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Vanderpool receives 2016-2017 Lincoln Laureate Award

October 28, 2016

Michelle Ravel / The Courier

Each fall, the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award is given to a student who demonstrates outstanding contributions to the local, national, and global communities. Monmouth College’s 2016-2017 Lincoln Laureate was awarded to Emma Vanderpool, a senior Latin, Classics, and History triple major with a Philosophy minor. She is from Frankfort, Illinois. Vanderpool is a distinguished student earning a number of prizes in her areas of study throughout her time at Monmouth College.

“When I heard that I had been named the Lincoln Laureate for Monmouth College, I was absolutely blown away and very humbled as my graduating class is full of outstanding students. To be selected to represent the college in this capacity is such an honor and a privilege,” explained Vanderpool.

To be eligible for the award, students must be in their senior year and have a cumulative GPA 3.00 or greater. Vanderpool is invited to attend a special ceremony held in the House of Representatives of the Illinois State Capital in Springfield Illinois, where award recipients will be presented with the Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Medallion.

Vanderpool stays actively involved on campus. She has received the Midwest Scholars Award in 2013, researched corpus linguistics and the use of n-grams in the identification of authors during SOfIA (Summer Opportunities for Intellectual Activity) in 2013, researched the use of secondary and primary sources in historical fiction while mentoring incoming students for SOfIA in 2015, received Best Poster in Humanities and Liberal Arts for MC Scholar’s Day in 2014 and 2015, and received the Classics Department Prize for the best work in the department in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

“Emma Vanderpool has been a dedicated Latin scholar since her matriculation at Monmouth in 2013. As a first-year student, Emma was already reading Latin at an advanced level and was doing remarkable research. During her four years she has been an invaluable member of the Classics department,” explains Dr. Sienkewicz, Vanderpool’s Classics and Latin advisor. He goes on to talk about how she has excelled at Monmouth, “A special distinction [for Vanderpool] is the fact that she has been the first student ever to earn five, then six, and now seven gold medals in the National Latin Exam.”

Additional to her triple major, Vanderpool is a drum major in marching band, a resident assistant, National President of Eta Sigma Phi (The National Classics Honor Society), President of our local chapter (Gamma Omicron), president of the Classics Club, president of Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society), secretary of Mortar Board, and public relations chair for Blue Key Honor Society.

Reflecting on her time at Monmouth College, Vanderpool credits her high school Latin teacher for inspiring her to consider attending school here but thanks the Monmouth College faculty for challenging her to her fullest potential.

“I came to Monmouth College because I wanted to study classics under Dr. Sienkewicz just as my high school Latin teacher, Matthew Katsenes ’04, had done. He had such good things to say about the department,” Vanderpool explained. “Thanks to faculty, including my advisors Dr. Sienkewicz and Dr. Myers, I have had so many opportunities to grow. They saw my potential and challenged me. They, among others, helped me grow holistically as a person, as a scholar, and as a future Latin teacher. I never imagined being able to accomplish all that I have done at Monmouth.”

Currently, Vanderpool is in the process of applying for graduate school. Following graduation, she plans to going into a Masters of Arts teaching program in Latin and Classical Humanities in hopes of one day teaching Latin.

Dr. Sienkewicz reflects on Vanderpool’s time at Monmouth and projects a bright future ahead. “I am very proud of Emma’s many accomplishments and am confident that she is destined to be an outstanding Latin teacher and a leader in the Latin teaching community at the national level.”

Dr. Myers, Vanderpool’s history advisor, had this to say, “I’m extremely proud of Emma and all she’s accomplished both inside and outside the classroom. One of Emma’s greatest attributes is her desire to continue challenging herself. I’m always glad to see how grounded and community-minded she remains, making time for her friends and family; it’s that sort of balance that helped her become a Lincoln Laureate and that’s also what will ensure she continues to do Monmouth and herself proud in the future.”

Miranda Jones
Co-Editor in Chief

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