Associate Professor of Communication Lance Lippert has been named the winner of the Outstanding University Service Award. Assistant Professor of Nursing Stephen Stapleton and Assistant Professor of Special Education Nicole Uphold have been awarded Service Initiative Awards. All will be honored at the Founders Day Convocation on Thursday, Feb. 19.

image of Lance Lippert

Lance Lippert

Lippert has worked diligently with service toward the American Democracy Project (ADP), developing an interdisciplinary minor and two courses. He has also served as an advisor for the minor and received grants to support pedagogy in civic engagement. Along with his work with ADP, Lippert has served as internship coordinator for Communication Studies, been part of several search committees and played a critical role in developing the School’s Alumni Advisory Board.

At the University level, Lippert served as the report coordinator for Illinois State’s NCAA Accreditation Team, and served on numerous University committees. Professionally, he has held numerous offices in regional and national associations, including the National Communication Association’s Communication Needs of Students At-Risk Commission and chair of the Central States Communication Association’s Organizational and Professional and Health Communication Interest Groups.

Locally, Lippert is involved in a number of community organizations, including the Optimists Club, the Central Illinois chapter of the American Society of Training and Development, United Way McLean County and he volunteers for the Epiphany Jr. High speech team.

image of Stephen Stapleton

Stephen Stapleton

Shortly after Stapleton’s initial appointment at Illinois State, he was named the Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) representative to Educating Illinois, and then to the Presidential Search Committee. In addition to these service appointments, he has served on the Academic Planning Committee.

Stapleton was part of a multidisciplinary, collaborative discussion regarding the care of McLean County and surrounding area residents living with and dying from cancer. This work informed his research, teaching and service initiatives at his college, and developed an important partnership with the Community Cancer Center.

He has made longstanding contributions to the leadership of the Illinois State Council of the Emergency Nurses Association where he has served as president and is the immediate past president. He has also served at the national level for the organization. His work has been instrumental with the Board of Certification of Emergency Nursing in the maintenance of the emergency nursing certification. Based on his significant contributions in the emergency nursing arena, service, teaching and research, he will have the honor of being inducted into the Academy of Emergency Nursing.

image of Nicole Uphold

Nicole Uphold

Uphold has served on multiple curriculum revision committees, mentored master’s students capstone projects, served on search committees, and has been a member of the Undergraduate Program Advisory Council Planning Committee. She served on a department committee tasked with revising the undergraduate curriculum to align with changes made to the education field. She took the lead in developing one course and served on the subcommittee for three other courses.

With the Illinois Transition Institute, Uphold takes an active part in helping to plan and implement a program for school districts and cooperatives to assist their students with disabilities to successfully transition from school to adult life.

Uphold also serves as the advisor to the Students Serving Individuals with Disabilities, a registered student organization. The student organization has over 80 members and they provide volunteer opportunities, raise awareness about disabilities to the campus community, and fundraise both for the SSID organization and local disability-related organizations.