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Impact Awards

The Impact Award recognizes members of the campus community who help new students succeed. Nominees and recipients are motivating, inspiring, and supportive. Their individual contributions impact students’ overall success, retention, and ultimately graduation.


Anyone at Illinois State is eligible to receive an impact award, including:

  • Professors
  • Instructors
  • Advisors
  • Student leaders
  • Staff members


Nominees should meet one of the following requirements:

  • Demonstrated care and support
  • Provided encouragement/challenged the student to grow
  • Exuded or helped to increase motivation
  • Provided assistance or help above and beyond
  • Helped with the student’s transition
  • Served as an inspiration or role model
  • Provided future advice or direction
  • Shared a passion for a subject or for a discipline


New freshmen and new transfer students can nominate someone for an Impact Award. The nomination process starts in late February.

Complete a nomination form

2023 Recipients

New freshmen and new transfer students nominated the following Illinois State faculty, staff and students for a 2023 Impact Award. Please join us in congratulating the following individuals for their significant contributions to our students and to first year retention.

* = received more than one nomination

Academic Advisors

  • Faith Carter*, Academic Advisor, University College

  • Crystal Lannin, Academic Advisor, School of Teaching and Learning
  • Kate Mester*, Academic Advisor, University College

  • Brandt Swanson, Academic Advisor, University College

  • Martin Greenberg, Academic Advisor, University College

  • Corinne Malone, Academic Advisor, Agriculture

  • Sarah Nafziger*, Academic Advisor, University College

  • Brooklyn Vogel, Academic Advisor, English


  • Samuel Bik, Junior, Creative Technologies

  • Zachary Blalock, Freshman, Business Administration

  • Molly Erdman, Sophomore, Mennonite College of Nursing

  • Jose Flores, Junior, Criminal Justice Sciences

  • Katharina Fuchs, Sophomore, English

  • Logan Gavin, Sophomore, Anthropology 

  • Marie Grimm, Senior, School of Art

  • Julia Jenkins, Junior, School of Art

  • Kathleen Lyons, Sophomore, Biochemistry 

  • Brian Perez, Sophomore, Construction Management 

  • Kalen Roy, Senior, Communication Science Disorders

  • Elizabeth Sharp*, Junior, Marketing 

  • Lauren Smith, Junior, Mennonite College of Nursing

  • Katelin Soroko, Sophomore, Early Childhood Education

  • Jayden Standish, Senior, Mennonite College of Nursing

  • Mackenzie Thompson, Freshman, Mennonite College of Nursing

  • Renna Violante, Freshman, Special Education

  • Aubrey White, Freshman, French and Francophone Studies

  • Nitara Williams, Freshman, Theatre


  • Nariman Ammar, Assistant Professor, School of Information Technology

  • Kaylee Birlingmair, Graduate Assistant Research, Dean of Education

  • Heidi Bowman*, Instructional Assistant Professor, English

  • Nancy Braun, Clinical Assistant Professor, Special Education

  • Emily Capan*, Graduate Assistant Teaching, English

  • Gregory Carter, Instructional Assistant Professor, History

  • Melissa Demos, Instructional Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

  • Thomas Faux, Instructional Assistant Professor, School of Music

  • Stephanie Gardiner-Walsh, Associate Professor, Special Education

  • Christopher Hamaker, Associate Professor, Chemistry

  • Luminita Hartle, Instructional Assistant Professor, Special Education

  • Sarah Hassani, Instructional Assistant Professor, Mathematics

  • Jorgi Henson-Miller, Lecturer, School of Communication

  • Jillian Joyce, Lecturer, School of Communication

  • Jeongae Kang, Assistant Professor, Special Education

  • Nancy Koch*, Instructional Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Eric Korankye, Graduate Assistant Teaching, English

  • David Malone*, Distinguished Professor, Geography, Geology, and the Environment

  • John McHale, Professor, School of Communication

  • Emily McKenna, Instructional Assistant Professor, Mennonite College of Nursing

  • Liesel Mitchell, Instructional Assistant Professor, Accounting

  • Belinda Neal, Lecturer, Languages, Literatures and Cultures

  • Wade Nichols*, Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences

  • Viraj Virendra Patel, Graduate Assistant Pre-Professional, Graduate School

  • Courtney Prather, Instructional Assistant Professor, School of Teaching and Learning

  • Cynthia Pulley, Instructional Assistant Professor, Mathematics

  • Nicholas Schmitt, Instructional Assistant Professor, Psychology

  • Daniel Schuetz, Instructional Assistant Professor, School of Music

  • Gwendolyn Slater, Instructional Assistant Professor, School of Teaching and Learning

  • Melinda Snodgrass, Assistant Professor, Special Education

  • Kristina Stalter, Instructional Assistant Professor, School of Teaching and Learning

  • Amy Timmerman, Instructional Assistant Professor, Health Sciences

  • Justin Vickers, Professor, School of Music


  • Stephanie Alvarez-Rivera, Coordinator Residence Hall, University Housing Services

  • Eric Ballard, Events Administrator Associate, Event Management, Dining and Hospitality

  • Cristan Embree, Extra Help Clerical, School of Information Technology

  • Jacilyn Gunderson, Procurement Officer Specialist, Comptroller's Office

  • Jack Blahnik, Program Coordinator, Campus Recreation

    Kerri Calvert, Program Coordinator, Health Promotion and Wellness

  • Megan Patterson, Program Coordinator, Career Services

  • Tamekia Bailey, Program Director, Dean of Applied Science and Technology

  • Joshuan McNeal, Program Student Advisor, University College

  • Jazmyn Thomas, Program Student Advisor, Criminal Justice Sciences

  • Linda Ruhe Marsh, Sponsored Project Administrator, Dean of Education