Indiana State University Newsroom

Five receive Hines Medal for academic achievement

April 23, 2013

Indiana State University has presented the Hines Memorial Medal to five graduating seniors in recognition of their academic accomplishments.

Named after Linnaeus Hines, who served as the fourth president of Indiana State from 1921 to 1933, the medal is awarded to students with the highest cumulative grade-point average during the pursuit of a bachelor's degree at Indiana State. Recipients will be recognized during Indiana State's spring commencement on May 4.

Rachel Marie Hand of Milan is graduating with a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology.

A President's Scholar at Indiana State, Hand was vice president of the campus chapter of the National Student Speech- Language Hearing Association, a Learning Community peer advisor, President's Scholarship interview speaker and volunteer, member of Alpha Lambda Delta honors fraternity and leader of the Honors Poverty and Education Seminar. She studied abroad and served as a member of the Pinon Navajo Reservation Diversity Development Project.

Hand's community activities included volunteering for Margaret Mary Community Hospital; serving as an actress, vocalist and flutist for the Rural Alliance for the Art; and serving as an assistant at Milan Library Summer Reading Program and an assistant at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and Vacation Bible School.

Hand's parents are Rebecca and Eric Hand. She attended Milan High School. She plans to continue her studies at Indiana State to pursue a master's degree in speech-language pathology.


Kristen (Hodge) McDonald of Bedford is completing a bachelor's degree in mathematics education and a minor in coaching education. As a Noyce Scholar, she is committed to teaching at least two years in a high needs school.

While at Indiana State, she helped plan and lead the "Go Figure" math program for third through fifth graders at the Terre Haute Children's Museum, served as a tutor, was a student worker for the University Honors Program, assisted with the Honey Creek Middle School volleyball team and was on the leadership team with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.

McDonald's husband is Chris McDonald, a 2011 Indiana State graduate. Her parents are C.J. and Dan Hodge. She attended Bedford-North Lawrence High School. After graduation from Indiana State, she plans on finding a teaching position in the northern Indiana area where she resides.


Danielle Schuster Nichols of Terre Haute is completing a bachelor's degree in elementary education and special education with a minor in reading.

While at Indiana State, Nichols received the University Honors Scholarship, the Fannie Blumberg Scholarship, the Marian George Memorial Teaching Scholarship and was a Bayh Coillege of Education Collegiate High Honor Scholar. 

Her community activities included Christian Student Fellowship, Special Olympics Indiana, Ryves Youth Center, ROCK Youth Outreach, Walk for Autism, Family Learning Day at the Vigo County Public Library, Haiti mission trips and serving as a volunteer with the Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education.

Nichols husband is Matthew Nichols. Her parents are Lori and Keith Schuster. She attended Terre Haute South Vigo High School. She plans on pursuing a career in education.

Andrea Nicole Rademacher of Borden is graduating with a bachelor's degree in management.

While at Indiana State, she served as captain of the women's basketball team, president of the student athlete advisory committee and as a student leader with Campus Outreach. She was involved with Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, University Honors Program and ISU Business Professionals of America.

A President's Scholar, she was recognized on Indiana State's All-Academic Team, received the Missouri Valley Conference Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award, was a nominee for MVC Athlete of the Year, received he MVC State Farm Good Neighbor Award, MVC President's Council Excellence Award and Brenda Howell Spirit Award. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honor societty.

Her community activities included DistinXion, Parents' Night Out fundraiser for March of Dimes, March for Babies, Emerge Youth Retreat, ScoutReach/Venture Crew Spring Awards, Wabash Senior Activity Center, Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club, SAAC National Student Athletic Day, Bridges of Indiana Autism Awareness Golf Scramble, "Pass the Bucket" fundraiser for Ryves Youth Center; Terre Haute Children's Museum, Special Olympics Indiana state basketball tournament and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Rademacher's parents are Debbi and Terry Rademacher. She attended Borden High School. After graduation, Rademacher will be joining the staff of Campus Outreach, an interdenominational campus ministry.

Sarah L. Wachala of Munster will be graduating with bachelor's degrees in special education and elementary education with a minor in reading.

While at Indiana State, she was a residence hall assistant, teaching assistant, recruiter for Sycamore Ambassadors, vice president of International Student Organization, vice president of Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization, secretary of President's Scholars Association and student representative for Honors Council.

Wachala received the Indiana State President's Scholarship, Summer Honors Scholarship and Bayh College of Education Wayne E. Schomer Scholarship. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

Some of her community activities involved Race for the Cure, Relay for Life, helping raise awareness of domestic abuse and volunteering at Light House Mission.

Wachala's parents are Carol and Michael Wachala. She attended Munster High School. After graduation, she plans to attend Indiana University's Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.

Photo: - Rachel Hand

Photo: - Kristen Hodge McDonald

Photo: - Danielle Schuster Nichols

Photo: - Andrea Rademacher

Photo: - Sarah Wachala

Writer: Beth Pickerill, media relations assistant, Office of Communication & Marketing, Indiana State University,