The new Trustees are Brenda J. Chapman-Lima, of Mill
Valley, Calif.; James R. Glenn of Chicago; Rikeesha Phelon of
Springfield; the Rev. Glenn Shelton of Lincoln; Phillip W. Styles,
Jr., of Mableton, Georgia; and Dr. Amir John Wahab, M.D., of
Lincoln. Three of the trustees – Chapman, Phelon and Styles – are
graduates of Lincoln College.
“These six new Lincoln College Trustees continue a tradition of
outstanding leadership for the College,” said Dr. David Gerlach,
President of Lincoln College. “Lincoln College is on a voyage of
rediscovery, as we return to our traditional role of offering
baccalaureate and master degree programs – just as the college did
for more than a half century after its founding.
“It has been through the creative and dedicated leadership of our
Trustees that Lincoln College has been able make major progress
toward achieving that goal. Higher education faces many challenges
in Illinois today, but I am absolutely certain that our board, both
new and continuing members, will provide the leadership and insights
we need to take on the challenges of the coming years,” President
The new Trustees begin their service at the September 20, 2017,
Board meeting. Lincoln College, which has campuses in Normal and
Lincoln, recently held it 150th commencement exercise. The College
was the first institution named in honor of then-President Abraham
Lincoln and the only institution named after Lincoln while he was
The Lincoln College Board of Trustees appoints the President and
major administrative officers of the college. Board committees
oversee finances, development, planning, academic affairs and
student services, among other duties.
Here is a look at the backgrounds of the six new board members
Brenda J. Chapman-Lima (Class of ’82)
Chapman-Lima is an Oscar-winning writer, animator and director. She
grew up in Beason, Illinois and graduated from Lincoln College in
1982, before moving to California, where she earned a Bachelor of
Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of Arts (CalArts).
Shortly after graduation, Chapman-Lima landed a job at Walt Disney
Feature Animation Studios, where she worked on such well known
projects as Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast
and The Lion King. After nearly eight years at Disney, she left to
help launch DreamWorks Animation Studios. While at DreamWorks, she
became the first woman to direct an animated feature film for a
major studio, when she directed the 1998 film, The Prince of Egypt.
She later joined Pixar Animation Studios, where she conceived and
was the first director of the Academy Award-winning Disney-Pixar
Chapman-Lima has been instrumental in developing Lincoln College as
a future site for Camp Reel Stories, a week-long camp for girls aged
13-19 that seeks to develop the next generation of women in the film
industry. Camp Real Stories has held workshops in California over
the past several years and bringing the workshop to the Lincoln
College campus would make it the first camp outside of California.
James R. Glenn
Glenn is a litigation and trial attorney in Chicago, where he
concentrates his practice on employment and traditional labor
litigation, compliance, training and counseling. His practice covers
all aspects of the employment relationship, including discipline,
termination, pay practices, internal investigations, union
organizing and discrimination, non-competes, trade secrets,
employment handbooks, organizational mergers, employment policies
and practices, NLRB and collective bargaining matters, and OSHA and
Department of Labor compliance.
He has served as a judge in the American Bar Association Appellate
Advocacy Competition and the Chicago Bar Association moot court
competition. He has served as a trial team coach for the John
Marshall Law School and serves as a guest lecturer at the University
of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations. Prior to
entering private practice, Glenn served as a judicial clerk to the
Associate Chief Judges of the National Labor Relations Board. Prior
to becoming a lawyer, Glenn graduated from General Electric’s Human
Resources Leadership Develop Program and served as an HR Manager in
both union and non-union plant environments and plant startups
Glenn earned his law degree from the University of Illinois College
of Law, where he was editor-in chief of the University of Illinois
Journal of Law, Technology & Policy, published on social medial and
employee Section 7 rights, and served as a member of the national
trial team. He earned his master’s degree from the University of
Illinois School of Labor and Employee Relations, and his bachelor’s
degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, graduating magna cum laude
and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
Rikeesha Phelon (Class of ’97)
Phelon, of Springfield, is president and chief operating officer of
Phelon Public Strategies, a communications firm specializing in
earned media strategies to engage audiences and build public
support. Phelon Public Strategies partners with coalitions and
corporations to align communications goals with business objectives
and nonprofit missions. She advises clients on the public relations
impact of leadership decisions, strategic plans and policy
initiatives. Her firm drives key message strategies through earned
media, special events and marketing decisions.
