Anthony Rhoads is McKendree's Lincoln Laureate

Lincoln Academy Honors Top Senior from Four-Year Institutions in Illinois

Photo of the Lincoln Academy MedallionLebanon, Ill. - A senior honors student from Litchfield, Ill., with a 4.0 GPA and a strong commitment to community service is McKendree University’s 2013 Lincoln Laureate. Anthony Rhoads will receive the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion on Nov. 2 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Each year the Lincoln Academy of Illinois recognizes an outstanding senior from each of the state’s four-year colleges and universities for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

Rhoads has taken numerous advanced courses and aced all of them while working toward a bachelor’s degree in two majors, mathematics and computational science, and a minor in biology. As a lab assistant, he helps prepare materials for introductory biology courses. Two summer research programs have bolstered his McKendree studies - a mathematical biology project involving HIV, at the University of Tennessee, and an internship in biostatistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He plans to pursue a graduate degree and a career in biostatistics, which applies statistical analysis to various topics in biology.

“I am interested in many branches of the field, including research in public health, the design and analysis of clinical trials in medicine, and statistical genetics, which can be used to identify genes that can cause predispositions to certain diseases,” Rhoads said.

McKendree faculty members have high expectations for him. “Anthony is serious, focused, diligent and clearly dedicated to his education,” said Dr. Alan Alewine, chair of the division of science and mathematics. “We envision his contributions to the mathematical and biological sciences to be significant.”

Rhoads’ accomplishments outside the classroom have been equally impressive. He is the McKendree chapter president of the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity; vice president of the Rotaract leadership and service organization; and a member of the Green Team environmental club, Phi Kappa Phi collegiate honor society, and Sigma Zeta science and mathematics honor society. Since 2010 he has volunteered over 250 hours tutoring children in Lebanon and East St. Louis, visiting local nursing home residents or organizing blood drives, for example.

“My New Student Orientation leader was very passionate about community service, and it was inspiring to see that there could be so much more to college than just classes and studying,” Rhoads said. “I knew that I wanted to have that same kind of experience, and student organizations provide a great opportunity for that fulfillment. In particular, Alpha Phi Omega has been my favorite part of McKendree because of the leadership development and personal growth I can see in every student who spends time in our organization.”