General Info > News Releases > Archived Releases 2006-07 > 2006-11-28: First-year Professor has Passion to Teach

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 28, 2006

MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

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First-year Professor has Passion to Teach

Rachel DonhamUkiah, CA – Interactions with people and seeing students grasp the information she is teaching are just some of reasons that led first year Mendocino College professor Rachel Donham into teaching.

Donham, who is from Happy Valley, California, is finishing her first semester at Mendocino as an assistant professor for the biological sciences. Currently, Donham is teaching Human Physiology and Principles of Biology.

“I love interacting with people. I love explaining topics to people and seeing them ‘get it’ and I wanted to continue learning throughout my life. Teaching is a great combination of these goals,” Donham said.

Donham attended Shasta College before transferring to the University of California-Davis. While at UC-Davis, Donham received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Toxicology. In December 2004, Donham earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology at UC-Davis.

Donham started teaching in January 2005, when she taught Environment Fate of Toxicants at UC-Davis and General Biology at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento. In subsequent semesters, she also taught courses in Human Biology, Introductory Physiology and Introductory Toxicology.

“I decided to teach at the college level because I wanted to be able to relate to students on a mature and interactive level,” Donham said.

After hearing great things about Mendocino College from former Mendocino College student Andrea Luna, who is currently attending UC-Davis, Donham decided to apply for assistant professor of biology/science at Mendocino College.

“I applied for the position because I wanted to come back to an area I really enjoy and because it would involve teaching in a subject area I love,” Donham said.

Diversity was one of the main reasons Donham wanted to teach at the two-year college level. “I chose to teach at a two-year college, rather than a four-year college because I really enjoy the student diversity in my classes. I find that students learn so much by interacting in a diverse classroom and it is a great challenge to me to make sure that I am reaching everyone with the information,” Donham said.

With the help of Mendocino College students and professors, the transition to Mendocino College has been an enjoyable one.

“The students and faculty have been great. I have been spoiled by the new facilities and technology in the science building. The students have been motivated and have wanted to learn and from a teacher’s perspective, that is such a joy,” Donham said.

Donham will teach two sections of Human Physiology this spring. Next fall, she will be teaching General Biology and Human Physiology to go along with a lecture section of Microbiology.

For additional information about classes at Mendocino College, go online at

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Created: November 28, 2006 @ 08:06 AM
Last Modified: December 01, 2006 @ 09:08 AM


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