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April 30, 2003

Rankin, Hines, Honorary Degree recipients
to be recognized for accomplishments

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.Indiana State University’s Spring Commencement 2003 is at 2 p.m. May 10 at Hulman Center, where 1,326 undergraduate candidates and 215 graduate candidates will be eligible to participate. Rankin and Hines award winners and Honorary Degree recipients will be:

Faculty earn Dreiser, Caleb Mills, Distinguished Service Awards

Faculty award winners will be recognized at commencement on May 10. A banquet will be presented in the fall to honor the recipients. The following faculty members have earned awards for 2003:

Charles Amlaner, department of life sciences — Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award

Leslie Barratt, department of languages, literatures, and linguistics — Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

Mitchell Cordova, department of athletic training — Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award

David Gilman, department of curriculum, instruction, and media technology — Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award and Faculty Distinguished Service Award

Basil Gomez, department of geography, geology, and anthropology — Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award

Timothy J. Mulkey, department of life sciences — Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

David Prentice, department of life sciences — Faculty Distinguished Service Award

Rebecca Shoemaker, department of history — Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

Ann Tomey, baccalaureate and higher degree nursing department — Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award

Hannah Lynn Beerbower

A science education major with specializations in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, Hannah Lynn Beerbower is one of Indiana State University’s 2003 Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award recipients. From Walkerton, Ind., 

Beerbower has earned much recognition for her academic success at ISU. Originally recognized for her high school academic achievements, Beerbower came to ISU as an Academic Scholar. Since then she has been selected as the 2002 recipient of the A. Elwood and Judith S. Adams Scholarship for Juniors and Seniors, which is awarded by the School of Education to the education student with the highest academic achievement. She has also been included on the Dean’s List since 1999, and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 2001. In 2002, she was inducted into Golden Key International Honour Society and served as the organization’s president from May 2002 to January 2003.

Other campus activities included the Student Alumni Association in 2002; the ISU Basketball Band from 1999 to 2002; the Society of Physics Students from 1999 to 2001, including serving as president in 2000-2001; and the Student Government Association in 1999-2000.

Beerbower also participated in Christian Student Fellowship and St. Joseph University Parish Campus Ministry activities. She has tutored a local high school student in pre-calculus, participated in the local March of Dimes Walk, and worked for a variety of University departments and offices, including the Admissions Office and the departments of physics and chemistry. During fall 2001 she participated in the University’s Study Abroad Program and spent the semester studying in Helsinki, Finland.

Benjamin Adam Lenderman

The fourth generation of his family to graduate from Indiana State University, Benjamin Adam Lenderman has been selected as a 2003 Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award recipient. From West Terre Haute, Ind., Lenderman has earned a 4.00 grade point average while studying finance, business administration, and business management.

Lenderman has had both academic and extracurricular successes as a member of the ISU Football Team, including selection as a recipient of numerous student-athlete awards since fall 2000 and selection to the Verizon All American Team in 2001 and 2003 and the 2003 Verizon All Academic Team.

He has also been nominated for ISU’s 2003 Presidential Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Involvement in campus organizations has included membership in Phi Kappa Phi Honorary, Investment Club, Financial Managers Association, and Campus Crusade for Christ.

Lenderman has served as historian, secretary, treasurer, and vice president of Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity; worked with at-risk middle school students in the 21st Century Scholars Program; and served as a volunteer for Student Life Program events including Move-In Days, Super Bowl Clinic, and Special Olympics. Serving as a volunteer tutor, a volunteer parking attendant for ISU men’s basketball games, as a student host for the President’s Society annual dinners, and participating in the Sycamore Storytellers readers theater performance to raise funds for the Terre Haute Humane Society are services Lenderman has provided to the ISU and local communities. Other off-campus activities have included participation in Race for the Cure, in fund-raisers for the Terre Haute Firefighters, and as a speaker at Rockville Junior High School as part of the school’s anti-drug/anti-drinking program.

