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Emeritus Faculty: Donn Rawlings


B.A., Antioch College

Ph.D., University of Washington

At A Glance

Started 1985
Classes Taught College Comp I - II, Honors English, Connections: Carmen, Connections: Sense of Place, Connections: The Modern Southwest, & other Connections courses, English Literature, Images of the Southwest: Edward Abbey, Zane Grey, & Tony Hillerman, Literature of the Grand Canyon, Literature of the Southwest, Majors Issues in English Literature, Western Civilization I - III
Department Communications
Retired 2001


Rawlings, Donn. "Abbey's Essays: One Man's Quest for Solid Ground." The Living Wilderness June 1980: 44-46. Print.

Rawlings, Donn. "Anarchic Dreams in Ed Abbey's Southwest." The Living Wilderness December 1976: 40-42. Print. 

Rawlings, Donn. "Coyote in the Maze: Eighteen Critics Track Edward Abbey." Western American Literature. 33.4 (1999): 404-416. Print.

Rawlings, Donn. "Essay Review - Kate Horsley's New Mexico Trilogy: Masks of Ambivalence in the Southwest." Western American Literature. 39.1 (2004): 105-120. Print.

Rawlings, Carl D. Prophecy in the Novel. Diss. University of Washington, 1973. Print. 

Yavapai College Career

Dr. Donn Rawlings started teaching English at Yavapai College in 1985.  Over the course of his career at the college, he taught a wide variety of English courses, Connections (Liberal Studies Core) classes and Western Civilization classes.  He seemed to be very willing to teach courses in the many areas of his expertise and interests and to partner with his peers to provide relevant courses for the students.


He enjoyed the collegiality among the faculty when he first came and thought opportunities for the faculty to get beyond their own discipline strengthened them as teachers, strengthened the college as a true learning institution, and improved the learning experience for students.  He felt his greatest challenge during his career here was to maintain that collegial atmosphere.


Donn’s leadership abilities were manifested early on when he became the Division Chair of the English and Mathematics Division his second semester at Yavapai (spring 1986). When the alignment of the divisions changed, English was merged with Liberal Arts. Part of the time that configuration existed he was Chair of the English Department.  When the Communications Division was formed, he became its Division Chair and remained in that position until his retirement in 2001.  He viewed his job as Chair as being a shield allowing the faculty under him to do their jobs. Besides leading the Division, numerous faculty members considered Dr. Rawlings a mentor.


Under his leadership in English and Communications,

  • the first computer classroom was established in the lower floor of Building  3, and then a newer version of that classroom in the upper floor
  • an effective assessment program was designed for all composition courses
    • a portfolio project that structured writing instruction, assessed individual student writing samples with team grading by instructors, and provided for group discussion of teaching strategies among the faculty
  • part-time faculty were included in training and social activities
  • the Hassayampa Creative Writing Institute was begun by Susan Lang
  • the English Department was one of the first disciplines to move into an online environment for classes

Committee Work

  • Accreditation Committees and state-wide transfer-credit meetings
  • Curriculum Committee
  • Faculty Senate
  • General Studies Committee
    • Committee designed the General Studies requirement including the Western Civilization courses and Connections classes
    • He wrote the first General Studies rationale for the catalog
  • Hiring committees and program review committees
  • Instructional Council 
  • Institutional Effectiveness Committee
  • Learning Council
  • Liaison with Campus Life
  • Liaison with a group of Navajo Community College English Instructors

Community Service

  • Former Board member of the Central Arizona Land Trust
  • Granite Mountain Action - cofounder and member
  • Prescott Audubon Society - numerous leadership roles and committee work
  • Prescott National Forest Friends - cofounder and member
  • Strategic Management Team for Orme Ranch
  • Strategic Management Team for Tres Alamos Ranch
  • Western Literature Association - member

Dr. Rawlings retired in 2001 and was given Emeritus Faculty status.

Oral History Interview

Additional Photos

Carol Hammond and Donn Rawlings in 1985.

Additional Information

If you have additions or corrections to this page, please contact the College Archives at 928-776-2262 or  We are especially looking for :

  • Nomination materials of faculty for Emeritus status
  • Classes taught by individual Emeritus faculty 
  • Evidence of their superior teaching at YC
  • Their involvement in committee work and special projects
  • Photographs of them during their time at YC
  • List of written works published, public artwork, music written and performed