Ruby K. Carson Awards Ceremony

Keith Brown 2018 bPresident’s Message

April 16, 2020

Honors Convocation at Jefferson State is always a very special time. Unfortunately, because of the current environment in which we find ourselves, we made the difficult decision to cancel our ceremony.

In no way does this diminish the accomplishments of these students and the enrichment they have brought to the college. In that spirit, we honor them and celebrate their achievements. It is, after all, students like these who make Jefferson State such a special place – a true community. 

I congratulate these excellent students, and I congratulate the outstanding faculty for the inspiration, dedication, and knowledge they have provided to the students.

Keith A. Brown, President
Jefferson State Community College

Awards and Recipients

Special Awards

Merritt Award Winner 2020 Riley SmithThomas E. and Judy M. Merritt Scholarship – Riley M. Smith
Riley is a freshman and just completed her first year at Jefferson State. She is majoring in Nursing for a chance to work as a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s of Alabama, inspired by the loss of her baby brother. After graduating from Jefferson State, she plans on transferring to The University of Alabama at Birmingham to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She wants to further her education by pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing as well.


Joseph HoneycuttThe James B. Allen Award – Joseph Honeycutt
Joseph is an officer with Sigma Chi Eta and a member of the speech team. He has worked alongside students from a variety of other student groups, including the Student Government Association. During his time at Jefferson State, he was instrumental in resurrecting the student newspaper, The Pioneer, as well as championing an initiative to update our mascot.  Joseph is transferring to the University of Montevallo after this semester to major in Communication Studies.


Carson Winner Anna Glass 1The H.Y. and Ruby K. Carson Award – Anna Glass
Anna Glass is a sophomore at Jefferson State who maintains a 4.0 GPA. As a the team captain of the Scholars Bowl Team, she has been a strong leader and positive influence on fellow students. Her zest for learning, positive personality, strong leadership skills, and her ability and desire to see the good in people and situations will serve her well as she transfers to the University of Montevallo. She will be missed at Jefferson State.


Fitzgerald Award Winner 2020 Amanda RainsThe Eugene G. Fitzgerald Award – Amanda Rains
Amanda earned top marks in the nights and weekends nursing program while working full time for an ambulance company and raising two children. After graduation, she will begin her dream job as a nurse at UAB.



Outs Faculty David McRaeThe Outstanding Faculty Member Award –  David McRae
The highest compliment an educator can receive is to be called passionate. You can learn how to be engaging, insightful, and sympathetic if you want to be successful in this field. This year’s winner certainly possesses all of these attributes. In time, you can also gain confidence in your life’s work, become reflective in how you adapt your pedagogy, and strive to remain on the cutting edge of teaching. Again, this year’s winner also encompasses all of these qualities. One thing, however, that cannot be learned is passion. Very few instructors have not only a calling to the profession, but also a fire in their hearts for both the act of teaching and the content of the material being taught. David McRae is passionate about both, and we are proud to honor him as the 2020 winner of the Outstanding Faculty Award.


Stephanie Woods Outstanding Alumnus 2020 3Outstanding Alumnus of the Year – Stephanie Woods
Stephanie Woods MSN, RN, NE-BC, LSSGB is an Associate Vice President of Clinical Operations with oversight of Emergency Services, Medical Emergency Team, Critical Care Transport, and the Serious Infectious Disease Team. A seasoned healthcare veteran of more than 20 years, Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership expertise to the healthcare team.

“I am still in shock and completely humbled to receive the nomination as Jefferson State’s alumnus of the year,” said Woods. “I am honored to represent my school and the thousands of students like me who needed a hand-up to a better education.”

Prior to her appointment as an Associate Vice President, Stephanie served as an Associate Chief Nursing Officer at UAB Hospital spearheading the organization’s Center for Nursing Excellence, overseeing the Magnet program, nursing practice, policy, development and education for 3500 nurses spanning across the inpatient and outpatient environment in addition to oversight of several clinical operating areas. Stephanie has a diverse background with expertise in hospital acute care, ambulatory, and post-acute operations, healthcare quality, policy, Magnet, and state and federal regulations. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Stephanie is also a lifelong learner and holds graduate certificates in Healthcare Quality and Safety and Lean Six Sigma. She is a certified nurse executive who began her nursing career in 1996 upon completion of her Associate in Applied Science in Nursing at Jefferson State Community College. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Jacksonville State University and a Masters of Science in Nursing from The University of Alabama. She is currently working towards the completion of her dissertation for attainment of a Doctorate of Science in Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Divisional Awards

Transfer & General Studies Awards

Outstanding Student in Computer Information Systems – Gabriel Emfinger
Outstanding Student in Accounting – Afnan Diab
Outstanding Business Transfer Student – Wesley L. Bates
Outstanding Student in Business Management – Bailey C. Hagood
Outstanding Student in Office Administration – Michelle L. Currey
Outstanding Student in English – James Jester
Outstanding Student in Speech – Crystal Cardenas
The Philip Royal History Award Winner – Jay-El Shepherd II
Outstanding Student in Psychology – Mariana Caro
Outstanding Student in Studio Art – Hudson Hatley
Outstanding Student in Art History – Cari E. Sheets
Outstanding Student in Chemistry – Catherine Colpo
Outstanding Student in Mathematics – Benjamin Gwin
Outstanding Student in Physics – Dustin G. Womack
Outstanding Student in Sociology – Roderick L. Parker
Outstanding Student in Biology – Robert R. Harper