These achievements have resulted in Lenderman’s selection for numerous awards and scholarships. He has received the Mae McCraken Memorial Scholarship; the School of Business Dean’s List Scholarship; the Johnson Management Scholarship; the Forrest Sherer Scholarship; and GTE, Miller, and Becker Scholarships. For seven semesters he was named to the University’s Dean’s List, and was selected for inclusion in the National Dean’s List Yearbook in 2002, and the United States Achievement Academy Yearbook in 2003.

In 2000 he was invited to join the School of Business Gongaware Center’s program for leadership and teamwork. Lenderman has also been a member of Golden Key International Honor Society and was the group’s outstanding junior in 2002, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Business Honorary, and was a finalist for the 2002 Outstanding Junior Award.

Sheri Zellers Roach

A non-traditional student who balanced family, a job, and a full courseload of study, Sheri Zellers Roach is a recipient of the 2003 Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award. Majoring in English and English education with minors in creative writing and women’s studies, Roach maintained a 3.86 grade point average and was active in campus and community activities.

From Greencastle, Ind., Roach is a member of the Greencastle Fire Department Auxiliary as support for her husband and son’s involvement in the volunteer fire department, and is a member of Gobin Church, the Elks Auxiliary, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Democrat Women’s Club. She has also served on Greencastle’s City Council and as a reserve police officer for the city. Currently, she is a night shift full-time 911 dispatcher.

While maintaining these responsibilities in her community, Roach has also been actively involved on the ISU campus. Campus activities included student membership on the Indiana Council for Teachers of English since 2000; student editor of Indiana English, the journal of that organization, in 2002 and 2003; membership on the Student Advisory Committee for the Department of English in 2002-2003; and the Indiana Education Association since 2002. As a future teacher, Roach has prepared herself for her career by serving as a tutor in ISU’s Writing Center and, during her student teaching experience at Northview High School in Brazil, Indiana, by serving as co-sponsor of Students Against Destructive Decisions and as an assistant to the school’s thespian troupe.

Roach’s community and campus involvement has been recognized by her induction into Alpha Lambda Delta, the Freshman Honorary, and as recipient of the group’s Ann Eppert Scholarship for 2002-2003. Her academic achievements have been honored by her selection for Sigma Tau Delta, National English Honorary, which she served as vice president in 2002; Golden Key International Honorary Society; and Phi Kappa Phi Honorary. Most recently, Roach has been selected for membership in Kappa Delta Phi Honorary Society and will be listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. She also has worked with Dr. Greg Kelley, an assistant professor of English, in researching and writing a soon-to-be published project on folklore. Roach is also the 2003 Commencement Student Speaker.

Megan Elizabeth Siemens

Academic excellence, campus involvement, and community service contributed to Megan Elizabeth Siemens selection as a 2003 Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award recipient. With majors in English education and school media services, this native of Winamac, Ind., maintained a 4.00 grade point average while being actively involved in campus and community activities.

Siemens’ academic achievements at ISU have been recognized by her selection as a recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including the Ray A. Miller Award in English in 2000; the James Farmer Memorial Award from the Alumni Association in 2001 and 2002; the Ben F. Small Memorial Award in English in 2001 and the Hazel Tesh Pfenning Memorial Award in English in 2001 and 2002; and in 2002, the Richard Landini Award in English and the Elwood and Juneth S. Adams Award in Education.

She has also been inducted into professional and academic honorary organizations including Alpha Lambda Delta, the Freshman Honorary; Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society; and Golden Key International Honor Society.

In addition, Siemens’ involvement in campus organizations and activities earned her a place as a finalist for the 2002 Outstanding Junior Award. Since 1999, she has been an active member of Indiana State’s Student Alumni Association and served on a variety of the organization’s committees and as secretary in 2000-2001, treasurer in 2001-2002, and vice president in 2002-2003. Siemens has also been an active participant in events designed to orient new students to ISU serving as a Sycamore Knower Orientation Assistant for Freshman Orientation in 2001 and 2002. She has been a member of the Indiana Student Education Association, the Christian Student Fellowship, and the Commencement Committee. From 2001 to 2003, she worked as a peer consultant/tutor for the ISU Writing Center.

