November 07, 2007

Stein named Lincoln Academy student laureate

by Andrea Hahn


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Krystal Stein, a senior studying speech communication in the College of Liberal Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is the 2007 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate representing SIUC.

Stein, a Nashville, Ill., native and the daughter of Jim and Karen Stein, also delivered the keynote address on behalf of the 2007 Student Laureates in Springfield on Oct. 27.

"I was ecstatic and thankful to find out I had been selected, and very surprised," she said. "There are so many talented and intelligent students here at SIUC. I can't take the credit, though, by any means – it definitely was God, my parents, coaches and teachers and mentors who helped get me to this point. I'm just so thankful to have had their guidance in my life."

The Lincoln Academy of Illinois annually recognizes one senior undergraduate student from each four-year, degree-granting institution in the state, naming that person a student laureate. Lori Merrill-Fink, interim associate director of the Honors Program, said nominations for the SIUC representative come from each college. The Honors Advisory Council chooses the winner from those nominations as the representative for the University.

Stein said she was shocked when notified she would represent SIUC at the ceremony. Her first call was to her fiancée, SIUC graduate student Nathan Emrick. When she couldn't get through to Emrick, she called her mother.

"I called my mom at work and made her leave class – she is a teacher," Stein said. "When I got a call from Chancellor Fernando Treviño's office saying that the chancellor of the Lincoln Academy asked me to give a speech on behalf of the 2007 Student Laureates, I was even more speechless. I had to get my mom out of class again for that one."

Stein said the Springfield ceremony was "one of the most unbelievable and inspiring events" she ever experienced. It was held at the Old State Capital building. Stein said she was very mindful that the podium she used when giving her speech was the same used by Abraham Lincoln for some of his speeches.

"It was so intimidating, but so exciting," she said. "I didn't really grasp the magnitude of it until I was standing behind the podium and thought who else had stood there to speak in the past."

Stein will graduate in May 2008 with a bachelor's degree in speech communication specializing in public relations with a marketing minor. She will pursue graduate studies here at SIUC in sports administration. She intends to become an athletics administrator at the college or high school level. Another big event in her near future is her impending marriage to college sweetheart and fellow athlete, baseball Saluki Emrick.

Jay Lewis, academic adviser in speech communication, nominated Stein. He said he tries to nominate deserving students for appropriate awards. He described Stein as a sort of "triple threat" in that she carries a 4.0 grade point average, is a star softball player for SIUC, and presents herself at all times in a professional and confident manner.

"I know being involved in athletics is a huge time commitment," Lewis said. "I am very pleased that she is the SIUC representative."

Stein also represented SIUC at the National Collegiate Athletics Association Leadership Conference.