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McKendree University graduates receive diplomas

mckendreecommencement2019McKendree University Class of 2019 graduates received their diplomas during the 179th commencement exercises on a rainy Saturday morning, May 11 at the Lebanon campus.

The university is conferring 663 degrees at its Illinois and Kentucky campuses in 2019—22 doctorates, four education specialists, 152 master’s, 479 bachelor’s and six associate degrees—on students who completed their program requirements in December 2018, and in May and July 2019. A total of 130 graduated with honors: 19 summa cum laude, 62 magna cum laude and 49 cum laude. Thirteen graduates were members of the university’s Honors Program. The new graduates hail from 25 states and nine countries.

“The Class of 2019 has been exceptional, and I have no doubt they will continue to be so in the future,” said Dr. James Dennis, university president, to the crowd gathered under umbrellas and rain ponchos on the front lawn.

Andrew Wagner, of Waterloo, Ill., an honors program student who graduated summa cum laude with a degree in international relations, received the 2019 Technos International Prize. It is given each year by the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Trust to recognize academic achievement and international understanding.

McKendree’s Lincoln Student Laureate excelled as an award-winning captain of the speech team, secretary-general of Model United Nations, section leader of the marching band, and former president of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. As a volunteer Spanish instructor for Trinity Lutheran School, he discovered a passion for teaching. Wagner has been selected for a highly competitive, yearlong paid fellowship as an English language teaching assistant at Tokyo’s Technos International College, where he spent two weeks as a McKendree sophomore.

“He possesses intellectual talent, has an outstanding work ethic, and is a consistent and thoughtful leader,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost and dean. “Andrew not only possesses varied interests but also the drive to pursue them.”

The Alumni Association awarded the 2019 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award to Dr. Guy Boysen, professor of psychology and a McKendree faculty member since 2012. Boysen teaches courses including introduction to psychology, abnormal psychology, psychological testing and measurement, and research methods. He sets high standards for his students, who have said his classes are efficient, well planned, relevant, challenging and rewarding. A prolific scholar and researcher, Boysen has published three books and more than 50 research journal articles, and presented at many professional conferences. His primary areas of professional expertise are the study of stigma toward persons with mental illness and the study of effective teaching and learning techniques.

“A signature characteristic of Dr. Boysen’s work is that he conducts much of his research collaboratively with students,” noted Alumni Association President Ryan Furniss, who presented the award.

Two recently retired professors were awarded the rank of Professor Emeritus to become the newest lifetime members of the university community. Dr. Irwin Halfond, professor of history, taught undergraduate courses with an emphasis on world history for 31 years, mentored many student research projects and served in several leadership roles. Dr. Myron Reese, professor of history who retired in December after more than 50 years at McKendree, taught undergraduate chemistry courses, mentored student research, and served in a variety of faculty leadership roles.

Photos are posted online at mckendree.edu/photos.

Commencement exercises for graduates at the McKendree University campus in Radcliff, Ky., will be held on June 1 at First Christian Church in Elizabethtown, Ky.

Psychology professor earns McKendree University Grandy Faculty Award

A psychology professor who often includes his students as research collaborators received McKendree University’s 2019 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award, given by the Alumni Association. Dr. Guy Boysen accepted the surprise honor at undergraduate commencement exercises held on May 11 at the Lebanon campus. It was the 38th presentation of the Grandy Award, which is given annually to recognize commitment to students and the ideals promoted by the university.

The tenured professor of psychology has taught at McKendree since 2012. He teaches courses including introduction to psychology, abnormal psychology, psychological testing and measurement, and research methods, and advises the Psi Chi psychology honor society. He sets high standards for his students, who say his classes are efficient, well planned, relevant, challenging and rewarding. Boysen received the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teaching Award at McKendree in 2017.

His two primary areas of professional expertise are the study of stigma toward persons with mental illness and the study of effective teaching and learning techniques. A prolific scholar, he has published three books and more than 50 articles in research journals, and given numerous presentations to professional audiences.

“A signature characteristic of Dr. Boysen’s work is that he conducts much of his research collaboratively with students,” noted Alumni Association President Ryan Furniss, who presented the Grandy Award. “He has co-authored several journal articles with students and co-presented or mentored students to give presentations at professional conferences.”

He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Iowa State University.

The award is named for Dr. William Norman Grandy, who served from 1952 to 1968 as professor of philosophy and religion, and as dean of students, academic dean and interim president.

mckendreegrandyawardDr. Guy Boysen, right, professor of psychology at McKendree University, accepts the 2019 Grandy Faculty Award from Ryan Furniss, president of the Alumni Association.

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