Assistant Director of Online Programs for the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER)
Trisha Everhart is the Assistant Director of Online Programs for the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) and has worked with adult learners since 2008. Throughout her career at Penn State, she has consistently advocated for adult students by creating exciting learning opportunities that have enriched LER’s programs. Trisha’s own educational journey has provided experiences that inform her advocacy for students. Trisha is a 2001 graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a concentration in Human Resources. Trisha continued her education as an adult learner, earning a M.Ed. in Higher Education through Penn State’s World Campus. She completed the degree while working full-time and fulfilling her roles as spouse and parent. She is acutely aware of the challenges adult students face in their quest to pursue higher education.
Upon a student’s acceptance to the HRER graduate program, Trisha contacts every new student to arrange for a video conference meeting. She meets with students to provide information and support critical to their success as online students. One of Trisha’s most notable innovations was the creation of peer mentoring groups for new online HRER students. Beyond the ordinary duties of a student adviser, Trisha understands that helping students feel connected to the program can improve their retention and eventual graduation. Consequently, she organized small groups of incoming students who shared common interests and classes. These types of study groups in residence would ordinarily emerge organically; however, Trisha became the catalyst to allow our adult students to create comparable links.
Dr. Debra Roach
Director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Penn State Beaver and Penn State Shenango
Dr. Roach was nominated and selected due to her significant accomplishments related to workforce development opportunities in Beaver County, Pennsylvania and beyond. Her work includes the development of certificates and workshops that provide adult learners with flexible continuing education options offered via evening, weekend, and hybrid modules. Through strategic partnerships with various industry partners, Dr. Roach has also created new content that meets the needs of the region’s employers. For example, she developed and submitted to the Pennsylvania State Licensing Board the first Penn State-offered Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) program in support of strategic initiatives focused on battling the opioid crisis.
Dr. Antone Aboud
Dr. Aboud is the director of online programs for the School of Labor and Employment Relations and a professor of practice in the College of the Liberal Arts.
The Hendrick award recognizes an outstanding administrator University-wide, who has contributed to the success of Penn State’s efforts to serve adult learners.
Dr. Aboud was nominated and selected due to his many tremendous qualities in the support of adult learners. His work includes creating and teaching embedded study-abroad courses catered to adult learners, organizing on-site visits for online students to meet leaders in their respective field, and creating a virtual chapter of the student-group Labor and Employment Relations Association and Society for Human Resources Management. Dr. Aboud also creates opportunities for faculty members to strengthen their education of adult-learners, routinely meeting with leadership teams to address challenges and offering training for faculty members.
Dr. Brian C. Clark
Director of Veteran Programs at Penn State
The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes a senior administrator who has significantly advanced efforts for adult learners at Penn State. Dr. Brian Clark is the recipient of the 2018 Shirley Hendrick Award. Dr. Clark is currently the Director of Veteran Programs at Penn State, having served in different capacities in this office for over 39 years. A veteran himself, Dr. Clark is recognized for his commitment to veteran students for example by serving as the advisor to the Penn State Student Veteran Organization for many years. Dr. Clark also developed the counselor/certifying official model of service for veteran and military students currently used at Penn State, which results in a multi-prong approach to supporting them. He played an integral role in securing availability of federal financial aid for veterans by removing GI Bill benefits as a disqualifier for this aid, and testified on Capitol Hill in this regard.
Dr. Avis L. Kunz
Assistant Dean in the College of the Liberal Arts, Filippelli Institute for e-Education and Outreach
The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes a senior administrator who has significantly advanced efforts for adult learners at Penn State. Dr. Kunz was nominated for her instrumental contributions to the range and quality of degrees that we offer our adult students.
Dr. Daad A. Rizk
Financial Literacy Manager, Penn State World Campus
The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes a senior administrator who has significantly advanced efforts for adult learners at Penn State. Dr. Rizk was nominated for her accomplishments in launching financial literacy initiatives across the University. These efforts include creating “MoneyCounts: A Financial Literacy Series,” which delivers workshops and webinars aimed at addressing issues such as budgeting, credit, debt management, student loans, and repayment strategies.
Dr. Hampton ’Nels’ Shirer
Associate Dean for Education in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes a senior administrator who has significantly advanced efforts for adult learners at Penn State. Dr. Shirer was nominated for his work to make sure all students have access to the same rich resources and educational experiences. He improved access to learning tools for distance learners and was instrumental in making study-abroad more accessible to adult learners.
