McKendree University History Professor Wins Grandy Faculty Award

Alumni Association Honors Dr. Shelly Lemons at Commencement Ceremony

(LEBANON, Ill., May 13, 2017) — A McKendree University professor who brings history to life for her students has won the 2017 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award. Dr. Shelly Lemons received the honor at undergraduate commencement exercises held on May 13 at the Lebanon, Ill., campus. Given by the Alumni Association since 1981, the award is based on commitment to students, the ideals promoted by the university, and community participation.

“One of Dr. Lemons’ greatest strengths as a teacher is her ability to bring history to life by sharing the personal stories of people who lived during various events and times,” said Maria Page, Alumni Association president. “Her presentations in class focus less on text and more on pictures and videos allowing students to see, hear and understand the context of important historical events. Students say she makes history interesting.”

Lemons, a Belleville, Ill., resident, is an associate professor of history at McKendree, where she has taught since 2010. An expert on the 1930’s Dust Bowl era, she has conducted extensive oral history interviews of women who lived in Oklahoma during the drought and Great Depression. Currently she is compiling a multimedia collection of essays, articles, interview excerpts, government documents, photographs, letters, poems, artwork and other first-hand accounts of this time in American history.

She is director of the Honors Program, chair of the Honors Council and a member of the Faculty Evaluation Committee in the College of Arts and Sciences. In the fall, she will serve as interim chair of the Division of Social Sciences. She is the faculty advisor for the McKendree Young Feminists student organization and she regularly teaches the University 101 course. Beyond the university, she serves as president of the Southwestern Historical Association, member of the Mother Jones Museum Board, and Girl Scout troop leader, for which she received a Girl Scouts of the USA Volunteer of Excellence Award last year.

Lemons earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Missouri Southern State College, a master’s degree in history from Missouri State University, and a doctorate in history from Oklahoma State University.


Dr. Shelly Lemons, 2017 Grandy Faculty Award winner

Dr. Shelly Lemons, 2017 Grandy Faculty Award winner at McKendree University