The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recently awarded Mt. Hood Community College English instructor and Rho Theta adviser Beth Sammons the Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty recognition. Awarded for the first time this year, the AACC accolade celebrates instructors with significant histories of going above and beyond to ensure student success.
"I am honored just to be nominated and thrilled to be among the first recipients of this award,” said Sammons. “I’m extremely proud of all that Rho Theta has accomplished, and I’m constantly encouraged by seeing my students excel.”
Sammons began teaching at MHCC in 1989 and was hired to a full-time instructor position in 1999. In 2010, she was awarded an MHCC Distinguished Teaching Award. She has served as an adviser to MHCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Rho Theta, since 2002. In this role, she received a PTK Distinguished Adviser award in 2011 and multiple regional and international recognitions.
In Sammons’ nomination letter for the AACC award, MHCC President Dr. Debra Derr called out the instructor’s enthusiasm for teaching and her visibility and vitality within the college. She commended Sammons for enthusiastically promoting Rho Theta events to the college and wider community and for pursuing a variety of avenues – including fundraisers and grant opportunities – to support the PTK chapter’s activities.
“Having known Dr. Parnell and knowing Beth and her enthusiasm for teaching and support of student success, we were excited to move her nomination forward,” said Dr. Derr. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award – Beth represents the passion for the work of community colleges and our students. She is an amazing advisor, English teacher and ambassador for community colleges, and I am proud that she is among my colleagues at MHCC.”
The Parnell Distinguished Faculty award was named in honor of former AACC president and CEO Dale Parnell. A venerate figure in Oregon higher education, Dr. Parnell served as founding president of Lane Community College and as a founding faculty member and superintendent of public instruction of the Oregon State University Community College Leadership program.
An award ceremony for recipients will take place at the 2018 AACC Annual Convention in Dallas this April. The AACC spearheads national advocacy for community colleges.