Samantha Rinehart honored as a Student Laureate

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Samantha Rinehart honored as a Student Laureate by Lincoln Academy of Illinois

Published: November 21, 2013.

(L to R) Dr. Chuck Crowder, associate
professor of Physics, Samantha Rinehart
and Dr. Jason Keleher, assistant
professor and chair of Chemistry, celebrate
the Lincoln Academy’s Student
Laureate Awards in Springfield.

Lewis University student Samantha Rinehart of Marion, Iowa was recently honored by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The Academy honored her along with approximately 50 graduating seniors from Illinois’ higher education institutions during a ceremony hosted by Governor Patrick Quinn in Springfield.

“These students have exhibited a personal commitment to excel as seen by their remarkable academic accomplishments,” Governor Quinn said. “They serve as role models to all Illinois students. With hard-working and dedicated young leaders such as these, Illinois and the rest of the nation can look forward to a bright future.”

The Lincoln Academy’s Student Laureate Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each four-year, degree granting colleges and universities in Illinois. Each student received a Student Laureate Medallion, as well as a $1,000 educational grant and a certificate of achievement.

“This award is important to me because it celebrates the hard work and dedication I’ve had towards everything I have accomplished over the past four years,” said Rinehart. “This award is also a tribute to the professors, coaches and mentors that have led me on the right track to success.”

Rinehart has a double major in biology and chemistry. After graduation in the spring of 2014, she intends on attending graduate school to study material science.

For Rinehart’s hard work and academic dedication, she was awarded a paid fellowship during the summer for 2012 as part of the Lewis University Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. Rinehart’s work focused on the synthesis and characterization of Biomimetic Antimicrobial Nanocomposites for Next Generation Wound Management Materials.

Her work was presented in local and international forums, such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Lewis University Celebration of Scholarship and the 2013 Tech Connect World Conference.

In addition to Rinehart’s academics, she is a standout athlete participating on Lewis University’s women’s basketball team. As part of her hard work and leadership abilities, Rinehart was chosen by coaches and peers to serve as captain during the 2012-2013 season, which resulted in another conference championship.

Some of Rinehart’s court accomplishments include her as a two-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Champion, four-time Academic All-GLVC honoree, four-time Br. David Delahanty Award winner for academic success among Lewis student athletes and GLVC Player of the Week after averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds as she helped the Flyers to a 3-0 week. Her career stats include 64 starts in 114 games, an average 6.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 20.3 minutes per game.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.

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