Doralia Reynolds, chief learning officer for the EduKan Online Consortium and former Seward County Community College/Area Technical School instructor and division chair, was honored recently for over 50 years of service to education.
Reynolds, who began as an economics instructor in 1970 at SCCC, retired in 2004. She was one of the first instructors for EduKan when it formed in 1998 as a western Kansas community college consortium serving SCCC/ATS in addition to Barton County, Colby, Dodge City, Garden City and Pratt community colleges.
Following retirement from SCCC, Reynolds was still involved with EduKan and in 2007 was recognized for Excellence in Teaching. She has been with EduKan since its inception in 1998, helping to foster the development of online education and in 2008 was named chief learning office where she plays an active role in the day-to-day operations of the distance education program. Reynolds’s also received a NISOD Excellence award and the Seward Country Trailblazer Award for Innovation and Creativity in Instructional Delivery.
Reynolds proves age has no limit to being one of the most innovative academic administrators in the country. At a recent higher education conference she was overheard saying, “. . . they aren’t doing half the things we are doing. . . I’m bored.” Yes, that’s what happens when this tech-savvy 72-year-old teaching veteran looks out and sees the change she is affecting at EduKan and wants the ripple effect to happen for the better for all students.
“Doralia has been a boss, a friend, and a colleague of mine for 25 years,” said Marcia Hatcher, SCCC/ATS Business Division chair. “ We’ve shared a few laughs, a few tears, and a few stress-filled moments. Doralia is a brilliant woman and even though she has been in education 50 years she hasn’t lost any of her enthusiasm for learning more. She eagerly plunges through professional development days, soaking up and retaining more knowledge than most people 50 years younger.”
Donna Fisher, SCCC/ATS Financial Aid director, said she wouldn’t be where she is today if it were not for Reynolds. As her secretary in the Business Division in 1994, she said Reynolds encouraged her to finish her associate’s degree in secretary science, which also gave her the “confidence
to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management.”
SCCC/ATS Baseball Coach and Athletic Director Galen McSpadden not only worked with Reynolds for many years but said both of his children had her in several classes and spoke highly of the manner in which she would instruct and handle her students. Their comments about Reynolds were that they, as her students, knew where she was coming from, knew where she was headed, and knew just where she wanted them to get to.
“She always would give me the time needed when I would discuss class performance of any of my student-athletes,” McSpadden said.
Reynolds’ hobbies include participating in a shooting club where she is known to compete in period costumes, collecting purses (which she has over 100), knitting and taking care of her dog Susie. Doralia also loves buffaloes and has a wall in her house dedicated to them with paintings and other forms of art.
“She is absolutely amazing and I told her she could never retire and if she does, I am resigning,” said Dr. Mark Sarver, EduKan’s chief executive officer.