Clark Selected As USI Class Of 2024 President’s Medalist


Shelby L. Clark, who will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and minors in management, public relations and advertising, has been named the recipient of the President’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed to an undergraduate in the University of Southern Indiana Class of 2024.

A committed member of the USI Honors Program and Beta Gamma Sigma, Clark is dedicated to advancing the University’s continuous improvement. Throughout her tenure at USI, she played a crucial role at The Shield, the University’s student-run newspaper. Joining as a Staff Writer in October 2020 during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the newspaper faced a significant decline in leadership and staff, Clark persevered and assumed the role of Editor-in-Chief in May 2021. In this capacity, she led a team of over 40 students, fostering growth in their writing, editing, journalism, social media, business, sales and marketing skills.

Clark revamped The Shield’s staff structure and training processes, contributed to content creation and editing for diverse audiences and platforms, and oversaw the publication of 400 stories, 72 weekly newsletters and 12 monthly print editions, including the first-ever print edition dedicated to the USI Black community.

Notably, as the third two-term Editor-in-Chief for The Shield since its founding in 1968, Clark and her student team produced a 56-page special edition magazine, “Unmasked,” to tell the stories of how COVID-19 affected the USI community. She and her team also planned one of the largest student-organized events of the 2022-23 academic year, Unmasking USI, to commemorate the magazine release and celebrate returning to a “new normal” post-pandemic.

Presently, Clark serves as Publicity Chair of the Asian Student Union (ASU). In this capacity, she assists ASU with event planning, hosting and promotion, as well as assists ASU officers in leading members and providing education about Asian culture. She also serves as Marketing Officer for the inaugural USI Business Professionals of America Chapter, assisting with the foundation of the organization, event planning and execution and the promotion of its events.

In addition, during her time at USI, Clark has served as a Welcome Week Team Leader, assisted with New Student Convocation and hosted several Shield-related events, including awards ceremonies, bonding experiences and media days. She was also on the 2024 Homecoming Court.

Beyond the University, she is an integral part of the Greater Grace Apostolic Church. Clark’s responsibilities include designing media, managing the Church’s online presence, executing marketing campaigns and actively participating in weekly praise team sessions. Her involvement extends to collaboration with the Oakland City Ministerial Association to promote community events.

Clark is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship and was named a Top 10 Student Leader during the 2021-22 academic year. Under her leadership at The Shield, her team won several awards from the University and externally, including from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association in Online, Division II Newspaper and Advertising categories.

Those who recommended her describe her as a naturally collaborative leader with unmatched integrity to every task she touches. Her devotion to, and passion for, USI has left a positive mark on the institution. Other finalists for the President’s Medal from the Class of 2024 included Christina Butler, Omar Elhanafy and Alexis Reed. The Student Affairs Committee of Faculty Senate annually selects the recipient of the President’s Medal.