Two Senatobia instructors represent Northwest at Lamplighters Conference

LamplightersTwo Northwest Mississippi Community College instructors, Bert Foster and Bud Donahou from the Senatobia campus, were selected to attend the annual Lamplighters Conference held Sept. 24-26 at Southwest Mississippi Community College.  Foster and Donahu were chosen for this honor by the academic leadership of the college.

Donahou has been teaching classes in biology, plant science, forestry, environmental science, dendrology and microbiology at Northwest since 1997. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s in biology from Delta State University. He teaches at the Senatobia campus and directs the science classes for the DeSoto Center’s Saturday classes. Donahu is an adviser for the Northwest Explorer’s Club and the Environmental Science Organization.

He is an active member of the Botanical Society of America, American Herbal Society, the Native Plant Society and the Mississippi Academy of Sciences. “I love teaching, and really love teaching at Northwest,” Donahou said. One of his hobbies is riding motorcycles, and he is also a member of the American Motorcycle Association.

Foster attended Northwest from August 1985 – May 1987 and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Delta State University. He was hired in August 1994 as director of intramural sports and then named director of recreation and wellness in August 1995. He was an adjunct instructor from 1994-2002, teaching classes in personal and community health, first aid and CPR. Since August 2002, he has been a full time instructor teaching health, physical education and recreation. Foster is a sponsor for the Northwest Education Association.

Foster served in the Mississippi National Guard from June 1987 through March 2008, retiring as a sergeant. He served in Iraq as a Carpentry Masonry Specialist with the 223rd Engineer Battalion from January 2003 through March 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. He is the father of one son, Brynden, a freshman at Senatobia High School. He enjoys watching football, basketball and baseball. He also enjoys coaching and deer hunting.

“I enjoy teaching at Northwest because the faculty and staff had a major impact on my life when I was a student here. I learned not only subject matter, but most of all about life. The faculty was always friendly and willing to help me in any way possible, so I try to remember those things and treat my students the same way. Also, I enjoy the small class size, providing me the opportunity to know many of my students personally, which enables me to better serve them in whatever way possible. I love my students and only wish the best for each one of them. I enjoy watching my students now and in the future reach their goals. I often tell my students I love graduation because I know I had a small part in them reaching the goal of graduating from Northwest,” Foster said.

According to Northwest President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears, each community college sends its best instructors to the conference each year.  Northwest traditionally sends two.  “It is an honor to be chosen to represent Northwest and an even greater honor to attend the conference and share with other outstanding community college teachers throughout the state,” said Spears.

The Lamplighters Program was begun in 1990 by the Academic Deans Association to honor excellence in teaching. One community college hosts the conference each year.  The conference is designed to recharge and invigorate faculty who shine on their individual campuses.  The conference provides an opportunity for recognizing faculty who go beyond and above what is required. The major objectives of the project are to recognize and reward effective teaching in the Mississippi community colleges and to give effective instructors an opportunity to share with one another those teaching techniques that promote learning.

Pictured:  Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears , center, honored Senatobia instructors (l-r) Bud Donahou, biology, and Bert Foster, health, physical education and recreation, at the Oct. 10 Board of Trustees meeting. The two were chosen to represent the college at the annual Lamplighters Conference held Sept. 24-26 at Southwest Mississippi Community College. The Lamplighters program honors excellence in teaching at Mississippi community colleges. (Photo by Sarah Sapp)

Story by LaJuan Tallo, Communications Assistant

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