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WKCTC Biology Professor Receives NAACP Honor

Joseph GarJoseph Gar, professor of biological sciences and biology program coordinator at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, recently received the NAACP Education Award.

Gar, a Paducah resident, was presented with the award at the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet at the Robert Cherry Civic Center last month.

The NAACP Education Committee surveyed the community to identify a postsecondary educator that has studiously served the educational needs of the community, with a focus on helping minorities. Once a year, at the annual banquet an educator is selected for the award. An educator at the primary and secondary education levels are also selected for an Education Award.

In recent years, Gar attended the African American Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit emphasized the need for community educational systems that are focused on student success and encouraged participants to demonstrate this focus by addressing the needs of the diverse student populations in their community in ways that increase graduation rates, with economic and cultural development as the ultimate goals. For this to work, collaboration between educators, families and community activists all pulling together towards a common purpose was key.

This made me redouble my efforts to find ways to help equip the disadvantaged individuals in my community with the tools to know and understand the nature and circumstances of their lives and help them develop strategies for their self-transformation and self-empowerment, said Gar. I used my involvement with the Oscar Boys and Girls Club of Paducah, the McCracken County United Way, and Leadership Paducah as the venues to pursue these goals and objectives.

Gar said when he received the Education Award, he pledged to the NAACP and the community that he would continue with the efforts to provide quality education that yields results. We should never be afraid to take risks in the pursuit of a worthy cause.