May 8, 2013
Dr. Jerrod A. Henderson, a lecturer at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received the most supportive faculty award from the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois.
Henderson was presented with the award at the center’s 2013 Ebony Excellence Awards. The award recognizes a faculty member who mentors African American students, for example through constructive criticism, by creating an environment for students to express themselves uninhibited, and by encouraging students to participate in co-curricular experiences and cross-cultural exchange.
He said he is grateful to receive the award. “It is amazing to be recognized for what I love to do, which is teaching and mentoring the students, and making an impact upon the lives of others,” he says.
For Henderson, giving back to the students through mentoring and teaching comes natural. He says he wants to give back because he received encouragement and mentoring during his academic career.
“My mentors helped shape me and continued to encourage me to grow and develop in my career,” he said. “The students in the department are so talented but sometimes they need to know that there is someone that they can talk to for academic and career advice and sometimes just a listening ear.”
Henderson, who joined the department in 2010, received his B.S. in Chemistry from Morehouse College and his B.S. in chemical engineering from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in 2010.