Columbia State Holds Employee Honors and Awards Convocation

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – May 29, 2019) - - -Columbia State Community College recently held its 22nd annual Employees’ Honors and Awards Convocation, recognizing those who have excelled in their service to the school and reached services milestones, as well as those who are retiring. 

Matt McLean, Lawrence Campus site coordinator, emceed the event and Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, presented the awards.

The 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award went to LaTasha Stenson, associate professor of English. Stenson earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences and a master’s degree in English from Tennessee State University. She has been employed with Columbia State since 1998.

LaTasha Stenson present the distinguished faculty award
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LaTasha Stenson, associate professor of English, was presented  the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award.

The 2019 Outstanding Professional Staff Award was presented to Molly Cochran, alumni/community relationsdevelopment officer. Cochran earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and a master’s degree in mass communication from Murray State University. She has been employed with Columbia State since 2012.

Molly Cochran was presented the professional staff award
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Molly Cochran, alumni/community relations development officer, was presented the 2019 Outstanding Professional Staff Award.

The recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Support Staff Award was Crystal Keeton, Lawrence Campus learning center specialist. Keeton earned an associate degree in business from Columbia State. Keeton has has been employed with Columbia State since 2005.

Crystal Keeton was presented the support staff award
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Crystal Keeton, Lawrence Campus learning center specialist,was presented the 2019 Outstanding Support Staff Award.

The final award of the event was the President’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon a Columbia State employee, which was presented by Smith to Dr. Christa Martin, assistant to the president for access and diversity. Martin earned an associate degree in data processing from Columbia State, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in information systems from Middle Tennessee State University and a doctorate in higher education leadership from Nova Southeastern University. 

Christa Martin was awarded the president's medal
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Dr. Christa Martin, assistant to the president for access and diversity, received the President’s Medal.

Announcing the award, Smith acknowledged Martin’s dedication to the college, its students and the community.

In nominating Martin for the award, her peers wrote, “She works tirelessly and creatively promoting activities and events… She is a servant leader… She handles all of her many roles with grace… She is never too busy to listen to or assist those around her… She has exhibited excellent leadership… Her passion, dedication and commitment to education and community service is unequaled.”

Service awards were also given to employees who have completed a specific number of years of employment, beginning with a 5-year designation. Dr. Mary Susan Kennedy, professor of marketing, was recognized for 35 years of service.

Among the retirees were Barbara Blum, nursing program director (2003); Joan Bradley, computer programming analyst for information technology (1988); Livia Derryberry, record clerk for the Health Sciences Division (1980); Margaret Fann, secretary for the library (1995); Kristy Gailani, assistant professor of nursing (2009); Dr. Marilia Gerges, director of instructional support, distance learning and university services (1992); Susanna Holmes, associate professor of English (1989); Jodie Jaudon, associate professor of nursing (2008); and Mae Helen McGrew, maintenance mechanic for facility services (1994).

2018-2019 retirees stand for a photo
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Employees who retired during the 2018-2019 academic year were given a special gift in recognition of their years of service to the college. (Pictured, left to right): Mae Helen McGrew, maintenance mechanic for facility services; Dr. Marilia Gerges, director of instructional support, distance learning and university services; Susanna Holmes, associate professor of English; Livia Derryberry, record clerk for the Health Sciences Division; Kristy Gailani, assistant professor of nursing; and Barbra Blum, nursing program director. Not pictured: Margaret Fann, secretary for the library; Joan Bradley, computer programming analyst for information technology; and Jodie Jaudon, associate professor of nursing.

5-year service award recipients stand for a photo
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Receiving 5-year service awards were (Pictured, left to right): Elizabeth Hagan, secretary for advancement; Sharon Conant, coordinator/help desk administrator for information technology; Denise Holman, coordinator for veterans and financial aid; Susan Pobst, campus receptionist/operator for communications; Wes Dulaney, director of international education and assistant professor of biology; and Dr. Tim Hallmark, director of facility services and safety. Not pictured: Randy Carroll, chief of security; Kim Gooch, accounts payable clerk for business services; Clarice Rochelle, payroll clerk for business services; Dean Sewell, utility/grounds worker for facility services; and Ronda Williams, enrollment recruiter for enrollment services.

10-year service award recipients
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Receiving 10-year service awards were (Pictured, left to right): Kristy Gailani, assistant professor of nursing; and Iris Anderson, coordinator for human resources. Not pictured: Mike Corn, baseball coach; and Dannie Ray, facility services custodian.

15-year service award recipients
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Receiving 15-year service awards were (Pictured, left to right): Dr. Emily Siciensky, associate vice president for information technology; Spence Dowlen, associate professor of biology; Michael Darrell, associate professor of mathematics; Daniel Johnson, associate professor of communications; Debbie Estes, facility services custodian; and Rory Berry, Lawrence Campus library assistant.Not pictured: Holly Brew, associate professor of business; and Laurie Pewitt, associate professor of business information technology. 

20-year service award winners
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Receiving 20-year service awards were (Pictured, left to right): Kathy Massey, technician for veterinary technology; and Roger Major, clinical director and associate professor of respiratory care. Not pictured: Nancy Hardy, secretary for the Humanities and Social Sciences Division; and Lloyd Tomlin, computer lab technician for information technology.

25-year service award winners
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Receiving 25-year service awards were (Pictured, left to right): Mae Helen McGrew, maintenance mechanic for facility services; and Jeff Hardin, professor of English. Not pictured: Meredeth McCoy, assistant professor of mathematics. 

30-year service award recipients
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Receiving 30-year service awards were (Pictured left to right): Susanna Holmes, associate professor of English; and Chiquita Bullock, college completion specialist for planning, effectiveness and retention. Not pictured: Ricky Polk, custodian for facility services; and Dr. Sandra Serkownek, professor of business and technology. 


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Dr. Barry Gidcomb, professor of history, was presented the Sunshine Award.

Matt Mclean receives the spirit award
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Matt McLean, Lawrence Campus site coordinator, was presented the Spirit Award.

Recipients of the rockstar rookie award, Ryan Moore and Matt Mclean
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Ryan Moore, network and systems analyst for information technology; and Matt McLean, Lawrence Campus site coordinator,were presented Rockstar Rookie Awards.

Shane Hall was present the volunteer award
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Shane Hall, assistant professor of English and educational services coordinator for the Williamson Campus, was presented the Volunteer Award.

Elaine Curtis was presented the High Five Award
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Elaine Curtis, vice president for finance and administration, was presented the High Five Award.

The IT department was presented the grand slam award
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The information technology department was presented the Grand Slam Award. (Pictured, left to right): Rick Lingford, administrative computing coordinator and database administrator; Colton Carnes, lead desktop support technician; Dr. Emily Siciensky, associate vice president for information technology; Sharon Conant, coordinator/help desk administrator; and Ryan Moore, network and systems analyst.

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