Siemens has also served as a social counselor for the American Legion Auxiliary’s Hoosier Girls State, held on the ISU campus during the summer, in 2001 and 2002, and has been a member of the Cass White Post 4-H Club in her hometown.

Honorary Degrees

Judge Sarah Evans Barker

Judge Sarah Evans Barker, who serves on the federal district court for the southern judicial district of Indiana, has throughout her career achieved a record of distinguished public service spanning more than 30 years.

Barker was born and raised in Mishawaka, Indiana and earned her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University, Bloomington in 1965. She received her law degree from American University Law School in Washington, D.C. in 1969. Thereafter, she served in the nation’s capitol as a legislative assistant, first, to Congressman Gilbert Gude and then with Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois, and as special counsel to Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Government Operations Committee and on Senator Percy’s re-election campaign staff in 1972.

She returned to Indiana in late 1972 to become an assistant United States attorney, followed by four years in private law practice with an Indianapolis law firm. In 1981, Barker was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be the United States attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. Three years later, in 1984, she was again selected by President Reagan for her current judicial office—the first woman federal judge in Indiana. December 2001, saw the completion of a seven-year term as chief judge of her court.

Barker’s years of public service have been marked by leadership responsibilities in numerous civic, educational, cultural, and religious organizations and groups, as well as in judicial administrative posts. She has served on university advisor committees; presidential, chancellor, and dean search committees; as adjunct law faculty; and often as a panelist and speaker on academic topics. Barker was elected to receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Indiana University, was a board member of Clarian Hospital Partners, Inc.; and prior to Clarian, served on the Methodist Hospital Board. She completed terms on the boards of Conner Prairie Museum; Christian Theological Seminary; New Hope of Indiana, Inc.; and chaired a variety of women’s groups. A member of multiple bar associations, of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis, the Lawyers Club, and the Morgantown United Methodist Church, she is a sought after dinner and commencement speaker. Barker was elected to The Indiana Academy in 2002. In addition to numerous awards and distinctions, Barker has been the recipient of honorary degrees from seven other Indiana colleges and universities.

On behalf of the courts and legal profession, she has provided past service as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, its Executive Committee, its Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure, its Long Range Planning Committee, its Budget Committee, and several ad hoc special committees. She has served on the Seventh Circuit Judicial Council and many of its committees. Currently, she presides over the multi-district litigation involving consolidated claims from across the country and around the world against Firestone and Ford. She serves on the board and the executive committee of the Federal Judges Association, on the board of the Einstein Institute for Science, Health and the Courts, and is a member of the Women Judges Association.

Barker and her husband, Ken, also a lawyer, live in Morgantown, Ind., where they raised three now-grown children, Katherine, Susan, and Grady.

Admiral Joseph Wilson Prueher

Admiral Joseph Wilson Prueher’s career has been an example of public service which has benefited almost every area of American society including higher education.

Active in direct support of academics, Prueher has served as a consulting professor at Stanford University’s Institute of International Studies and as senior advisor on The Preventive Defense Project. A member of the advisory board of George Washington University’s International Council and the University of William and Mary’s Reves Center, he has also been a frequent speaker and consultant on international and security issues across the country.

Widely recognized as one of America’s most respected and diplomatic leaders, Prueher has been involved in diplomacy throughout Asia, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. As Admiral of the Pacific Fleet, Prueher made several visits to China to meet with his military counterparts. He later served two presidents in directing, coordinating, and managing the United States’ executive branch’s activities in China. These experiences contributed to his selection as United States Ambassador to China—November 1999 to May 2001— a position from which he worked to further improve relations between the two countries. Other diplomatic assignments included assisting in improving relations with post-war Vietnam.

