Humanitarian Awards Given at McKendree University MLK Service

(LEBANON, Ill., January 27, 2017) - A McKendree University scholar-athlete, a political science professor and a noted local alumnus received 2017 Humanitarian Awards for their outstanding work to promote understanding and diversity. The university presents the annual award to those who demonstrate the principles, ideals and philosophy of nonviolent social change advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Diana Nevárez Ramirez, of El Paso, Texas, is a senior sociology major and ethnic studies minor. A native of Ciudad Juárez, México, she has lived in the U.S. since she was six years old. She came to Lebanon, Ill., as a member of McKendree University’s first women's wrestling team. As president of the university’s chapter of Define American and a Change Ambassador on campus, she works to share stories, particularly those of immigrants. After she graduates in May, Nevarez aspires to go to graduate school and eventually to pursue a career in public service, confronting social issues and fighting for social justice.

Dr. Ann Collins has written two books about 20th century race riots in America and has earned national and local respect for her teaching, writing, research and activism. The associate professor of political science has taught at McKendree since 2007 and has actively promoted dialogue about race, social justice and inclusion. Her classes focus not only on theories but also on current events so that students understand the relevance of politics and government in their lives and the world at large. Originally from Wimberley, Texas, the O’Fallon, Ill., resident credits her parents with stressing the significance of social justice and caring for others. Collins believes the most important responsibility in her life is to foster that sense of concern in her two children.

Courtney Logan graduated from McKendree University in 2008 and went on to receive his J.D. at Saint Louis University in 2012. He is a trial attorney licensed to practice before the Supreme Courts of Missouri and Illinois and currently serves as city manager of East St. Louis, Ill. In 2015, he was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s “30 Under 30” and in 2016 to The Black Lawyer’s “Top 40 Under 40.” His 2014 book, “Shaped by Fire,” documents his early life experiences growing up in East St. Louis and how he overcame difficult obstacles and struggles. Logan says his deepest desire is to assist young people, particularly other young black men growing up in similar circumstances, and to lead by example. He resides in East St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

The Humanitarian Awards were presented on Jan. 26 in Bothwell Chapel on campus at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration Service. The Reverend Traci Blackmon, pastor of Christ The King United Church of Christ in St. Louis, gave an impassioned plea for others to self-reflect and to emulate Dr. King’s courage and consciousness.


Photo of cKendree University MLK Humanitarian Award recipients, Diana Nevarez '17, Courtney Logan '08 and Dr. Ann Collins

Diana Nevárez Ramirez, Courtney Logan, Dr. Ann Collins,

the 2017 McKendree University 2017 Humanitarian Award winners