Eichner named OUTstanding Service Award winner for 2019-20 academic year

Penn State Lehigh Valley adviser honored

Anna Eichner has received the OUTstanding Service Award from Penn State’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD) for her commitment to the Penn State Lehigh Valley LGBTQ+ community. Each year, the CSGD presents awards to Penn State students, staff and faculty who are interested in and have shown a commitment to the Penn State LGBTQ+ community.

two  people at a station at an activities fair

Anna Eichner, an academic adviser and coordinator of DUS students at Penn State Lehigh Valley, has served as the PRIDE club adviser for three years. Eichner worked a PRIDE club table at a recent Activities Fair at the Lehigh Valley campus with a club member.

Credit: Pam Fleck

Award winners have proven outstanding commitment and service regarding sexual and gender diversity at Penn State and have contributed to a climate of inclusion and belonging for the broader LGBTQ+ community.

Eichner, an academic adviser and coordinator of Division of Undergraduate Studies students, has served as the PRIDE club adviser for three years, and offers support to students through one-on-one conversations, sharing resources and facilitating bi-weekly meetings covering a variety of topics, including “Why do they call it PRIDE?”, “But how do you know?” and “Do labels matter?”

She has led Lunch and Learn sessions on a variety of LGBTQ+ topics, including “Love is love,” and, working with another colleague, organized a moving Transgender Day of Remembrance Display on our campus. She assisted with and facilitated Coming Out day and PRIDE month tabling events for the campus community.

As a campus representative attending Penn State’s CSGD meetings, Eichner brings back resources to share and new ideas that she helps to implement for students, faculty and staff. She facilitates Safer People Safer Places trainings for staff, and Ally trainings for students with a keen awareness, openness and focus on building a safe and supportive campus climate for members of the LGBTQ community.

Nominators said Eichner is always open to questions and discussion on any LGBTQ+ topic and responds with interest and kindness to all members of the campus community. In her New Student Orientation (NSO) leader training, she shares the importance of inclusion for all and offers guidance on pronoun use and understanding.

The Student Affairs team is grateful for the time and dedication Eichner shares with our students.

“Anna is an amazing presence on our campus, offering programs to students and staff to educate and grow awareness. Most importantly, Anna is a constant source of support to students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Her knowledge, understanding and kindness are invaluable.”

-- Pam Fleck, assistant director of student affairs, Penn State Lehigh Valley

Eichner reflected on what has stood out to her the most so far.

“As I’ve been more visible on campus, more students, faculty and staff approach me and want to talk. Members of the LGBTQ community are in our classrooms, on our sports team, and serve as our student leaders. We all need to be aware of it,” Eichner said.

To learn more, visit the CSGD website.


Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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