Ayla Adkins/The Broadside

Bend is usually highlighted for its immense natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities. This time, Bend had a national spotlight on it because of COCC, or rather, a staff member at COCC.

Dr. Stacey Lee Donohue was awarded the 2021 ADE Francis Andrew March Award.

https://www.midoregon.com/accounts/student.shtml

This award is given to a postsecondary educator who the judging committee believes has had a paramount influence on the English profession. It is awarded as seen fit by the committee, meaning it doesn’t happen every year if no nominated candidate meets the qualifications.

It is very rare for a community college professor to be awarded such a prestigious honor.

Donohue believes she may be the third in the history of the award.

She first interviewed to work at COCC in 1995, “I had never heard of Bend or COCC,” she said.

She has been educating those in our community since then.

But Donohue didn’t start as an English major. In fact, for a while, she wasn’t quite sure what her educational path held.

“I wasn’t an English major, and I thought I was going to law school. But I soon learned that [law school] wasn’t for me. I switched and worked for a publishing house, and that didn’t interest me either,” said Donohue.

But when she was working and editing college textbooks, she had an epiphany.

“It reminded me of how much I loved English,” she said.

Donohue started pursuing her passion for English and went back to school.

“I went back to school to get my Ph.D. and started teaching at another college,” said Donohue.

“I was teaching the day before graduate school, which they don’t let you do anymore, but at the time, that was okay,” said Donohue. 

She then finished her dissertation and found herself competing for jobs in New York, which had extremely tough competition. Donohue then decided to start applying to other jobs in the country.

“Bend was one of them,” said Donohue.

“It was a smaller town at the time and was just lovely. I thought I would go back to New York, but I stayed,” she said.

Donohue continued and explained that she loves “working with students [at COCC] because they are so much more motivated at a community college” than her students at the larger universities were.

“They want to be here,” she said.

Throughout her professional career, Donohue has been a part of several committees both locally and nationally. This helped her achieve several scholarly awards.

This information can all be found on her academic resume here.

Her dedicated work for English education gave her an outstanding reputation and ultimately inspired someone else to nominate her for the award. Seeing how much she cares for her students and their future, it isn’t a surprise that she was chosen.

Donohue plans to retire within the next ten years and is currently mentoring some of the newer faculty members in the English Department at COCC.

She has fallen in love with Bend and its community and doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

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