Kenny '13 Named Wesleyan's Lincoln Laureate
Action Research Center Program Coordinator Deborah Halperin with 2012 Student Laureate
Nov. 28, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Daniel Kenny, a senior from Wildwood, Mo., has been selected as
Illinois Wesleyan University’s recipient of the 2012 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student
Laureate Award. The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular
activities among college seniors.
Kenny was honored at a ceremony earlier this month in Springfield, Ill. Accompanied
by Deborah Halperin, program coordinator of Illinois Wesleyan’s Action Research Center,
Kenny received a Student Laureate Medallion, along with an honorarium check and certificate
Chosen from a pool of qualified Illinois Wesleyan seniors, Kenny is an environmental
studies and Hispanic studies double major. In the spring of 2011, he studied in Barcelona,
Spain, through IWU’s Study Abroad program. As a Weir Fellow, Kenny coordinated campus-wide
efforts to establish a new one-acre community garden, named the Peace Garden, near
campus. He was also a Facilities Management Intern at State Farm Insurance Company
in Bloomington in the summer of 2011, where he developed a contingency plan for operations
during emergency drought conditions, and interned at the Ecology Action Center in
Bloomington during the same time period.
Kenny is a member of the varsity men’s soccer team, currently serving as captain;
president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee; and awareness events commissioner
of the Student Senate.
He serves as co-chairperson of the GREENetwork, a group of volunteer students, faculty,
staff and administrators addressing sustainability on the Wesleyan campus. As a freshman,
he began interning with Wesleyan’s Action Research Center (ARC), which provides students
with the skills necessary for applied research projects in the community and also
serves as a clearinghouse and referral service to facilitate student-faculty-community
research partnerships. Most recently he served ARC as field coordinator, where he
managed other student interns and taught workshops on community development.
“As a student, an athlete, and a community, Danny is leaving an important legacy at
Wesleyan,” said Halperin. “It has been his ability to connect all three areas that
distinguishes Danny among his peers.
“For example, Danny’s soccer team ran drills with a new youth league on the west side
of Bloomington,” Halperin explained. “Danny later used those same community contacts
for assistance in founding the Peace Garden. He used his academic training from a
grant writing class to secure funding for youth and community gardening. For Danny,
it is all connected. He has a mission to serve the greater good and finds ways on
the field, in the classroom or out in the community to make important and meaningful
Kenny is also a member of the following: Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest liberal
arts honor society; Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society across all academic disciplines;
Phi Beta Delta, an honor society recognizing achievement in international education;
and Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honors society.
“I am humbled by this award,” said Kenny. “I owe a lot to Deborah Halperin and to
all the professors and mentors I have had at Wesleyan. I wouldn’t have received anything
without their help.”
Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960