Lena Eidson-Kelly has been honored for her academic achievement and campus leadership as “Student of the Block” for the seventh block at Tusculum College.
Eidson-Kelly, a senior majoring in psychology from Odenville, Ala., was presented the award during a brief ceremony on Tuesday, April 20. The award is presented each block by the Office of Student Affairs to recognize students for academic achievement, leadership on campus and contributions to the college community.
Dennis Lingerfelt, assistant professor of computer science, said during the ceremony that Eidson-Kelly had shown exemplary leadership in the Pioneer Anime Club, for which he is faculty sponsor.
Eidson-Kelly, who is the daughter of Arnold and Lynn Kelly, came to Tusculum a few months after the organization was formed, he noted, and due in part to her efforts and leadership, the Anime Club was able last year to have one of the residential program houses designated for members of the organization. She also stepped forward to serve as the residential assistant for the Anime Club’s house.
Dr. Tom Harlow, assistant professor of psychology, commended Eidson-Kelly’s academic achievements. Harlow recalled that in the first class in which he taught Eidson-Kelly, she told him she intended to become a psychologist. “And she has excelled in every class,” he said.
In turn, Eidson-Kelly said she thoroughly enjoys her psychology classes due to the small size of the department. Three of her psychology professors - Dr. Brian Pope, Dr. Bill Garris and Dr. Harlow - are among those she lists as having positively impacted her life. She also considers Jeff Lokey, assistant professor of management, as another instructor who has been significant in her academic life. “I enjoy their style of teaching and the challenge of the material,” she said.
Her interest in psychology stems from her caring spirit and willingness to help others in need and her experience as the advisor to many of her friends and family members. Her future aspirations are to continue her education in graduate school to obtain a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology and become a psychologist. She is also currently engaged to fellow Tusculum senior, Angelo Locicero. The couple plans to marry in November.
In addition to being a founding member of the Pioneer Anime Club and serving as a resident assistant, Eidson-Kelly is active on campus as a peer tutor, a work study student in the Registrar’s Office and a member of the Alpha Chi national honor society and the Psychology Club.
In rare moments of spare time, Eidson-Kelly enjoys writing stories she started while in high school, spending time with the residents of the Anime House and her fiancé, playing video games and planning her wedding.
When asked about role models and those she admires, Eidson-Kelly named her mother and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt because of her service to the community and her focus on aiding everyone else.
Eidson-Kelly became interested in Tusculum after she attended a college fair during her junior year in high school and spoke to an admission representative. After learning about the block system that was similar to the class schedule she experienced in high school, Eidson-Kelly immediately applied to make Tusculum her college home. “I visited campus twice before my orientation and thought the campus was absolutely beautiful,” she said. ‘It was small, and I like the idea of being at a smaller school versus a larger university because I wanted to stand out and get to know my professors.”
As her time at Tusculum is coming to a close, Eidson-Kelly values her senior year and living in the Anime Club house because all the residents have become very close. Her favorite memories also include Pioneer Anime Club events, trips to Old Forge, getting engaged on campus and attending the Southeastern Psychology Association conference in Chattanooga.
Her advice to other college students is to “try to make as many friends as possible – the more you’ll feel at home with friends who become family and experience less emotional stress. You’ll also be less likely to go home as often.”