FACULTY KUDOS:  AACC selects Dr. Amy Waddell for distinguished faculty award

Congratulations to Professor of Natural Sciences Amy Waddell, Ph.D. on her selection to receive the inaugural Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty recognition by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) at the national conference this April in Dallas, TX.

Dr. Amy Waddell

Named in honor of former AACC President and CEO Dale P. Parnell, the distinction was established to recognize individuals making a difference in the community college classroom. AACC accepted one nomination from the president of each member college to recognize a faculty member who:

  • Demonstrates passion for the students and the classroom.
  • Shows willingness to support students, inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Is inclined to participate in college committees.
  • Goes above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors.

Natural Sciences Dean Evan McHugh recommended Dr. Waddell for the nomination. "Dr. Waddell comes alongside each and every student she teaches, and uses her gift of communication to see her students succeed, achieve and never give up," Dean McHugh said. Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Christopher Ezell agreed and wholeheartedly supported Waddell as the College’s nominee. “Her work as coordinator of the biotechnology technicians program has been outstanding and her leadership and expertise have helped to elevate the overall quality of the program,” Dr. Ezell said. “She is most deserving of this honor.”

Dr. Waddell joined Southwest in 2004 as an adjunct instructor in the Natural Sciences department. She quickly was promoted to full time instructor and today is an associate professor who primarily teaches biotechnology courses. She has served on numerous committees during her 14-year tenure with the college and has served as coordinator for Southwest’s Biotechnology Technician Program since 2007.

She says her passion for teaching developed early in life. “I have had a passion for teaching since childhood,” she said. “I remember showing my step-sister what I had learned in my first-grade classes when I was six years old.”

Dr. Waddell has received numerous honors over the years including selection as a National Institutes of Health pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellow and is a member of the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Institutional Biosafety Committee that is responsible for reviewing research activities utilizing recombinant DNA and other biohazardous materials. At Southwest, Dr. Waddell served as a divisional representative on the faculty senate from 2008 to 2010 and was selected as the 2011-2012 recipient of the William Farris Faculty Services Award.

As a Distinguished Faculty honoree, Dr. Waddell will receive a commemorative medal, recognition on the AACC website’s Faculty Wall of Distinction, special reserved seating at the Edmund J. Gleazer Opening Lecture, a private reception with author Jeanette Walls and a discounted registration fee to the conference.