Prueher served in the United States Navy for 35 years holding almost every command possible including squadron, air wing, carrier, task group, task force, and fleet. From 1989 to 1995, he served as commandant of midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy; commander of a carrier battle group; commander of the United States Mediterranean Sixth Fleet of NATO Striking Forces; and vice chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. His last command, from 1995 to 1999, was as commander-in-chief of the United States Pacific Command. His naval career also included experiences as a test pilot and qualifications in 52 types of aircraft; co-author of the Performance Testing Manual for test pilots; and publication of numerous articles on leadership, military readiness, and Pacific region security. His service to the nation has been recognized by awards from the United States and from Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Indochina, and Australia.

Originally from Nashville, Tenn., Prueher graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1964. Later he completed a master of science degree in international relations at George Washington University and graduated from the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Today, Prueher resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia where he remains active on the boards of educational, business, and civic organizations. Among those positions are directorships at Merrill Lynch, Emerson Electric, and New York Life. He also serves on the advisory boards of Veritas Capital and Newport News Shipbuilding.

Prueher and his wife Suzanne have one daughter, Brooks, and a son, Joshua.

Donald E. Smith

A business, civic, and educational leader, Donald E. Smith has contributed and served the State of Indiana, the Wabash Valley, and Terre Haute, Ind., for more than 50 years. A native of Terre Haute, Smith has dedicated his professional and personal life to serving his home community.

President and chief executive officer of Terre Haute First National Bank since 1973, Smith began his career with the bank in 1969 following attendance at Indiana University, Bloomington and Indiana State University. He currently serves as president and chairman of the board of First Financial Corporation which includes ten banking institutions in Vigo, Clay, Vermillion, and Sullivan Counties in Indiana; Vermilion and Crawford Counties in Illinois; and the city of Olney, Illinois.

Smith is also chairman and director of Princeton Mining Company, and president and director of Deep Vein Company, R.J. Oil Company, and "500” Express of Terre Haute. In addition, he is on the executive committee of Lynch Coal Operations Reciprocal Association, and was a former director of General Telephone Company of Indiana of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and of Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Corporation of Evansville, Indiana.

Active in civic and philanthropic endeavors for many years, Smith is now a member of the Board of Trustees of Indiana State University, the Board of Managers of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and the Terre Haute Economic Development Commission. He is also affiliated with the boards of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, the Indy Racing League, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation. Fraternal memberships include Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honorary and Beta Theta Pi.

Smith was formerly president and member of the Terre Haute Alliance for Growth and Progress and the Greater Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce; a former director and president of Indianapolis Raceway Park; and a former director of Associated Coca-Cola. He also was a member of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Foundation, the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions, and the Southwest Indiana District Council for the Department of Mental Health. Previous appointments included the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the former St. Anthony Hospital of Terre Haute, and Terre Haute’s Swope Art Museum.

In recognition of his service and leadership, Smith was honored by Indiana’s governor as a Sagamore of the Wabash, was selected as the recipient of the Chapman S. Root Award by Hospice of the Wabash Valley, and was named an Honorary Life Director of Indiana State University’s Foundation Board. Other honors include being named Director Emeritus and Lifetime Member of the Terre Haute Boys and Girls Clubs and an honorary membership into the Wabash Valley Boy Scouts. Smith is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the Midwest, and Who’s Who in Finance and Industry.

Smith and his late wife Mary Frances, have two daughters.

Hines Medal

Deanne Faye Kerstiens

Hines Medal winner Deanne Faye Kerstiens has earned a 4.00 grade point average at Indiana State University while completing a major in elementary education with a concentration in special education and a computer literacy endorsement. From Ferdinand, Indiana, Kerstiens’ academic achievements have led to her induction into Alpha Lambda Delta, National Freshman Honorary and Golden Key International Honor Society. Her involvement in these organizations has included serving as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army project supported by Alpha Lambda Delta, and participating in a book drive for children of the Terre Haute area.

A member of the Student Alumni Association, Kierstiens worked on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Easter Egg Hunt, the Faculty Christmas Party, and the Graduation Extravaganza. She has also been a member of the Indiana Student Education Association where she helped recruit new members, decorated the School of Education for the holiday party, and worked the Scholastic Book Fair.

