Dr. Patricia Donaher, Professor of English, passed away on November 4, 2014 after a two-year struggle with cancer.
Dr. Donaher began her work at Missouri Western State College in 1995 as an adjunct instructor following her completion of the PhD in English at the University of Nebraska. After a year she secured a position as Lecturer. In 2001, Dr. Donaher was hired as an assistant professor of English and was promoted to Associate Professor and then Professor. She achieved that highest academic rank on the strength of her teaching, service, and scholarship, all of which were admired by her colleagues in the department, especially her teaching and advising. Dr. Donaher was a sought-after adviser, famous for her interest and support in her advisees’ academic and personal lives. Her office was rarely empty. In her time at Western, Dr. Donaher taught linguistics, composition, literature (including highly popular courses in popular literature and Harry Potter). All told, she taught over twenty different courses while at Western. She was a pioneer in online teaching at Western.
In recognition of her fine work in the department, Dr. Donaher was awarded the Jesse Lee Myers Excellence in Teaching award in 2006, was given sabbatical leave to work on her research (which included her 2010 book, Barbarians at the Gate: Studies in Language Attitudes), and was a certified teacher consultant for the National Writing Project. She was devoted to the Popular Culture Association in which she was area chair for language attitudes and popular linguistics. She often took her students to the annual Popular Culture Association meetings to present their work done in her courses.
Dr. Donaher will be remembered for her boundless energy and enthusiasm and positive disposition. It characterized her interactions at MWSU and never flagged, even during her illness. Her optimism and determination remain an inspiration.
|At the Popular Culture Association with students|