A South Jacksonville attorney has been honored as Lincoln Land Community College’s 2020 Honored Alumni. Tyson Manker was announced last night at Lincoln Land’s Virtual Graduation ceremony as the recipient of the award after being nominated by a former teacher who later became a colleague at LLCC.
Manker says that his relationship with Speech Teacher Brenda Baptist-Protz developed from student to colleague to friend over his time at Lincoln Land, and he was honored that she would think to nominate him for the award. Manker says their friendship really started when he was selected as LLCC’s 2009 Student Commencement Speaker at graduation and Protz helped him fine tune the speech after taking one of her speech classes. “It really is just an honor to be her friend,” Manker said.
Manker says that he doesn’t want his award to take away from the accomplishments of LLCC’s Class of 2020. “If anything, I don’t want to take away from the graduates and their successes because ultimately graduation is all about them. I would like to say congratulations to all of the Lincoln Community College graduates this year. It’s been a challenging year for everyone and to persevere until the end of the school year is something that each graduate can and should be very proud of. I’m just honored to kind of share the moment with them. I wish them well for any successes they may have in the future. I’m confident for each of them.”
Manker went on to earn a Bachelors of Science at the University of Illinois before attending Western Michigan law school, where he graduated in 2014. Manker returned to Jacksonville in 2014 and taught Business Law at Lincoln Land until 2018. Since 2018, Manker has traveled the United States advocating for veterans and currently has a federal class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Navy seeking benefits for over 100,000 veterans with PTSD, TBI, and MST. He is currently finishing a book on Veteran Benefits.