McKendree University Honors Its Outstanding Students, Faculty

Awards and Recognition are Part of Academic Excellence Celebration

(LEBANON, Ill., April 27, 2015) - On a day in which McKendree University celebrated academic excellence and achievement across all disciplines, several graduating students, three faculty members and an employee received special recognition. The Honors Convocation, held on April 23 at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, was part of the university’s second annual Academic Excellence Celebration.

“The students whom we honor today have demonstrated responsibility for their learning,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost. “They have engaged actively by participating in the classroom and in student clubs and organizations, athletics, music, service projects and other activities. They have achieved academic excellence as reflected in a high GPA, and they have demonstrated potential for continuing to learn and to make valuable contributions to society in the future.”

Victoria (Tori) Cook, a senior from Highland, Ill., received the Technos International College Prize for academic achievement and commitment to international understanding. The psychology and Spanish double major has assisted the faculty with research projects and will present at the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in May. Last summer she studied at La Universidad Latina in Heredia, Costa Rica. After graduation, she plans to enter the master's program in Spanish at the Saint Louis University Madrid campus.

Dr. Alan Alewine, professor of mathematics and associate dean for curriculum, delivered the opening address, “Origins.” “Your success has been the result of talent, focus and ingenuity,” he told the students, “but your success has been a result of your family, your friends and your McKendree experience.”

Dr. Dawn Hankins, professor of athletic training and chair of the School of Health Professions, received the 2015 United Methodist Church (UMC) Board of Higher Education Exemplary Teacher Award. It recognizes excellence in teaching, concern for students and colleagues, commitment to values-centered education, and service beyond the classroom. Hankins, who has taught at McKendree since 1997, oversees a discipline that has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, the provost noted. “She is widely regarded as an outstanding teacher who is passionate about teaching and even more passionate about preparing students to be successful professionals.”

Two Associate Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching were presented. Stephanie Fawcett-Colby, who lives in Japan, has taught online undergraduate courses including astronomy, and earth and astronomical science for six years. George Kruse, of Bartelso, is the principal instructor for the Accounting for Managers course and the Corporate Finance and Investments course in the online MBA format. A CPA who specializes in estate, gift, and trust matters, he integrates abstract theories with his vast business and professional experience.

The Reverend Tim Harrison, chaplain and director of church relations, received the President’s Award for Professional Excellence. A Lebanon resident and a staff member for 17 years, he “offers wisdom, clarity, patience, an understanding of social injustices, a passion for diversity, and humility,” said Senior Vice President Victoria Dowling. “He is a wonderful individual who always has a smile on his face, and exemplifies the true McKendree spirit.”

School and division chairs introduced exceptional McKendree students for achievement within their respective areas as follows:

College of Arts and Sciences

Division of Computing, Dr. Kian Pokorny, chairperson
Jennifer Melusky, Fairview Heights, Ill., computational science
Jeffrey Antwiler, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., computer science

Division of Humanities, Dr. John Greenfield, chairperson
Lindsay Hansard, Belleville, Ill., English and philosophy
Emma Basler, Anna, Ill., organizational communication
Donna Bick, Highland, Ill., professional writing and rhetoric
Kaitlin Cartwright, Auburn, Ill., religious studies
Victoria Cook, Highland, Ill., Spanish
Spencer Marcum, Centralia, Ill., speech communication

Division of Science & Mathematics, Dr. Dennis Ryan, chairperson
Olivia Vanwey, Sesser, Ill., biology
Neil Berkel, Troy, Ill., chemistry
Ashley Schneider, Waterloo, Ill., mathematics

Division of Social Sciences, Dr. Neil Quisenberry, chairperson
Andrew Olden, Edwardsville, Ill., history
Taryn Butler, Rochester, Ill., international relations
Shay Frederick, O’Fallon, Ill., psychology
Kirstianna Lombardi, Lebanon, Ill., psychology
Janel Housley, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., sociology

Division of Visual and Performing Arts, Dr. Nancy Ypma, chairperson
Lindsey Mathenia, Staunton, Ill., art
Dean Anderson, Highland, Ill., music education
Maile Mills, Mascoutah, Ill., music – performance
Dawn Schmid, Columbia, Ill., theatre

