Tennessee technical students awarded James B. Brown Memorial Scholarship

Vicki Ardisana and Yvelyn Kyker

NASHVILLE (September 15, 2023) – TBR - The College System of Tennessee, is pleased to announce that 11 students from Tennessee’s Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) have been awarded the James B. Brown Memorial Scholarship. Since 2018, $47,250 has been awarded to 188 technical students. 

This year’s scholarship recipients include:

  • TCAT Athens - Nicole Giraud, Administrative Office Technology Program
  • TCAT Dickson - Vicki Ardisana, Mechatronics Program 
  • TCAT Elizabethton - Yvelyn Kyker, Welding Program
  • TCAT Harriman - Angela Herald, Administrative Office Technology Program
  • TCAT Jacksboro - Teonna Sexton, Practical Nursing Program
  • TCAT Memphis
    • David Johnson, Information Technology & Infrastructure Management Program
    • Ahteia Pennington, Administrative Office Technology Program
    • Ray Ewing, Building Construction Technology Program
  • TCAT Murfreesboro - Julia Piel, Information Technology Program
  • TCAT Nashville
    • Eric Hensley, Machine Tool Technology Program
    • Shawntese Bradford, Dental Lab Technology Program

“Dream it, search it, and go for it,” said recipient Vicki Ardisana, a mechatronics student at TCAT Dickson, when asked what she would tell others needing extra funds for college. Like other recipients, the James B. Brown Memorial Scholarship will help Ardisana achieve her dream of graduating with a highly-sought-after technical credential and the skills needed to obtain an in-demand career in the mechatronics field.

“I am so thankful to TBR for awarding me this scholarship, and for the opportunities in education presented to me by the organization and my school, TCAT Elizabethton,” said Yvelyn Kyker, welding student at TCAT Elizabethton. “I hope that many students like me are able to access these resources in the future, to better both themselves and generations after us.”

The scholarship, given in memory of the late James Berdet Brown of Nashville, is awarded to adult students enrolled in a Tennessee technical college each trimester. Candidates must submit an online application consisting of six essay questions plus a letter of recommendation. 

James Berdet Brown had worked as an unemployment claims agent with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development for 10 years before he unexpectedly passed away from a brief illness in 2015 at the age of 47. Brown was known for his sense of humor and the way he cared about those filing for unemployment. The James B. Brown Memorial Scholarship was founded by James’ sister, Kathy Jo Hayden, to carry on his legacy of encouraging others and helping those in need who work hard to improve their circumstance. 

For more information on the James B. Berdet Memorial Scholarship and how to apply, please visit https://www.tbr.edu/advancement/james-b-brown-memorial-scholarship


Photo captions:

Vicki Ardisana, mechatronics student at TCAT Dickson, recently received the James B. Brown Memorial Scholarship to assist with .

Yvelyn Kyker, welding student at TCAT Elizabethton, has been named a recipient of the James B. Brown Memorial Scholarship. 

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 24 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.