Magazine for McKendree - Winter 2018

Hankins Honored for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Dawn HankinsDr. Dawn Hankins, the long-serving chair of the Division of Health Professions and the professor and director of athletic training, received the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award on Nov 12, 2017. The annual award honors St. Louis area educators who make an outstanding contribution to the teaching profession and to their students.

“Dr. Hankins is responsible, organized, and ethical. She is a paragon of professionalism,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, McKendree University provost. “Students find her demanding but fair. If they are serious about becoming athletic trainers, then she is serious about preparing them to be the best. Her colleagues regard her as a leader who speaks confidently and acts with dedication.”

Dawn has taught at McKendree since 1997, serving on a variety of committees including the Faculty Senate, which she chairs. She is leading the development of a new graduate-level program in athletic training.

Other McKendree graduates or former students who received the 2017 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award are:


  • Janice Amann ’02, a third grade teacher at Mascoutah Elementary School in Mascoutah District 19.

  • Candace Caveny M.A.Ed. ’10, a 12th grade AP physics teacher at O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon District 203.

  • Ashleigh (Ramsey) Deets ’04, a second grade teacher at Illini Elementary School in Fairview Heights, Ill.

  • Stephanie Ferguson ’10, a fourth grade teacher at Signal Hill Elementary School in Belleville, Ill.

  • Wendy (Stanford) Kassing ’11, a fifth and sixth grade special education teacher at Shiloh Middle School in Shiloh Village District 85.

  • Lyndsey Mehrtens M.A.Ed. ’08, a third grade teacher at William Holiday Elementary School in Fairview Heights, Ill.

  • Keith Padgett, M.A.Ed. ’10, a social studies teacher at Belleville East High School in Belleville, Ill.

  • Lauren Seka-Steward ’00, an eighth grade English and language arts teacher at Emge Junior High School in Harmony-Emge School District 175.

  • Jana Vasquez ’96, a sixth grade language arts teacher at Edward A. Fulton Junior High School in O’Fallon School District 90.

  • Lori (Junker) Zeiter ’86, M.A.Ed. ’11, a kindergarten teacher at Belle Valley School in Belle Valley District 119.