The “STAR” students across academic disciplines and career-training programs at the Verde Valley Campus and Sedona Center got the opportunity to shine in front of their biggest fans during a celebration in their honor.

The students considered the best of the best this academic year were regaled by their instructors and college leaders for being Students who are “Thriving, Achieving and deserve to be Recognized” at an Evening of STARS event April 18 at the Verde Valley Campus in Clarkdale.

In her welcoming remarks, YC President Dr. Lisa Rhine told the STAR-award winning students gathered with their loved ones, “Your tremendous potential is very clearly reflected in your accomplishments. We are so fortunate that Yavapai College gets to be part of your journey and personal story.”

Dr. Douglas Berry, YC Provost, praised the star students for the “discipline, persistence and unwavering focus” undertaken to earn their moment in the spotlight. “The individuals we are recognizing tonight are doing more than excelling in their classes. They are contributing to others and the community. And they are not doing this on their own. They are doing this with the support of their friends, family, faculty, staff, coaches and many others.”

The evening’s emcee, YC Spanish Professor Dr. Curtis Kleinman, delivered both levity and thought-provoking messages between rounds of award presentations. He defined a STAR student as smart, trustworthy, altruistic, resourceful/resilient and willing to make sacrifices. Kleinman also served up some marketing for the college, telling the gathering, “I truly believe that at Yavapai College you pay for a Pinto and drive off in a Corvette the quality of education is that good.”

Earning top student honors at the Verde Campus Evening of Stars were Kade Randall Penrod, winner of the President’s Award for Excellence: and Chasidy Allen, the Provost’s Award for Excellence honoree.

Kade is an early college student and an aspiring nurse who earned straight As this year. He was singled out for having “unmatched devotion” to his academics, to college and community service and his career goals.

Earning nominations for the President’s Award for Excellence were nursing student Vrindavan Silva and early college students Landon McGuirk and Julianna Mendoza.

Chasidy, the Provost’s Award winner,  was honored for her academic performance, integrity,  people skills and advocacy work that contributed to a “an inclusive class environment.”

Also earning a nomination for the Provost’s Award was nursing student Caleen Tinny.

Following are the STAR Award winners by academic or career-training program:


Visual Arts, Enrique Guzman Moya

Humanities, Emory Fausey

Early Childhood Education, Sabrina Nicolella

Education, Kayla Davilla

Philosophy, Shaylor Dowling

Business, Glendaliz Wooddisse

Management, Jeremy Waltrip

Accounting, Carolann Chambers

Administration of Justice Studies, Fanny Zapata Sanchez

English, Kelty Wilton

Literature, Maysea Dupuy

Communication, Felicia Foldes

Mathematics, Astrid Darlington

Psychology, Chase Paquin

Social Science, Chasidy Allen

Sociology, Elijah Baldwin

Allied Health, Shelby Morgan

Carpentry, Kayla Holly

Culinary, Bill Levengood

Electrical Technician, Greg Noyes

Viticulture & Enology, Jeremiah Prough

HVAC, Robert Johnson


Yavapai College operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County and offers over 100 degrees and certificates, two baccalaureate degrees, student and community services, and cultural events and activities.

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