Awardees Exemplify Academic Excellence and Engagement
Announced at McKendree University Commencement on May 12
Lebanon, Ill. — A military wife and mom with a perfect grade point average, and the associate dean who also teaches psychology, accepted top student and faculty awards at McKendree University’s commencement ceremony on May 12.
Elizabeth Gershon, ’12, a Scott Air Force Base resident, is the 2012 winner of the annual Technos International College Prize for outstanding academic achievement and commitment to international understanding. Sponsored by the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Trust, which fosters multi-cultural awareness, it is given annually to a graduating senior chosen by the faculty.
Gershon graduated with a 4.0 GPA, double majoring in English and religion. Although she did not study abroad in college, she lived with her family in Germany for many years and learned to speak the language. At McKendree, she studied Greek and biblical Hebrew.
She also helped lead the campus Interfaith organization and plan its Global Community Week activities, edited the “Montage” literary magazine, tutored in the Writing Center and volunteered in her community and local schools. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and served as president of the Sigma Tau Delta international English honor society chapter.
Gershon plans to pursue a doctoral degree and teach about religion and literature.
Dr. Tami Eggleston told herself she would try not to choke up when some of her former students received their diplomas. However, when she was announced the winner of the 2012 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award for the second time in her McKendree career, the tears came early and unexpectedly. The associate dean and psychology professor is one of the university’s most enthusiastic supporters. Faculty peers chose her once again for her commitment as an outstanding teacher, scholar and mentor.
Eggleston, a Highland, Ill., resident, joined the faculty in 1996 and won her first Grandy Award three years later She has a bachelor’s degree in biopsychology and psychology, and a doctorate in social psychology. In addition to teaching, she has conducted extensive research in sport psychology. Her expertise and skills help Bearcat athletes prepare mentally for competition.
“Students clamor to take her courses regardless of the day or time they are offered or the subject matter involved,” said Maria Page, Alumni Association president, as she presented the award. “All know that she is passionate about students, about teaching and learning, and about McKendree University. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find another faculty or staff member who displays as much school spirit, or wears as much purple, as Dr. Eggleston.”
She has led numerous initiatives, developed faculty workshops, coordinated assessment and accreditation efforts, promoted the use of instructional technology, mentored student research theses, advised student organizations and chaired search committees.
“Dr. Eggleston is a doer, a go-to person if you really want to get things done,” Page continued. “She is dynamic, energetic, positive, caring and professional in everything that she does.”
McKendree University ranks among the top 25 percent of regional universities nationwide in the 2012 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” report.Founded in 1828, the historic Lebanon, Ill., campus is 25 miles from downtown St. Louis. McKendree also has campuses in Louisville and Radcliff, Ky., and offers programs at Scott Air Force Base and other sites throughout Illinois and Kentucky. www.mckendree.edu