Awardees Exemplify Compassion and International Understanding

Andrea Jenkins, Dr. Betsy Gordon Announced at McKendree U. Commencement

Lebanon, Ill. — A 2013 McKendree University graduate and an inspirational speech communication professor were announced as top student and faculty awardees at the May 11 commencement ceremony.   

Andrea Jenkins, of Fairview Heights, Ill., wonthe 2013 Technos International College Prize. Sponsored by the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Trust to foster multi-cultural awareness, it is given to a graduating senior chosen by the faculty for outstanding academic performance and abiding commitment to international understanding.

Jenkins, who has a passion for world travel and proficiency in math, graduated cum laude with a degree in international relations and mathematics on the finance-actuary track. She has traveled to Technos College in Japan, where she was quick to make new friends and try new experiences without hesitation. She has also traveled to Europe, Asia and South America in an effort to broaden her international horizons.

As a McKendree student, she was active with the campus Green Team environmental group, the International Student organization Rotoract and the Campus Activities Board. She has been accepted to graduate school and plans to secure employment abroad, aspiring to work someday for the United Nations.

Dr. Betsy Gordon, atenured professor of speech communication, received the 2013 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award from the Alumni Board in absentia. She teaches courses in public speaking, persuasion, gender and communication, interpersonal communication, communication theory, and business and professional presentations.

“Students say that Dr. Gordon is knowledgeable, fair, and compassionate. They especially appreciate her enthusiasm for teaching,” noted Alumni Board President Maria Page. “One student said, ‘She is an amazing teacher and has made public speaking an unforgettable experience for me. She is one of the most positive teachers I have ever known.’”

Gordon, a Lebanon resident, joined the McKendree faculty in 1990 and was promoted to professor in 2008. From 2001 until 2009, she served as chair of the Division of Language, Literature, and Communication (since renamed the Division of Humanities).

For two years she lived among students at the McKendree West apartments, where she introduced a book club, a film series, and annual Christmas Cookie Day for students. In 1999, she represented McKendree University at the Technos International Week in Japan. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and was the recipient of the United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award in 1995 and the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004.