Chitsey winner with professors

By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director

Madellynn Smith was recently named the winner of the 2023 Chitsey Award, granted each year to the student of Honors Northeast who most exceeded expectations during their first year at NTCC.  The award comes with a $200 check.

The 2022 graduate of Mount Vernon High School has impressed all four of her first-year honors professors as courteous, attentive and highly attuned to class objectives. After the fall semester, Smith was promoted to Presidential Scholar. However, the professors of the “StatPsych” Honors Seminar, Dr. Karyn Skaar and Dr. Paula Wilhite, have found Smith to be not only a top-tier scholar, but the academic Sirius Star of the spring honors experience.

The Chitsey Award has had a remarkably stimulating effect on other down-the-line student awards at NTCC through the years.  Previous winners: Stephen Milburn (2013), Kelli Knepp (2014), Morgan Capps (2015), William Jones (2016), Cassidy Watkins (2017), Madison Blood (2018), Daniel Landaverde (2019), Jalyn English (2020), and Jordan Chapin (2022) have all moved on from the Chitsey to regional or national awards such as the Jack Kent Cooke, Leaders of Promise, and/or the Coca Cola Scholarships.  Last year’s winner, Jordan Chapin, has compiled a very enviable record as an REU recipient, a Portia Gordon Award-winner and a state president of Phi Theta Kappa.  Chapin was recently named a member of the All-USA Team, a Top-Twenty-Student echelon on the national level in Phi Theta Kappa!

Honors Director, Dr. Andrew Yox notes: “Smith has been both consistent and surprising, concerted and creative. With Smith, we honors professors have all felt a moment, I believe, of rare discovery.  Her highly charged fluency, superior memorization, and powerful imagination conveys a fresh perspective over fields of knowledge we all care about.”

The award also honors a former patron of Honors Northeast, Elizabeth Chitsey (1918-2013).  The Winnsboro-native had children and grandchildren who have served in the teaching profession in Northeast Texas, on every level, from pre-school, to college.  Each year since 2012, her family has generously supported Honors Northeast, and other functions of NTCC.

Madellynn is the daughter of Stephen and Rhonda Smith of Winnsboro.