oxford; and Andruw Giamalva and Malcolm Prater of Southside
* University of Alabama at Birmingham Transfer Pathway Scholarship: Jerod Guthrie of Anniston and Jackson Guthrie of Oxford
* University of Alabama in Huntsville Super Scholar Transfer Scholarship: Sal-man Alradhi and Isaiah Gallardo of Gadsden, Everett Kelly of Gallant and Ali Alradhi of Rainbow City.
* University of Alabama in Huntsville Transfer Merit Scholarship: Amy Gore of Oneonta
* Auburn University Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship: Isaiah Gallardo of Gadsden
* Auburn University Ever to Conquer Scholarship for Transfer Students: Charles Trey Massey and Christopher Braden Lang of Gadsden
* Auburn University Thomas Goode Jones Endowed Scholarship: Dezaray Dean of Anniston and Isaiah Gallardo and Charles Trey Massey of Gadsden
* Auburn University Walt and Virginia Woltosz Annual Creed Scholarship: Isaiah Gallardo of Gadsden
* Auburn University at Montgomery Premier Transfer Scholarship: Bre’Shayla Hill of Lincoln
*Auburn University at Montgomery Ge-neral Transfer Scholarship: Janice Underwood of Gadsden and Francisca Arroyo of Hartselle
* Jacksonville State University Presidential Transfer Scholarship: Audrey Walters and Nidhi Chauhan of Albertville; Brianna Farrell of Centre; Justin Tidwell of Collinsville; Unity Edwards of Fort Payne; Isaiah Gallardo, Aubrey Gray, Tristan Hines, Kelsie McVeigh, Shalonda Ragland, Abby Vice, Venus Yari and Joshua Zanzig of Gadsden; Amanda Bailey of Glencoe; Marie Woodall of Grove Oak; Elizabeth Cortez and Kennedy Fox of Hokes Bluff; Rachel Dunkle of Jacksonville, Matthew Neivel of Leesburg, Cora Martin of Oxford; Kaylen Quinn of Rainbow City; Peyton Abernathy, Christian Greene and Tyler Roberts of Southside; Eli Fair of Weaver and Rachel Medders of Welington
* Jacksonville State University Academic Transfer Scholarship: Kelly Perez Aragon of Albertville; Kasey Chandler of Alexandria; Halie Wood of Centre; Kierra Park and Katie Smith of Gadsden; Kenleigh Harper of Glencoe; Christopher Fagan of Hokes Bluff; Whitney Black of Rainbow City; Carly Butler and Jacob Ro-gers of Southside and Jeremy Cockrell of Wellington
* Jacksonville State University Opportunity Transfer Scholarship: Amy Sutherland of Alexandria; Keaton Gaines and Mark Wilson of Anniston; Alencia Brown of Ashville; Sydney Smith of Attalla; Olivia Tucker of Cedar Bluff; Madyson Doyal and Kalie Jolly of Centre; Gracie Tinsley of Collinsville; Christopher Bedwell, Jesse Coggins, Firas Kouki, Christopher Bra-den Lang, Miracle Oni and Addy Smith of Gadsden; Ashlyn Clowdus and Madison Potte of Glencoe; Maggie Woodall of Grove Oak; Ryan Coggins and Tabitha Dodd of Hokes Bluff; Tamara Garner of Huntsville; Coleman Haynes of Jacksonville; Kaitlyn Meats of Leesburg; Cara Ar-cher and Malachi Jackson-Talmadge of Piedmont; Fannie Dillon, Jason McSpadden, Savannah Sizemore, Maggie Steapleton and Hannah Whittenberg of Rainbow City; and Carter Huffstutler, Hannah Henderson and Gabriel Jones of Southside
* Jacksonville State University Band Scholarship: Gabriel Jones of Southside
* University of Montevallo Transfer Academic Recognition Scholarship: Kaitlyn Meats of Leesburg and Katelyn Morrow of Steele
* BBVA/Compass Bank Scholarship: Alex Densmore of Albertville
* Barry Boatwright Scholarship: Olivia Weathington of Ashville and Hadie Negrete of Gadsden
* James L. Brown Free Enterprise Scholarship: Madison Blackerby of Piedmont
* Sue McMeekin Griffith Scholarship: Jordan Hicks of Oneonta
* Rena and Edgar McCord Scholarship: Kaylie Reeves of Rainbow City
* Nan Pentecost Scholarship: Tara Pearson of Springville
* West/Pentecost Scholarship: Zachary Bradshaw of Glencoe
* Joe Robertson Scholarship: Ashley Henderson of Huntsville
* Nell Thomas Scholarship: Giang Ho-Nguyen of Gadsden
* Jim Vanderford Scholarship: Angel Agustin of Crossville and Colby Hill and Michael Morgan of Rainbow City
* Dr. Jesse L. Walker Jr. Business Faculty Scholarship: McCain Gilbreath of Rainbow City
* All-Alabama Academic Team Members: Jase Jelks of Centre and Kennedy Fox of Hokes Bluff
* Ambassador Service Award: Ceniyah Williams of Gadsden
* Cardinal Arts Journal Award for Creative Nonfiction: Mariia Morgunova of Bryansk, Russia
* Cardinal Arts Journal Award for Poetry/Excellence as Student Editor: Robert Corker of Anniston
* Cardinal Tutoring Center Peer Tutor Award: Allen Black of Hokes Bluff and Kourtney Tillman of Southside
* Circle K Leadership Award: Allen Black of Hokes Bluff
* Lambda Epsilon Chi Paralegal Honor Society Inductee: Paola Rosales of Boaz, Kelsey Elliott of Guntersville and Macy Morrison of Wellington
* Outstanding Achievement in Accounting: Kallie Jolly of Centre; Michael Daugherty of Gadsden and Tyler Roberts of Southside
* Outstanding Achievement in Accounting Technology: Austin Lutley of Rainbow City
* Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry: Jaron Gray of Gadsden
* Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science: Nidhi Chauhan of Albertville, Jase Jelks of Centre and Stephen Ako of Jacksonville
* Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science Technology/Network Administration: Wesley Maks of Gadsden and Noah Sawyer of Jacksonville
* Outstanding Achievement in Economics: Fedor Krasilnikov of Ivanovo, Russia
* Outstanding Achievement in English: Maria Morgunova of Bryansk, Russia
* Outstanding Achievement in History: Vanessa Cochran of Steele
* Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics/Pre-Engineering: Kelly Perez Aragon of Albertville, Ali Alradhi of Bahrain, Madalynn Owen of Decatur; Clay Spurlin of Heflin; Onitiana Razafimino of Madagascar and Jay Patel of Philadelphia, Pa.
