Indiana State University Newsroom

Four Indiana State juniors recognized with Landini Awards

May 21, 2015

When Indiana State University graduate Regina Atkins began to reveal recipients of the Richard G. Landini Outstanding Junior awards on behalf of the university Alumni Association, four individuals vividly remember the moment they realized they had been chosen for the prestigious award.

"I cried," said Jade Schitter, a nursing major from Jasper minoring in psychology. "I cried because the way they did it, they read accomplishments... and when I heard my hometown and then I heard my major and my minor, I knew it was me."

Brandon Nettrouer, an insurance and risk management major from South Whitley, was excited to learn he was a finalist prior to the ceremony and knew he had won when a Gongaware Scholar was mentioned, but when Atkins announced Nettrouer's name, his reaction was similar to Schitter's.

"I was trying to hold it back," said Nettrouer. "There was a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice to achieve that honor, so it really meant a lot for me right then and there-and it hit me very hard. It was tough to keep my composure because at that moment, as I'm sitting there, my mind was racing, my closest fraternity brothers were patting me on the shoulder, friends were looking over at me, and it overloaded me with pure happiness."

Ishaiah Williams of Evansville, a health sciences major, said, "Right when I heard my major being read, I started to cry. I was so surprised. I got discouraged from listening to everyone else's accomplishments and I didn't think mine compared, but when I got it, I couldn't control my excitement."Rodney Lockman, a biology major from Terre Haute, was also surprised.

"There are a lot of students who are very qualified, and when they started describing me before they got to my name, I was really excited," he said. "It was really good to hear all those things."

To be eligible for the Landini Award, named for the university's eighth president who served from 1975-92, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25, are required to write an essay detailing the reasons they live up to the ideals and values of Indiana State, and must be recommended by a professor or staff member.

This year's recipients also demonstrated exceptional campus involvement. Schitter is an Honors Scholar who has been involved with Harsha Behavioral Center, ISU Dance Marathon, Keeping Indianapolis Beautiful, and the Downtown Terre Haute Block Party. She has also been selected by her peers as Sycamore Ambassadors president.

Nettrouer was coordinator for the 17th annual insurance and risk management program's Oktoberfest Golf Scramble fundraiser and served as a Welcome Team leader and Summer Honors counselor with the Office of Admissions. He is president of the Insurance Honors Corps, student representative of the Insurance Advisory Counsel, and is president elect for Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity and the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity. He served in more than 18 different community service events to accumulate 115 hours of community service; most notably his participation in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics and the coordination of his social fraternity's children clothes and Christmas toys drive for Bethany House of Terre Haute.

Williams is chair of the Applied Health Science Committee, treasurer and secretary for Promoting Health Across Campus Together, philanthropy chair for the Political Science Club, and co-adviser of Hine's Hall Council.

Lockman is community service chairman for Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, a member of the Tri-Beta biological honor society, director of campus life for Student Government Association, a welcome team leader and coordinator working for admissions office, and an undergraduate biology research assistant. Lockman is also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honors society, Order of Omega Honorary Leadership Society, and University Honors Program."This year's Landini Award finalists were exceptional. Each student had an impressive resume, and they were actively involved in campus organizations and within the community. The Alumni Association always enjoys this annual event to recognize students' achievements," Rex Kendall, executive director of the ISU Alumni Association said.

Photo: - Indiana State University students Ishaiah Williams (left), Jade Schitter, Rodney Lockman and Brandon Nettrouer, recipients of the 2015 Richard G. Landini Outstanding Junior Awards, pose with Rex Kendall, executive director of the ISU Alumni Association.

Writer: Kristen Kilker, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3773 or