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.”