Dr. Betty Jo Wilkinson, one of the first faculty members at Rockingham Community College, has been nominated by the college for the State Board of Community Colleges/First National Bank Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Wilkinson will retire in July after 30 years of service in education.Nominations for the Excellence in Teaching Award are made by students and considered on the basis of the instructor's innovations in teaching, the ability to lead, interact and motivate students, leadership among colleagues and service to the college and the community at large.

Serving primarily as an English instructor since 1966, Wilkinson developed the reputation as an innovator. She was the first teacher in the English department to learn how to use a computer, and she taught her students how to write their compositions on word processors.

For the last two years, she also helped organize a Young Writers' workshop to encourage elementary and middle-school students to develop their creative skills.

A Stoneville native, Wilkinson also has served as coordinator of the Study Skills Laboratory, chairperson of the Communications Department and most recently as interim chairwoman of the Humanities Department.

Beyond the academic environment, Wilkinson was appointed by the Rockingham County Commissioners to serve on the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Task Force. She is an active member in her church where she plays the piano and works with youth choirs.

Wilkinson earned a bachelors degree in English and Social Studies from Wake Forest University, a masters degree in English from Appalachian State University and a doctorate in Community College Curriculum from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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