Laing honored with Hendrick Award for service to adult learners

March 21, 2013


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Leslie Laing, assistant director of adult learner programs and services in the Division of Student Affairs, has been honored with the 2013 Shirley Hendrick Award, presented by the Penn State Commission for Adult Learners for service to adult learners.

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, dean for continuing education in the Smeal College of Business and inaugural chair of the Commission for Adult Learners, who advocated for continuing education.

As coordinator of adult learner services, Laing strives to ensure that adult learners have the same opportunities and success as traditional students. Her efforts encompass everything from arranging for specialized technology classes to encouraging involvement in co-curricular activities to coordinating gatherings for family members of students. She is the founder of the Adult Learner Opportunity Fund at Penn State.

One nominator said, “Leslie is a staunch advocate for adult learners and veterans, and she has worked tirelessly to make sure these students have the information, access to resources and the support they need to be successful in their academic endeavors.”

Each spring, Laing highlights the accomplishments of adult learners with a special awards ceremony.

“Leslie uses her own lived experience as an adult learner to inform her practice,” a nominator said. “She strikes an excellent balance as far as challenging and supporting students. She believes that adult learners can achieve their goals and do excellent work, and she holds them to a high standard.

Last Updated April 19, 2017