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The Hamand Society of Graduate Scholars

Named in honor of the first dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Lavern Hamand, the Hamand Society of Graduate Scholars recognizes degree-seeking candidates nominated from among each year's class of Distinguished Graduate Students whose achievements in both scholarship and service have had a documented impact on the discipline and the community. The quality and impact of the scholarship and service achievements of the Hamand Society Scholars reflect the highest ideals of the engaged graduate student.

The Hamand Society is supported with gifts from the Hamand family.

Dean Hamand was a professor of history at EIU from 1957 to 1982 and served as dean of the Graduate School from 1967 to 1974.

2015 Hamand Scholars

Alyssa Swan

Terri Coleman, '15, Master of Arts in English

Exemplifying student scholarship, research, and service, Terri’s scholarship and creative writing has resulted in two peer-reviewed publications during her time at EIU with the promise of four more possible publications. She has presented at six national conferences as well as participated in many campus and departmental presentations. Terri has won travel grants, essay contests, and was selected twice to speak at the English department’s annual Graduate Research Colloquium. Terri was the recipient of a Provost’s Research Assistantship through which she supervised a team to design and implement a program to educate university students about rape culture on campus, a product that is now, according to Dr. Jeanne Ludlow, Coordinator, Women’s Resource Center, “part of the standard community education curriculum at the local rape crisis center.” Terri’s mentors describe her as gifted, diverse, and rigorous in her scholarly accomplishments.  Her thesis adviser wrote, “Ms. Coleman investigates the traumatic impact of Katrina through the literature produced in its wake. With great passion and scholarly rigor, she explores Katrina literature for what it says about American identity, socioeconmomic reality, and race relations. Ms. Coleman has demonstrated to me her absolute commitment to producing politically salient scholarship.”

Working as an active consultant in the Writing Center and also as a Writing Fellow with Dr. Debra Reid in the History Department, Terri has mentored traditional students and students at risk. While at EIU she has served on the Graduate Student Advisory Council and the Black Graduate Student Association and also reached out to off-campus communities as well, bringing her experience, academic expertise, and eagerness to serve her community to such groups as SACIS, (Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services.) Terri earned bachelors’ of arts degrees in history and English at Southern University at New Orleans.

Vaskar Nepal

Deborah German, '15, Master of Science in School Counseling

Deborah epitomizes the engaged student, serving her community and the campus through service, teaching,  and scholarship. Her scholarship at EIU has resulted in one publication and one research project with the intent of publication at the end of the semester. She has completed two state presentations, five local presentations, and four in-service presentations for local educators. She earned travel awards, research/creative activity awards, and two College of Education Telefund grants. Deborah has been a leading member in the department’s development of a freshman mentoring team and led the graduate student research team on a study examining Counselor Training and Development. She has served on several committees including as a graduate student representative on the panel for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the New Student Orientation Committee, and the Selection Committee for New Counseling Graduate Students. Deborah implemented and maintained the Transfer Team as part of the research team project titled, “B.I.O.N.I.C.”, a mentoring program changing students’ lives and the school culture at Mattoon High School. As the team leader she collected data, conducted monthly meetings with mentors and teachers, hosted monthly luncheons for the 34 new transfer students and their mentors, paired the transfer students with their mentors, and oversaw that the mentor helped to acclimate the new transfer student to the high school by shadowing them for two days. One of Deborah’s mentors writes, “In Deb I see flexibility, a willingness to grow and learn, and an eagerness to make a difference; all qualities that are crucial for success as a counselor.” In her home community of Champaign, she is active in volunteering for the elderly. Deborah earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and Spanish from the University of Illinois.

Vaskar Nepal

Mark Rheaume, '15, Master of Arts in Music

Sharing his talent and scholarship as a musician, composer, and organizer makes Mark Rheaume an integral member of EIU’s musical community. Mark has written numerous large-ensemble works, such as, the ballet “The Earth without Water” and Symphony No.1, “Symposium” for seven soloists. His separate concert presentation of “Symposium”, a series of works based on Plato’s Symposium featured seven soloists, piano accompaniment, and a  pre-recital lecture by EIU philosophy professor Dr. Gary Aylesworth. He is the winner of the James K. Johnson Creative Writing Award 2014, a Finalist for the Graham R. Lewis Memorial Poetry Award, 2014, and is an enthusiast of composer Erik Satie. He organized an audio installation of Satie’s “Vexations”, which included 840 continuous performances of the work over 18 hours, on a MIDI-acoustic piano. Mark has won two concert competitions, and is the Lead Trombone in the EIU Jazz Ensemble, and Principle Trombonist with the EIU Symphony Orchestra and the EIU Wind Symphony. As a graduate assistant Mark developed a new system for the department’s instrument locker organization process. Mark has been a leader in community outreach projects with the department’s studio ensemble, The Eastern Crossbones. They have performed on the Ballenger Teacher Center’s Children’s Story Time Programs at Booth Library, Carl Sandburg Fine Arts Big Day in Charleston, and at elementary and junior high schools in Westville, Illinois, where Mark performed as a soloist and storyteller in the “Tale of the Two Terrible Trombones.”  The Eastern Crossbones were invited to perform at the International Trombone Festival in Columbus, Georgia, and Mark’s two performances received many commendations and according to Mark’s mentors, “served to burnish the musical reputation of the music and academic programs at EIU.” His playing also contributed to the group’s invitation to perform at the 2015 Illinois Music Educator’s Conference. Regarding Mark’s compositional accomplishments, one of Mark’s mentors writes, “I must point out the growing conviction, maturity, and artistic individuality in Mr. Rheaume’s compositional voice.”  Mark earned his bachelor of arts in music performance from EIU, his master’s thesis is,  “Characteristics of a Modern Ballet: The Adoption of Sonic Vocabulary and Textual Treatment in The Earth Without Water”

