Honors for McKendree University Outstanding Students, Faculty

Awards and Recognition is Part of Academic Excellence Day
Photo Gallery

Lebanon, Ill. — Outstanding McKendree University students, three faculty members and an employee were recognized at an Honors Convocation held on April 24 at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus.

The event, which honors outstanding students, faculty and staff, was part of the university’s inaugural Academic Excellence Celebration. “Our honorees represent the best of what McKendree is striving for,” said Dr. James Dennis, president. “McKendree University continues to grow in reputation because of the accomplishments of our students and faculty. Our mission is to provide a high quality educational experience to outstanding students. Days like today show that we are achieving that mission.

Dr. Neil Quisenberry, associate professor of psychology, delivered the opening address, “A McKendree Professor’s Advice: Then and Now,” updating the speech he gave to many of the same students four years ago at their opening convocation. “Continue to be a presence, remember your professors, stay involved, try not to procrastinate too much, keep in touch with old friends, continue to expand your mind and challenge yourself,” he told the group. “Be the star of your own life story.”

Dr. J. Alan Alewine, associate professor of mathematics and chair of the division of science and mathematics, was announced as the winner of the United Methodist Church (UMC) Board of Higher Education Exemplary Teacher Award for 2014. It is given by the UMC Board of Higher Education for excellence in teaching, concern for students and colleagues, commitment to values-centered education, and service beyond the classroom.

“He is passionate about teaching and even more passionate about student learning,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost and dean. “His students say he makes learning fun.” The O’Fallon, Ill., resident has taught at McKendree since 2002.

Two Associate Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching were also given. Ron Campo, police chief of Salem, Ill., brings his experience and knowledge of policing issues to the undergraduate sociology criminal justice program. Dr. Mary Hagan, of Worden, Ill., has taught a variety of graduate level courses for 10 years in the School of Education, where she is known for her high level of enthusiasm and professionalism.

Shazad Baig, director of dining services, received the university’s first President’s Award for Professional Excellence. The new award is given to a staff member who exemplifies leadership, distinguished accomplishment, job performance, creativity and innovation, and outstanding service to the university. “He embodies all five criteria and is a tremendously worthy recipient,” the president said.

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

College of Arts & Sciences
Division of Computing, Dr. Kian Pokorny, chairperson
Anthony Rhoads, computational science
Matthew Swenson, computer information systems
Christopher Uhe, computer science

Division of Humanities, Dr. John Greenfield, chairperson
Kathryn Davenport, English
Sarah DeBruyckere, organizational communication
Alexandria Cunningham, philosophy
Johnny Wood, religious studies

Division of Science and Mathematics, Dr. J. Alan Alewine, chairperson
Blessing Tupiri, biology
Tara Stacey, Belleville, chemistry
Aleesha Moran, mathematics

Division of Social Sciences, Dr. Brian Frederking, chairperson
Meghan Dohogne, history
Robert Casner, psychology
Alexandria Peach, psychology
Zach Adrian, sociology
Gordon Philpott, sociology - social work

Division of Visual and Performing Arts, Dr. Nancy Ypma, chairperson
Kayla Jenkins, art
Natalie Preis, music business
Brandon Lee, music education – instrumental track
Cacia Meeks, music – performance
Alexandria Stevens, theatre

School of Business, Dr. John Watters, chairperson
Alex Lewis, The School of Business Outstanding Student of the Year, Sponsored by Northwestern Mutual
Kayla McClain, accounting
Cacia Meeks, business administration
Danielle Cooper, economics and finance
Benjamin O’Neill, management

Center at Scott Air Force Base, School of Business
Bethany Mersinger, accounting
Aniko Crossley, business administration
James Cummins, human resource management
Philip Chapman, management
Derek Delgado, marketing

Accelerated Instruction with McKendree (AiM) Program
Stephanie Knope, business administration
Jamie Loepker, human resource management
Jennifer Greer, management

Master of Business Administration
Anna Harpstreit, business administration
Jennifer Venable, business administration

School of Education,Dr. Janet Wicker, chairperson
John Parciak, elementary education

Master of Arts in Education
Margaret Pennell, educational administration and leadership
Ronda Smith, educational administration and leadership
Maryl Pritchett, educational studies - reading
Stacey Cutter, elementary education
Kristin Hearn, special education
Lauren Hettenhausen, teacher leadership
Julie Mayfield, teaching – secondary health certification

School of Nursing & Health Professions
Division of Health Professions, Dr. Dawn Hankins, chairperson
Jonathan Becker, athletic training
Ashley Duffie, health and wellness

Master of Arts in Professional Counseling
Angela Berry, professional counseling

Division of Nursing, Dr. Richelle A. Rennegarbe, chairperson
Elizabeth Hillen, nursing
Michele Steele, nursing

Master of Science in Nursing
Rhonda Neuhaus, nursing education
Ngoc Vu Rohland, nursing management-administration

Honors Program, Dr. Brian K. Frederking, director
Kody Bolk, Danny Mannix, Alexandria Peach, Anthony Rhoads, Kevin Schaefer, Amanda Walker

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Dr. Joni Bastian, vice president for student affairs and dean of students
Ashish Bhandari, Melissa Burchett, Taryn Butler, Kaitlin Cartwright, Tegan Clinton, Nykhala Coston, Ashley Duffie, Alayna Gillespie, Clinton Happe, Caitlin Hibbeler, Lisa Hinton, Kristin Junge, Alexis Knecht, Mary McKee, Cacia Meeks, Kati Melton, Kirsten Ratermann, Anthony Rhoads, Caitlin Schlueter, Austin Vuichard, Megan Zurliene

Active Collegians Engaged in Service (ACES) Award
Jennifer Stroot, Autumn Twardowski

Newman Civic Fellow Award
Jennifer Stroot

Lincoln Laureate Award, Dr. Christine Bahr, provost and dean
Anthony Rhoads