Two TNCC Students to Receive High Academic Honors at May 15 Commencement


Published: May 14, 2010

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) named graduating students Jonathan Westley Hicks and Amanda Renfroe as recipients of the 2009-2010 President‘s and Vice President’s Awards, respectively. The College presents the awards during commencement each spring in acknowledgment of students’ exceptional academic performance. Both recipients are graduating summa cum laude with 4.0 grade point averages.

Hicks and Renfroe are among nearly 1,000 students who have applied to graduate during the 2009-2010 academic year. This figure includes students who completed their curriculum requirements in summer 2009, fall 2009, and those who have applied for graduation in spring 2010. Graduating students will receive certificates, career studies certificates, or a combination of these academic credentials. Criteria for the President’s and Vice President’s awards include attaining the highest cumulative grade point average, completing at least 60 semester hours of course work and receiving an Associate’s Degree for the current year, among other criteria.

Hicks enrolled at TNCC in 2008 and has completed the requirements for an Associate of Science in Computer Science. He plans to study Computer Engineering at Christopher Newport University in the fall seeking Bachelor’s degree.

“I want to really concentrate on getting my engineering degree and then look into what’s available. The job market changes so quickly that there are so my options out there. A dream job would be at Jefferson Lab, though,” he said.

The Newport News resident sums up his educational journey at TNCC as a positive phase in life. “It was a pretty good experience that I’m very happy to have had. All of the courses that I took were really interesting and the teachers made learning exceptionally fun.”

While attending TNCC, Hicks was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society for two-year colleges.

Hicks and his wife of five years, Debra, have two children – 4-year-old William and Kimberly, 3. His parents are William and Cathy Hicks of Karns City, Pennsylvania.

Renfroe enrolled at TNCC in 2007 and has completed the requirements for an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts. Although Renfroe was accepted to Christopher Newport University, she will place her education on hold to relocate to North Carolina in June to be with her husband who works in the Raleigh area. Next year, Renfroe will pursue a Communications degree at North Carolina State University. “I want to teach at a community college or four-year college because I really enjoyed my public speaking courses at Thomas Nelson,” she said.

“TNCC is a good way to start higher education. I really enjoyed the diversity there that I experienced in the classroom and I just feel like I’m really prepared for the four-year school. I feel like I have a really solid foundation for that,” Renfroe said.

Renfroe maintained grades sufficient for membership in Phi Theta Kappa. She also worked with the Student Activities office and participated in several community outreach efforts through her involvement with the Student Virginia Education Association. Renfroe resides in Newport News with her husband, Philip, and their 6-year-old, Wade. Her parents are Brinda Layne of Richmond and Blake Reed of Henrico County.

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