SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. - Western Nebraska Community College welcomed three new faculty members for the Fall 2022 semester. One joined WNCC's Surgical Technology program and the two others are English instructors. 

Alyssa Rice, who was most recently an adjunct instructor for the Surgical Technology program, accepted a full-time position in August. Before that, she worked at Regional West Medical Center's Operating Room and the Oregon Trail Eye Surgery Center. She said it's been an adjustment from the operating room to the class room, but a challenge that she is excited about. 

"It’s a big change from working in surgery, to teaching it," Rice said. "I’m looking forward to all of the challenges and adventures that await me here."

Holly Boomer and Jeffrey Downey are the newest English instructors at WNCC. 

Boomer received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Chadron State College before earning a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Boomer's career is full of stops in several states as an instructor and an administrator. She said that watching students learn and reach their goals is fulfilling. 

"Teaching has been one of my most authentic career experiences because it requires engagement that is purposeful, passionate, and supportive, and as educators if we want to help students learn then we must model life-long learning," Boomer said. "Assisting students to reach their learning and career goals is fulfilling, as I’m witness to graduates who are empowered to change their lives and their communities."

Downey started his college education at WNCC, before transferring to UNL and eventually receiving a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He has been teaching composition, literature, and English classes in several varieties for the last decade. Last year, he started working for WNCC as an adult education instructor and discovered how much WNCC cares for the community and its students. 

 "I love the community college model, the interdisciplinary approach, the ratio of faculty to students, and the role that WNCC plays in the community," Downey said. "The smaller setting fosters that kind of collaboration and allows for more collective effort when helping students. I also appreciate how nimble and proactive a community college can be. Last year, WNCC went on a “listening tour” in the panhandle. Already this fall new projects, new initiatives are underway, as a result of that listening tour."