Also active in her hometown and community, she tutored special needs students and worked as a substitute teacher in the Ferdinand area. Kerstiens also planned and taught at a two week summer enrichment camp at the local elementary school, and planned and implemented a summer reading program at the local library.

Kerstiens’ contributions and academic success have been recognized by her selection as a finalist for the Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award; as recipient of the Ron Nazarene Award for Computer Technology in Elementary Education; and for inclusion in the 2003 issue of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

Anna Marie Kearby

Anna Marie Kearby, originally from West Lebanon, Ind., has completed an accounting major and a management information systems minor at ISU with a 4.00 grade point average. This accomplishment has been recognized by her selection as a 2003 Hines Medal Winner.

Throughout her college career, Kearby has been recognized for the high academic standards she has maintained as she has been the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships, and honors. Member and president in 2002 of Beta Alpha Psi, National Honors Fraternity for Financial Information Professionals, she is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Alpha Lambda Delta, National Freshman Honorary Fraternity; and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society for Collegiate Schools of Business. Kearby has received Indiana’s CPA Society’s Outstanding Undergraduate Accounting Major Award, the Financial Executives Institute Award for Top Junior and Top Senior Accounting Student; the High Honor Collegiate Scholar Award; the Becker CPA Review Award; and the Outstanding Statistics Student Award. She has also been named a Dean’s Honor Scholar and to the University’s Dean’s List since 1999 and recently to the National Dean’s List. Kearby has also been selected for multiple scholarships from the Accounting Program and the School of Business including the Professor A.C. Payne Memorial Scholarship, the John C. and Jennie J. Figg Scholarship, and the Forrest G. Sherer Scholarship. She received an Alumni Scholarship and Academic Scholarship from the University.

In addition to her academic studies, Kearby has been a member of the ISU Student Government Association, the Sycamore Volunteer Crew, the American Marketing Association, the Indiana CPA Society, and served as a supplemental instructor for introductory business courses and as a Learning Community Peer Advisor. Kearby also remains active in ISU’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry and is a member of the Southside Church of the Nazarene in Danville, Illinois.

Amy Louise Lane

A chemistry major from Rosedale, Ind., Amy Louise Lane’s 4.00 grade point average has earned her recognition as a Hines Medal Winner for 2003. Lane has been active in both the academic and extracurricular activities associated with her major. She was president of the ISU American Chemical Society Student Affiliate Chapter, and served as a supplemental chemistry instructor and laboratory assistant in the Department of Chemistry.

Lane has been the recipient of several scholarships and awards including the P.D. Wilkinson Chemistry Award, the CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award, the Earl C. Smith Chemistry Award, and the William B. Bunger Chemistry Scholarship Award. She was also an Indiana State University Alumni Scholarship recipient.

A member of the Rosedale United Methodist Church, Lane serves her church as a worship leader. She plans to continue her education in the fall by beginning work on a doctor of philosophy degree in chemistry.

Benjamin Adam Lenderman

Benjamin Adam Lenderman is one of the 2003 Hines Medal recipients. Lenderman was also recognized as a 2003 Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award recipient. Lenderman has earned a 4.00 grade point average while studying finance, business administration, and business management.  (see complete description above)

Heather R. Nichols

A chemistry major with a 4.00 grade point average, Heather R. Nichols has been selected as a recipient of the Hines Medal Winner. Nichols, who is from Sullivan, Ind., has received numerous scholarships and awards in recognition of her academic success.

Recipient of an ISU Presidential Scholarship, Nichols also received a scholarship from the Rural Health B.A./M.D. Program and was selected for the CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Award, the American Chemical Society Polymer Education Committee Award, and the William H. Bell Chemistry Award. She has also been listed frequently on the Dean’s List.

Campus and community activities have included involvement in the Christian Student Fellowship, Singing SCAMPS, the Premedical Association, and the Indiana Rural Health Association. Nichols has also participated on the Rural Health Student Advisory Board, the Summer Research Institute, and the University’s Mini-Medical School.

Nichols plans to attend Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington, Ind., in the fall.


Jennifer Kearns, assistant director, Public Affairs
(812) 237-8037 or

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or