Reception to be held May 12

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Women In Science and Health (WISH) Committee at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center (HSC) will present Ruth Kershner, Ed.D., with its 2011 Excellence Award at 3 p.m. on May 12 in the HSC Learning Center Commons area.  Dr. Kershner is a professor in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Community Medicine.

“Ruth models excellence in leadership, mentorship, teaching and service. She has a wonderful enthusiasm for engaging students in doing meaningful projects addressing real life issues that give them an opportunity to learn organization skills, team skills, leadership skills, love of service and community engagement skills,” Ann Chester, Ph.D., WISH Award Subcommittee member and HSC vice president for social justice, said. “She incorporates these experiences into her classes providing a richness of learning opportunities from classroom to community.”

The award recognizes outstanding achievements by women at the HSC who are characterized by a demonstration of commitment to diversity, education, scholarship/mentorship, service to West Virginia, leadership, research and the mission of the HSC. Current and retired employees of the HSC are eligible for nomination.

“It is my pleasure to be able to nominate such a strong candidate for the Women In Science and Health Excellence Award. Dr. Kershner’s work and vision are truly remarkable and inspiring to her students and colleagues, and she deserves all of the recognition that she has received,” Master of Public Health student Adam Martin wrote in his nomination.

Sera Ann Mathew, a former graduate assistant of Kershner’s echoed that sentiment in a letter of support. “As a student, I was motivated by her drive for public health education that radiates through in each of her classes,” she wrote. “Ruth is truly an inspiration to all her students.”

Kershner has received high honors for her work in the past. In 2008 she was named Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia. She said she’s especially grateful to receive the WISH award.

“I am honored to be in the company of the women who came before me in receiving this recognition. There are many women and men on campus who work diligently to advance health education, medical care and research relative to women,” she said. “Additionally, many of our students share this same passion. As a teacher of women’s health and women and violence, I am grateful for this recognition for my small part in our University’s effort to address health disparities.”

The Committee was established to enhance the advancement of women through professional development programs, to establish an effective network of women faculty, to assess the current status of women faculty in terms of academic rank, years of service and salary plus incentives and to develop and implement a faculty mentoring program for women.

The award is sponsored by the Committee and the WVU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. In addition to the reception, Kershner will receive a certificate and a $2,500 honorarium.

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 05-05-11