2023 TCC Honors Students Recognized at Awards Ceremony

The Tulsa Community College Honors Program recognized its spring 2023 award and scholarship winners at the annual Blue-Carpet TCC Foundation Awards Ceremony.

The event, presented by the Honors Program and sponsored by the TCC Foundation, took place at the Thomas K. McKeon Center of Creativity on the TCC Metro Campus.

Aviel Spurgeon received the $1,000 Henry B. Comby III Prize, the highest award given, recognizing the most outstanding graduating Honors Scholar of the year. The award takes its name from the late sociology professor Dr. Hank Comby, who taught TCC’s first Honors class in 1980 and continued teaching Honors for the rest of his life. Spurgeon is a Mathematics major and a 2020 Homeschool graduate.

“Aviel embraced the Honors Program and became one of our recruitment ambassadors, representing the program anytime we asked or needed someone,” said Dr. Allen Culpepper, Honors Program coordinator. “It is a wonderful recognition of such dedication and sharing the Honors Program story with future students.”

Justin Moua, a Computer Science major, and Robi Jenkins, a Pre-Nursing and Psychology major received the Kontogianes Honors Award. Named for the late Dr. John Kontogianes, who was TCC’s chief academic officer for many years, this award is given to an Honors Scholar who best exemplifies the qualities of its namesake: intelligence, integrity, love of learning, service, and concern for others. Moua, in his role as a New Student Orientation leader for TCC, helped promote as well as dispel myths about the Honors program to perspective students. He graduated from Owasso High School in 2021. Jenkins, a 2018 Chelsea High School graduate, is very active and serves as an officer of the Motivated Scholars student organization. The 2023 recipients will split the award, each receiving $375.

Kelly Parsley, a Biology major, received the $350 O’Neal Service Award. Named for former Honors coordinator Susan O’Neal, the award recognizes significant service to the Honors Program during the last year.

“This year’s recipient has been extremely active in the Honors Program and helped found, and served as president of Motivated Scholars, the new student organization for Honors Scholars,” said Culpepper.

Parsley is a member of the Cherokee Nation and wants to become a doctor serving patients in rural Oklahoma, where she lives.

Five Honors Scholars received Foundation Honors Awards of $250, funded by the Tulsa Community College Foundation, each for outstanding academic performance during the current academic year. 

  • Tram-An Ho, Biology major and 2020 Savanna High School graduate
  • Adrienne Huntley, Business Administration major with a 4.0 GPA and 2021 Union High School graduate received award in 2022 as well
  • Estee Nguyen, Pre-Nursing major and 2022 Broken Arrow High School graduate
  • Ana Shasteen, Business Administration major and 2021 Mannford High School graduate
  • Mariia Shevchenko, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science major and 2020 Chandler High School graduate

All the award winners were nominated by Honors faculty.

The evening ended with a special presentation to outgoing Honors Program coordinator, Dr. Allen Culpepper. In recognition of his dedication and hard work, he was given an honorary Honors Scholar medallion. Dr. Ryan Johnson will assume the role for Fall 2023.

The TCC Honors Program is part of the college’s Division of Engaged Learning, headed by Dean Cindy Shanks.