Dr. Jami Forrester, a professor of history at NorthWest Arkansas Community College, recently received the national 2014 History Award for Service. The honor, awarded by the History Channel, was presented as part of the National History Day events held in June at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Forrester was honored for her work as a history educator and as Region 10 National History Day Coordinator for History Day Arkansas.
Since assuming the role of regional coordinator three years ago, Forrester has recruited 14 schools in three counties and secured more than $35,000 to fund Region 10 History Day as well as provide scholarships, cash and other prizes for regional winners. A total of 19 schools and 354 students participated in the 2014 Region 10 History Day competition on March 15 at NorthWest Arkansas Community College.
Forrester was nominated for the state and subsequent national honor by faculty and administrators at Central Junior High School and Lakeside Junior High School in Springdale, Prairie Grove Schools and Fayetteville High School. Dr. Patsy Ramsey of the University of Central Arkansas and State History Day Coordinator also nominated her for the recognition.
Luke Adams, who teaches world history at Fayetteville High School, wrote, “Dr. Forrester does everything that she can do to help my students, and my participation wouldn’t be possible without her selfless contribution of time, energy, and concern. … Her professionalism is unmatched, and she never fails to meet every need of the contestants fairly and quickly.”
A letter signed by nine administrators and history faculty members at Central Junior High noted that Forrester was herself a participant in National History Day competition as a high school student, and she served as a National History Day judge for five years prior to assuming the role of Region 10 coordinator. She worked to increase the number of schools participating in the regional event and also started a new category of competition for fourth- and fifth-graders in 2011.
Students in those grades construct an informational poster on a topic of their choice as it relates to the National History Day theme, and “Dr. Forrester’s hope is that the early introduction to History Day will garner enthusiasm for the program that will continue as they move through school,” the letter writers noted.
Forrester teaches Arkansas and U.S. history and world civilization courses at NWACC. She and her husband, Greg, live in Springdale and have two children, Parker and Wyatt.
She earned a doctorate in history from the University of Arkansas in 2011. Forrester also holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University.