Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia selected as 2022 recipient of the Mimi Barash Coppersmith Women in Leadership Award


State College, PA – March 12, 2022 – During Women’s History Month, Centre Foundation celebrated the community’s women leaders by selecting the 2022 recipient for the Mimi Barash Coppersmith Women in Leadership Award. This award recognizes women in our community who have made a significant impact through their leadership. Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Penn State Law and this year’s recipient.

In addition to her role as Associate Dean, Wadhia is the Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and Clinical Professor of Law at Penn State Law and the founder/director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (CIRC). Through the CIRC, she works with students in the community and supervises them in three areas: community outreach, legal support in individual immigration cases, and policy work for institutional clients.

“I feel honored and humbled to receive this award. I admire and collaborate with so many leaders in the community and what is equally important is the courage and resilience I see in the community members and clients I have had the honor of serving and helping a small way. This award also feels special upon a realization that so much of the work is both hard and challenging, but also is ultimately local. The visibility and meaning of this award is special and one that belongs to so many,” said Wadhia.

The Mimi Barash Coppersmith Women in Leadership Fund was created in 2017 by Barbara Palmer to honor her longtime friend Mimi, when Mimi received the Oak Tree Award. Additionally, in honor of the fund’s awardee each year, a $2,500 grant is given to a local nonprofit of her choice. This year, Wadhia selected Centre Volunteers in Medicine, who provide free medical and dental services for the community. Their mission is to care for the uninsured members of Centre County.

“Shoba walked the walk and talked the talk from the moment she arrived in Happy Valley. A woman with great education and training in terms of service to the underserved. She has made a measurable impact in the community with a sensitive subject,” said Mimi Barash Coppersmith on why Shoba was selected as this year’s recipient.

For more information or to get involved with Centre Foundation, please contact Molly Kunkel ( | 814-237-6229).