Naperville Native Selected Benedictine University’s Lincoln Academy Student Laureate

November 2, 2021

Maryam SalikMaryam Salik of Naperville, IL has been named Benedictine University’s Lincoln Academy Student Laureate to be honored at the Academy’s 57th annual Convocation at the Chicago History Museum on November 6.

The Lincoln Academy of Illinois presents the award to a student from each of the four-year, degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois. As a 2021 Lincoln Laureate, Salik will receive a certificate signed by Governor Pritzker, a medallion, a $500 stipend, and a challenge coin that encourages the students to live in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, providing leadership that inspires and transforms the world and to model integrity, courage, honesty, and empathy to others.

According to Benedictine’s Honors Committee, Salik exemplifies the Academy’s criteria of “overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities,” and amply demonstrates the Lincoln Laureate characteristics of courage, empathy, honesty, and integrity, and has shown strong leadership not only at the University but also in the wider community, especially via her work raising awareness for people experiencing domestic violence and victims of sexual assault.

As president of FemPower, a Benedictine University student organization, Salik hosted fundraising events such as art galleries, clothing drives, bake sales, and educational events during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Salik also facilitated Benedictine’s participation in Take Back the Night, a national event in supporting sexual assault survivors. As a certified Peer Prevention Educator on campus, in the Violence Prevention initiative, she helped facilitate teaching events, community outreach, and advocacy that aims to prevent and respond to sexual assault, dating violence, stalking prevention, diversity and inclusion.

Among her academic accomplishments, Salik is actively engaged in a research project with faculty member Dr. James Fackenthal. Her research focuses on BRCA1/2 tumor suppressor gene mutations commonly found in hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.

Salik is a Health Science major with a Psychology minor. In her four years at Benedictine University, Salek has maintained a cumulative GPA of over 3.9 and has made the deans’ list every year. She plans to be a physician, and to be an advocate for others and an active member in her community.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Benedictine University was also named the second-safest campus in the country and safest campus in Illinois by in 2019. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about the University, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

Marketing and Communications

Marketing and Communications
(630) 829-1948

Benedictine University Lisle Campus