School of Business, Dr. John Watters, chairperson
Andrew Kordelewski, Plainfield, Ill., The School of Business Outstanding Student of the Year, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual
Amber Rode, Highland, Ill., accounting
Sophia Stellhorn, Red Bud, Ill., business education
Bradley Spotanski, Troy, Ill., economics and finance
Caitlin Schlueter, Aviston, Ill., management
Erica Johnson, New Baden, Ill., marketing
Steven Todoschuk, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, sport management

Center at Scott Air Force Base
Jennifer Hamuka, O’Fallon, Ill., accounting
Jody Noram, Mascoutah, Ill., business administration
Tabitha Knupp, Belleville, Ill., human resource management
Lyman Freeman, Mojave, Calif., management
Lauren Peterson, Belleville, Ill., marketing

External Programs
James Erickson, Godfrey, Ill., business administration
Jessica Shadrick, Marissa, Ill., business administration
Brianna Owens, Centralia, Ill., human resource management
Kaitlyn McKinney, Mount Carmel, Ill., marketing

Master of Business Administration
Christopher Frost, Aviston, Ill., business administration
Ryan Ryterski, Nashville, Ill., business administration

School of Education, Dr. Allison Fahsl, chairperson
Chloe Smith, Mount Carmel, Ill., elementary education

Master of Arts in Education
Nicholas Borkowski, Damiansville, Ill., educational administration and leadership
Claire Kniepkamp, Mascoutah, Ill., educational studies - reading
Christie Rickman, Bethalto, Ill., special education
Jenny Mennerick, Shiloh, Ill., teacher leadership
Catherine Taylor, Edwardsville, Ill., teaching – secondary

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Division of Health Professions, Dr. Dawn Hankins, chairperson
Jennifer Frueh, Lebanon, Ill., health and wellness
Kourtnie Cobstill, O’Fallon, Ill., physical education

Master of Arts in Professional Counseling
Olivia Haupt, Lebanon, Ill., professional counseling

Division of Nursing, Dr. Richelle Rennegarbe, chairperson
James Newton, Jr., Herrin, Ill., nursing
Amanda Sizemore, O’Fallon, Ill., nursing

Master of Science in Nursing
Thomas Hagan, La Grange, Ky., nursing education
Kasey Pendley, Lebanon, Ill., nursing management/administration

Honors Program,
Dr. Brian K. Frederking, director
Tegan Clinton, Downers Grove, Ill.; Alayna Gillespie, Highland, Ill.; Lindsay Hansard, Belleville, Ill.; Kristin Junge, St. Jacob, Ill.; Tiffany Somerville, Salem, Ill.

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Dr. Joni Bastian, vice president for student affairs and dean of students
Christin Austin, Wayne City, Ill.; Thomas Berchiolli, Radcliff, Ky.; Neil Berkel, Troy, Ill.; Taylor Cope, Bloomington, Ill.; Tyler Jewell, Granite City, Ill.; Kevin Kinsall, Lebanon, Ill.; Timothy Klein, Staunton, Ill.; Andrew Kordelewski, Plainfield, Ill.; Mariah Logan, St. Louis, Mo.; Morgan Maberry, Bethalto, Ill.; Maile Mills, Mascoutah, Ill.; Andrew Olden, Edwardsville, Ill.; Bomi Park, Trenton, Ill.; Lauren Putbrese, Xenia, Ill.; Dakota Reed, West Frankfort, Ill.; Kyle Rutledge, Bloomington, Ill.; Taylor Simmons, Princeville, Ill.; Chloe Smith, Mount Carmel, Ill.; Nia Spencer, Belleville, Ill.; Kellsei Tate, Centralia, Ill.; Ryan Wiggs, Belleville, Ill.; Lindsay Winkeler, Bartelso, Ill.

Active Collegians Engaged in Service (ACES) Award
Britani Beasley, St. Elmo, Ill.; Alayna Gillespie, Highland, Ill.

Newman Civic Fellow Award
Acadia Reynolds, New Orleans, La.

Lincoln Laureate Award

Lindsay Hansard, Belleville, Ill.

Technos International Prize
Victoria Cook, Highland, Ill.