May 2, 2019 at 9:30am
Dane Lisser

Campus community comes together to celebrate academic accomplishments

At the end of every April, the Millikin University campus community comes together to celebrate the academic accomplishments of its students at the annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Honors Convocation. This year's event, held on April 25, recognized the outstanding work of students and faculty during the 2018-19 academic year.

"If you want to know what a university stands for – look to see who they are and seek to find what they praise," said Millikin President Dr. Patrick E. White, as he addressed a filled Kirkland Fine Arts Center. "Tonight, we see our best imagination of Millikin and celebrate our best and brightest stars. Tonight, our minds are inspired by the great work that we all do together."  

Lyle Salmi

This year's Distinguished Faculty lecturer was Lyle Salmi, professor and chair of the Art Department at Millikin. Salmi's presentation was titled "Where you go….There you are." Salmi entertained the audience with flashbacks of his early artwork, from grade school to college, referencing when he "first knew he was an artist" as pictures of his work were projected on a screen.

"I'm reminded that when we encounter the various situations in life, that we always have the opportunity to truly see who we are," said Salmi. Later in his speech, Salmi summarized why teaching and learning are important by using a video clip from a story aired in 2017 by WAND-TV. The story covered how some of Salmi's students, back in April 2017, came up with the idea of creating a portrait to honor Salmi's late brother, Loren, who passed away unexpectedly in February 2017.

"I hope each of you, in your journey through life, are able to experience moments – moments in which you are able to see who you are," said Salmi. "Sometimes these moments are what you expect, sometimes these moments may be a surprise. Perhaps you will be reminded that where you go, there you are…there you are Millikin."

The latter part of the evening saw several Millikin students honored for their commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence. Over 80 awards were handed out at this year's Honors Convocation in front of a large audience comprised of excited students and proud parents.

This year's Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award was given to Ed Weber, assistant professor of information systems.

The Scovill Prize is the most coveted recognition of Honors Convocation. Scovill Prize winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, service and scholarship. This year, eight students were named Scovill Prize recipients.

Congratulations to all the honorees.

Millikin Honors Convocation

College of Arts and Sciences

Behavioral Science Award: Emily Bauwens of Naperville, Ill.; and Jonni Damery of Clinton, Ill.

Henry F. Gromoll Service Award: Jessica Joyner of Decatur, Ill.

Biology Honors Award: Jacob Albert of Decatur; Jacob Hanes of Mount Zion, Ill.; and Selena Smail of Decatur

Dr. Neil Baird Biology Lab Assistant Award: Anthony Bryan of Plainfield, Ill.; and Jessica Goeckner of Decatur

Clyde Dennis Award: Erin Lukens of Johnston City, Ill.

George/Rick Glasscock Memorial Biology Award: Allyson Isenhower of Trenton, Ill.

John/Ula Leighty Research Award: Owen Pulver of Dwight, Ill.; Douglas Sherrill of West Union, Ill.; and Raisa Zamacona Gonzalez of Getxo (Bizkaia)      

Alpha Epsilon Delta Award: Stephen DeMartini of Gillespie, Ill.; and Morgan Powers of Shelbyville, Ill.

American Chemical Society Award: Miranda Rueff of Decatur

American Institute of Chemists Award: Jacob Hamilton of Swansea, Ill.

Ed & Lucy Acheson Award for Chemistry: Greta Jacobson of Ellendale, Minn.; Kee Randolph of Bloomington, Ill.

Dr. & Mrs. William F. Henderson Prize: Blaine Baer of Decatur; Juliana Guaglianone of Decatur; Jacob Hamilton of Swansea; Andrea Schlagel of Decatur; and Matthew Vangunten of East Peoria, Ill.

Carl & Lucile Weatherbee Chemistry Award: Matthew Frank of Goodfield, Ill.; Dalton Glasco of Decatur; Jacob Hamilton of Swansea; Blaine Traylor of Decatur; and Matthew Vangunten of East Peoria, Ill.

Carl & Lucile Weatherbee Graduate Studies Award: Jacob Hamilton of Swansea; and Matthew Vangunten of East Peoria

Dr. Everett J. Brown Prize: Dominique Bates of Forsyth, Ill.

Dr. & Mrs. W. J. Darby Prize: Jordan Comish of Highland, Ill.; and Gabrielle Singleton of Monticello, Ill.

Dr. Grace Patten Conant Writing Award – Creation: Madeline Curtin of Chicago; and Michellina McNaughton of Downington, Pa.

