Brickey wins Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

Northeast State alumna Merissa Brickey has won the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship awarded to two-year college students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

“It is a huge honor to receive this scholarship,” says Brickey, of Kingsport.

Merissa Brickey

She is one of only 60 scholarship recipients chosen from more than 780 applications submitted to the Foundation from two-year colleges around the country.  The scholarship’s value is up to $30,000 annually.  The award covers a student’s expenses – including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees – for the final two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree.

It is no stretch to say Brickey knows the value of an education, and of life.  On Valentine’s Day 2007 while a high school junior and straight-A student, she suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident.  She spent two and a half weeks in a coma at an area hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta.   She later spent three more months of rehabilitation as her family struggled to deal with the emotional toll and costs of her care.  The layoff didn’t slow her down – she graduated as valedictorian of her class.

Brickey enrolled at Northeast State through the College’s high school articulation program. She earned an impressive 3.87 grade point average while pursuing her associate degree in Industrial Drafting Design.  She graduated magna cum laude this spring culminating her remarkable recovery.

“Coming here before I left high school definitely helped me achieve the dreams I had,” she says. “I don’t think I would have been able to on my own like I have here.”

Brickey plans to attend East Tennessee State University this fall and major in construction project management.   However, the new scholarship has given her reason to reconsider her options.

“No matter what life throws at you, don’t give up your dreams,” she said.  “It might take a bit longer than you planned and you may have to take a detour, but it can still be achieved.”

Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship deadline is July 1

Apply online now through July 1 for the Northeast State Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship that assists first-generation college students facing financial barriers to enroll in college.

The Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship provides financial assistance to eligible students at Northeast State.  The Program assists recipients with funds to pay toward maintenance fees, tuition, and/or textbook costs for up to 70 attempted semester hours.  The award amount can be up to $400 per semester based on full-time or part-time status as well as available funding.

Applicants must meet at least two of these four criteria for priority consideration:

  • Be a first-generation college student;
  • Be of Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, Black or African-American, Asian, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander;
  • Be a resident of Johnson County or Unicoi County;
  • Have a total family income of $36,000 or below (as reported on the FAFSA)

Applicants must complete the 2011-2012 FAFSA and their financial aid file by July 30, 2011, enroll in and complete at least six (6) credit hours each semester, maintain a minimum cumulative and semester grade point average of 2.5, and not have earned any degree by the beginning of the 2011 fall semester.  Contact the Financial Aid Office at 423.323.0252 with questions about FAFSA.

Contact the office of Scholarship Programs at or 423.354.2507 with questions about the Educational Access and Diversity Program.

Professor Jane Honeycutt wins PTK Paragon Award

Professor Jane Honeycutt received the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society’s Paragon Award for New Advisors at the society’s regional convention held this spring.  Honeycutt is an associate professor of English and serves as faculty advisor to the College’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of PTK.

Alpha Iota Chi faculty advisor Jane Honeycutt at the 2011 Honors Convocation.

“Since Jane accepted the role of lead advisor for Northeast State’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter, she has demonstrated scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship,” says Lana Hamilton, vice president for Academic Affairs.

Alpha Iota Chi student members nominated Honeycutt for the award last fall.  The Paragon Award recognizes advisors with less than four years of service to PTK who have made significant contributions to the growth of the students, served as the chapter’s advocate on campus, and encouraged the chapter to be involved on the local, regional and/or international level.  The PTK Tennessee Region also presented Honeycutt with their Horizon Award recognizing the contributions of new advisors.

The chapter has welcomed more than 300 new members during the past three years while Honeycutt has served as advisor.  During that time, Alpha Iota Chi and several student members have earned regional and national PTK awards for leadership and community outreach most recently the Chapter of Light Award this spring.

Honeycutt also directs the College’s Honors Program and chairs the department of Women’s Studies.  She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree and master’s of arts degree in English from San Francisco State University.

“We have had a wonderful group of students take part in Alpha Iota Chi,” Honeycutt says.  “They have dedicated themselves to the Phi Theta Kappa hallmarks and to this chapter.”