For the first time in its history, Northwest College has appointed endowed positions for the science and education departments. The selected faculty include Deepthi Amarasuriya, NWC Assistant Professor of Physics; Cammy Rowley, NWC Assistant Professor of Education; and Jo-el Sauers, NWC Instructor of Education.
An endowed chair is a faculty position that is privately funded by an endowment, which ensures the position lasts as long as the college exists. It’s both an honor to the appointed chair holder and an enduring tribute to the donor whoestablishes it.
Amarasuriya, the Jones Family Endowed Chair for Science, joined Northwest College in 2006 as a member of the Physical Science Division, teaching physics, astronomy and math. She earned her bachelor’s in physics from Purdue University and two master’s degrees—one in physics from Idaho State University and the second in mathematics from the University of Wyoming.
She’s passionate about sharing her knowledge ranging from the smallest subatomic particles to the vast expanses of the universe. As an advisor to the Multicultural Club and member of NWC’s Diversity Awareness Committee, Amarasuriya is an advocate of global citizenship and acceptance.
Rowley and Sauers, both being named Jones Family Endowed Faculty for Education, will share the education endowment’s benefits. Both faculty members bring a love for education and instruction to the NWC campus and community.
From the University of Wyoming, Rowley holds a bachelor’s in elementary education, as well as a master’s and doctorate in curriculum and instruction with emphasis in early childhood education.
Sauers earned a bachelors in early childhood education and a masters in elementary education from the University of South Carolina, along with post-graduate credits from Georgia Southern University.
“With two new faculty in the Education Department, we supported our colleague’s desire to collaborate, forging an energetic team with dynamic student projects,” NWC President Lisa Watson said.
The Jones Family Endowed positions are the result of a $3 million gift from a Northwest College alumni couple in late 2021. These endowed positions are funded through NWC Foundation investments to ensure they last forever.
Endowed position holders receive a set amount of annual funding to support innovative student learning initiatives as well as professional development. The remaining endowment income helps cover compensation costs.
Applications were peer-reviewed by NWC faculty and the Academic Affairs Office. Terms for the current appointees will run through the spring of 2026.
“Our goal is to continue inspiring teaching that provides exceptional learning opportunities for students at Northwest College,” Executive Director of the NWC Foundation Shelby Wetzel said.
To learn more about the NWC Foundation, visit https://nwcollegefoundation.org.