Congratulations, McKendree Leadership and Service Award Winners!

(LEBANON, Ill., May 4, 2015) - Many of McKendree University’s inspirational student leaders and organizations were recognized for their impact on the campus and community at the third annual Leadership and Service Awards Banquet, held on April 26 at the Villa Marie Winery and Banquet Center in Maryville, Ill.

Ranadore Foggs, director of public safety, gave the keynote address. Over 50 nominations were submitted this year and here are the winners:

Student Hall of Fame:

      • Andrew Olden, a senior history and philosophy major from Edwardsville, Ill., helped to compile “McKendree Recollections,” a book of historical photographs and stories of the university’s 187-year history. He was also named Outstanding Student Employee for helping to restore, organize and conserve items, and digitizing collections in the university library and archives.

      • Acadia Reynolds, a sophomore elementary education major from New Orleans, La., has worked closely with the Center for Community Service and created new and innovative programs and outreach, most notably a program that brings children from the Griffin Center in East St. Louis to campus each week.

      • Jennifer Melusky, a computational science major from Fairview Heights, Ill., maintained a high GPA while being active in New Student Orientation, Emerging and Advanced Leaders, Student Ambassadors, Show Choir, Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Sigma Tau, spirit and fundraising efforts, and more.

      • Caitlin Schlueter, a senior marketing and management major from Aviston, Ill., was a Marching Bearcat Band drum major, Kappa Sigma Tau president, and a resident advisor while maintaining excellent grades and serving as an exemplary campus leader.

      • Spencer Marcum, a senior speech communication and theatre major from Centralia, Ill., won numerous awards as a member of the speech team, including three Missouri state championships and top overall performer at Murray State, Ky. He also performed in several plays and serves as a youth pastor, church elder and role model not only for classmates but also for his children.

Outstanding Registered Student Organization: ALPHA,the Amazing Ladies Pursuing Holistic Appreciation, partnered with other campus organizations to promote educational events about domestic violence, multicultural competence, diversity and inclusion, and offered support to families in Ferguson, Mo.

Outstanding Service Project: Kevin Kinsall, of Lebanon, Ill., a student in the education master’s degree program, was described as a “fundraiser, planner, camp leader, construction worker, sustainability engineer, technology coordinator and traveler” for his work at the Mattaw Children’s Village in Kenya with fellow members of First Baptist Church of Fairview Heights, Ill.

Bearcat Pride: Taryn Butler, a senior international relations major from Rochester, Ill., balanced academic achievement with involvement as Student Government Association president, a Student Ambassador, Preview Day panel member, and member of the women’s soccer team.

ACES (Active Collegians Engaged in Service) Awards, sponsored by the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service, went to Britani Beasley, a senior speech communication from St. Elmo, Ill.; and Alayna Gillespie, a senior sociology major from Highland, Ill., for volunteering over 400 service hours to university and community activities.

Country and Community Award: Recent graduate Jody Noram, of Mascoutah, Ill., retired as an Air Force Master Sergeant in 2014 after a 24-year career and continues to volunteer countless hours by mentoring and transporting over 1,600 children to attend Sunday school. He spearheaded a drive to provide toys and gifts to 26 needy children at Christmas and delivered food to families during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Outstanding Collaborative Project: Representatives from the Campus Activities Board and To Write Love on Her Arms hosted “Hope and Mic Night,” inviting others to share renditions of their experiences in overcoming struggles through poetry, storytelling, song and dance.

Outstanding Student Intern: Kati Melton, a senior from Troy, Ill., blended her training as a speech communication major with her leadership minor to improve marketing and outreach efforts for the Student Affairs’ Leadership Office. She coordinated meetings, created brochures and strategies for recruitment, worked events, and helped with activities and programs.

The Spark: Maria Rasch, of Kenosha, Wis., made an impact in her first year on campus by initiating the creation of a Marketing Club and providing organizational structure, visionary leadership and recruitment. As a student-athlete, she also qualified for an NCAA tournament, as the women’s volleyball team took second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Advisor of the Year: Holly Pawlak assisted a new group on campus, “To Write Love on Her Arms,” which supports and educates students about issues of depression, suicide and acceptance.