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



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

Eleven University of Alberta students from the College of Education and Health Professions received John H. and Jane W. Donaldson Endowed Memorial Scholarships 2022-23 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 scholarship, each received a medallion bearing the name of the scholarship and the school year.

The college did not officially recognize the 2021-22 scholars 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 event in person.

Donaldson scholarships support graduate students during their one-year Master of Arts in Teaching internship. The master’s program requires a full-time classroom placement with a teacher-mentor and graduate coursework, making it difficult for students to hold part-time jobs. This scholarship helps students cover tuition fees 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 United States 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 which landed on Utah Beach. His 31 years of active military service took Donaldson to many countries and he eventually earned the rank of Colonel. He received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart with three sprues and many other medals and awards.

Since 2003, Donaldson Scholarships have helped 277 students earn their Masters of Arts in Education. These students impacted nearly 100,000 students in classrooms across Arkansas and across the country.

Colonel Donaldson’s nephew and namesake, John Donaldson of Bentonville, shared his uncle’s remarkable life with about 75 luncheon guests. Donaldson’s wife, Eileen, various members of the Donaldson family, college management and faculty, and academics 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 degree in special education and a doctorate in educational leadership. Colbert’s career in public education spans 47 years, all in the Fayetteville Public School District. Her first role was a special education teacher at Bates Elementary. He then held managerial positions, 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 limit himself to speaking from the podium, walked among the guests, drawing laughter and nods of approval. His overarching message: The most crucial teaching tool is the relationship educators establish with their students.

Since graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching program are well-prepared for success in the classroom, public schools in Arkansas and surrounding states regularly recruit them. Colbert told scholars they were in a good position to land full-time teaching jobs early while doing an internship as part of the master’s program.

About the College of Education and Health Professions: The College of Education and Health Professions offers advanced academic degrees along with professional development opportunities and learning communities to serve the education and health systems of Arkansas and beyond. The college provides training and experiences for a variety of professional roles, ranging from community mental health counselors to teachers and school leaders. Adult education and higher education programs, as well as educational technology and sports management, offer a wide 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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