North Park University Senior Nursing Major Named Lincoln Academy Student Laureate

Student Laureate
Shadae Gatlin is a senior nursing major from Chicago, and is the University's Student Laureate. She was honored November 3 by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Shadae Gatlin honored at ceremonies in Springfield

CHICAGO (November 5, 2012) – Shadae Gatlin, a North Park University senior nursing major from Chicago, was among 52 students from Illinois colleges and universities honored as Student Laureates November 3 by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

A ceremony was held in the Illinois House of Representatives' chamber at the Old State Capitol building in Springfield. Student Laureates, family members, and academic representatives also attended a luncheon at the Illinois Executive Mansion, home of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

"I am very excited about this honor," Gatlin said in an interview. "This makes me realize and appreciate the relationships I have, and the influence of so many people in my life." Gatlin is the second of nine children, and lives with her family on Chicago's South Side. Gatlin graduated from Chicago's Jones College Prep in 2009. She said she felt called to attend North Park University after researching the University, and in particular, its nursing program. Gatlin found she was interested in attending a college with smaller classes and a Christian atmosphere.

"I love nursing," said Gatlin, a recipient of the Gretchen Carlson Scholarship in nursing. "I was first interested in biology, but I wanted to work in a more people-centered field in science. I chose health care because I grew up in a lot of underserved neighborhoods in Chicago. My main interest is in community and public health, and working in prevention through health education in community neighborhoods."

Gatlin is expected to graduate from the University in 2013. She plans to work for a couple of years in a medical-surgical hospital setting, and then hopes to return to college to earn a master's degree in community health nursing and work in a community clinic in Chicago.

As a student, Gatlin has volunteered at Ronald McDonald House, which serves families of children with serious medical conditions. There, she assists families with cleaning and preparing meals. This past summer, Gatlin volunteered with Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly, a Chicago organization that cares for the needs of seniors in Chicago. She escorted a group of seniors to Illinois Beach Resort, Zion, on a vacation sponsored by the organization. Gatlin was also a nurse intern at Lawndale Christian Health Center, assisting with clinic visits, patient education, and calling patients to check health instructions. She helped develop education pamphlets for families.

At North Park, Gatlin has worked three years at the F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections, housed at Brandel Library, which has contributed to her University learning experience, she said. She has been a member of the University's Gospel Choir and the African American Student Association. Dr. Linda Duncan, professor and dean of the School of Nursing, and holder of the Gretchen Carlson Memorial Endowed Chair in Nursing, represented the University at the Lincoln Student Laureate event.

"Shadae is an extremely focused student, and knows what she wants to achieve," Duncan said. "She keeps her eyes on the task at hand. She has structured her time to support her learning and development." Gatlin's supportive family have contributed to her academic success, Duncan added..                                                           

Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities. Each student is presented with a medallion, a certificate of achievement, and a $500 grant. This is the 38th year in which the Lincoln Academy has presented the Student Laureate awards. The academy also presents the state's highest award, the Order of Lincoln, to honor Illinois' most distinguished citizens.

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