The association honored Henninger for her advocacy on behalf of women in higher education and for serving as a role model for students and fellow educators, said Janet Fife-LaFrenz, AAUW college/university relations director. Henninger was nominated by fellow AAUW members and Wartburg colleagues.
“They did this without my knowing, so I see it as an honor just to be nominated by colleagues,” said Henninger, who is retiring this spring after 33 years at the college.
Kim Folkers, associate professor of marketing and president of the AAUW’s Waverly branch, said Henninger was an obvious choice for this year’s nomination.
“She has mentored and advised numerous female students in the biology department,” Folkers wrote. “In addition, she has served as a role model and mentor to many female faculty members across a variety of departments at Wartburg College, including many female faculty in the STEM fields.”
Henninger also is actively involved in the community, helping women advocate for themselves following a breast cancer diagnosis, coordinating teams for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and serving on the Waverly Health Center Patient Partnership Council and Plain Language Committee.
The award, given annually to one female faculty member in Iowa, recognizes exemplary contributions toward creating a climate of gender equality in education through excellence in teaching, continual efforts to develop new understandings and competencies in one’s discipline and outstanding leadership in service that addresses the needs of female students.
The AAUW, founded in 1881, is the nation’s leading voice in promoting equity and education for women and girls.