Dr. Grace Patten Conant Writing Award – Interpretation: Bella Hernandez of Manhattan, Ill.; Kaytlin Jacoby of Taylorville, Ill.; and Erica Mooney of Decatur

Dr. Grace Patten Contant English Department Award: Kaytlin Jacoby of Taylorville

Dr. Grace Patten Contant Society Achievement Award: Kaytlin Jacoby of Taylorville; Erica Mooney of Decatur; and Alexsenia Ralat of Vandalia, Ill.

Marybeth Drechsler Sharp Outstanding Journalism Award: Jason Messina of Crystal Lake, Ill.; and Athena Pajer of Lovington, Ill.

J. Graham Provan History Award: Isaac Hopper of New Lenox, Ill.; Kaytlin Jacoby of Taylorville; and Matthew Nalefski of Forsyth

Albert T. Mills Prize: Morgan Bode of McHenry, Ill.; and Lisa Hill of Decatur

John Vrooman Prize: Amber Johnson of Decatur

Sigrid A. Stottrup History Award: Matthew Nalefski of Forsyth

Mathematics & Computer Science Award: Ryan Sikora of Hickory Hills, Ill.

Lavern J. Meyer, Ph.D. Math Ed. Award: Krystal Reyes of Menifee, Calif.

Linda Weatherbee Mathematics Award: Korbin Farmer of Columbia, Ill.

Dept. of Modern Languages Linguistic Excellence: Jasmin Coronel of Chicago

Dept. of Modern Languages Literary Criticism Award: Joseph Pegura of Genoa City, Wis.

Margaret Burkhardt Johnson Award: Heidy Perales of Decatur

Thomas W. & Mary R. Adney Memorial Award: Isaac Hopper of New Lenox; and Megan Owens of Mount Vernon, Ill.

Dr. Robert McIntire Political Science Award: Lucas Chatterton of Canton, Ill.; Chelsi Jones of Decatur; and Sabrina LeBlanc of Carbondale , Ill.

T.W. Samuels Award: Gillian Beginski of Mundelein, Ill.; and Nicole Scott of Shiloh, Ill.

Outstanding Political Science Major Award: Rob Hickey of Forsyth

Alice Ambrose Lazerowitz Philosophy Award: Lukas Myers of Taylorville

Outstanding Physics Award: Connor Sphar of Decatur

Millikin Honors Convocation

College of Fine Arts

Pi Kappa Lambda Outstanding Senior: Emily Hill of Forsyth; and Trevor Stout of Decatur

Presser Scholarship: Leah Wier of Lacon, Ill.

Alice Herren Ayars Award: Leon Lewis-Nicol of Savoy, Ill.

Mary B. Merris Award: Alexander Bravos of Saint Charles, Ill.; and Lauren Ingebrigtsen of Plainfield, Ill.

St. Clair Minturn Award: Trevor Stout of Decatur

Thomas. A. Johnson Memorial Achievement Award: Riley McDorman of Lisle, Ill.

Dr. Russell Tiede Award: Emily Hill of Forsyth

Percussion Achievement Award: Collin Biesiada of Springfield, Ill.

Dr. Maria Klott Memorial Award: Lauren Ingebrigtsen of Plainfield

Handler Award for Excellence, Bachelor of Arts in Music: Morgan Bode of McHenry, Ill.

Joan & Melvin Grabowski Memorial Award: Zachary Cary of Saint Charles, Mo.; and Caitlyn Garrity of San Antonio, Texas

Dr. L.C. McNabb Memorial Award: Isaac Brown of Indianapolis, Ind.; and Jordan Frederick of Indianapolis

Michelle Chartier Memorial Award: Nicole Barth of Morton, Ill.; and Gabrielle Catlin of Noblesville, Ind.

Kathryn Paige Torp Theatre Award: Samson Callear of Mapleton, Ill.; and Melanie Wilson of Palos Park, Ill.

Ron Smith Award in Musical Theatre: Patricia Bales of Martinsville, Ind.; Kelly Cunningham of Cary, Ill.; and McKena Silva  of Mills, Wyo.

J. Ben Wand Prize: Mary Heyl of Hazelwood, Mo.; Olivia Irmiter of Chicago; and Rafael Wilson of Alsip, Ill.

Andrew Strand Memorial Theatre Award: Jacob Ehrmantraut of Bismarck, N.D.

