Pearl River Community College officials recently recognized excellence in two instructors by sending them to the annual Lamplighter Conference.Doug Donohue, a math instructor at PRCC Forrest County Center, and Michelle Wilson, who teaches social sciences at PRCC Hancock Center, attended the three-day conference at Northeast Community College in Booneville.The Lamplighter Conference was an affirmation that all of the effort and preparation that we invest in our students is not going unnoticed, Donohue said. Faculty sometimes feel like no one knows or cares what goes on in our classrooms. However, the Lamplighter Award serves to acknowledge that we are making a difference in the lives of our students.He began teaching math at the Forrest County Center on an adjunct basis in 2003 and joined the full-time faculty in 2005. He is vice president of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges Faculty Association.Wilson has taught at the Hancock Center since 2007. She also serves as the center librarian.The Lamplighters 2011 Conference was one of the most enlightening, invigorating, educational experiences that I have ever had, she said. To be in such awesome company was truly an honor.The Lamplighter Project originated with D. Michael Rabalais and Dr. David Durham, both Hinds Community College administrators, to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding faculty. The first Lamplighter Conference was hosted by Hinds in 1989 with the goal of bringing in outstanding instructors who could share ideas to affirm and recharge participants.Participants are asked to return to their own schools and light the lamps of their fellow instructors. The conference is sponsored and coordinated by the Mississippi Academic Officers Association.The 2011 conference included a reception and dinner, a river lunch cruise on the Pickwick Belle paddlewheel boat and a tour of Shiloh National Military Park. Featured speakers were Rhonda Keenum, former director of the White House Office for Public Liasion under President George W. Bush and wife of Mississippi State University president Mark Keenum;, and retired Brig. Gen. Leon Collins, who commanded the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Missisisppi National Guard in Iraq.
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