Shown, from left to right, Colleen Kattenbraker and Maranda Schaljo, EIU KSS faculty; Diana Rauner; Michaela Crabtree; Gov. Bruce Rauner, president of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois; and Stephanie Pace Marshall, chancellor of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
SPRINGFIELD -- Outstanding students representing Illinois colleges and universities were honored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois during the annual Student Laureate Convocation at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.
Among the recipients was Michaela Lee Crabtree, an Eastern Illinois University kinesiology and sports studies major from Ellis Grove.
Gov. Bruce Rauner, president of the Lincoln Academy, and first lady Diana Rauner welcomed all the students and awarded each one with a certificate of merit, a medal of Lincoln, and a $1,000 check.
“President Lincoln’s legacy is a reminder of the power of public service and civic engagement here in Illinois and across the country,” said Gov. Rauner. “The students chosen to receive this honor have exemplified the principles and ideals of the greatest Illinoisan through their hard work and dedication to their schools and communities.”
The Lincoln Academy’s Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from the community colleges in Illinois. This is the 42nd year Lincoln Academy has celebrated students’ excellence in Illinois.
Crabtree, who began studying at Eastern Illinois University in the fall of 2013, chose to attend EIU for a number of reasons, including the small town atmosphere that Charleston offers.
Since being on campus, she has earned a 4.0 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative GPA, is a student in the Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College, and has been recognized as a Fraternal Scholar for having top grades within the Greek community. In Fall 2015, Crabtree presented her research titled "Social Media's Effect on Perceived Body Image" at the Kinesiology and Sports Studies Research Fair.
Crabtree has made volunteering and service a priority in her life at EIU. She has assisted with fundraising efforts for Prevent Child Abuse America and the Children's Advocacy Center in Charleston, and shares her time as a volunteer for Special Olympics and local Girl Scout troops. She also tutors students in her major.
After graduation, Crabtree plans to attend graduate school and then work in cardiac rehabilitation to help others progress in fitness programs. She also hopes to coach and continue serving young people.