UVa-Wise honors students at 2012 Academic Awards Ceremony


The University of Virginia’s College at Wise recognized the scholastic achievements of nongraduating students during the Academic Awards Ceremony on April 22. 


Kayla Balthis received the Jack M. Holland Award, presented to a rising senior who shows remarkable potential as a future elementary school teacher. The award is named in honor of the former chair of the Department of Education and Professor of Education at the College. 

Deborah Bowman and Kristy Owens each received the Lois P. Lowry Award in Language Arts, presented to the students who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance, creative ability and great promise as a future teacher in the field of language arts. 


Laken Branson and Anthony Moore each received the Clinch Valley College History Fund Award recognizing history majors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. 

Daniel Summey received the Edward L. “Buck” Henson, Jr. History Scholarship. Henson was a devoted and valued member of the College’s history faculty for 33 years. This scholarship in his memory is awarded to students recommended by the history faculty as outstanding junior history majors. 

 Jessilyn Strauss received the Heather Markusich Scholarship. A 1989 graduate of the College, Markusich was an exemplary history major. The summer following her graduation, and just before her departure for graduate school, she was fatally injured in an automobile accident on her way to work at the Pentagon. A flood of memorial contributions came to the College from all over the country, sufficient to establish a permanently endowed scholarship in her memory. The scholarship is awarded to history majors of unusual talent and promise. 


Megan Buchanan received the Language and Literature Award for French.  

Zachary Canter and Sarah Danielle Cumbo each received a Frances Currie Peake Scholarship. Frances Currie Peake taught in the mountains of Tennessee and instilled in her students and her children a love of literature. The Frances Currie Peake Scholarship is awarded to rising junior or senior English majors who have demonstrated excellence in literary studies. 

Mario Jaramillo received the Augusto Portuondo Award for Spanish. The Augusto Portuando Award in Spanish honors Portuondo’s years of service to UVa-Wise. The award recognizes a Spanish major who has demonstrated aptitude for Spanish and for teaching.  


Katelyn Cantrell received the CRC Freshman in Chemistry Award, given to the student judged by the chemistry faculty to be the most outstanding in freshman chemistry. 


Matthew Davis and Andrew Vickers each received a Velta Collins Holyfield Memorial Scholarship. Family members and friends established the scholarship in 1991 shortly after Mrs. Holyfield’s death. Mrs. Holyfield graduated from the University of Virginia School of Nursing in 1957 and served the health care community in Wise for many years as a noted teacher and nurse. The Department of Nursing honors Mrs. Holyfield by awarding scholarships to nursing students who exhibit academic achievement, leadership potential, motivation and the talent to achieve excellence in nursing practice. 


Tessa Meade received the Junior Art Achievement Award, which recognizes and celebrates the dedication and hard work of a determined artist. 

Trevor Hartsock received the Music Scholarship Award, which recognizes the music major who, in the past academic year, has demonstrated the strongest commitment to learning and the broadest understanding of the theoretical, historical, and pedagogical underpinnings of the discipline.

Anne Michele Maher received the Musicianship Award, which recognizes music majors who not only have excelled as performers in the past academic year, but also demonstrated the strongest work ethic and dedication to the study of their principal instruments. 

Steven Allen received the Music Leadership Award, which recognizes the music student who has best exemplified commitment, cordiality and competence in their leadership role in the Division of Music during the past academic year.