Shirley Hendrick Award

Trisha Everhart

2021 Recipient

Trisha Everhart

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.

Shirley Hendrick Award

The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes a University employee  whose visionary accomplishments have contributed significantly to foster and to  increase Penn State’s efforts to serve the adult learner. The award is open to any University employees who

  • Demonstrates leadership, support, and advocacy for adult  learners throughout the University community.
  • Champions strategic initiatives to integrate best practices for adult learners into the overall landscape of the University.
  • Encourages innovative activities to foster and inspire a culture of collaboration while improving access to adult learner programs and services.
  • Exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurial and visionary leadership in creating new opportunities for adult learners to access Penn State programs.

Nomination Information and Deadline

Nomination Instructions

  • Complete the online nomination form and two short letters of support to nominate a colleague for the Shirley Hendrick Award.
  • Nominations for the 2022 award will close on December 13, 2021.

Submit a nomination



Typically, an individual will receive the award only once, unless the subsequent nomination demonstrates that  the current work being recognized is new and distinct from the body of work previously recognized.

An individual who has received the award is not eligible to receive it again for five years.

Current members of the Commission for Adult Learners may not nominate individuals during their term of service.

The selection committee may, after reviewing the nominations, elect not to select a  recipient for a given year.

Award selection committee contact:  Dr. Brian Redmond,


Past Award Recipients

Click here to view past recipients of the Shirley Hendrick Award.

Note: All award nominees should be prepared to present at the 2021 Hendrick conference as part of the recognition for the award recipient. Further information will be shared with those individuals by the Hendrick Award and Conference planning committee following award winner selection.