Josh PritsolasSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Joshua Pritsolas, a senior geography major from Glen Carbon, has been honored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois for his excellence in curricular and extra curricular activities. He was among the state’s most outstanding students celebrated at the annual Student Laureate Convocation on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Old Sate Capitol in Springfield.

The Lincoln Academy’s Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Awards are presented to seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from the community colleges in Illinois.

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“Civic engagement, as exemplified by President Lincoln, is crucial to our democracy and the process of our government,” said Governor Bruce Rauner, upon the announcement of this year’s top students. “The young men and women receiving this recognition today embody the spirit of President Lincoln through their hard work and dedication to their schools and communities.”

Pritsolas expressed his absolute humbleness upon receiving the prestigious recognition.

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“I have always attempted to do more than what is expected of me, from others and from myself, not as a means of acquiring praise or recognition, but rather by virtue of selflessness and personal betterment,” he said. “For the faculty of my department to nominate me and the deans of the University to find me adequate and deserving of representing SIUE to receive this award, I am truly thankful and humbled.”

Pritsolas will earn his bachelor’s in geography from the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences in December. He then plans to focus on remote sensing in the realm of agricultural applications by pursuing geographical studies in the SIUE Graduate School.

“Beyond my graduate school plans, I am hopeful to pursue my doctoral degree in geography,” Pritsolas explained. “Long-term, my intent is to become a professor or find employment in an industry that will utilize my knowledge and experiences in remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) technology.”

The state’s student laureates receive a Student Laureate Medallion, a $1,000 educational grant and a certificate of achievement. This is the 41st year Lincoln Academy has celebrated students’ excellence in Illinois.

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