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Press Release



August 16, 2010


McWhirt named Cowley College’s Endowed Chair


Endowed ChairRecognized for her dedication to the teaching profession, Amy McWhirt, Cowley College’s Director of Academic Preparation for the Humanities Department, was named the school’s Endowed Chair during Thursday’s In-Service held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.
McWhirt has spent the past seven years at Cowley. As the Director of Academic Preparation, she is responsible for ensuring that the curriculum the school uses in their developmental English courses is the most effective for students.
As Endowed Chair, McWhirt plans to seek out innovative practices for transforming language instruction. The modern language student is mostly focused on being able to use language in real-life to accomplish tasks. McWhirt is interested in learning more about  best practices in this area, and bringing those ideas to Cowley, so that she can help students better reach their learning goals.
“Amy is very deserving of this honor,” vice president of academic affairs, Slade Griffiths said. “What has always impressed me about her was her ability to bring new teaching theories into the classroom in an attempt to increase student learning. She is truly dedicated to her students and the college; I am proud to work with her.”
McWhirt has been a presenter at the NISOD and NADE conferences, and has served on several committees at Cowley including: The Retention Team, Advisement Team, Orientation Team, Developmental Advising Sub-Committee, AQIP 2-Measuring Institutional Effectiveness, AQIP 7-Honoring Cultural Diversity, and Student Success Team. She currently serves as a member of the AQIP Steering Committee and chair of the AQIP Category 1 writing team.
She also serves as an academic advisor and serves 10 to 15 students each semester.
“I feel very honored to be named Endowed Chair,” McWhirt said. “I have been very fortunate in my life to have been taught and mentored by exceptional educators, most of whom are/were current or former teachers in Cowley County. I have always attempted to model my own teaching as a living legacy to them. This honor is really their honor.”
She has been the recipient of the National Security Exchange Program Grant to study in Mexico, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages/Applied Linguistics degree.
Thanks to the generous support of CornerBank, McWhirt will receive $2,000 a year for each of the next two years. A total of $500 will be used for professional development, while the other $1,500 is a cash stipend.
“I want to thank CornerBank for their support of teachers and education,” McWhirt said. “This award will allow me to bring innovative ideas and practices back to Cowley and directly impact students--which is a wonderful way to help strengthen the knowledge base of our community.”