Nursing alumna gives back to the University

Wendy Edgar received the Kay and Ernie Salvino Volunteer of the Year Award for her service to the Penn State Alumni Association

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Wendy Edgar is a nurse, a mentor and a friend. She’s also a Penn State alumna who devotes her time to finding ways to support and connect Penn State students and alumni through her involvement on various boards and committees.  

Edgar, a nurse practitioner at Jefferson Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, currently serves on the executive committee of the Health and Human Development Alumni Society Board. She is also co-chair of the Probationary Nursing Alumni Society, to which the Penn State Alumni Association is expected to grant a charter later this year.

She was president of the Washington-Greene County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association from 2008-2013, and currently serves as vice president of the chapter.

“I love being a nurse practitioner as well as a mom,” Edgar said. “I am very involved with volunteering in my kids’ schools, helping out with various committees and events, which I feel is so important. And in my professional life I wear many hats, as I have many part-time jobs. I feel it’s so important to give back in every way that I can. I guess it’s the nurse in me always wanting to give back.”

Abigail Diehl, assistant dean for alumni relations and special projects in the College of Health and Human Development and director of its Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), said Edgar has excelled at promoting alumni involvement through her active engagement with many Penn State alumni groups.

“Wendy always strives to connect alumni with the university, to connect alumni to each other, and to bring alumni together in support of students,” she said. “She has made a tremendous impact on our alumni engagement efforts through her enthusiasm and dedication.”

As a result of her many years of service and giving back, Edgar received the 2015 Kay and Ernie Salvino Volunteer of the Year Award, presented by the Penn State Alumni Association.

The Kay and Ernie Salvino Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to a member of the Penn State Alumni Association who has an exemplary record of volunteer time, talents and service to the association. The award also recognizes active involvement with an affiliate group or other form of volunteer service to Penn State.

With this recognition, Edgar plans to give back in a new way: She has donated her award funds to the WLI to support its mission of providing opportunities for emerging women leaders.

“I am hopeful that my gift can be used to further strengthen this great program,” Edgar said.

Established in 2003, the WLI helps women develop the core values, attitudes and competencies that are the foundation of quality leadership. The program is a partnership between the Colleges of Health and Human Development and Nursing.

“It is so great to see how the alumni from the colleges of HHD and Nursing so greatly impact the lives of our current students through this program,” Edgar said. “I also love that it is a wonderful collaborative program between HHD and the College of Nursing — two of my great passions at Penn State. I could not think of a more deserving program that so greatly impacts the women in these two colleges.”

Through her service on the HHD Alumni Society Board, Edgar has championed several of the board’s programs that connect alumni with each other and with faculty and students of HHD and the College of Nursing, Diehl said.

“She is genuinely interested in promoting students’ career development,” Diehl said.

As chair of the HHD Alumni Board’s membership committee since 2009, Edgar has worked with the membership staff of the Alumni Association to identify and promote various initiatives that promote membership among HHD and College of Nursing alumni.

Under her leadership, the HHD Alumni Board developed and implemented several innovative membership programs, including the opportunity for alumni mentors in the HHD Mentoring Program to purchase Blue and White Society memberships for their student mentees. Additionally, the HHD Alumni Society received the 2011 Membership Award from the Penn State Alumni Association, almost solely because of Edgar’s efforts in this area. 

Edgar has also spearheaded efforts to form the Nursing Alumni Society.

“When the School of Nursing became a college in 2013, it was clear that the College of Nursing needed to have its own alumni society,” Diehl said. “Wendy immediately threw her support behind efforts to identify the College of Nursing’s needs.”

For more information on the WLI, visit

Nursing alumna Wendy Edgar is the 2015 recipient of the Kay and Ernie Salvino Volunteer of the Year Award, presented by the Penn State Alumni Association.  Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated March 28, 2016