Peru State College
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News Release
Peru State English Professor, Elk Creek Senior Honored by Student Senate


Student Senate President Melody White presents Dr. Bill Clemente with the Barb Lewellen Award
Student Senate President Melody White presents Taylor Dunekacke with the Scroll of Service Award

(Peru, Neb.) The Peru State College (PSC) Student Senate recently named English Professor Dr. Bill Clemente as the 2008-2009 recipient of the Barb Lewellen Award and Elk Creek senior Taylor Dunekacke as winner of the 2008-2009 Scroll of Service at the organization’s annual banquet.

The Barb Lewellen Award is designed to honor an outstanding faculty, staff member, or administrator who has distinguished him/herself through the betterment of students and student life at PSC. All part or full-time faculty, staff and administrators are eligible for the honor.

The Scroll of Service Award is the highest non-academic award given to a student at PSC. It is designed to honor any full-time PSC student for their dedication and service to the student body and the college.

PSC students, student organizations, faculty, staff and administrators submitted written nominations for each award, which were then voted on by members of the Student Senate.

The Barb Lewellen Award nomination letter for Clemente noted how active he is on and off the PSC campus. He was recognized for his excellent photography and video work, which he publishes for everyone to view on his Web site. The letter also identified more than 60 different activities that Clemente has undertaken or participated in the past year while representing Peru State. 

Clemente said, “This award means a great deal to me, especially as the recognition comes from the very students with whom I have enjoyed working for the past 16 years. In addition, Barb Lewellen, whose name and achievements this award honors, is a friend of mine; and her memorable record of service to the students of Peru State College established a level of engagement that continues to inspire all of us.”

Clemente came to PSC in 1993. He teaches a variety of classes, including children's literature, the history of the English language, composition, film studies, world literature to 1500, contemporary Asian literature and culture, and non-western literature. Clemente holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature (1992) from the University of Oregon, an M.A in comparative literature from the University of Oregon, and a B.A. in comparative literature from San Diego State University. His publications have focused on Canadian literature, Renaissance and Medieval literature, Caribbean literature and speculative fiction.

Dunekacke was honored with the Scroll of Service Award for his growth as an individual and representative of PSC, as well as his genuine willingness to help both students and staff.

Dunekacke graduated from PSC this past Saturday with a degree in elementary education and elementary special education with a coaching endorsement. He was appointed to serve as the college’s student representative on the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees during the 2008-2009 academic year by Gov. Dave Heineman.

Dunekacke was a student ambassador in the PSC Admissions Office, an office assistant for the Center for Academic and Transition Services and a senior resident assistant. He was also a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an education honor society, and the Peru State Education Association.

Dunekacke was a mentor for the Freshman Experience Program in Mathews Hall where he helped plan education and social programs for students who pledged to live drug and alcohol free. He participated in the Anti-Drinking Task Force, intramural sports and was elected PSC’s Homecoming king. Dunekacke also served as a “Top Cat” leader for the college’s new student weekend festivities and has been on the Dean’s List regularly.

He is the son of Tom and Karen Dunekacke of Elk Creek and Theresa Dunekacke of Table Rock.

Clemente and Dunekacke were each presented with individual trophies and will have their names engraved on a plaque located in the entrance of the Student Center.