Eight Eastern alumni receive awards Saturday night

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

On Saturday night, eight Eastern alumni were given awards by Eastern’s Alumni Association at their annual Alumni Awards.

Jamie Enge, an alum from the class of 2011, was awarded the 2022 Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award on Saturday night.

The Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award is granted to alumni who are 35 or younger and has “excelled” in a new career or public service.

Enge is the regional director of postsecondary success for KIPP Forward Chicago since June.

Previously, Enge was the director of postsecondary success for OneGoal, a non-profit organization in Chicago to help young students have an opportunity to attend a postsecondary education.

At Eastern, Enge was in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the director of academic affairs in the Black Student Union his senior year as a family and consumer sciences major.

Enge is the co-founder and chief operating officer for The Collegiate Black Male Network, an organization to help young Black men graduate through a mentoring program.

Enge is a volunteer director of college coaching and counseling at PeerForward, a non-profit meant to help youth from low-income households improve their lives and future by providing opportunities for careers and colleges.

Enge was awarded the 2020 Counselor of the Year from the Illinois Counseling Association.

Enge was also awarded the 2020 Counselor of the Year from the Association of Child and Adolescent Counseling in Learning.

Currently, Enge is working towards getting a doctoral degree in counseling at Regent University in Virginia.

Deborah Will, an alum from the class of 1993, was awarded the 2022 Distinguished Educator Award on Saturday night.

The Distinguished Educator Award is granted to an alum who has distinguished themselves in the K-12 education field.

Will is the instructional materials center coordinator at Zion-Benton Township High School in St. Zion, Ill. since 2001.

Will is the president of the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She also has received the Lifetime Achievement Award through the association as well.

Randy Johnson, a graduate from the classes of 1974 and 1975, was awarded the 2022 Louis V. Hencken Alumni Service Award.

The Louis V. Henchen Alumni Service Award is granted to alumni who have shown considerable voluntary service to Eastern. In 2007, the award was renamed in honor of the outgoing Eastern president at the time.

Johnson is the president of Valley Vistas and AZ Home Innovations, a real estate company in Scottsdale, Ariz.

During his time at Eastern, Johnson was a resident assistant, graduate assistant, Douglas Hall, now Powell-Norton Hall, director and associate director of housing.

Five alumni were awarded the 2022 Distinguished Alumnus/a Award on Saturday night.

The Distinguished Alumnus/a Award is an award granted to alumni who have distinguished themselves in either academic or literacy fields.

The five alumni awarded were class of 2003 graduate Henry Domercant, class of 1983 graduate Dawn Johnson, class of 1973 graduate J. Thomas Long, class of 2006 graduate Steve Rich and class of 1982 graduate Sal Viviano.

Domercant has had a successful career in professional basketball. He was awarded the 2002 OVC Player of the Year and is one of 11 players in the NCAA Division 1 to rank in the top five in scoring in the nation for three or more seasons.

Domercant is currently on his second season coaching the Windy City Bulls in the NBA G League.

Dawn was a journalist alum from Eastern and reporter for the Decatur Herald & Review until she attended law school.

Long was an attorney in public and private practice for corporate planning and taxation. He died on Jan. 28 at 71.

Rich worked for Eastern for 28 years until he retired in June. Rich got his masters in education administration at Eastern in 2006.

Rich most recently was the assistant vice president for university advancement and executive director of the EIU Alumni Association.

Viviano is an award winning actor and singer with many Broadway and off-Broadway credits and appearances on film.


Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].