Jennie Towner, associate vice president for student development at Harford Community College, received the ATHENA Young Professional Award for exemplary leadership in her career and assisting the advancement of women in professional communities. The award was presented at the ATHENA Leadership Award Breakfast at the Richlin Ballroom on Friday, March 1, 2019. The event was sponsored by The Daily Record.

The ATHENA Awards highlight what recipients have accomplished in addition to paving a path for future successes. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence.

For 12 years, Jennie has spent her time investing in student success at HCC, and her impact is wide-ranging. From creating and implementing the My College Success Network to bridge attainment gaps, to highlighting the importance of inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community, Jennie is a natural leader. Along with a colleague, she conceptualized and co-chaired HCC's first annual Women's Leadership Conference, an opportunity for young female students to be encouraged and mentored by female leaders and speakers. 

HCC faculty member Jennie Towner received the Athena award for her successes both professionally and personally.

Jennie places special emphasis on mentorship opportunities outside of her workplace as well, participating in 4-H programs where she has the ability to lend her time, expertise and horses to young girls with less experience or opportunity. She believes it is vital that the younger generation sees women in leadership roles. Jennie also volunteers for Harford Family House and sits on numerous boards and committees that promote excellence in higher education, including acting as co-chair for the Achieving the Dream initiative at HCC. Her honors include being named an Excellence Award Winner by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), and receiving the Outstanding First-Year Student Success Advocate Award in 2018.