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Students volunteer to work at Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum through the Jones Center for Leadership and Service during the annual MLK Jr. Days of Service
Student volunteers work at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum through the Jones Center for Leadership and Service during the annual MLK Jr. Days of Service on February 2, 2021. Photo by Steven Bridges.

In advance of commencement, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Jones Center for Leadership and Service honors graduates who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to community service by awarding them a distinguished service medallion. Service is an integral part of the Volunteer experience, and the medallion commemorates each graduate’s hard work and dedication to uplifting the community and living out the university’s values.

Using a three-tiered medallion system, the Jones Center recognizes students who log over 100 hours of community service during their time at UT. Students receive a bronze medallion for 100–174 hours, a silver medallion for 175–224 hours, and a gold medallion for 225 hours or more. This spring, a total of 316 students received medallions.

A Jones Center for Leadership and Service Volunteer Recongition medal to be worn by students at graduation, photogrpahed“The medallions are a small thank you to students who have been dedicated and committed to serving their community while here,” said Brooke Squires, a coordinator at the Jones Center. “Service is what makes Volunteers special, and our students definitely go above and beyond that call of action.”

Gold medallion recipient Leeah Caple, a Haslam Scholar from Charlotte, North Carolina, was an active volunteer in the Knoxville community during her time at UT. Having come to UT as an out-of-state student, she said, she valued experiences that helped her get outside the “UT bubble” and build a deeper sense of belonging in Knoxville. Caple has served with countless organizations, fostering especially longstanding relationships at Pond Gap Elementary School and Young-Williams Animal Center.

“Being a servant leader is built upon the idea of serving one’s community, not simply being a volunteer. Serving involves a deeper connection and a long-term commitment to solving a problem and continuously contributing to society,” she said. “Service has deepened my connection to both the university and the city of Knoxville. It is my time spent volunteering and the incredible people I have met along the way that truly make Rocky Top feel like home sweet home to me.”

This spring, 66 graduates earned the gold service medallion:

  • Tawiah Abena of Accra, Ghana
  • Julee Anderson of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Hannah Bain-Selbo of Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Rebekah Bobo of Woodstock, Georgia
  • Robert Borkoski of Mount Airy, Maryland
  • William Botts of Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Sarah-Anne Bowyer of Sevierville, Tennessee
  • Taylor Boyer of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Jenna Brewer of White Pine, Tennessee
  • Megan Brinkley of Gallatin, Tennessee
  • Daniel Bueckman of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Julia Buschbacher of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Allison Campbell of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Baylee Canales of Harrisburg, North Carolina
  • Leeah Caple of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Carinne Cheney of Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • Miriam Chung of Collierville, Tennessee
  • Hailey Cohen of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Taylor Coleman of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Kristiana Cozort of Clayton, California
  • Jessica Crawford of Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Chance Cuthbert of Franklin, Tennessee
  • Olivia Decuir of Lebanon, Ohio
  • Bailey DeLozier of Maryville, Tennessee
  • Allison Flanary of Limestone, Tennessee
  • Sally Ford of Loudon, Tennessee
  • Ramsay Frances of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Spencer Hagan of Nashville, Tennessee
  • Sarah Hall of Spring Hill, Tennessee
  • Mann Halle of Germantown, Tennessee
  • Olivia Hoyt of Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • Joshua Jones of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee
  • Sarah Kennedy of Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Kassandra Looschen of Crossville, Tennessee
  • Deema Mansour of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Kayla Mccracken of Memphis, Tennessee
  • Heather McDonnell of Midlothian, Virginia
  • Meher Memon of Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Jesus Monarrez of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Lindsey Morrissett of Atoka, Tennessee
  • Loless Natalie of Waterloo, Illinois
  • Paige Osterfeld of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Jason Pan of Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • Gordon Pera of Memphis, Tennessee
  • Darby Peters of Bethesda, Maryland
  • John Phillips of Quebeck, Tennessee
  • Lydia Prince of Tullahoma, Tennessee
  • Justin Pritchett of Athens, Tennessee
  • Ashlyn Quesnel of Lewisburg, Tennessee
  • Kayla Rask of Elmhurst, Illinois
  • Alexa Rebmann of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Ashley Riedy of Clinton, Tennessee
  • Lindsay Sackermann of Louisville, Tennessee
  • Sydney Selman of Signal Mountain, Tennessee
  • Corinne Shapiro of Columbia, Tennessee
  • Dylan Skiscim of Cary, North Carolina
  • Allyson Stotts of Decatur, Tennessee
  • Rachel Summers of Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Emily Sykes of Collegeville, Pennsylvania
  • John Torreverde of Spring City, Tennessee
  • Catalina Trieu of Cordova, Tennessee
  • Rachel Tudor of Nashville, Tennessee
  • Abigail Varner of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Anna Weeks of Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Katherine Whitaker of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Megan Wilson of Sparta, Tennessee

Medallions can be requested by graduating students before each spring and fall commencement. To learn more about the service medallion, visit the Jones Center website.

This spring, the university will award approximately 4,825 degrees—3,548 undergraduate degrees, 1,065 graduate degrees and certificates, 121 law degrees, and 91 veterinary medicine degrees. Additionally, 17 Air Force ROTC cadets and 22 Army ROTC cadets will be commissioned. Five socially distanced commencement ceremonies will take place in Neyland Stadium. See the commencement website for details.


Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993,