SAU selects Dr. Neelie Dobbins as first COE Alumni Endowed Professor

MAGNOLIA – Building on donations from alumni, faculty, and friends, Southern Arkansas University is excited to announce the creation of the College of Education Alumni Endowed Professorship. Dr. Trey Berry, President of SAU, announced that Dr. Neelie Dobbins, Associate Professor of Teacher Education, has been selected to hold the title of Alumni Endowed Professor.

“The effort to secure this endowed professorship was unlike any other in SAU history,” said Dr. Berry. “It was truly a grassroots effort involving the hard work of a committee of College of Education alumni and the gifts of dozens of people who made this possible.”

Berry consulted with Dr. Kim Bloss, Dean of the College, on Dobbins’ selection.

“Dr. Dobbins’ dedication to the profession of teaching, her commitment to students, and her service to the College make her the perfect candidate for this honor,” said Dr. Bloss.

Dobbins has been teaching at SAU since 2010 and has an exemplary record of teaching, service, and research. She has chaired the Department of Teacher Education since 2015 and served as the Department’s Accreditation Coordinator since 2017. She is a dedicated teacher and advisor to more than 100 students. Her research record includes numerous journal publications and presentations at local, state, regional, and national conferences. Dr. Dobbins is passionate about teacher education and continues SAU’s legacy of preparing the best educators in the state. 

 “I am beyond honored and grateful for the opportunities I have been provided by SAU to learn and grow,” she said. “This is another way for the Teacher Education Department and me to develop as educators to ensure we have the best pedagogical practices and technology available.”

Dr. Berry expressed thanks to Steve and Deborah Nipper of Magnolia, who chaired the professorship committee. He also thanked Dr. Bloss and Josh Kee, Vice President for Advancement, along with the Advancement team, for their work.

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