Rusty Wadsworth

Rusty Wadsworth Humanities Scholarship

Dr. Emily (Rusty) Wadsworth was born in Peoria, IL and at nine years old she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sacroma, a bone cancer that required amputation of her right leg. Rusty was a rare survivor of Ewing’s sarcoma at the time, and that struggle didn’t slow her down. She went on to become a state debate champion and valedictorian at Davenport High School. Having been a debate Cherub at Northwestern University’s National High School Institute, Rusty decided to pursue her college career at Northwestern where, again, she excelled, being elected to the Mortar Board Society and May Court. Immediately after pursuing her BA, Rusty earned her MA in English, also at Northwestern. Rusty pursued a career in teaching and education administration working at Niles East High School, Kendall College, Roosevelt University, Northwestern University, Northeastern Illinois University and McHenry County College, where she ended her career as Executive Dean of Arts and Sciences. While working and raising her children, Rusty earned her PhD in Education at Northwestern University. Rusty was a dedicated feminist who advocated in favor of higher education and career opportunities for women. Notably, she was an educator at Kendall College’s Women’s Center, and a founder of the North Shore Education Center, a program that provided college education for working women. From the time she entered college through 1992, Rusty lived in Evanston where she raised her three children. To be closer to her work at McHenry County College, Rusty moved to Algonquin in 1992 before retiring to Minneapolis in 2000. Rusty enjoyed being a mother, but even more so in her retirement she loved being a grandmother. In Minneapolis, she lived near her daughter, daughter’s husband and two of her seven grandchildren, making frequent trips to Evanston and San Francisco to spend time with her sons, their wives and her other grandchildren. Rusty was an incredibly intelligent, creative and unique woman who valued thinking and was known for her irreverence and rusty, auburn hair.


The Rusty Wadsworth Humanities Scholarship was established to provide support to dedicated students who are interested in education as a career, and who have shown a capacity for mentoring and tutoring others. The Rusty Wadsworth Scholarship provides up to $250 in award monies for tuition, books and fees for an MCC student with preference to a female student who tutors or mentors others.