Prior to founding her own firm, Phelon served as
Press Secretary to the Illinois Senate President and Special Advisor
to the Chief of Staff. She has also served as a consultant to the
Democratic Governors Association, the Senior Communications Manager
for the Illinois Office of Communications and Information in the
Department of Central Management Services and was a Media Relations
Manager for the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.
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In 2016, Phelon received the Young Alumni Achievement Award from
Lincoln College. She received her Associate of Arts degree from Lincoln College,
before attending the University of Illinois at Springfield, where she earned her
bachelor’s degree in political studies and her master’s degree in
Rev. Glenn Shelton
Rev. Shelton has served as Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Lincoln since
He co-founded the Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholarship at Lincoln College; has
been the chief of staff for the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Congress
of Christian Education; is the Forth Vice-President of the Baptist General State
of Illinois; and has served on the Woodriver Baptist District Association since
1964 and is currently the scholarship chairman.
He attended Lincoln Land Community College and Sangamon State University (now
the University of Illinois at Springfield). He received his theological training
from United Theological College and Seminary and the Moody Bible Institute.
Rev. Shelton was an alderman for the City of Lincoln for six years and is a past
member of the Lincoln Planning Committee. He also served on the Lincoln YMCA
Board and Logan County Habitat for Humanity, where he was chairman of the Family
Selection Committee. He currently is chairman of the Logan County E-911 Board of
Rev. Shelton has had a varied career, having served in the United States Air
Force from 1958-1962 and in the Air Force Reserves from 1962-1964. He has been a
postal clerk, a welder and a unit director for the Boys and Girls Clubs in
Springfield. He spent most of his career at the Illinois Department of Human
Services, retiring as Assistant Deputy Director after 25 years of service.
Phillip W. Styles, Jr. (Class of ’87)
Styles co-leads Willis Towers Watson Diverse Solutions Network, a practice
focused on delivering new organic growth to the firm through powerful strategic
partnerships with diverse owned businesses. Styles manages client-focused teams
through the transition process as a Willis Towers Watson client.
Style’s client expertise ranges from public entities as well as Fortune 500
clients. He has deep expertise within the supplier diversity space and has been
recognized nationally on numerous occasions for his efforts.
Styles previously served as the Director – Strategic Alliances for Aon
Corporation, having played a key role in the creation of Aon Cornerstone,
connecting carrier and broker relationships with minority-owned joint-ventures.
Styles has also worked for Beajus, Inc., Kraft Foods and Pagenet Corporation.
Styles has received numerous honors for his leadership and involvement. He has
been named a Champion of Diversity, by Diversity Plus Magazine; was the 2011
Honorary Chair of Chicago MED Week; was named Man of the year by the Chicago
Defender in 2011; and served as Chairman of the Board of The Support Group from
2009-2011, a non-profit organization that helps develop young leaders and
provides alternatives to gangs, guns and drugs. Recently he was one of 50
celebrities and influencers honored by The Made Man, a national multimarket
corporate and community initiative designed to showcase philanthropy and honor
the extraordinary achievements of notable African American male influencers from
various walks of life.
In 2017, Styles received the Alumni Achievement Award from Lincoln College. A
talented athlete, Styles came to Lincoln College to play basketball under Coach
Allen Pickering. Upon graduation from Lincoln College, Styles earned his
bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern
Amir John Wahab, M.D.
Dr. Wahab practices family medicine with Memorial Physician Services in Lincoln
and is on the Board of Directors at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, where he
has also been on the medical staff since 1997. He serves on a number of
committees for the hospital, including chairman of the Executive Committee,
vice-chairman of Clinical Operations, a member and former vice-chairman of the
M&M Committee and a member of the Utilization Review Committee – Critical
He has been a Medical Review Officer since 2007 and is certified in Advanced
Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) as well as the Certified Master’s Program in Intense
Pulsed Light (IPL).
Dr. Wahab earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Rhodes College,
Memphis, Tenn., and his Doctor of Medicine from Ross University School of
In medical school, he trained at a number of Illinois hospitals, mostly in the
Chicago area, including Central Community Hospital, Norwegian American Hospital,
Christ Hospital and West Suburban Hospital, training in psychiatry, radiology,
internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology,
pulmonary disorders and gastro-enterology. Dr. Wahab’s residency was at Southern
Illinois University in Springfield in family medicine. Upon completion of his
residency, he came to Lincoln, where he has worked for the past 20 years.
Public Relations and Media Manager