Editor’s Note: This spring, Penn State President-elect Neeli Bendapudi is traveling the commonwealth as part of a listening and learning tour to meet and engage in conversation with students, faculty, staff and community members at each Penn State campus.
MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Penn State President-elect Neeli Bendapudi visited Penn State Greater Allegheny on April 26 as part of her listening tour to meet with students, faculty and staff across Penn State’s campuses. During her tour stop, President-elect Bendapudi held a town hall for faculty and staff, spent time with alumni, toured the newly renovated Ostermayer Laboratory, and had lunch with Greater Allegheny students.
Bendapudi stressed the important role the Commonwealth Campuses play in terms of opening doors and promoting social mobility for those who attend. She spoke of her commitment to students and asked the faculty and staff to consider how our work advances the students’ lives.
She also shared her ABCs of success: ensuring Academic preparedness for students, instilling a sense of Belonging for all members of the Penn State community, and providing access and affordability by managing the Cost of education.
Bendapudi's emphasis on belonging resonated with faculty and staff, as it was a topic emphasized during Greater Allegheny’s inaugural All Campus Day, a professional development and strategic planning initiative held in August 2021.
Megan Nagel, associate chief academic officer and associate professor of chemistry, was a member of the planning committee.
“Cultivating an authentic sense of connection to Penn State and higher education, more generally, is critical to attracting and retaining our students," said Nagel. "Knowing that you belong is an important step in finding success."
President-elect Bendapudi will begin her tenure as Penn State’s 19th president on May 9. With a nearly 30-year career in academia, Bendapudi previously served as president of the University of Louisville. Among her leadership experiences, she also has served as provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas, dean of the School of Business at the University of Kansas, and as founding director of the Initiative for Managing Services at Ohio State University.
In addition to consulting for some of the world’s largest companies and organizations, she was executive vice president and chief customer officer for Huntington National Bank.
With a research background in the study of consumer behavior in service contexts, she has taught marketing at a variety of higher education institutions and been recognized for her leadership, academic and teaching accomplishments. Bendapudi earned her bachelor’s degree in English and an MBA from Andhra University in India and her doctorate in marketing from the University of Kansas.