Lynnsey Jett of Jefferson City has been honored as “Student of the Block” for her academic achievement and campus leadership at Tusculum College.
Jett was recognized as “Student of the Block” for Block 4 in a brief ceremony by the Office of Student Affairs, which presents the award each block. Faculty members and/or staff nominate students for the award.
“I feel very honored to be selected because I know there are a lot of deserving students on the campus,” Jett said. “I am thankful and grateful for the recognition.”
Brandon Conner, director of freshman services and student success, nominated Jett for the honor. Conner said that Jett is an exemplary student who has discovered the important balance of pursuing a college education and seeking spiritual wisdom. During the ceremony, Conner spoke of Jett’s Christian faith and her compassion for others that help guide her actions.
In his nomination, Conner noted Jett’s role as a change agent for the college as she works with prospective students through the President’s Society, a student leadership organization. “As a department … charged with the responsibility of improving retention, it is helpful for me to have change agents on campus like Lynnsey,” Conner wrote.
Jett, a senior, is a history education major with aspirations of teaching history to students in grades 7-12. She also plans to seek a graduate degree in education to further her ability to impact students in the classroom.
She came to Tusculum upon the recommendation of her older sister, Courtney, a 2004 graduate of the college, and found the small campus atmosphere to her liking. “I wanted to be close enough to home but far enough away that I did not shop in the same grocery store as the individuals I’d seen for the past 18 years of my life,” she said. “Continuing my softball career as a member of the Tusculum College softball team was important to me.”
Quickly settling into the tight-knit college community, Jett became involved in the President’s Society, the Peer Tutor program and the Andrew Johnson Society history organization as well as the Lady Pioneer softball team. While filling her calendar with obligations, these activities helped push Jett to excel in both her academic and extracurricular endeavors.
Initially undecided in her major, Jett’s experience in Dr. David Key’s “Revolutionary America” class sparked her interest in history education. “His approach to the classroom is unique because he uses every aspect of teaching techniques – group debate and lecture – to engage the students to learn and be involved,” she said. “I wanted to teach students history in a way that hadn’t been used … there’s so much more to history than dates and facts, and I wanted to teach that aspect. I wanted the experience to be more than the boring class in high school all students are required to take.”
Jett looks forward to becoming a teacher and picking an effective curriculum for her students. “It’s scary to think I’ll have my own classroom, but I want the ability to impact student’s lives and influence their lives in and out of the classroom,” she said.
During the spring 2009 semester, Jett had the opportunity to student abroad in London and credits her experience in England with creating a new passion for travel. As a result of Jett’s experience in the international study program, she was invited to give a formal presentation about her time in London to the college’s Board of Trustees last October. “Lynnsey’s presentation was nothing short of remarkable,” Conner noted in his nomination of her for the award. “In fact, (Tusculum President) Dr. Nancy Moody was so impressed with Lynnsey that she held her out as a model student in multiple public forums.”
Jett credits her family, especially her parents Barry and Brenda Jett, as instilling in her the values of hard work and dedication. “My parents encourage me to do whatever makes my life worth living,” she said. “Both of my parents are hard workers and that made an impression on me to work hard in everything I do.”
She also expressed appreciation to Conner and Jacqui Elliott, vice president for enrollment management, for their advisory skills. “They are both individuals from whom I seek counsel and advice,” she said. “They are able to teach me skills I will need in my professional future, and I really respect and value the relationship I have with both of them.”
Among her favorite memories of her time at Tusculum are sledding with friends on rare snow days, enjoying the annual Spring Fling celebration, treasuring the collegiate carefree lifestyle and being part of the close knit campus community. “Meeting life-long friends, playing softball, studying abroad and enjoying the teaching of my professors are some of my greatest memories,” she said. “My advice to students is that your college experience is what you make of it – get the most out of your education, make friends and create relationships that will last.”