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Centennial Honors College Adds Two Awards

April 19, 2013

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MACOMB, IL - The Centennial Honors College inaugurated two awards during the opening ceremonies for the Undergraduate Research Day Poster Presentations on Wednesday, April 17 in the University Union Grand Ballroom.

The two awards are for excellence in teaching and in mentoring.

Professor Jill Myers, of Western Illinois University's School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, was awarded the first Centennial Honors College Award of Excellence in Teaching.

Myers was nominated because she has "an enthusiasm for teaching, and she is continually thinking of ways to promote student learning through creative and innovative teaching activities," particularly with regard to technology.

Myers was nominated for the award by Honors College student Bethany Jackson, a senior mathematics major from Macomb, who praised her teaching style as "full of insight and wisdom," and being taught with a "fun, upbeat vibe."

Myers has supervised a dozen Honors projects, developed four new Honors courses, taught multiple sections of those courses, and supervised student presentations and publications at WIU, as well as state and regional conferences. She has served as an Honors diplomat, a member of the Honors Council, advises Phi Alpha Delta, the pre-law honors society, and mentors Honors students who participate in the annual moot court competition held in Washington D.C.

Professor Seán Jenkins, of WIU's Department of Biological Sciences, was awarded the Centennial Honors College Award of Excellence in Mentoring. Jenkins was nominated for the honor by Honors College student Jamela Thompson, a senior biology major from Sugar Grove, IL.

"My undergraduate research experience changed my life, thanks to the guidance of Sean Jenkins," Thompson said. "He is the ideal role model and mentor for anyone wishing to pursue work in field ecology. He held me to a high standard and work ethic, which forced me to push further as a scientist, student and individual."

Jenkins has supervised five Honors students, two of whom have gone on to graduate school, and he has supervised poster projects at Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day, as well as successful student applications for Centennial Honors College Research Grants and the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Grants. He is currently advising two more Honors.

For more information on the WIU Honors College, visit

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