Primary Media Contact: Holly Walker
Secondary Media Contact: Heather Busch

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Each spring, John Tyler Community College holds a Student Awards Ceremony, during which it recognizes students for their outstanding achievements. More than 70 students received awards during this year’s ceremony, which took place virtually during the college’s Celebration Week and was shared on social media May 6, 2021. The following award winners were named (zip codes follow recipient names): 

Trailblazing Student Award
The Trailblazing Student Award recognizes full-time students who display determination and focus as they balance multiple responsibilities, such as work and family, or overcome extenuating circumstances while continuing to pursue their education. This year’s recipients were:

Sara Abu-Hijleh (23236)
Marianna Bletsas (23112)
Roseanna Brigham (23238)
Rachel Brinkley (23831)
Sebastienne Brower (23226)
Nora Carlucci (23114)
Megan Carson (23834)
Beth Chevalier (23120)
Wesley Conner (23112)
Nicole Decker (23139)
Abram Donahue (23936)
Dionne Dow (23113)
Trevor Eales (23236)
Anunca Earl (23224)
Sarah Emanuele (23103)
Todd Farschon (23803)
Michael Gardener (23112)
Avais Gilani (23114)
Raven Godsey (23112)
John V. Hayes (23120)
Stephanie Howe (23235)
Helayna Hubbard (23120)
Jasmyne Jeske (23803)
Andria Johnson (23225)
Angela Killion (23838)
Selena Kuenzig (23803)
Adora Malcolm (23223)
Denia McCullough (23842)
Samantha McGowan (23112)
Cindy McGruder (23139)
Seth Molin (23237)
Taylor Moore (23236)
Isaiah Nunez (23114)
Sam Pandolfe (23114)
Allan Perrow (23236)
Carlos Robinson (23234)
Jayson Rush (23114)
Tyler Ryan (23235)
Niloofar Sadjarib (23235)
Emma Sailer (23112)
Joshua Sanchez (23803)
Nicole Snodgrass (23235)
Tammy Stout (37620)
Korina Trout (23832)
Gwendolyn Tucker (23237)
Zac Watson (23236)
Stacy Wells (23930)
Micah White (23836)
Seth Fulton Woodfin (28542)
Hnin Yee (23801)

Foundation Art Award
The John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award, which originated in 1995, showcases the artistic abilities of Tyler’s students. Finalists were chosen by the Foundation Art Award Selection Committee, made up of Foundation Board members and college faculty and staff. Members of the Foundation Board of Directors then selected the winning entry from among the finalists. An image of the winning artwork is converted into a poster and into cards that are used by the Foundation and the college. This year the Foundation Award winner and finalists were:

Foundation Art Award Winner 
Susan Moncure (23235) for her painting, “Stairway to Heaven”

Maidina Alufujiang (23226)
Mary Beth Barrett (23236)
Joshua Cloninger (23139)
Gina Mouer (23803)
Asia Rorick (23220)
Lauren Traylor (23112)

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, it was decided to recognize multiple student organizations for their efforts during the pandemic. These student groups took steps to keep their members connected and engaged; held virtual events; helped the community; and maintained or even increased their membership. This year’s Daniel Dalton Award was presented to:

Honor & Distinction: Black Student Alliance
Phi Theta Kappa, Tau Rho Chapter 
Programming Club
Women In STEM

Phi Theta Kappa Awards  
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is an international honor society for two-year colleges, which supports the hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. Tyler has two Phi Theta Kappa chapters: Beta Omicron Omicron, at its Midlothian Campus, and Tau Rho at its Chester Campus. The Phi Theta Kappa Awards recognize members who are graduating with the highest grade point averages in an associate degree program. This year’s winners were:

Sara Abu-Hijleh (23236)
Alexandre Ames (23223)
Madison Bendele (23139)
Aubrey Carley (23233)
Bailey Clark (23225)
Nalani Clarke (23237)
Josh Deaner (23112)
Elizabeth Elliott (23113)
Rebecca Hines (23220)
Shawndel Holder (23836)
Harshil Patel (23234)
Chelsea Philpot (23842)

Tutor of the Year  
The Tutor of the Year Awards are given to Tyler’s student tutors who embody the college’s vision of supporting student success, who provide outstanding assistance to their classmates, and who inspire others who work in the college’s Academic Resource Center, where tutoring services are provided. This year’s award recipients were:

Afreen Haq (23225) – Math and STEM tutor
Gillian Kelly (23112) – Writing tutor

Student Ambassador of the Year  
Tyler’s Student Ambassador Program 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; participate in outreach activities; and more. The Student Ambassador of the Year Award is given to the ambassador who goes above and beyond and who shows a tireless work ethic while volunteering to help students and while representing the college at events. This year’s award recipient is Hannah Lesher (23803).

Social Sciences Research Expo Awards
Each year, Tyler’s Social Sciences Research Expo gives students the opportunity to present their research on a wide variety of topics. This year’s Expo was held virtually, and viewers were asked to vote for their top research projects. 

1st Place – LaTika Lee (23234) – Project: “An Exploration of Caribbean and U.S. Cultural Connections”
2nd Place – Colleen Henneberry (23832) – Project: “LGBTQ Youth Homelessness”
3rd Place – Beth Chevalier (23120) – Project: “Age Discrimination of Middle Age Women in the Workforce”

Top Program Performer: Visual Arts  
The Top Program Performer: Visual Arts Award recognizes a student in the applied arts program for their outstanding work and achievements. This year’s award went to Sierra Johnson (23237), who is graduating from Tyler this spring. Her goal is to continue her education and to train to become a teacher. 

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 leadership, 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 was Sara Abu-Hijleh (23236). Abu-Hijleh, who is a member of the Class of 2021, has shown her dedication and passion for the college by serving as a student ambassador and by developing projects designed to assist current and future Tyler students. She has been studying health sciences at Tyler, with a goal of becoming a pediatric nurse.

Marshall Denison Society
During the ceremony, one of Tyler’s employees also received a recognition. The Marshall Denison Society, named for the college’s second president, was established to recognize individuals who embody the college’s commitment to student success and who have made extraordinary contributions to the student activities program at Tyler. This year’s inductee was Ben Rogers, professional counselor and advisor to Honor & Distinction: Black Student Alliance. He was recognized for his work with the student organization and for helping to organize a wide variety of activities involving students, faculty, staff and community members.

John Tyler Community College offers more than 75 majors that provide pathways to careers in high-demand fields; transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities; and industry credentials and licensures. The college, with campuses in Chester and Midlothian, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 13,600 students during the 2019-20 academic year. It also assisted more than 6,300 learners through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance, a partnership between Tyler and Reynolds community colleges.