Chancellor McDonald to Receive National Award for Diversity
DuBois – Penn State DuBois Chancellor, Dr. Anita McDonald, will be nationally recognized for her lifelong commitment to diversity by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
McDonald has been chosen to receive the UPCEA Diversity Leadership Award, which she will accept at the UPCEA Annual Conference in Toronto, on April 7, 2011.
According to the UPCEA, the organization supports national and international institutions of higher learning and helps them respond to the growing population of adults and non-traditional students seeking continuous learning opportunities. Their Diversity Leadership Award is granted to leaders in higher education who exhibit and encourage understanding, appreciation and the celebration of diversity, and the championing of equal access to education. This includes those who identify with different cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, religious beliefs, and physical disabilities. The UPCEA Diversity Leadership Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in one or more of the following areas: research, educational programs and services, administrative practice, or organizational commitment.
Dr. McDonald was nominated for the award by her colleagues at Penn State, with supporting letters from Penn State DuBois students. The nominators touted McDonald's accomplishments and devotion to creating and maintaining a diverse learning environment. They explained that due to McDonald’s leadership, a welcoming campus climate for diversity has become a major priority at Penn State DuBois, and has resulted in the doubling of the diverse student population on the primarily rural campus. In addition, international students from China, Morocco and Russia are enrolled. In 2008, McDonald travelled to China with a Trade Mission sponsored by the Pennsylvania Office for International Business Trade to explore partnership options for the recruitment of Chinese students for Penn State DuBois.
Bill Curley, Senior Director of Continuing Education at University Park, noted, "Dr. McDonald is truly deserving of this award. She is totally committed to diversity on all levels, including student body, curriculum, student programming, and community connections."
Additionally, McDonald created the position of Coordinator of International and Multicultural Students Services at the campus, assigning an individual to recruit new students and to provide them with a needed support system. She leads the campus’s Diversity Team, made up of staff, faculty and students, to promote awareness of diversity on campus and in the community. McDonald also encouraged faculty to increase the number of intercultural and international courses offered each semester to broaden the curriculum. She has also initiated efforts to increase scholarship opportunities for first-generation and underrepresented student populations.
McDonald stated, "I am honored by this recognition. I feel helping students understand and appreciate diversity is critical in preparing them for the world in which they will live and work. I share this award with my outstanding faculty and staff at Penn State DuBois who do the teaching, the planning, and the supervision of travel opportunities and other diversity events that impact the lives of our students and community."
McDonald was appointed as the Chancellor at Penn State DuBois in 2003. She previously held senior administrative positions at The University of Arizona and The University of Missouri, St. Louis.
McDonald has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mathematics from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. in education from St. Louis University. She is a former American Council on Education Fellow and attended Harvard’s Management and Leadership Institute.