Three Rivers Community College Associate Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II named Virginia D. Christian Educator of the Year by the Norwich NAACP

Three Rivers Community College is excited to share that Associate Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II has been named the Virginia D. Christian Educator of the Year by the Norwich NAACP Branch.  He will receive the award at the NAACP Norwich Branch’s 56th annual Freedom Fund Dinner on Thursday, October 3.

Three Rivers Professor named Poet LaureateThe Freedom Fund Dinner recognizes groups and individuals who have contributed to the cause of civil rights and racial justice throughout the community. The eponymous Virginia D. Christian Educator of the Year was named for a nuclear engineer who was, among other things, a charter member of the Norwich Branch of the NAACP, the first black person on a council in New London County, the first black person appointed to the State Board of Education, and a member of the State Board of Trustees for Technical Colleges.

The committee for the dinner considers nominees for the award based on their impact on education, the community, and the work that the nominee is doing in his or her field. Derell Wilson, the Chair of the Freedom Fund Committee, said that Knowles was selected because of “his devotion, commitment, and responsibility to his students and their families as well as to the community of Norwich and Three Rivers Community College.”

Three Rivers President Mary Ellen Jukoski congratulates Knowles on the appointment saying, “To be named Educator of the Year is a remarkable achievement, and Professor Knowles is the perfect choice. We are honored to have his presence teaching in our Three Rivers community.”

On being chosen as Virginia D. Christian Educator of the Year, Knowles said, “It is an esteemed honor to receive an award from the Norwich, CT Chapter of the NAACP. My grandmother, Martha Montgomery, was an active member of this organization for over 40 years before her passing.”

Knowles is an Associate Professor of English who has taught at Three Rivers for 12 years in the English and Communications Department. He also teaches classes at a local prison as part of the Three Rivers Community College Second Chance Pell Grant program. In addition to serving as the Three Rivers representative on CSCU’s Students First Consolidation Committee, he co-founded the Men Against Domestic Violence Artistic Expression annual event which consists of music, poetry readings and performances, and a live artist painting.  Knowles also chairs the TRCC Community Involvement Committee. Last year, he was named Hartford’s first Poet Laureate.


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