How common is it for a college professor to take classes? Just ask Dr. Doug Donohue.

March 27, 2024

Like all educators, Pearl River Community College professor Dr. Doug Donohue teaches for many different reasons: income, security, duty, and most of all, the desire to share knowledge with younger generations.

Donohue, Associate Dean of the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute, is a Mathematics, Economics, and Statistics instructor and a Phi Theta Kappa advisor at PRCC’s Forrest County Campus.

He not only earned a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University, his resume includes certificates from Ivy League schools, including Cornell and M.I.T., and most recently, Harvard. 

“I value learning and I have committed my career to helping people understand,” said Dr. Donohue, 53. “I believe that learning should not end when we get a piece of paper. Whether that takes the form of reading history as a hobby or studying economics in a classroom is not important. What is important is that we never stop asking questions and seeking to understand.”

He has been teaching at PRCC since 2003. At that time, he had earned more than 48 hours of graduate credit in Statistics and a master’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. 

However, he admits, “I am not one to rest on my laurels. I have taken many graduate courses throughout my career as a part of my professional development.”

Dr. Donohue comes from a family of dedicated educators.

His mom, Susan Donohue, graduated from Millsaps with a B.S., Peabody College in Nashville with a Masters and taught Sociology at PRCC from 1984-99 before retiring and working as an administrator for PRCC.

His dad, Dr. John Donohue, earned a B.S. and Masters from LSU and Ph.D from Michigan State. At the end of his doctoral studies, he was hired by the University of Southern Mississippi as an Associate Professor of Music. He remained at USM for 35 years before retiring in 1999.

His wife, Dr. Monica Donohue, of 25 years earned a B.S. from Southern Christian University, and later found a career in Education teaching at Oak Grove High in Hattiesburg. She went on to earn a Master’s at William Carey University and later taught as an adjunct instructor for PRCC. 

She was then hired as a full-time instructor by Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where she advanced into some administrative roles before earning her doctorate from Murray State University.

The Donohues have three children, two who graduated with Associate Degrees from PRCC. A class at Harvard came into play once their children left home.

“At that time, we were empty nesting as all of our children were either enrolled in college or had completed their collegiate journeys,” said Dr. Donohue. “Since I would have some extra time, I embraced an opportunity to earn a certificate from Harvard University through the Harvard Extension School.”

The certificate title was “Business Economics” and it involved 16 graduate credits in required classes, “Microeconomic Theory” and “Essentials of Economics”, as well as elective classes like “Money, Financial Institutions, and Markets” and “Macroeconomic Theory”. 

“I took two of these classes in a more modern format for online education, and I took two others through interactive cameras in the traditional Harvard classroom,” he said. “It was a wonderful experience to be a part of such a storied institution. This additional graduate credit in Economics qualified me to begin teaching Microeconomics and Macroeconomics classes for PRCC. As far as I know, I might be the only Ivy-League trained economist teaching at a Mississippi Community College.”

He recently traveled to Cambridge, Mass., for a graduation ceremony recognizing certificate earners from the past year.

“I felt honored to be included in such an accomplished group of people,” said Dr. Donohue. “The ceremony took place in the historic Harvard Faculty Club across the street from the campus of Harvard.”

He is quick to point out that he is not done yet with his academic pursuits. He is currently enrolled in the Cybersecurity program at PRCC.

“I have been involved with computers since the early eighties and I have fallen behind a little, so I want to catch up on the latest developments,” he said.

Dr. Donohue values learning and has committed his career to helping people understand. Don’t expect him to run to the beach or travel the world for fun on his time off.

“I often joke with friends that some people spend their extra money on hunting and fishing equipment, but I spend mine on tuition,” he said. “I enjoy learning new things, and I hope that never changes.”

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Article by Chuck Abadie.

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