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NPC Foundation Selects 2019 Women in Higher Education Achievement Award Recipient

By August 7, 2019News Release

INDIANAPOLIS – The National Panhellenic Conference Foundation is honoring Darcy L. Russell, Ph.D., dean of the college of arts and sciences at Baker University, with its Women in Higher Education Achievement Award. The award recognizes an outstanding woman who has made or is making a significant difference in higher education through her scholarship and leadership.

“Curiosity drove Darcy Russell to the lab as an undergraduate at Baker University; working with students kept her there for 20 years,” said Alicia Patten Williams, national president of Zeta Tau Alpha, who nominated Dr. Russell for this award. “She loves learning and teaching and has made it her lifelong quest to make difficult subjects understandable. This approach has made her one of Baker’s most beloved professors. She has received the Outstanding Faculty Service Award four times and has earned the Kopke Award for Teaching Excellence.”

During her 20-year teaching career, Dr. Russell has taught courses in molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, advanced cell biology and virology. She served as chairman of Baker University’s department of biology and chemistry from 2013-2018. She was named the dean of the college of arts and sciences in May 2018.

In addition, her passion for the Panhellenic experience is as strong as her love for science. A member of Zeta Tau Alpha, Dr. Russell has served her member organization as province president from 2001-2007, NPC alternate delegate from 2006-2009 and national academic achievement chairman from 2008-2018. In June 2018, Zeta Tau Alpha presented Dr. Russell with the Louise Kettler Helper Memorial Award to recognize her many contributions to the progress of Zeta Tau Alpha and the fraternity/sorority world.

As a volunteer for NPC, Dr. Russell has chaired the NPC Academic Excellence Committee and served as a Release Figure Methodology specialist since 2007. In 2010, she began her service on the RFM Leadership Team. She has also served NPC since 2012 as a subject matter expert and was the chairman of the NPC Structure Think Tank in 2018.

“Whether in the classroom, as an administrator or through her volunteer service, Dr. Russell has positively impacted those around her and left her part of the world better than she found it,” said Ann Brookshire, president of the NPC Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to recognize Dr. Russell’s dedication to scholarship and leadership as well as her Panhellenic spirit with this award.”

Russell received her bachelor’s in biology and chemistry from Baker University and a doctorate from Kansas State University. She has completed post-doctoral study at North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Russell will be formally honored as the Women in Higher Education Award recipient during the NPC Foundation dinner on Friday, Oct. 4, during the 2019 NPC Annual Educational Conference. This award is funded by the NPC Foundation through an endowment established by Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and the Foundation.

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About the National Panhellenic Conference Foundation
Established in 1995, the National Panhellenic Conference Foundation promotes values and ethics for sorority women and encourages all members to be active and responsible leaders in their communities. The Foundation’s mission is supported through the sponsorship of NPC educational and charitable programs. (

About the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
NPC, one of the largest organizations advocating for women, is the umbrella group for 26 national and international sororities. NPC sororities are located on more than 670 campuses with over 400,000 undergraduate members in more than 3,350 chapters. Alumnae are represented in more than 3,650 associations throughout the world. For more information, including a complete list of NPC sororities, visit or find NPC on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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