August 2, 2017 at 2:30pm

Big Blue Alumni honored for making a difference

In its August 2017 edition, the Business Journal of Midcentral Illinois unveiled its annual 20 under 40 publication that honors members of central Illinois who make a difference in many ways.

According to the Business Journal of Midcentral Illinois, "These selected individuals represent the best our community has to offer. From education, business owners and more, our selections are from diverse backgrounds and offer many talents. Each 20 under 40 honoree has a unique story and offers his or her wisdom and advice about what they do, what they like about the community and what can be done to make the community better."  

A number of Millikin University alumni were honored for their impact in the community, including Brittany Childress Acree '13, a middle school math and project-based learning teacher at Dennis Lab School.

"Working at Dennis Lab School, I am beyond thankful for the people that I work with who continuously push me to be a better educator," said Acree. "Together, we love learning and implementing new instructional methods that meet the needs of all students. With the challenges people often see in math, I find joy in getting the opportunity to help my students develop a positive 'Math-I-Tude,' meaning they see mistakes as learning opportunities, discover thrill in problem solving, and develop an attitude of grit and determination during challenges."

Alma Grason '14 was recently a contract administrator at Tate & Lyle where she managed toll accounts. She is currently working on her Juris Doctorate.

"My main drive and focus is being a member of a non-for-profit actively engaged in the community through the Philoptochos at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church," said Grason. "The Philoptochos Society's mission is to promote philanthropic outreach, help the poor, feed the hungry, help victims of disasters and offer assistance to those in need funded through charitable fundraising efforts."

Grason noted, "Personally, I have a passion for humanity and like being actively involved in efforts that promote human welfare. Being engaged, I have had the opportunity to see people's well-being change for a better which drives me to continue such efforts while raising awareness."

Shane Mendenhall '02 is a partner at Bolen Robinson & Ellis, LLP (BRE Law) in Decatur. He has experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation, including matters involving commercial law, consumer law, product defects and personal injury.

"As an attorney, I have the opportunity to help those in need on a daily basis," said Mendenhall. "I am blessed to work with an outstanding group of skilled attorneys. We are like a family at BRE Law, and we work together as a team to achieve the best possible outcome on behalf of each of our clients."

Mendenhall added, "We are a community that cares. I grew up in Mount Zion (Ill.) and went to Millikin University. The people in this community are friendly, genuine and have always been quick to step up and help others in need."

Click here to read more about the 20 people under 40 who make a difference in central Illinois. 

(Brittany Acree) Photo courtesy of the Herald & Review
(Alma Grason) Photo courtesy of the Herald & Review
(Shane Mendenhall) Photo courtesy of the Herald & Review