2022 Academic Excellence Celebration


By Grace Gross, Head Culture Editor

Photos taken/collected by Grace Gross

The 2022 Academic Excellence Celebration took place throughout campus on Thursday, April 28. Students were able to present their scholarly and creative work to the McKendree community. In addition to this, many students received academic achievement awards for excellence in their programs. Several honors societies inducted new members. 

This busy day started at 8:30 a.m. with poster presentations in the library. Breanna Sampo, with sponsor Dr. Guy Boysen, presented their research on motivated reasoning and the influence it has on faculty interpretations of research on gender bias in student evaluations. 

Breanna Sampo presents her research

Peyton Osgood, Colby Price and Aliyah Rollins also conducted research with Dr. Boysen. Their research demonstrates that people stereotypically associate schizophrenia with threats to self- and child-protection goals, but perceive schizophrenia as irrelevant to other goals such as mate-seeking and affiliation.

Colby Price and Peyton Osgood present “Affordance Management Theory and Stigma Toward Schizophrenia

Kealoha Charles presented on the power of Black women in R&B and Neo-Soul. This poster shows their lives and how they used their fame to benefit the Black community.

Kealoha Charles presents “Her Influence: R&B and Neo-Soul

Devin Acoff and Arthur Mcalpine presented on the infamous Black activist Stokely Carmichael and his impact on the Black Power movement.

Devin Acoff and Arthur Mcalpine present “Stokely Carmichael”

Katom Parnell presented “African American Women Flying Through NASA.” His poster looks at three famous African American women who helped with the Freedom 7. It shows how their success has propelled future African American women in the field of space and to see the great strides they have made.

Katom Parnell, “African American Women Flying Through NASA.”

Next are the live presentations. The following presenters have worked individually or collaboratively to demonstrate their ability to apply, analyze and synthesize knowledge gained from classes, majors or other programs. 

At 10:30 a.m., Dr. Richard Murphy’s COM 330 – Crisis and Conflict course, hosted a press conference to respond to a simulated tornado that destroyed several apartments at McKendree West. Students were given one week prior to this conference and will develop a presentation, crisis communication plan and respond to media inquiries. This was presented by Meghan Bishop, Daniel Duggan, Clara Andrews, Christopher Kissling, Aspen Duggar, Julianne Thomton, Sadie Miyler, Mackenzie Mendenhall, Antonio Munoz and Quinn Breeding.

Photo taken by Dr. Murphy

The Catalyst literary magazine had its editors and some of the artists who submitted their work read some of their writing and poetry.

A portion of the editors of Catalyst, and the artists who read their work.

The second half of COM 330 – Crisis and Conflict, hosted a similar press conference at 11 a.m. This time, an earthquake destroys Eisenmeyer. Owen Gross, Breanna Sampo, Markiese Jones, Kyle Smith, Issac Winter, Larry Davis, Grace Gross, Robert Ross, Quinn Atchison and Gaëtan Soulier. 

Photo taken by Dr. Murphy
Crisis and Conflict class presents their student-ran press conference

At 11:30 a.m., the McKendree Robotics Team presented their Rover Cooler. Emmanuel Segbedzi, Fabian Martinez and Graham Harvey worked together on their robots. They compared the effectiveness of using robotic technology to run errands during events. 

Emmanuel Segbedzi, Fabian Martinez and Graham Harvey

Next is honor society inductions. At 2:30 in the Hett, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society (First-year Students), Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (Junior and Senior Students) and Tau Sigma Honor Society (Transfer Students) inducted many members into their societies. 

Tau Sigma induction in the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts (the Hett)

Other societies with brand-new inductees are Pi Mu Epsilon Honor Society (Mathematics), Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society (Political Science), Psi Chi Honor Society (Psychology), Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society (Social Sciences), School of Business Honor Society (Business, Management and Administration), Sigma – Psi Epsilon (Nursing), Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society (English) and Sigma Zeta Honor Society (Science and Mathematics). 

Pi Gamma Mu induction in Bothwell Chapel

In the evening, a Honors Society Reception was held in the 1828 Café. There were many tiny desserts and fruit punch for all participants and guests. 

Image provided by McKendree University’s Online Photo Album

Academic Excellence Day 2022 was very successful. There were so many amazing students who presented and participated. McKendree cannot wait to see what next year has in store!

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