McKendree University Honors Outstanding Students, Faculty and Staff
Honors Convocation Held During Academic Excellence Celebration
(LEBANON, Ill., April 28, 2016) — McKendree University recognized academic achievers across all disciplines, and three faculty members and a staff member received awards, at an Honors Convocation held April 28 at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts. The event was part of the university’s annual Academic Excellence Celebration.
Dr. Dawn Hankins, professor of athletic training and chair of the School of Health Professions, gave the opening address, “The Journey to Achieving Academic Excellence.”
Students were recognized for maintaining high grade point averages while participating in clubs and organizations, athletics, music, service projects and other activities, said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost.
Christin Austin, a senior from Wayne City, Ill., received the Technos International Prize for academic achievement and commitment to international understanding. The political science major was inducted into several honor societies, participated in debate, student government, and the Technos International Week trip to Japan. A medical mission trip to Haiti inspired her senior thesis on the World Health Organization’s efforts there. She plans to study health law in graduate school at Saint Louis University.
“Christin is an emerging global citizen and clearly worthy for her commitment to international understanding,” said the provost.
Dr. Michele (Mickey) Schutzenhofer, chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics and an associate professor of biology, received the 2016 Exemplary Teacher Award, given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Chosen by full-time faculty members, selection criteria include excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value centered education, and service to students, the institution and the community. The 2003 McKendree graduate has taught at her alma mater full time since 2007.
“She is widely regarded as an outstanding teacher who truly cares about student learning, and she is a leader among her peers,” the provost noted. Schutzenhofer has served on numerous committees, including the Strategic Planning Committee and the General Education Review Committee.
Associate Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching were presented to part-time faculty members Melanie Jenkins and Rob Sainz. Jenkins teaches Introduction to Psychology and Psychology of Gender to undergraduate students. She has taught an estimated 1,500 McKendree students since 2004, receiving highly rated course evaluations, the provost said.
“Melanie genuinely cares about teaching, students and McKendree. She truly represents the best among our many outstanding part-time faculty. She is caring and engaging, and she creates a classroom of respect, learning and joy.”
Sainz has taught a variety of education classes at McKendree University for 10 years. He was previously an assistant principal and principal in elementary and middle schools for 25 years in the Francis Howell, Parkway and Fox C-6 schools in the St. Louis area. “We are delighted that he is now sharing his extensive professional expertise with our graduate students,” Bahr said.
Scott Billhartz, director of donor and prospect management, received the President’s Award for Professional Excellence. The McKendree alumnus has been employed by his alma mater for 15 years. “His commitment to McKendree is unsurpassed, and his institutional memory is remarkable,” said Dr. James Dennis, university president. “He provides leadership to young professionals and shares his wealth of knowledge about the university, its alumni and friends.”
School and division chairs introduced the following McKendree students for exceptional achievement within their respective areas:
College of Arts and Sciences
Division of Computing, Dr. Jim Feher, chairperson
Benjamin Bauer, Collinsville, Ill., computational science
Ron Mudra, Troy, Ill., computer science
Division of Humanities, Dr. Kevin Zanelotti, chairperson
Redell Hendricks, Glen Carbon, Ill., English
Lauren Apetz, Glenwood, Fla., speech communication
Division of Science & Mathematics, Dr. Michele Schutzenhofer, chairperson
Kenneth O’Dell, Jr., Carlyle, Ill., chemistry
Jeremiah James, Coulterville, Ill., mathematics