Center for Professional, Career, and Technical Education Awards

Outstanding Student in Child Development – Jennifer Fraser
Outstanding Student in Architecture and Civil Design Technology – Luke A. Mastro
Outstanding Student in Construction Management – Steven G. Blalock
Outstanding Student in Criminal Justice – Cole Lindsey
Outstanding Student in Student in Law Enforcement – Richard Johnson
The Spirit of Hospitality and Excellence in Culinary Arts Award – Meagan Slappey
Outstanding Student in Funeral Services Education – Andrew L. Wackerle
Outstanding Student in Manufacturing Technology – Charles J. Matthews
Outstanding Student in Biomedical Equipment Technology – Jacob A. Clarke
Outstanding Student in Industrial Technology – Jacob L. West
Outstanding Student in Medical Lab Technology – Morgan L. Morris
Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Student – Kelley V. Davis
The Winner of the John Terry Leesburg Radiology Award – Jenny Rossman
Outstanding Student in Radiologic Technology – Brandi R. Williams
Outstanding Student in Veterinary Technology – Alice D. Brady

Center for Workforce Education Award

Workforce Education Student of the Year – Adam Barrientos

Campus Organization Awards

Outstanding Association of Radiologic Technology Students President – Kyle S. Struecker
Ambassador of the Year – Drew Peters
Outstanding Phi Theta Kappa Member, Beta Lambda Delta chapter – Grayson Sides
Outstanding Phi Theta Kappa Member, Pi Pi chapter – Madison MeGahee
Outstanding Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Scholar, Beta Lambda Delta Chapter – Dr. Robert Wallace
Outstanding Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Scholar, Pi Pi Chapter – Dusty Folds
Outstanding Sigma Kappa Delta Member – Aja Graham
Outstanding College Scholar – Anna Glass
Outstanding Sigma Chi Eta Member – Anna Jett
Outstanding Speech Team Member – Heaven L. Sheppard
Outstanding Queer Straight Alliance Member – Sara B. Duncan
Outstanding Multicultural Student Association Member – Catherine Colpo
American Welding Society Student Chapter Member of the Year – Phillip C. Begnaud
Outstanding Men’s Golf Team Member – Riley Thrasher
Outstanding Women’s Golf Team Member – Chelsie Elliott
Outstanding Cross Country Team Member – Grabiela Rodriguez
Outstanding Spotlight Drama Club Member – Caitlyn M. Smith
Outstanding Art and Animation Guild Member – Anthony Ezell
Outstanding Student Government Member – Caitlyn M. Smith
Student Group Winner of The President’s Cup – The Multicultural Students Association

Special Scholarships

Elton B. Stephens Scholarship — Tramaine Moore
Elton B. Stephens Scholarship — David Ware
Elton B. Stephens Scholarship — Hang Dang
Elton B. Stephens Scholarship — Elizabeth Garcia Escobar
Dr. Connie Beddingfield Memorial Scholarship – Nandani Ray
Walter and Mary Harris Memorial Scholarship – Oscar Alcantar
Chad Prior Memorial Scholarship – John Trott
Grandview Medical Scholarship – Brian Lanford
Eastern Women’s Committee of Fifty Scholarship – Catherine McCown
Dora Virginia Hestley Memorial Scholarship – Laney Binion
Dr. Shailesh Upadhyay Memorial Scholarship – Emily Moore
All-Alabama Community College Academic Team – Lily Gannon
All-Alabama Community College Academic Team – Adam Patterson

Transfer Scholarship Recipients

University of Alabama

Emily R. Armstrong
Damion N. Charles
Christopher T. Davis
Rianna M. Green
Carlos Alberto Hernandez Canales
Trevor G. Howard
Bryson D. Lorimer
Jonathan A. Lorimer
Luis Eduardo Macias-Guzman
Suzanne M. Miller
Angel E. Mitchell
Roderick L. Parker
Victoria E. Turner


Auburn University

Jacob McConnell
Jenifer Rodgers


University of Montevallo

Emily Armstrong
Amber Armstrong
Marlie Bailey
Michael Bunn
Deonta Cotton
Stewart Crowder
Anna Glass
James Hall
Jennifer Harrison
Joseph Honeycutt
Anna Jett
Noah Kirkland
Casi Lovett
Luis Macias-Guzman
Hannah Norris
Britney Osborne
Roderick Parker
Courtney Ray
Danielle Sadler
Cari Sheets
Mary Grace Tucker
Kelsey Wilson
Tanner Wilson


University of Alabama at Birmingham

Diana Angeles
Sean Bonapart
Zachary Burnett
Y Dang
Lily Gannon
Carlee Halbert
Sydney Hazlewood
Samantha Henderson
Yessmen Hussein
Elizabeth Jimenez
Asia Lee
Cole Lindsey
Dawn Minor
Daniel Oguhebe
Cameron Parker
Baeli Porter
Thomas Riddle
Victoria Roskam
Nickolas Rountree
Colton Ryals
Haley Smith
Stuart Strickland
Victoria Turner
Tucker Vines
Britani Zimmermann
Jason Aiken
Wahab Ali
Hannah Bradford
Kathi Carr
Marisa Champion
Christopher Connell
Michael Connell
Savannah Dearman
Morgan Hays
Cole Lankford
Madison MeGahee
Heather Odaibo
Grayson Sides
Jason Steeber
Nathan Wright
Catherine Colpo
Roderick Parker
Kelly Acosta
Cameron Green
Lucas Lindgren
Morgan Roberts
Stephanie Watkins
James Hall
Tasheem Hargrove
Meleah McWilliams


Jacksonville State University

Brandon Bejarano Rincon
Chelsea Cox
Tiffany Fuqua
John Gilbert
Bethany Glazier
Samantha Henderson
Eryka Hobby
Hunter Hurst
Patrick Hutton
Anna Karg
Luis Macias-Guzman
Zaria McDonald
Tyler Mixon
Josselyn Nunez Castro
Mishwa Patel
Haley Smith
Kaitlyn Strickland
Charlotte Turner
Jonisah Walker
Rachel Wells
Morgan Whitman