The McKendrean Magazine for McKendree Univeristy - Winter 2023

Psychology Major Named McKendree University's 2022 Student Laureate

Breanna Sampo and President Dobbins with AwardMcKendree University senior Breanna Sampo, a psychology major from Cedar Point, Ill., received the state’s highest student honor – the 2022-2023 Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award – as a Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. It is the state’s highest student honor for leadership, service and excellence in curricular and extra-curricular activities, awarded to a noteworthy senior from each college and university.

Breanna has amassed an impressive record of scholarships, has been the coauthor on four peer reviewed journal articles and three professional conference presentations and also presented her work at multiple undergraduate research conferences. She also recently earned a position as a Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink intern at Wilfrid Laurier University; during this time, she spent the summer designing and evaluating health literacy courses for educators in developing countries and is the first author on the paper being submitted for publication based on this project.

“Breanna is a model citizen at McKendree. Her myriad involvements prove that she not only possesses varied interests but also the drive to pursue them,” said Dr. Alan Alewine, associate provost at McKendree University. “Her research experiences are exceptional for an undergraduate and would rival those of students graduating from doctoral programs.”

During her time at McKendree, Breanna has been a tutor, an intern, a peer mentor and an academic mentor at the Student Success and Advising Center. The president of McKendree’s Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society, Breanna has also served as the Student Government Association’s secretary and as a student representative on the Academic Excellence Celebration, in which she took the lead in promoting the day’s activities on campus and through social media. Off campus, Breanna has volunteered at Cedar Ridge Nursing Home in Lebanon, Ill., Trinity Social Services and the LaSalle Veterans Home and Spring Valley food pantry in her hometown.

In addition, Breanna is the captain of McKendree’s Color Guard, a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and a student academic mentor. Following graduation, Breanna plans to earn a doctorate in positive education research and become a professor at a university in which she can teach and mentor students. Another long-term career goal she has is to become a dean of students in order to advance school leadership in the direction of creating supportive inclusivity on campus.