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.