#StudentSpotlight: Bailey Martin-Giacalone receives The Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award

Travis Moody, Staff Reporter

Student Laureate Bailey Martin-Giacalone, a senior biological sciences major, was given an award by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureates for her excellence in scholarship, as well as her involvement on campus and in the community.

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Bailey Martin-Giacalone, a senior biological sciences major and student laureate, was given an
award by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureates for excellence and achievement.

The Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award, which Martin-Giacalone received, is the highest award for students in the State of Illinois.
Martin-Giacalone described the award as having two different divisions: an “adult division,” the Order of Lincoln, or the Citizens of Tomorrow, and a “student division,” or the Citizens of Tomorrow.

“It feels silly to call it an ‘adult division’ because I am an adult, but that includes the working professionals and people who excel in their career,” Martin-Giacalone said.
The Citizens of Tomorrow includes current college students who stand out from their peers.

“I was very surprised,” Martin-Giacalone said. “Not in a bad way, but I was very honored. I didn’t understand how prestigious the award is. There are so many people on campus who are so deserving of the award, and I was very honored and humbled to be selected to represent Eastern.”

One student is chosen from each of Illinois’ universities to represent their college as a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
The award was originally given to citizens who exemplified qualities such as citizenship, humanitarianism and scholarship.

“I think one of the biggest factors for me was my academics as well as my campus involvement,” Martin-Giacalone said. “Part of it has to do with character as well, and being close to certain faculty members on campus.”

Martin-Giacalone participates on campus through being a senior staff assistant in Housing and Dining; interning in medical humanities for the Center for Humanities; performing undergraduate research over the summer through internships at University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Purdue University; and playing oboe in the music department.

She also does mission trips at the Newman Catholic Center, serves on the Newman board and will be a sight leader for the Alternative Spring Break.
“It’s all helped me to meet so many people, build my skills and help to build my confidence,” Martin-Giacalone said. “All of these things have helped to give me such a well-rounded background.”
Martin-Giacalone was nominated to receive the award by Honors College adviser Sara Schmidt. From there, her nomination was reviewed by the award’s committee, where Martin-Giacalone was then selected.

Martin-Giacalone said the student she sat by at the ceremony was one of many people who stood out to her and made an impact on her.
“He was the one person representing all of the community colleges in Illinois,” Martin-Giacalone said. “He’s a non-traditional student who just wanted to get his Associates degree, but now he’s applying to Harvard. He seemed very driven; every student there was.”

Martin-Giacalone said she plans to attend grad school out of state, but hopes to come back to Illinois after graduating from grad school.

“I’m very grateful, and I don’t think any of the experiences or connections that I’ve made would be as rewarding without the support of faculty I’ve met here and connected with, as well as the students,” Martin-Giacalone said. “Eastern sets it up for students to succeed academically and socially, and it’s very humbling to be able to represent the university in that way.”

Travis Moody can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].