Eleven Students Awarded John H. and Jane W. Donaldson Endowed Memorial Scholarships

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John and Eileen Donaldson (left) and Interim College of Education and Health Professions Dean Kate Mamiseishvili (right) with 10 of the 11 scholarship recipients.

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John and Eileen Donaldson (left) and Interim College of Education and Health Professions Dean Kate Mamiseishvili (right) with 10 of the 11 scholarship recipients.

Eleven U of A students in the College of Education and Health Professions were awarded 2022-23 John H. and Jane W. Donaldson Endowed Memorial Scholarships at a recent luncheon.

The recipients are Eric Ball, Jenna Brittingham, Kennedy Fuller, Jadyn Heinle, Amy Hill, Lauren Grace Lumpkin, Mackenzie Martin, Britney McGloflin, Margaret Molli, Elizabeth Oliver and David Stancil. In addition to a $ 10,000 award, each received a medallion bearing the name of the scholarship and the school year.

The college did not formally recognize the 2021-22 scholarship recipients due to COVID-19 restrictions, so they were also celebrated at the May 17 event. The students are Catherine Casey, Melissa Corvera, Olivia Dickinson, Megan McClement, Emalie McCroddan, Rachael Price, Lindsey Rauber and Emma Woodrow. Casey attended the in-person event.

Donaldson scholarships support academically qualified students during their year-long Master of Arts in Teaching internship. The master’s program requires a full-time internship in the classroom with a teacher-mentor and graduate course work, making it difficult for students to hold part-time jobs. This scholarship helps students cover tuition or living expenses.

The scholarship fund was established by Col. John H. Donaldson, a 1938 alumnus of the College of Education and Health Professions, and his wife, Jane, in the mid-1990s. Donaldson met and married Jane Weathersby in 1940 and entered the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant a year later. After infantry training in Georgia and Texas, he was assigned to the 79th Infantry Division in Yuma, Arizona. On June 14, 1944, his division crossed the English Channel as part of the D-Day invasion forces that landed on Utah Beach. His 31 years of active military service led Donaldson to many countries, and he ultimately earned the rank of Colonel. He received the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart with three clusters and numerous other medals and awards.

Since 2003, the Donaldson Scholarships have assisted 277 students seeking their Master of Arts in Teaching degrees. Those students have impacted nearly 100,000 students in classrooms across Arkansas and the country.

Col. Donaldson’s nephew and namesake, John Donaldson of Bentonville, shared his uncle’s remarkable life with about 75 guests at the luncheon. Donaldson’s wife, Eileen, various Donaldson family members, college leadership and faculty, and scholars and their parents were on hand to celebrate the student recipients.

John L Colbert, a three-time graduate of the College of Education and Health Professions, was the keynote speaker. He holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and elementary education, a master’s in special education and a doctorate in educational leadership. Colbert’s career in public education has spanned 47 years, all in the Fayetteville Public School District. His first role was special education teacher at Bates Elementary. He then held principalships, served as assistant superintendent and, in 2018, was hired as superintendent. Colbert plans to retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

Colbert, who said he couldn’t be confined to speaking from the podium, walked among guests, eliciting laughs and nods of agreement. His overarching message: the most crucial teaching tool is the relationship educators build with their students.

Because graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching program are well prepared to succeed in the classroom, public schools throughout Arkansas and surrounding states consistently recruit them. Colbert told scholars they are well-positioned to land full-time teaching positions early while interning through the master’s program.

About the College of Education and Health Professions: The College of Education and Health Professions offers advanced academic degrees as well as professional development opportunities and learning communities in service to the education and health systems of Arkansas and beyond. The college provides the education and experiences for a variety of professional roles, ranging from community mental health counselors to school teachers and leaders. Programs in adult and higher education, along with educational technology and sports management, offer a broad range of options. In addition to education-related opportunities, the college prepares nurses, speech-language pathologists, health educators and administrators, recreation professionals, rehabilitation counselors and human performance researchers.

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