Marvin Klaven Art Award: Deborah Corr of Sycamore, Ill.; and Michael Holmberg of Decatur

David S. Monroe Art Award: Kathryn Franklin of Illiopolis, Ill.; Stephen Gardner of Illiopolis, Ill.; Eliska Kostelny of Elgin, Ill.; and Jacob Lakin of Rochester, Ill.

Dorothy Sellers Art Award: Deysha Barber of Danville, Ill.; Brooke Brasile of Granby, Co.; Brittiny Brubeck of Decatur; Lea Cameron of Saint Charles, Ill.; Nicole Casler of Mundelein, Ill.; Kaitlynn Haskell of Beach Park, Ill.; Anya Moritz of Plainfield; David Neal of Clinton, Ill.; Stephanie Oliver of Cedar Lake, Ind.; Deanna Russell of Springfield; Frieda Smith of Decatur; Carrie Thompson of Marion, Ill.; and Nina Wagner of Helena, Mont.

College of Professional Studies

Robert and Barbara Byrkit Award in Education: Maggie Baltz of Millstadt, Ill.; and Ian Plecker of Noblesville, Ind.

Dr. Jerald Hunt/Dr. Darlene Hoffman Award for Excellence: Luke Azzarelli of Kankakee, Ill.

Jola Kuntz Education Award: Amber Goebel of Monticello, Ill.

Ray Boehmer Memorial Award for Excellence in Science Education: Jacob Albert of Decatur

The Smith/Orlandini Book Award: Shae Giovanni of Johnsburg, Ill.; and Nathan Marshall of Oreana, Ill.

Walter Witt Award: Scott Marlow of Smithfield, Ill.; Jennifer Miller of St. Louis, Mo.; Thomas O'Brien of Taylorville; and Juwan Stewart of Elgin, Ill.

Alpha Tau Delta Honorarium Award: Karlie Lading of Humboldt, Ill.

Decatur Memorial Hospital Cleland Award: Hayley Rogers of Decatur

James Millikin Theory & Practice of Nursing Award: Sydney Garcia of Fair Oaks, Calif.

Dorotha F. Dean Nursing Award: Carmen Hatton of Maroa, Ill.

The Dr. Mary D. Shanks & Dr. Linda K. Niedringhaus Award: Alisha Larrison of Mt. Zion, Ill.

Millikin Honors Convocation

Tabor School of Business                   

Glen R. Smith Award: Jordyn Eads of Cerro Gordo, Ill.

Margaret Sparks Award: Mikayla Krieger of Mt. Zion

Linda Weatherbee Human Resource Management Award: Tracey Preston of Decatur

Paul R. Winn Memorial Award: Sara Lawson of Decatur

Excellence in Information Systems Award: Gregory Schwoeppe of Fishers, Ind.

University Awards          

Maria Leonard Senior Book Award: Matthew Nalefski of Forsyth

The JoAnne Trow Award: Brad Austin of Oreana; and Morgan Wendt of Oreana

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Illinois Delta Chapter Award of Excellence: Samson Callear of Mapleton, Ill.; Tanner Hake of Kaukauna, Wis.; and Alexander Joritz of Oak Forest, Ill.

MU Greek 5-Star Chapter Award: Alpha Kappa Alpha; Delta Delta Delta; and Alpha Tau Omega                

C.W. Barnes Memorial Award: Nicole Larkin of Evergreen Park, Ill.

Major Thomas G. Storey Citizenship Award: R'Riel Johnson of Willowbrook , Ill.

Jere C. Mickel Human Relations Award: JaCarla Anderson of Chicago

Daniel J. & Elinor Gage Student Activities Award: Renee Sample of Edinburg, Ill.

Helen Moffett Russell Community Service Award: Kaia Ball of Decatur

Eshelman Family Award: Matthew Nalefski of Forsyth; and Hayley Rogers of Decatur

The Dr. Jan Devore Award for Excellence: Alice Bernard of Bensenville, Ill.

Dr. J. Roger Miller Leadership Award: Gabrielle Catlin of Noblesville, Ind.

Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award: Ed Weber, assistant professor of information systems

Millikin Honors Convocation          

Scovill Prizes

Matthew Brown of Champaign, Ill.

Lane Caspar of Sherman, Ill.

Taylor Hartman of Kankakee, Ill.

Amber Johnson of Decatur

Diana Juarez of Chicago

Mikayla Krieger of Mt. Zion, Ill.

Rubi Rodriguez Bobadilla of Wauconda, Ill.

Makenzie Vinson of Penfield, Ill.