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Duquesne Doctoral Student Wins National Award for Future Higher Education Leaders

Erin Rentschler, program manager for Duquesne University's Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and a doctoral student in Duquesne's English program, received the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award for 2015.

Rentschler was one of 10 winners chosen from a nationwide pool of more than 270 nominees. 

The award, which is sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, recognizes emerging student leaders in higher education who are committed to developing civic and academic responsibility in themselves and others, and whose work emphasizes teaching and learning.

Rentschler's leadership style is based on respect and ethical principles, said Dr. Magali Cornier Michael, professor of English and Rentschler's dissertation director, who nominated her for the award.

"One of Erin's many strengths is her ability and desire to connect with others and to interact with them respectfully, including a keen attention to those who are disempowered," Michael said. "Her leadership style promotes cultural and racial sensitivity and an ethics of care that is clearly shown in her roles as a teacher, a mentor, an advisor and now program manager with the CTE."

The honor has given Rentschler an opportunity to holistically examine her roles in higher education.

"The award process has given me a chance to step back and reflect on how all the different pieces of my life in the world of higher education-as a graduate student, a teacher and a student/faculty developer-fit together," Rentschler said.

The Mount Lebanon resident received the award on Jan. 22 during the organization's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.