NWACC Faculty Member Honored with Emeritus Award

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NWACC Faculty Member Honored with Emeritus Award

             Image of NWACC Faculty Receiving Award (In photo from left to right: Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, Professor Curtis Harrell and Dr. Jennifer Swartout)                                                                             (In photo from left to right: Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, Professor Curtis Harrell and Dr. Jennifer Swartout) 

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) honored faculty member Curtis Harrell with the prestigious Faculty Emeritus Award on Monday, May 20.

“Professor Harrell has been a long-serving professor and writer who has gone far above and beyond what is required of faculty,” said English Professor Megan Looney. “The depth and breadth of his impact on students, the NWACC community, and the field of writing are undeniable. His dedication to students, collaboration with and support of other faculty, and extensive contributions to the college and to the writing profession make him very deserving of emeritus status.”

Harrell was hired at NWACC as an adjunct instructor in August 2003 and was hired as a full-time instructor in May 2005.

“I had taught as an adjunct instructor at three different colleges in California, Antelope Valley College, College of the Canyons, and Bakersfield College, and my wife and I wanted to move to Arkansas,” said Harrell. “My parents were living in Rogers and told me about NWACC, so I contacted Dr. Audley Hall about teaching adjunct classes, and I was hired as a part-time instructor. Since I had pioneered all of the online classes at Antelope Valley College, NWACC hired me for my internet skills as well as my extensive teaching experience in California.”

Harrell said he initially began teaching when he was accepted into the creative writing program at the University of Arkansas.

“I began as a teaching assistant while in grad school and taught two classes each semester for free tuition and a modest stipend,” said Harrell. “After four years, I graduated and left teaching for five years, but I then discovered that the community colleges in California needed instructors, so I started teaching again, and when I returned to the classroom, it seemed like I had found my home. I hadn’t realized how much I truly enjoyed helping people master writing.”

Several college members recognize Harrell’s passion for helping others.

“Based on my professional interaction with Curtis Harrell, I can describe him in one word: gracious,” said Gloria Mallow, English for College and Career program coordinator.  

“Being honored with the faculty emeritus distinction is especially rewarding because it is an honor bestowed upon me by my peers—the outstanding professors I have had the incredible grace and good fortune to interact with for over 20 years,” said Harrell. “It is gratifying to be recognized by these wonderful folk.”

The Faculty Emeritus Award honors faculty members at the college for their “dedication and service and allowed for a continued relationship during their retirement.”

Harrell retired in May of 2023 but continued teaching as an adjunct instructor in the fall of 2023 and spring of 2024. He is scheduled to teach as an adjunct in the fall of 2024.