A longtime Central Wyoming College education professor is awarded the distinction of Professor Emeritus during CWC Convocation activities Thursday, August 29.
Princess Killebrew, who began her association with the college as an adjunct instructor nearly 20 years ago, joins 23 other faculty in the college’s 47-year history to receive the honor.
CWC President Jo Anne McFarland presents the award during the eleventh annual Convocation, which begins at 10 a.m. with the traditional faculty march to the Robert A. Peck Arts Center.
“It’s not really sunk in yet,” Killebrew said of being selected by fellow faculty members to receive the title. “It’s really a great honor.”
The rank of Professor Emeritus designates a retired faculty member of performing duties with distinction and as having made significant contributions during service to the college.
After teaching in the public school system for eight years in Arizona and 19 years at Wyoming Indian, Princess began teaching English courses as a part-time instructor at Central. Two years later she took over CWC’s Education Department as the lone instructor in the program.
During those years she saw many of her graduates go on to a four-year college or university to complete their degrees and begin teaching. “When you’ve had so many students, they are all so special,” she said.
The high point for Princess at CWC was the development of agreements with other colleges so that her students could complete their bachelor degree programs at home. “Once they are out the door, they still need to continue on,” she said. “At one time their only choice was to go to Laramie or Casper. If you were site bound, you quit and it was over and done.”
One of those partnerships was with Valley City State University, a North Dakota institution that worked with Killebrew to ensure seamless transfer of credits and to verify which courses CWC offered for the best fit with the university’s requirements.
That agreement has made it possible for students who are unable to leave the area to finish their program at a distant college and complete their bachelor’s program. Students with an Associate of Arts in education from CWC take their junior and senior level courses online and over a distance delivery network while participating in practicums at home.
“That has really worked well,” she said. “It’s never easy for them. It is a financial burden once they get out of CWC because scholarships are not as readily available.”
Since retiring from CWC in the spring of 2012, Princess has been observing student teachers at different locations around Wyoming for Valley City. Some of those student teachers were in her program at Central. “That’s really exciting,” she said. Plus, she sees her former students as teachers when she visits the public schools around the state.
While she still has her fingers in education observing student teachers, Princess is also busy with the family irrigation business keeping books, running parts and fixing lunch.
“I worked with a lot of great people at CWC who always put students first,” she concluded.