Higginson honored by Commission for Women

April 16, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Linda Higginson has played a vital role in the success and well-being of countless students, colleagues, friends, and community members. For her contributions as a leader, confidante, guide, and coach, Higginson received the University’s 2009 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award during the Commission for Women’s annual luncheon on April 10, at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

According to Michele Peese, nominator and staff assistant within the Division of Undergraduate Studies, “Dr. Higginson plays a big role in modeling the attributes of professionalism by showing all of us how to gracefully offer constructive feedback, genuinely respect the ideas and efforts of all colleagues, and be trustworthy in our words and actions.

“I feel forever changed by Dr. Higginson,” she said, “as I know countless others do.”

In a letter of support for Higginson’s nomination, Nancy Herron, associate dean for academic programs for Commonwealth Campuses, wrote, “If a call was made seeking additional endorsement, the review committee would be swamped by notes from the many students, mentees, professional colleagues, and supervisors who could and would attest to her humanity, caring, and hard work on behalf of others.”

Anne Ard, director of the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, said, “[Linda] has shared her gifts to make our community a better place, more responsive to the needs of all who live here.” Colleague Linda Enseki wrote, “Linda is that once-in-a-lifetime person you have the good fortune to meet and who makes an enduring contribution to your professional and personal well being.” Executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies and associate dean for advising, Eric White, added, “She gives freely of herself, stopping to take the time to listen and clearly showing genuine interest and compassion.”

Accepting the Schraer Award, Higginson, who is assistant dean for advising in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, spoke of the importance of teamwork and cited interaction with others as the foundation of her “best ideas and most skillful ways to help reach decisions.”

Introducing her father and thanking him for being a lifelong mentor, Higginson said an enduring lesson she learned from him is “how important it is to repay others’ kindnesses and support…I hope I can pay tribute to those preceding me by ‘paying it forward’ in the same way they, and so many others, have done for me.”

The Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award was created in June 1994 in memory of Rosemary Schraer, former associate provost for Penn State. The award annually honors one University employee who exemplifies Schraer’s giving of herself as a mentor.

Last Updated January 10, 2015