Dr. Ann Williams
Chancellor, Penn State Lehigh Valley
The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes a senior administrator who has significantly advanced efforts for adult learners at Penn State. Under Dr. Williams’ direction, Penn State Lehigh Valley is now known for providing a wide variety of educational programs – both credit and non-credit – to adult learners across their life span. She appointed a committee on Campus Climate and Organizational Culture to gauge campus morale, identify issues for improvement, and ensure a positive climate for adult learners and veterans. Watch a video featuring Dr. Williams’ accomplishments.
Leslie A. Laing
Assistant Director Adult Learner Programs & Services in Student Affairs, Penn State University Park
Leslie Laing arrived at the University in 2006 and was tasked with serving special populations at University Park. She has expanded this role by becoming a one-stop shop for current adult learners and student veterans. She meets with students individually; attending to their specific issues and concerns, as well as communicates regularly through her list serve of more than 1700 students. Laing has created and hosted workshops to engage and inform adult learners, held forums for student veterans, and serves as an advisor to the ALPS (Adult Learners at Penn State) student organization. Additionally, Ms. Laing is a fundraiser for the Adult Learner Opportunity Fund she founded to assist adult learners interested in participating in education abroad or major-related internships. She hosts the UP Outstanding Adult Student Award Reception annually and actively engages students during Nontraditional Student Recognition Week at Penn State. Among her noteworthy programs is an interactive alcohol education simulation event, as well as a CNED 304 Counseling Ed Course for the training and recruitment of peer mentors for a crisis intervention program and hotline.
Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk
Chancellor, Penn State Berks
While chancellor at Penn State Schuylkill, Hillkirk helped bring together five campuses to collaborate in offering degree programs with the assistance of distance technology. The resulting Eastern Alliance of Penn State Campuses consists of Penn State Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill, Wilkes-Barre and Worthington Scranton. In fall 2010, the Eastern Alliance began offering a joint bachelor of science in business degree, with classes delivered by interactive video during evening and weekend hours and online.
“Like Shirley Hendrick, Dr. Hillkirk has been a true advocate of adult learners, including both credit and non-credit students,” one nominator said. “He has demonstrated this support through innovative program development, the creation of a collaborative delivery system and hands-on involvement.”
Hillkirk was a member of the University’s Commission for Adult Learners in 2008-2009 and chaired the commission in 2009-2010. In 2010-2011, he co-chaired the Faculty Engagement Committee as it focused on a Faculty Senate recommendation that credit by exam and credit by portfolio be expanded. After serving as Penn State Schuylkill chancellor for six years, he was named Penn State Berks chancellor in 2011.
“Since joining the University in 2005,” another nominator wrote, “Dr. Hillkirk has been a champion of adult education. His efforts as chancellor at Penn State Schuylkill, including appointing an adult coordinator and instituting our 30 Plus scholarship program, have resulted in a significant increase in adult students enrolling at the campus.”
Area Representative, Penn State Greater Allegheny
JeanMarie Jacob is making a difference in the lives of adult learners. As the area representative for Penn State’s Continuing Education Department at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Jacob has been committed to improving the adult learner experience. For this commitment, Jacob is being recognized as the recipient of the 2011 Shirley Hendrick Award, presented by the Penn State Commission for Adult Learners. She will receive the award at the annual Faculty/Staff Awards Luncheon on March 23.
“I find my greatest joy in following students along their chosen career paths and sharing in their accomplishments,” said Jacob. “As a returning adult learner myself, I can sympathize with the many challenges and obstacles adults face in their pursuit of obtaining additional learning opportunities.”
Jacob has created noncredit courses and programs tailored to adult learners. In addition, she works with credit students enrolled in the UPMC St. Margaret Licensed Practical Nursing program at UPMC McKeesport. Jacob always makes the effort to personally seek feedback from participants in order to improve her programs and guarantee that students have the tools they need to be successful.
In addition to completion of her master’s degree in adult education, Jacob is the current vice president of the Continuing Education Association of Pennsylvania, as well as a member of the Mon Valley Providers Council, the Regional Chamber Alliance and the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce. The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes an administrator University-wide who has contributed to the success of Penn State’s efforts to serve adult learners. The award is named in memory of Shirley Hendrick (1936–2000), the first recipient and dean for continuing education in the Smeal College of Business and inaugural chair of the Commission for Adult Learners, who advocated for continuing education.
“I hope to continue to share the vision of Shirley Hendrick,” said Jacob, “and serve adult learners in the Pittsburgh area.”