Accounting faculty chosen as Inter-Greek Council Professor of the Year
May 14, 2013,
Greek life members were recognized for their philanthropy, service and values Friday, May 3, in the Student Center Auditorium.
The Inter-Greek Council held the 2012-2013 Greek Awards, which recognizes fraternity and sorority chapters as well as individuals who showed exceptional qualities within the Greek organization.
Alpha Gamma Rho member Jesse Cler, a senior from Penfield studying plant and soil science and agribusiness, won the Inter-Greek Council officer of the year. Cler was previously Inter-Greek Council president and said he hopes to see increased unity among the chapters and raise awareness about what Greeks can provide for the community.
Other honored individuals included Janelle Medernach, of Sigma Kappa sorority, a senior from Morton studying human nutrition and dietetics who won Scholar of the Year, Sue Hawthorne, student life and intercultural relations office manager, who received the Greek Ally award; and Alex Laveille, of the Alpha Tau fraternity, a junior from Crete studying management who won Greek of the Year. Bryce Webster-Jacobsen of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, a senior from Carbondale studying psychology, won Inter-Greek Relations of the Year.
Darla Karnes, senior lecturer in accountancy, was named Professor of the Year. Alpha Tau Omega won Fraternity of the Year and Sigma Kappa won Sorority of the Year.
Kaliah Liggons of Alpha Kappa Alpha, a senior from Chicago studying criminology and criminal justice and sociology, won two awards: Outstanding Senior of the Year and Living Your Values.
“It feels great to be recognized,” Liggons said. “I have made connections with people who needed my help both within and outside of my organization.”
Liggons said she has helped with different fundraisers such as her sorority’s fashion show.
“I also asked anyone if they needed my help and was available for them,” Liggons said. “I was able to do a lot through my positions as president, secretary and treasurer.”
Winning an award motivates Greek members to do well within their chapters, she said.
“It is important because it’s motivation for other Greek members,” Liggons said. “It’s very cool to receive recognition from your peers.”
Katherine Sermersheim, interim dean of students and associate vice chancellor of student life and intercultural relations, said Greek life is an integral university component.
“Every year, Greek life puts in so much work and upholds the high standards that are put before them,” she said.
The Greek awards are important because they recognize the work Greeks put into both the campus and city communities, Cler said.
Even though both individuals and chapters won awards, the awards recognize the whole Greek community, he said.
“We do not just represent single chapters but the Greek community as a whole,” Cler said. “All chapters have high academic standards and have to be involved with their philanthrophy.”
Cler said Greek life makes up more than half of SIU’s community service, while the organizations represent only 7 percent of the student population. The university’s Greek community tries to promote that they are not the stereotypical sororities and fraternities portrayed on television that do not value academics and philanthropy, he said.
“We try to get the word out that Greek life is not stereotypical,” Cler said. “It’s a battle we are constantly trying to fight.”
Cler said there is always room for improvement in Greek life and hopes to see that with future Inter-Greek council members.