UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Brittany Hawkins, a 2008 graduate of the College of Health and Human Development with a degree in Biobehavioral Health, is one of this year's recipients of the Penn State Alumni Association's Alumni Achievement Award. The awards will be presented on campus this spring.
Biobehavioral Health graduate receives Alumni Achievement Award
Brittany Hawkins is recognized for her work with Pathways Community Living, an agency she co-founded to support adults with intellectual disabilities
This honor recognizes outstanding career accomplishments of prominent alumni age 35 and younger.
“Being chosen as an Alumni Achievement Awardrecipient was delightful to hear,” Hawkins said. “I was truly surprised and humbled by the fact that the University feels that my work is deserving of an award of this magnitude. There is a lot of meaning behind receiving this award, but most importantly this a moment I will always cherish.”
Hawkins is co-founder and CEO of Pathways Community Living, an agency in Pittsburgh that provides support for adults with intellectual disabilities. Pathways offers residential and behavioral support, culinary programs, therapy, 24-hour assistance, and a variety of other services.
“Brittany is a wonderful example of how our alumni are making a real impact in their communities,” said Abby Diehl, assistant dean for alumni relations and special projects in the College of Health and Human Development. “We look forward to having her share her experiences with students this spring when she returns to campus to receive the Alumni Achievement Award.”
Hawkins’ role at Pathways Community Living involves major oversight, such as maintaining the health and safety of individuals within agency and making sure the company is following state regulations.
“There is something truly special knowing that the work you have done is important to your University,” Hawkins said. “The Department of Biobehavioral Health provided opportunities to engage in insightful classroom and educational experiences that shaped my level of confidence in this field. Moreover, I saw firsthand professors and the dean leading the college with such excellence that it only continued to inspire me to reach for excellence. Within the College of Health and Human Development I saw exceptional examples of intelligence, grace, and leadership all around from people who inspired me as a leader.”
Last year Hawkins established the Brittany R. Hawkins Open Doors Scholarship in the College of Health and Human Development to support students who are nearing graduation but face unexpected financial hardships.
“The scholarship was designed to ensure that students are able to maintain full access to the academic preparation they rightfully deserve, in their commitment to pursue their dreams,” Hawkins said.
In addition to her work at Pathways, Hawkins serves on the Western Pennsylvania Montessori School Board and is currently working toward a master’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Pittsburgh.