Dr. Sara Frank Receives McKendree University Grandy Faculty Award

Dr. Frank becomes the first to win all three prestigious awards at McKendree in the same year.

(LEBANON, Ill., May 16, 2023) – Dr. Sara (Trask) Frank, associate professor of communication at McKendree University, received McKendree University’s 2023 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award, given by the Alumni Association. Frank accepted the surprise honor at the undergraduate commencement ceremonies held on Friday, May 12 at the Lebanon, Ill., campus. The Grandy Award is given annually to recognize commitment to students and the ideals promoted by the university. The award is named for Dr. William Norman Grandy, who served from 1952 to 1968 as a professor of philosophy and religion, and as dean of students, academic dean and interim president.

Dr. Frank earned her undergraduate degree from McKendree in 2005 and has been teaching at her alma mater since 2018. Since then, she has been making a positive impact on the campus community. In addition to serving as an associate professor of communication, she is the Provost Fellow for Communication, a role in which she maintains the faculty excellence page and co-advises McK Media.

Dr. Frank teaches a variety of communications classes and been acknowledged for outstanding teaching, never-ending energy and her great joy and enthusiasm. Her students continue to sing her praises, saying that she truly cares about them, pushes them to learn, and is simply the best. She is also the first McKendree faculty member to win all three prestigious awards – the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, the United Methodist Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award, and the William Norman Grandy Faculty Award – in a single academic year.

Dr. Frank also gave the commencement speech during the two undergraduate ceremonies. She challenged her students to take to heart the words of wisdom her father once gave her: study hard, hurry home, and be brave. “If failure stops you from trying, you may never get to celebrate the really big victories, so be brave,” she said to the new graduates. “Seize every day, take chances, focus on relationships, and learn something new every day.”

A native of Jerseyville, Ill., Dr. Frank currently resides in Carlyle, Ill. She is a member of the National Communication Association and Phi Kappa Phi, and she is also the advisor of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society. She has also been a guest speaker in other professors’ classes and is an outstanding ambassador for McKendree, meeting with prospective students, sitting on preview panels and showing what McKendree did for her and what it can do for others.


Photo of Dr. Sara (Trask) Frank with Award

Dr. Sara (Trask) Frank wins the William Norman Grandy Award during commencement on Friday, May 12, 2023.