Two Associate Faculty Members Recognized for Excellence in Teaching at McKendree University

(LEBANON, Ill., April 12, 2022) – Two associate faculty members were recently recognized for their excellence in teaching at McKendree University. Melissa Ray, adjunct instructor and staff accompanist, received the 2022 McKendree University Associate Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Dana Longmeyer, DNP, FNP, RN, associate faculty of nursing, was the recipient of the 2022 McKendree University Associate Graduate Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.

A resident of O’Fallon, Ill., Ray teaches applied piano lesson and accompanies the University’s Concert and Chamber Choirs and instrumental students for their performances. A member of the music department since 2014, Ray performs in all choir performances both on and off campus, including on tour with the choirs when they performed in St. Louis, Chicago and Kansas City.

“She is an excellent piano instructor, preparing the music education students for their piano proficiency exams and working with non-majors as well. In addition, she coaches the students and helps them perform at the highest of their ability,” said Dr. Nancy Ypma, Chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts and professor of music at McKendree. “She stays on top of what is going on with each student, and her preparation for rehearsals is meticulous. Her influence on our students and program has been enormous.”

Longmeyer has been a valuable associate faculty member for the Division of Nursing since 2021. A resident of Greenfield, Ill., and a full-time professor of nursing at Lewis and Clark Community College, she primarily teaches in the MSN program, particularly in the area of population health. She has also practiced as a family nurse practitioner for 21 years for the Nurse Managed Center at Lewis and Clark Community College and is a member of the American Nurses Association and Illinois Rural Health Association.

“Dr. Longmeyer is enthusiastic and supportive of our graduate students,” said Dr. Richelle Rennegarbe, director of DNP Programs, Division of Nursing Chair and professor of nursing at McKendree. “She has been a valuable addition as an associate faculty member and has brought her years of experience as a family nurse practitioner in the community setting. Her students frequently comment about how wonderful of an instructor she is and how she makes her classes an insightful and meaningful experience. She is most deserving of this award.”

The Associate Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching honors the commitment, academic excellence, outstanding teaching and engagement of two part-time instructors.


Melissa Ray

Melissa Ray, adjunct instructor and staff accompanist


Dana Longmeyer, DNP, FNP, RN

Dana Longmeyer, DNP, FNP, RN, associate faculty of nursing