Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia earns 2020 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award

March 27, 2020

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and clinical professor of law at Penn State Law at University Park, is the recipient of the 2020 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award.

The Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award, established in 1994 by family, friends and colleagues of Rosemary Schraer, a former associate provost of Penn State, is presented each year to a University employee who exemplifies Schraer’s giving of herself as a mentor and who has voluntarily, over a period of time, helped others recognize and achieve their potential. Consideration is given to employees who have a record of outstanding mentoring service that goes beyond the requirements of their employment duties and responsibilities.

Colleagues said they watch in awe as Wadhia mentors her immigration law students while working tirelessly and resourcefully on challenging and ever-changing immigration law issues. They said the positive impacts of her work extend to her students, her community and the nation.

Wadhia, who joined Penn State in 2008, created and directs the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. There, she tasks her students with providing legal support for immigrants facing removal before immigration judges, assisting asylum seekers in detention facilities.

The clinic also educates the community on issues immigrants face and worked with the Borough of State College on a resolution proclaiming the borough an inclusive and welcoming place for all residents. The clinic has also worked with university police and the State College Police Department to train officers on immigration issues.

“Anyone who meets Professor Wadhia is astonished with her work ethic and motivation,” a nominator said. “Even though she is extremely busy, she always makes time for her students, clients and the community. During my time at the Center for Immigrants’ Right Clinic, I felt extremely supported by her. She strives to help everyone who walks through the clinic’s doors. Her commitment to helping those in vulnerable situations goes beyond measures. I’m proud to call her my mentor.”

Wadhia co-founded the Penn State Law Minority Mentor Program in 2015. This program pairs minority law students with faculty and alumni mentors to help the students achieve success.

Beyond her role in the clinic, Wadhia also teaches courses in immigration law and asylum and refugee law. Since her arrival at Penn State in 2008, dozens of her former students have gone on to practice to immigration law.

She has written numerous articles on immigration and is the author of two books: “Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases,” and “Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump,” both published by NYU Press.

Last Updated March 27, 2020