[Susan] McHenry was instrumental in developing the [UAF] chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, which has been named national chapter of the year five times under her mentorship. She has also helped coordinate the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program. Her leadership in both these programs has directly resulted in their outstanding success and the success of the students involved in the programs.
McHenry advising “early in her career”
“How much respect I have for the countless former students who have found interesting ways to use their education to contribute substantially to their communities all over the state. It’s quite fascinating and inspiring that these former freshmen are now working in tribal organizations and businesses, teaching and leading schools, serving as scientists, health providers or engineers, contributing in so many diverse roles. They are also raising children who assume that going to college is a possibility, even an expectation. That represents an exciting future for Alaska.”
McHenry has been associated with Rural Student Services for 29 of the 32 years of its existence. She has made an impact on literally hundreds of Alaska Native people and rural Alaskans. McHenry’s support for rural students reaches beyond the RSS office at the main Fairbanks campus. She has represented the university at rural college and career fairs and has been a strong advocate for students across the state. She feels that “UAF’s rural campuses and distance-delivered programs are a valuable service to the residents of our state who are able to continue commitments without transplanting their families to an urban setting.” Even in retirement, she is constantly engaged in efforts that create a network of support for students.