Northwest College

Teaching & Learning Center

Faculty spotlights

Learn more about what makes Northwest college’s faculty truly excellent! 

In collaboration with The Committee on Faculty Development and Morale and the office of College Relations, the TLC is excited to showcase the great work of Northwest College's educators! In this faculty spotlight series, we will feature members of our faculty that are recognized by nominations from their peers based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, mentoring/advising, service, or scholarship. Spotlights will also be promoted by the Marketing, Communications & Web office in a variety of media.

Renee Dechert

Posted: September 30, 2023

Renee Dechert has been a member of the Northwest College faculty since 1997, and it’s the only place she’s ever taught, but her time in Powell almost began much earlier. As a member of the forensics team at Shoshoni High School, just south of the Bighorn Basin, Renee was recruited to NWC by then forensics coach Duane Fish but didn’t take the offer. She wanted to experience something different than Wyoming, so Baylor University in Texas seemed more appealing. Even so, Renee knew she wanted to return home eventually, and when Northwest College made another offer, this time a faculty position, the timing was perfect.

From a young age, Renee seemed destined to become an English major in college. An avid reader, her love of books laid the foundation for her career as an English professor, and some of that developed because of her childhood environment.

“I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and we got two TV stations, so I don’t remember a time when books weren’t a big part of my life. I became an English major because I just wanted to read.”

That desire to read has evolved into much more, and well beyond the classrooms of Northwest College. Renee is a lifelong baseball fan, a passion which grew during her time as a PhD student at Texas A&M, and in 2017, she began writing about the Colorado Rockies for the SB Nation site, Purple Row. Her work is now featured on other prominent baseball sites too, and Renee believes this real-world experience on the same platforms her students are using makes her a better teacher and allows her to serve as a model for the type of things they can achieve.

Even with her commitments to NWC and the Rockies, Renee still has time in the summer to work on the family farm in Riverton. She’s grateful for all those diverse experiences and is a strong advocate for the college and its mission.

“We provide pathways for people that traditional 4-year institutions overlook, and NWC has given me the ability to build things like the Writers Series with Rob Stothart or the technical writing class. I’ve had opportunity after opportunity here. For someone like me, who needs to be creating and building things, Northwest College is absolutely perfect.”