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Professor to Help Guide National Teaching Institute

Stacey Donohue to serve as a facilitator for Modern Language Association teaching institute

Central Oregon Community College (COCC) English professor Stacey Donohue, Ph.D., will serve as a facilitator at a weeklong Modern Language Association teaching institute at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, June 25-30. The institute is designed to educate new educators, from around the country, on teaching English at access-oriented colleges.

A $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation paved the way for three, one-week institutes over the next three years—also taking place at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst—that will put special emphasis on the needs and requirements of first-generation college students. The grant will ultimately allow 144 doctoral students and instructors from throughout the U.S. to participate in the teaching institutes.

“This is an incredible program and a huge honor for one of our own to be selected to help launch this national institute,” said Jenni Newby, Ph.D., instructional dean at COCC. “Stacey Donohue has been a leader in the Modern Language Association for many years, having formerly served as the president of the Association of Departments of English, the MLA’s professional development group. Her expertise as a community college humanities and composition professor allows her to lend her extensive professional experience to teaching graduate students about teaching in access-oriented institutions.”

In recent decades, two-year colleges have bucked the trend of declining humanities programs at their four-year counterparts. According to data from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators, the number of liberal arts associate degrees tripled between 1987 and 2015; some 40 percent of community college students nationwide took a humanities class in 2015.

Stacey Donohue