McKendree Congratulates its Leadership and Service Award Winners

(LEBANON, Ill., April 11, 2016) — Several inspirational student leaders and organizations of McKendree University were recognized for their impact on the campus and community at the fourth annual Leadership and Service Awards Banquet, held on April 10 at the Villa Marie Winery and Banquet Center in Maryville, Ill. Meet the honorees:

Group Photo of Student Hall of Fame RecipientsStudent Hall of Fame:

Rhoda Warner
, a senior religious studies major from Springfield, Ill., is Student Government Association president; a Social Justice and Equity committee member, a resident assistant, student ambassador, Campus Ministries Core Team member, Community Service Scholar, Advanced Leader and Senior Class Gift Committee member.

Krys Major, a senior business administration major from Arnold, Md., was in 2012 the first player to sign with the Bearcat lacrosse team, of which she was captain for four years. She leads the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and Bearcats Against Drunk Driving, and is involved with Tri Sigma sorority, Phi Beta Lambda business fraternity, Student Government Association, Admission Ambassadors, student Preview Day panel, Advanced Leaders and the Senior Class Gift Committee. She was also named Outstanding Student Intern for her work in the Leadership Office, chairing the awards banquet and coordinating a chili cook off fundraiser.

Lindsay Winkeler, a senior history education major from Bartelso, Ill., coordinated service activities through the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service (LHCCS), including the Angel Tree program, Cedar Ridge Health and Rehab Center, and Family Living Center. The Community Service Fellowship Award recipient volunteered 350 hours with the LHCCS during her four years at McKendree.

Outstanding Registered Student Organization:
The Campus Activities Board hosts many events to engage students and promote participation, such as “McKendree Idol,” Spring Fling, homecoming, the “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party, movie nights and finals week “stress fest.”

Outstanding Service Project: The Black Student Organization hosted a Christmas party in the intramural gym on Dec. 12, 2015, providing lunch, a visit from Santa, entertainment and gifts for local children. Coordinator Shaq Armstrong collaborated with Lebanon Elementary School to identify families in need and partnered with students from Southwestern Illinois College and SIUE to purchase gifts.

Outstanding Student Employee: Treye Williams, a senior psychology major from Mattoon, Ill., works in the physical plant, where he is known for his positive attitude, leadership and helpfulness. He helped the HVAC crew prepare for a city inspection at the McKendree West apartments and assisted with the Clark Hall lower level renovation. He is the only student worker to be nominated for Sodexo’s Exceptional Experience rewards program on multiple occasions.

Bearcat Pride - Organization: Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity connects members through service and brotherhood events including theme days, purple Fridays, homecoming, and recruitment functions. APO serves the community through its blood drives, care package program, and Center for Community Service activities to create a sense of support and inclusion on campus.

Bearcat Pride - Individual:

Isaac Fisher
, a senior sociology-criminal justice major from Washington, Ill., was a four-year starting quarterback on the football team. Last season he led the Bearcats team to a 9-2 record, ranked third in the nation in total offense in NCAA Division 2, and was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Robert Breneman, a senior psychology major from Lafayette, Ind., is involved with men’s bowling, Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, Alpha Phi Omega, the Black Student Association, Alpha Delta Gamma fraternity, and Inter-Greek Council. He has served as a New Student Orientation leader, Student Ambassador, Phonathon caller, and volunteer at Stray Rescue and the Lebanon Food Pantry.

Grace McDowell, a senior speech communication major from Mount Vernon, Ill., is Core Team president and a Bible study leader in Campus Ministry and has served as a New Student Orientation leader, peer mentor, McKendree Review journalist, “McKendree Idol” and “McKendree’s Got Talent” participant, Stray Rescue volunteer, and Show Choir member.

Country and Community Award: Rebeca Gabel
, a senior human resource management major from Lebanon, Ill., is a full-time business student at McKendree’s Center at Scott Air Force Base. She served her country for 23.5 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2014, and serves her community as a business owner, Chamber of Commerce secretary, and co-chair of Lebanon’s Victorian Holiday event in 2015. She is a member of Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for business, management and administration.

Outstanding Collaborative Program: Recognized as the 2015 Special Olympics Illinois Outstanding Organization of the Year, McKendree and its Student Athletic Advisory Committee have hosted the Special Olympics Area 12 Spring Games time trials for several years, as well as the annual McKendree Shootout Basketball Tournament; a Punt, Pass & Kick Competition; and a powerlifting qualifier. The university’s “Join the Team” model invites Special Olympics athletes to participate in practices and competitions.

The Spark:

Shaneise Tally
, a sophomore elementary education-math major from East St. Louis, Ill., sparks discussions and looks for opportunities to improve the McKendree student experience and bridge gaps. According to her nomination, “her welcoming nature creates a sense of home and belonging for new students.”

Shaq Armstrong, a sophomore sociology-criminal justice major from East St. Louis, Ill., sparks inspiration among his peers as an event coordinator for Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service, vice-president of the Black Student Organization, and student ambassador for the Social Justice and Equity Committee. He coordinated the Empty Bowls fundraiser during Hunger and Homelessness Week, and with BSO organized a Christmas party and gifts for local children in need. He is a 2016 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow and the 2016 winner of the university’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Nate Michael, a junior sport management major from St. Joseph, Ill., sparked enthusiasm among the men’s basketball team and fans in the season’s final stretch. He scored over 20 points in five of the last six games, leading the Bearcats to their first post-season appearance in NCAA history. His 40 points against Maryville University on Feb. 6 helped give Coach Harry Statham his 1,099 record-breaking win.


ACES (Active Collegians Engaged in Service) Awards, sponsored by the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service, went to Taylor Cope, a senior economics and finance major from Bloomington, Ill.; Taylor Simmons, a senior athletic training major from Princeville, Ill.; and Rhoda Warner, a senior religious studies major from Springfield, Ill. Each volunteered over 400 service hours to university and community activities.