Indiana State University Newsroom

Four graduating seniors receive Rankin Award

April 15, 2014

The Indiana State University Alumni Association has honored four students with the Alan C. Rankin Distinguished Senior Awards in recognition of their contributions to the betterment of the university.

Named for the university's seventh president who served from 1965-1975, the awards recognize outstanding seniors who have demonstrated dedicated membership and leadership ability in campus organizations and in the community. Recipients must also have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and produced an essay about how they have dedicated time to leadership on campus and in the community.

Recipients must also live up to the ideals and values of Indiana State and have a letter of recommendation from a professor or colleague they have worked with closely, Bill Niederer, Alumni Assaociation board member and 1984 Rankin Award recipient, said in announcing honorees..

"These awards recognize the distinguished men and women of the senior class," he said. "Being named a Rankin Outstanding Senior was a highlight of my time on campus."

Niederer said the 2014 recipients "represent an elite group of graduating seniors who are brilliant students and extraordiantry leaders. Your applications are impresiive. Wherever life takes you, you will undoubtedly go on to do remarkable things, representing your alma mater well.

The Rankin Award recipients, who will be recognized during Indiana State's spring commencement May 3, are Amber Kemp of Terre Haute, William Lehman of Nineveh, Tommy Lynch of French Lick and Kelly Steffen of Bloomington, Ill. The recipients were selected from a field of 44 nominees.

Kemp is completing a bachelor's degree in business management. While attending Indiana State University she was active in Donaghy Day, Chi Omega, Welcome Team Coordinator, Alpha Lamda Delta National Honors Society, Welcome Team leader, Summer Honor's counselor, Sycamore Ambassadors, Networks Financial Institute Ethics Conference and Student Government Association.

Her community activities included Multiple Sclerosis Walk, Make-A-Wish Foundation and 14th and Chestnut Community Center project leader.

Kemp is the daughter of Chris and Lisa Kemp and a graduate of North Central High School in Farmersburg. She plans to attend graduate school to obtain a master's degree in student affairs and higher education will be doing a graduate assistantship with the Indiana State University Career Center.

Lehman is graduating with a bachelor's degree in insurance and risk management and sales negotiations. His campus involvement included Alpha Tau Omega, Risk Management Society and Gamma Iota Sigma.

His awards, in addition to the Rankin Award, have included the Networks Scholarship, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Insurance and Risk Management Honors Corps.

Lehman's community involvement included Chi Omega Make A Dish, Zeta Tau Alpha Big Man on Campus, Alpha Phi dodgeball tournament, Sigma Chi Derby Days and Alpha Chi Omega Philanthropy.

He is the son of Mark and Paula Lehman and is a graduate of Indian Creek High School. Following graduation, he plans to work at Gibson Insurance in South Bend.

Lynch is completing a bachelor's degree in communication and plans to attend graduate school at Indiana State to obtain a master's degree in student affairs and higher education.

His campus involvement included Student Government Association, director of Sycamore pride and traditions, an academic peer advocate, Welcome Team leader, Pi Kappa Alpha, certified gold member of Pike University Leadership Summits and creator of "The Forest".

His community involvement includes Up ‘til Dawn, Tornado Relief effort in Joplin, Mo. and Henryville and Alternate Spring Break to Dominican Republic.

Lynch is the son of Tom and Cheryl Lynch of French Lick and is a graduate of Springs Valley High School.

Steffen is a double major in mathematics education and mathematics and is captain of the Sycamore track and field team. She has received many collegiate athlete honors including MVC Elite 18 Award, Sycamore Scholar-Athlete of the Month and Missouri Valley Conference Leadership and Service Award Recipient.

Her other campus involvement included Christian Student Fellowship, Student Athlete Advisory Committee and a tutor in the math lab and academic enrichment center.

Her community involvement included March of Dimes and Wabash Valley Race for the Cure.

Steffen is a graduate of Bloomington High School and is the daughter of Mitch and Annmarie Steffen. After graduation, she plans to complete her student teaching in the fall and pursue a career as a math teacher and track and field coach.

Photo: - Amber Kemp

Photo: - William Lehman

Photo: - Tommy Lynch

Photo: - Kelly Steffen

Writer: Beth Pickerill, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or