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Verne M. Willaman Gateway to the Sciences.

Wendy Hanna-Rose honored with Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award

18 July 2023
Image of Wendy Hanna-Rose

Wendy Hanna-Rose, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, is one of two members of the Eberly College of Science to receive the Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award in 2023. The award was created in 2019 to honor faculty members in the college for their outstanding work in mentoring students, postdocs, and faculty.

Hanna-Rose was nominated for her efforts to engage and mentor graduate students and faculty, especially those from marginalized communities. 

“Through her undeniable passion, service, and leadership, Dr. Hanna-Rose defines and illuminates the word mentor and leader,” said one nominator.

Notably, Hanna-Rose developed the Changing the Future (CTF) leadership training program for women at Penn State, which is designed to empower participants to create a better future for themselves, their colleagues, their students, and Penn State. Hosted annually since 2019, CTF has graduated a total of 111 tenure-line and non-tenure-line women from across ten University Park colleges and six Penn State campuses beyond University Park. A total of 24 Eberly College of Science women have benefited from the program and have since become associate department and department heads, a dean, as well as institute and center directors. One nominator called the course “transformational,” and another said the program “gave me space and support to explore and embrace my leadership goals and values” and that it was a “career-changing experience.”

“Wendy deserves enormous credit for making this program such a success,” said a nominator. “As individuals and as a community, we will be reaping the positive benefits for years.”

Beyond her leadership in developing the Changing the Future program, Hanna-Rose co-founded Leading for Advocacy and Action for a Diverse Leadership (LEAADs) at Penn State. LEEADs creates a network of women faculty who advocate for equity and an improved climate for women and marginalized groups across Penn State. 

“[Wendy’s] leadership has made our faculty community stronger, more inclusive, more successful, more collaborative, and more recognizable in its impact across the University,” said one nominator.

Hanna-Rose has also been recognized for her teaching, earning the 2018 Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching from Penn State, the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award from The National Society of Leadership & Success, and the 2007 C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Eberly College of Science. 

Beyond her dedication to teaching and mentoring faculty, Hanna-Rose excels in the mentorship of graduate students. One nominator described her as patient, supportive, and flexible. Another said she “creates sincere and honest connections” and “is able to achieve a high-level of mentoring success because she is knowledgeable of different experiences, values diversity of perspectives, is nonjudgmental, and able to give constructive feedback and criticism.”

“Even as BMB Department Head, Wendy ensured her students have more than enough opportunities to reach her,” said a nominator. “Wendy develops a unique relationship with each of her graduate and undergraduate students. She allows her students to develop into their own scientist.”