Indiana State University Newsroom

Hines, Presidents Medal recipients announced for winter commencement

November 20, 2014

Indiana State University will recognize three graduating seniors for their achievements in scholarship, leadership and service during winter commencement ceremonies Dec. 13 at Hulman Center.

Kelly Steffen of Bloomington, Ill. and Shea Tempel of Dale received the Hines Medal, which goes to students with the highest cumulative grade point average during the pursuit of a bachelor's degree. The medal is named for Linnaeus Hines, who served as the university's fourth president and also served two terms as Indiana superintendent of public instruction. Kari Kirchner of Terre Haute has received the President's Medal for Leadership, Scholarship and Service.

Steffen is graduating with a bachelor's degree in mathematics education and mathematics and will begin her teaching career in January at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in St. Joseph, Ill., where she will teach algebra and geometry and coach track and field.

A four-year letter winner on the Sycamore track and field team, Steffen has been active in the University Honors Program, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which she served as Vice-President, Christian Student Fellowship, Indiana State Sycamores Council of Teachers of Mathematics, student-athlete mentor, Academic Enrichment Center tutor, and mathematics tutoring lab.

She is a three-time recipient of all-conference honors at the Missouri Valley Conference Track and Field Championships, MVC Elite 18 Award for indoor track and field, three-time member of the U.S. Track and Field All-Academic Team, received the Alan C. Rankin Distinguished Senior award, department of mathematics and computer science Outstanding Senior, Female Presidential Scholar Athlete of the Year, Indiana State Women's Track and Field Leadership and Coach's Award, MVC Leadership and Service Award and Richard G. Landini Outstanding Junior award.

Her community involvement at Indiana State included the student-athlete talent show, Habitat for Humanity, Light House Mission, March of Dimes, elementary school volunteer and "Parent's Night Out" Valentine's Day volunteer.

Steffen is a graduate of Bloomington High School and is the daughter of Mitch and Annmarie Steffen.

Tempel is completing a bachelor's degree in psychology with minors in human development and family studies and language studies, focusing on Spanish. Following graduation, she plans to attend graduate school at Indiana State in hopes of becoming a middle school or high school guidance counselor. She would also like to become involved in coaching youth softball or volleyball.

While at Indiana State, she received the Academic Excellence Scholarship, the Farm Bureau Insurance Scholarship, Indiana Higher Education Award, Outstanding Senior Award from the psychology department and the Psychology Academic Excellence Award. She was active in the Psi Chi Honor Society and the Alpha Lambda Delta honors society for freshmen. She volunteered and interned at Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall, volunteered at Bethany House and for the March of Dimes and participated in the Autism Walk.

A graduate of Heritage Hills High School, Tempel is the daughter of Jim and Connie Tempel.

Kirchner will graduate with a bachelor's degree in elementary and special education. She plans to also complete a master's degree from Indiana State and obtain an administrative license to work as an elementary school principal but she is also interested in obtaining a Ph.D. in elementary curriculum and possibly working as a university professor of elementary education.

During her time at Indiana State, Kirchner has been involved with Sycamore Ambassadors, the "Go Figure" math education program at the Terre Haute Children's Museum, the University Honors program and Gamma Phi Beta sorority, serving as president, financial vice president, new member educator, ritual chairwoman and parliamentarian. Many of the positions were held simultaneously. She assisted in running an after school reading program for first graders at Davis Park Elementary School, participated for three years in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service by helping at the West Vigo Youth Center, 14th and Chestnut Community Center and Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall. She also volunteered with the Terre Haute Humane Society, the Adopt-a-Highway program, the March of Dimes and Girls on the Run in Mattoon, Ill.

Kirchner was awarded the University Honors Scholarship, the Community Foundation Scholarship, College Challenge Scholarship and the ISU Laptop Award. She was also awarded the Gamma Phi Beta Outstanding New Member award in 2012 and the Golden Gamma Phi award in the spring of 2014. Outside of campus, she is a 4-H volunteer leader.

A graduate of Terre Haute North Vigo High School, she is the daughter of Jack and Brenda Kirchner.

Photo: - Kelly Steffen

Photo: - Shea Tempel

Photo: - Kari Kirchner

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or

Story Highlights

Kelly Steffen of Bloomington, Ill. and Shea Tempel of Dale received the Hines Medal for having the highest grade point average among graduating seniors. Kari Kirchner of Terre Haute received the President's Medal for Leadership, Scholarship and Service.

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