Lebanon Valley College students Garrett Evans ’24, Meg McCracken ’26, D’28, and Gillian Wenhold ’24 received Rising Leader Awards from the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce. The students were recognized during an awards luncheon on April 11 at Mount Hope Barn and Barrel.

Evans, an Exercise Science major, discovered his future career path through research in the Human Performance Lab of the Edward and Jeanne Arnold Health Professions Pavilion. He participated in projects including a federally-funded, collaborative study on ACL knee re-injury, and a pilot project to characterize motor unit recruitment in functional activities like cycling. Along with his coursework, Evans serves as a Resident Advisor and as a recitation leader for Anatomy & Physiology II. After graduating in May, he will attend the University of South Carolina and work toward a career as a researcher in the field of Exercise Science.

Dr. Nicole Gilbertston, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, wrote in her nomination letter, “Garrett leads from the front. He is highly engaged in course content and actively participates in every single lecture and lab. There are many instances in lectures and labs where Garrett would answer questions, volunteer to help carry out assessments, or ask clarifying questions when his peers would be silent or not engaged. With his unwavering enthusiasm and willingness to participate, having Garrett in a classroom is a joy for his professors and fellow students alike.”

McCracken, a Physical Therapy major, participates in numerous LVC student organizations, while maintaining a 3.6 grade-point average (GPA) and working part-time. She belongs to the Physical Therapy, Neuroscience, and Red Cross clubs, plays on the Ultimate Frisbee team, and is a Global Education ambassador. McCracken toured hospitals and clinics and visited historical sites during the College’s first-ever study abroad experience in Poland last summer. She works at the Bulls Head Public House in Lititz and volunteers as a student athletic trainer and children’s ministry leader. Her future goals include working at LVC’s pro-bono physical therapy CURE Clinic and someday beginning her own nonprofit and becoming a dementia-care physical therapist.

Dr. Lindsey Rayman, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, wrote in her nomination letter, “It is evident that Meg demonstrates leadership qualities and wants to be involved in activities that will improve herself as a person and as a citizen in her community. Her professors speak highly of her in the classroom and mention her respectfulness and helpfulness to them and her classmates as distinguishing qualities. She is kind, compassionate, considerate, goal-oriented, and professional who goes above and beyond to be successful as both a student and a member of her community.”

Wenhold, a double major in English and Social Justice and Civic Engagement, boasts a 3.95 cumulative (GPA) and holds numerous leadership roles on campus. She has served as president and treasurer of the Honors Program, and faculty liaison for the Honors Student Council. Wenhold has been a mentor and ally to various groups and organizations of marginalized students in her position as a DEI Fellow. She has also worked as a writing mentor, and a student Ambassador and media manager for the English Department. Wenhold interned with Lancaster Stands Up, a chapter of Pennsylvania Stands Up, which developed her skills and passion for community organizing.

Dr. Jeff Robbins, Professor of Religion, said about Wenhold, “I have worked as a professor and coach at Lebanon Valley College for over 20 years. In all that time, I have never witnessed a student who has grown and transformed so much as a student and a leader. She is the model of intelligence, engagement, kindness, and concern.”