* Outstanding Achievement in Office Administration-Medical Coding and Scri-bing: Meghan Chaparro of Anniston
* Outstanding Achievement in Paralegal Studies: Lacinda Beshears of Gadsden and Kodi Davis of Rainbow City
* Outstanding Achievement in Speech: Sadie Carver of Attalla, Tanner Arnold of Cedartown, Jay Patel of Philadelphia, Clarissa Beal of Piedmont and Joshua Perez of Southside
* Outstanding Baptist Campus Ministries Student: Harrison Hood of Southside
* Outstanding International Student: Fedor Krasilnikov of Ivanovo, Russia
* Outstanding Show Band Students: Christopher McCurley of Boaz; Cody Cofield of Odenville and Destiny McCarter of Rainbow City
* Outstanding SGA Officer: Kourtney Tillman of Southside
* Outstanding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Student: Craig Es-py of Gadsden
* Outstanding Auto Collision Repair Technology Student: Estuardo Ortiz of Boaz
* Outstanding Automotive Manufacturing Technology Student: Mason Finch of Pell City
* Outstanding Automotive Service Technology Student: Angel Agustin of Crossville
* Outstanding Civil Engineering Technology Student: Andrew Copeland of Attalla
* Outstanding Construction Technology Student: Antoya Bufford of Gadsden
* Outstanding Court Reporting Student: Valerie Slaton of Hokes Bluff
* Outstanding Electrical Technology Student: Derrick Douthard of Fort Payne
* Outstanding Electronic Engineering Technology Student: Alissa Bearden of Gadsden
* Outstanding FAME Students: Jakeb Mintz of Rainbow City and Garrett Willia mon of Oxford
* Outstanding Industrial Automation Technology Student: Kevin Rigby II of Gadsden
* Outstanding Mechanical Design Technology Student: John Brown of Hokes Bluff
* Outstanding Precision Machining Student: Travis Jones of Boaz
* Outstanding Salon and Spa Management Student: Denisha Stockdale of Childersburg and Luteasha Brazier of Piedmont (Ayers Campus)
* Outstanding Welding Technology Student: Mason Robinson of Gadsden
Nominated by the faculty and staff at Gadsden State, the Student of Distinction award is bestowed on students who have maintained a 3.5 minimum GPA, completed at least 54 credit hours by the end of the spring semester and demonstrated leadership at the college and service to the community. Students of Distinction by hometown are:
* Anniston: Robert Corker
* Attalla: Brian Galimore, Julia Rodgers, Richard Sims and Sydney Smith
* Boaz: Clay Roberson
* Cedar Bluff: Savanah Clifton
* Centre: Hannah Dale, Brianna Farrell and Erica King
* Fort Payne: Jayla Gravitt
* Gadsden: Charlotte Byers, Judah Duren, Aubrey Gray, Beverly Hardy, Ashanti Hawkins, Spencer Higgins, Kelsie Mc-Veigh, Hadie Negrete, Janice Underwood and Venus Yari
* Glencoe: Sandy Teel
* Hendersonville, Tenn.: Katy Minton
* Hokes Bluff: Elizabeth Cortez and Kennedy Fox
* Jacksonville: Stephen Ako, Ericka Calderon and Samantha Megill
* Leesburg: Kaitlyn Meats
* Lincoln: Dominique Elston and Bre’Shayla Hill
* Milwaukee, Wis.: Fannie Dillon
* Piedmont: Donna Adkison and Cara Archer
* Rainbow City: Josie Nelson
* Southside: Cade Thompson and Kourtney Tillman
* Springville: Sheyanne Butler
* Wedowee: Darciss Walker
* Wellington: Rachel Medders
Rising Scholars are those students who have maintained a 3.5 minimum GPA, completed 24-53 credit hours by the end of the spring semester and exhibit service to Gadsden State and the community by participating in at least one extracurricular activity. Students are nominated by faculty and staff members. Rising Scholars by hometown are:
* Albertville: Alex Velasquez
* Ashland: Brittany White
* Ashville: Lily Anderson
* Attalla: Miranda Tarvin
* Birmingham: Nadage Oyeket
* Boaz: Hunter Day
* Cedar Bluff: Madison Garrett
* Fort Payne: Alisha Mulligan
* Gadsden: Ronda Bennich, Shakia Byers, Branden Cook, Sarah Johnson, Ashley Lemons, Victoria Luker and Abagail Reeves
* Glencoe: Makhaiya Cherry and Morgan Lasseter
* Leesburg: Xander Bradley and Kerri Uptagrafft
* Piedmont: Jesse Storey
* Ragland: Robert Bowlin
* Southside: Lacey Daugherty
* Steele: Vanessa Cochran

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