University News

Earp, Hamilton, Van Norman; Lincoln Laureate College Nominees

November 10, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - Each of Western Illinois UniversityÂ’s four academic colleges recently nominated one student for the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding senior from each of IllinoisÂ’ four-year degree-granting institutions.

College of Arts and Sciences nominee James “Matt” Kerr (Macomb, IL) was named the University’s recipient of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award. He attended an Oct. 22 awards ceremony at the Hall of Representatives in the Old State Capitol in Springfield, where he received a certificate of achievement and a check for $150 in recognition of his outstanding achievement.

WesternÂ’s Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate college nominees are: Christina Earp (Davenport, IA), an accountancy and information management double major and honors student in the College of Business and Technology at WIU-Quad Cities; Cherish Hamilton (Augusta, IL), a social work major and psychology minor major and honors student in the College of Education and Human Services; and Melissa Van Norman (Cisne, IL), a communication sciences and disorders major and art minor in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Earp is president of Western’s accounting honorary society Beta Alpha Psi, a student representative for the WIU-QC honors program committee and a participant in Volunteers for Income Tax Assistance (VITA). She is a mentor for the Institute of Management Accountants, has tutored students at two elementary schools and Scott Community College and currently interns at Seniors Only Services, a group of financial advisors who assist senior citizens in Bettendorf, IA. Earp also works as a library assistant at Western’s Quad Cities library and serves as a student emissary. Earp, who will intern in accountancy with John Deere Summer 2006, said she wants to use her “many learning experiences… to help people.” She has received the Laflin Scholarship in Business Education and has been named the Outstanding Departmental Senior in information management.

Hamilton serves as treasurer for both WesternÂ’s Phi Alpha honor society for social work, and Feminist Action Alliance and is president of WesternÂ’s Social Work Student Association. She has worked as the summer reading program director at the Greater West Central Public Library (Augusta, IL) and as a student assistant a the WIU Curriculum Library. Hamilton volunteers at events such as Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake, fundraisers for St. Judes Hospital, Take Back the Night and the V-Day campaign to end violence against women. She participated in the Sept. 24 Peace March and the 2004 March for WomenÂ’s Lives, both in Washington, DC. For her senior honors thesis she is interviewing state legislators, attorneys and law enforcement officials and preparing a report on domestic violence policies, including analyzing each groupÂ’s interaction with domestic violence agencies and their clients. Hamilton plans on pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and would eventually like to work at the federal level addressing social issues. Running for elected office is also a goal.

Van Norman, a member of WesternÂ’s chapter of Golden Key International Honor Society and the National DeanÂ’s List, is a licensed massage therapist and a former instructor of massage therapy at Olney (IL) Central College. Van Norman received her Associate of Science degree in graphic design from Vincennes (IN) University and her massage therapy certification from the Florida Keys Learning Institute. She has worked on fundraising campaigns for the American Cancer Society and has volunteered for more than 700 hours with Learn and Serve America. Van Norman, an active member of WesternÂ’s Student Speech Language and Hearing Society, is looking forward to beginning her graduate studies in audiology Fall, 2006. After finishing her coursework at Western, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in audiology.

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