By Gilbert Guru
Arizona Community Colleges are on the rise. Dr. Casey Durandet, a professor at Paradise Valley Community College, was recently one of 23 faculty nationwide to be awarded the 2021 Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award. The award is a national recognition for those making a difference in the classroom, presented by the American Association of Community Colleges.
Dr. Durandet has been a physics professor at PVCC for over 20 years. According to PVCC, Dr. Durandet utilizes her experience and passion to inspire and mentor her students, especially young women pursuing careers in STEM.
Furthermore, Dr. Durandet established a scholarship in 2019 titled “Excellence in STEM” designed to help PVCC, particularly women, pursue majors in STEM. College is a burden and an inhibitor to many people and Dr. Durandet is making it more accessible and demonstrating to women that they can enter the heavily male-dominated field.
When students have outstanding professors like Dr. Durandet, it invigorates their passion, and when young women see a role model in the field they want to enter it helps shatter the glass ceiling.
It is promising to have this unparalleled professor at PVCC. Education lifts our economy, and lifts the future prospects of the Valley – and Dr. Durandet is helping students take their first steps. It is rare to have a professor like Dr. Durandet, and hopefully, all professors follow her lead for the passion of teaching and inspiring students.