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Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

Biology Professor Sandra Devenny Receives 2020 Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award

Sandra Devenny Photo(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • June 2, 2020)—Delaware County Community College is pleased to announce that Biology Professor Sandra G. Devenny is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. Devenny of Wayne not only teaches biology, but has been instrumental in helping the College secure educational grants and is the co-founder/volunteer faculty advisor for the Women in STEM Club (WiSTEM). WiSTEM holds workshops and provides students with guidance on how to pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Devenny has taught at the College for 20 years. She returned to education after working as a research associate at the Yale School of Medicine and as a senior development scientist at a small biotechnology company in Horsham. “Although my first love was always teaching, I feel that my research experiences in academia and industry have given me a broader perspective on the importance of the education that I’m providing,” Devenny says. “I can share with my students those skills that will serve them well, not only as they further their education, but also when they enter the workforce.”

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Marian McGorry said Devenny was nominated by her colleagues because “you personify the spirit of the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award through your command of your discipline, your demonstrated excellence in the classroom and your knowledge about the advances in the field of biology.” McGorry also noted that Devenny volunteers to assist other colleagues, pursues grant opportunities to benefit students and coordinates student success activities. “Your colleagues appreciate your collaborative spirit, integrity, kindness and sense of humor in your role as an educator and their peer,” McGorry said.

Devenny goes beyond the traditional textbook and classroom lectures and helps students by utilizing the Internet, animations, collaborative learning exercises and self-tests. “Once students have learned how to learn, countless doors open up before them,” she says.

Last year, Devenny was instrumental in jointly organizing the 2019 STEM Scholar Academy program at the Marple Campus along with the Eastern Delaware County Branch of the American Association of University Women. It was the second Academy at the College and featured STEM Scholar hands-on workshops in engineering, biology and chemistry, as well as information about STEM career resources, financial aid and scholarship opportunities. During the day, guest speaker State Representative Jennifer O’Mara shared information on legislative initiatives concerning higher education and student debt. The Academy concluded with a Women in STEM career panel led by Devenny.

In 2018, Devenny was the principal investigator in helping the College receive a $650,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program grant (award #1741847), which the College uses to provide scholarships and support to qualified, academically talented, financially underprivileged students interested in STEM professions. Using the NSF S-STEM grant, the College created the Supporting Talent for Academic Recruitment in STEM (STARS) program, which Devenny directs. STARS provides students with mentoring, tutoring, internship and cooperative education opportunities. It also provides exposure to guest STEM

speakers and careers through seminars and field trips, as well as enhanced assistance for transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

Since 1961, the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award has been given to outstanding faculty members at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Individuals are nominated based on their commitment to the intellectual and social development of students. Their approach to teaching is intellectually challenging, stimulating and accessible, and their efforts extend beyond the classroom. The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award includes a $4,000 stipend. More information about the Lindback Foundation can be found at lindbackfoundation.org.

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