Three New Endowed Positions at Northwest College | Big Horn Basin Media

Three New Endowed Positions at Northwest College

Written by on March 14, 2023

Northwest College appointed the first endowed chairs for two departments – an honor to the appointed chairholders and an enduring tribute to the donors who established them.

On Monday, March 13, Northwest College announced three new endowed chairs – two in Education and one in Science. It’s the first time in the college’s history.

An endowed chair is a faculty position privately funded by an endowment, ensuring the position lasts as long as the college exists. Endowed position holders receive a set amount of annual funding to support innovative student learning initiatives and professional development. The remaining endowment income helps cover compensation costs.

Courtesy Northwest College

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.

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 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.

Rowley holds a bachelor’s in elementary education, as well as a master’s and doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on early childhood education. She obtained both degrees from the University of Wyoming.

Sauers earned a bachelor’s in early childhood education and a master’s 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 result from a $3 million gift from a Northwest College alum couple in late 2021 and are funded through NWC Foundation investments to ensure they last forever.

The Jones Family gift – announced in December 2021 – is the largest single donation in Northwest College’s history. The donors see their substantial gift as “sharing their passion for all Wyoming has to offer with friends and family.”

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

[There are no radio stations in the database]