Winningham and Blaylock win 2003 Derryberry AwardsSarah Winningham of Helenwood, Tenn., and Donnie Wayne Blaylock of Crossville share this year's honors as co-winners of the 2003 Derryberry Award, Tennessee Tech University’s most prestigious student award.
Winningham and Blaylock, who both served terms as TTU's Student Government Association president, received this year’s award for their displays of excellence throughout their college careers.
The late Everett Derryberry, who served as Tennessee Tech’s president for 34 years, established this annual award upon his retirement. Derryberry’s criteria called for the award to be given "to a senior who has exhibited scholastic attainment arising out of moral and intellectual integrity; successful campus activity where participation indicates a commitment to good citizenship, interest in one’s fellow person, and instincts for leadership; and physical vigor as shown by fondness for and success in sports."
Wininingham, the daughter of Leslie and Peggy Winningham, graduated from Scott High School. A political science major, she has held several positions in student government, including president, vice president, senator and committee member. Among her achievements are contributing to the implementation of a shuttle-bus service for TTU students and online voting for campus elections.
Outstanding academic performance led to her memberships in numerous honor societies including Pi Sigma Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, and Order of Omega. She was also named a U.S. Achievement Academy All-American Scholar, Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and received the Gold Key Award.
Winningham also contributed leadership to the university by serving on many committees, including Administrative Council, Academic Council, University Planning Committee and Marketing Committee. She was both a Student Orientation Leader and Student Alumni Ambassador. A charter member of TTU's College Democrats, she served the Tennessee Council of Student Presidents and S.T.A.T.E., Students Today Advocating Tennessee Education.
For her social sorority, Kappa Delta, she held several offices, including Chapter Excellence Chairperson and Academic Excellence Chairperson. Much of her regular community service came through Kappa Delta projects, such as the Children's Hospital/KD Klassic Golf Tournament and the Volunteer for Prevent Child Abuse America Shamrock Event. Other volunteer work included lobbying to the state general assembly on behalf of higher education. She was also on KD's football, softball and basketball teams.
Blaylock, the son of Eddie and Henrietta Blaylock, graduated from Cumberland County High School. A chemical engineering major with a 4.0 grade point average, his research has been recognized by professional organizations, including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Chemical Society. His article, "Addressing Proliferation Concerns for a New Generation," was published in the August 2002 issue of the Journal of Engineering and Public Policy.
As an active member in student government, Blaylock served as SGA president, as well as a senator and committee member. In state leadership, he served as chairperson of the Tennessee Council of Student Presidents. He was also president of TTU's American Institute of Chemical Engineers chapter.
A member of TTU's Honors Program and Associated Scholars Guild throughout his college career, Blaylock helped lead the program by serving on the Honors Council and participating in several committees. He also held membership on other university committees, including Student Affairs, Administrative Council, the Vision Committee and the Marketing Committee.
His numerous honor society memberships include Kappa Mu Epsilon, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omega Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi.
Blaylock's work experience includes co-op assignments in the Engineering and Technology Division at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. In 2002, he conducted research through the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering.
The Derryberry Award selection process involves soliciting campus nominations from every department, school, college and administrative division as well as from Student Government Association executive officers.
Other finalists were Mary Eller, a mechanical engineering major from Sparta; Ryan Patrick O'Hara, a chemical engineering major from Hendersonville; and Noelani A. Thompson, a mechanical engineering major from Oak Ridge.