2014 Hamand Scholars

Alyssa Swan

Alyssa Swan, '14, Master of Science in Clinical Counseling

Alyssa completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. During her graduate studies at EIU, she completed 6 peer-reviewed publications that will be appearing in the Journal of Counseling in Illinois, International Journal of Play Therapy, Professional School Counseling, Eastern Illinois Journal, and Perspectives for Supervisors in Training. She completed 14 presentations of papers or posters. She earned multiple awards including the Williams Travel Grant, Graduate School Research Grant, Betty Wright Downing Scholarship, Mary Cralley Vaupel Award, and Knights Templar Award. Her leadership commitments include Mentor for the Graduate Network for Undergraduates, Chi Sigma Iiota Honor Society, and service to the Graduate Admissions Interview Team. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Angela Yoder.

Vaskar Nepal

Vaskar Nepal KC, '14, Master of Science in Biological Sciences

Vaskar completed a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Eastern Illinois University and Tribhuban University in Nepal. During his graduate studies at EIU he co-authored 4 peer-reviewed publications that are currently under review in the Native Plans Journal and Restoration Ecology. He completed multiple peer-reviewed presentations including presentation to the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference and Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. He is the recipient of multiple awards including Williams Travel Grants, Graduate School Research Grants, Fenske Memorial Award, and Anderson Scholarship. He is active in 5 discipline societies including the American Fisheries Society, the Illinois Fisheries Society, and the Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honorary Society. His faculty mentor was Dr. Rob Colombo.

2013 Hamand Scholars

sharon kim

Sharon Kim, '13, Master of Science in School Counseling

 Sharon completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois. During her graduate studies at EIU she published a peer-reviewed article, co-authored four grants, completed three peer-reviewed presentations, and served as a participant in two experimental studies. Contributions and leadership to five EIU committees are examples that highlight her extensive service record. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Heidi Larsen.

jessica mcdonald

Jessica McDonald, '13, Master of Arts in Communication Studies

 Jessica completed her bachelor’s degree in communications and culture at Indiana University. During her graduate studies at EIU, she presented four peer-reviewed conference presentations, three guest lectures, and three department research presentations. She earned a Williams Travel Grant and Department Travel Grant to support her work. Leadership on the Executive Board of the Graduate Student Advisory Board and the Study Abroad Society are examples of her extensive service record. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Matthew Gill. 


cassi moody

Cassi Moody, '13, Master of Science in Biological Sciences

 Cassi completed her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Eastern Illinois University. During her tenure  in the graduate program she completed eight presentations at professional meetings as author or co-author. She was the recipient of the Williams Travel Grant, Graduate Student Investigator Award, the Graduate School Research Grant, and the Illinois Fisheries Society Student Research Grant. Service contributions to committees of the American Fisheries Society are among her regional and state service commitments. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Robert Colombo



2012 Hamand Scholar

anthony porreca

Anthony Porreca, '12, Master of Science in Biological Sciences

 Anthony is pursuing his doctoral studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.



2011 Hamand Scholars

andrew durso

Andrew Durso, '11, Master of Science in Biological Sciences


Andrew is pursuing doctoral studies at Utah State university in Logan, working with Dr. Alan Savitzky on the ecology, physiology, and behavior of toad-eating snakes. In the summer of 2012 he will teach the course, Biodiversity of Utah.

dominic morais

Dominic Morais, '11, Master of Science in Kinesiology and Sports Studies


Dominic is enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Sports Studies Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin where he is studying physical culture, specifically the Iron Game. He received a William C. Powers Graduate Fellowship and recently had an article accepted in Iron Game History.

justin schuch

Justin Schuch, '11, Master of Science in College Student Affairs


Justin works full-time at Southern Illinois University Carbondale as Hall Director, overseeing Bowyer, Brown, Felts, and Steagall Halls, and advising the Residence Association on campus. He is working to obtain the needed experience before starting a terminal degree program in higher education.