Division of Social Sciences, Dr. Neil Quisenberry, chairperson
Cameron Harsey, Waterloo, Ill., history
Christin Austin, Wayne City, Ill., international relations
Mariah Logan, St. Louis, Mo, psychology
Lauren Mantei, Springfield, Ill., psychology-occupational therapy
Katie Roesch, Roodhouse, Ill., sociology
Scott Air Force Base Campus
Curtis Toler, Lebanon, Ill., psychology
Division of Visual and Performing Arts, Dr. Nancy Ypma, chairperson
Megan Schmid, Columbia, Ill., music education
Terrence Abernathy, St. Louis, Mo., music–performance
Julia Surdyke, Festus, Mo., theatre
School of Business, Dr. John Watters, chairperson
Lauren Putbrese, Xenia, Ill., The School of Business Outstanding Student of the Year, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual
Maleah Grothaus, Shipman, Ill., accounting
Kailee Rule, Aviston, Ill., business administration
Riley Smith, Kenosha, Wis., business administration
Jan Peters, Suedergellersen, Germany, economics and finance
Morgan Maberry, Bethalto, Ill., human resource management
Alexis Sauerwein, Belleville, Ill., marketing
Samuel Lidisky, Swansea, Ill., sport management
Scott Air Force Base Campus
Lisa Campbell, Belleville, Ill., accounting
Raymond Seeber, St. Jacob, Ill., business administration
Rebeca Gabel, Lebanon, Ill., human resource management
Kellie Beard, Belleville, Ill., management
Amanda Hoover, Collinsville, Ill., marketing
Craig Huegen, Bartelso, Ill., business administration
Abby Kuhlig, Olney, Ill., business administration
Cathy Johnson, Salem, Ill., human resource management
Brigitte Kollman, Salem, Ill., management
Megan Jackson, Mount Vernon, Ill., marketing
Master of Business Administration
Krystiana Clarke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, business administration
Daniel Johnson, O’Fallon, Ill., business administration
School of Education, Dr. Allison Fahsl, chairperson
Erin Genteman, Moro, Ill., elementary education
Master of Arts in Education
Denise Jones, DeSoto, Ill., educational administration and leadership
Ramonda Miller, Collinsville, Ill., educational studies - reading
Cassandra Gillespie, Fairview Heights, Ill., special education
Judith Wolters, Steeleville, Ill., teacher leadership
Kristen Noll, Edwardsville, Ill., teaching – elementary
Valeria Cueto, Springfield, Ill., teaching – secondary
School of Nursing and Health Professions
Division of Health Professions, Dr. Dawn Hankins, chairperson
Taylor Simmons, Princeville, Ill., athletic training
Renee Wilcox, Freeburg, Ill., health and wellness
Master of Arts
Mary Clare Engel, O’Fallon, Mo., clinical mental health counseling
Division of Nursing, Dr. Richelle Rennegarbe, chairperson
Kathryn Berndsen, Breese, Ill., nursing
Susan Wagner, Belleville, Ill., nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
Cheryl Wright, Trenton, Ill., nursing education
Christy Geary, Louisville, Ky., nursing management/administration
Honors Program, Dr. Brian K. Frederking, director
Lauren Apetz, Glenwood, Fla.; Ambrocya Burge, Belleville, Ill.; Merrilee Gibbs Davolt, Wayne City., Ill; Allison Harres, Belleville, Ill.; Jeremiah James, Coulterville, Ill.; Tyler Jewell, Granite City, Ill.; Samuel Lidisky, Swansea, Ill.; Mariah Logan, St. Louis, Mo.; Rodney McBride, Belleville, Ill.; Brandon Mihalich, Bethalto, Ill.; Kenneth O’Dell, Jr., Carlyle, Ill.; Dakota Reed, West Frankfort, Ill.; Samantha Renth, New Baden, Ill.; Stefanie Strack, DeSoto, Ill.; Hannah Wessel, Waterloo, Ill.
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Dr. Joni Bastian, vice president for student affairs and dean of students
Cheyenne Autry, Breese, Ill.; Krystiana Clarke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Elizabeth Dykstra, McLeansboro, Ill.; Samantha Fagerburg, Morton, Ill.; Whitney Funk, Litchfield, Ill.; Merrilee Gibbs Davolt, Wayne City, Ill.; Alison Jones, O’Fallon, Ill.; Zach Loehr, Glen Carbon, Ill.; Brooke Moore, Mount Vernon, Ill.; Kenneth O’Dell, Jr., Carlyle, Ill.; Alyssa Reiniger, Maryville, Ill.; Bradley Schniers, Breese, Ill.; Vincent Spradling, Columbia, Ill.
Active Collegians Engaged in Service (ACES) Award
Taylor Cope, Bloomington, Ill.; Taylor Simmons, Princeville, Ill.; Rhoda Warner, Springfield, Ill.
Newman Civic Fellow Award
Shaquille Armstrong, East St. Louis, Ill.
Lincoln Laureate Award
Kenneth O’Dell, Jr., Carlyle, Ill.
Technos International Prize
Christin Austin, Wayne City, Ill.