Notes: Pay It Forward scholarship at Western Nevada College

John McDougall and life partner Debbie Dubuc have their photo taken in Western Nevada College’s reimagined Joe Dini Library.

John McDougall and life partner Debbie Dubuc have their photo taken in Western Nevada College’s reimagined Joe Dini Library.

The Pay It Forward Project has established a scholarship program for high school and college students in hopes of encouraging them to assist people with acts of kindness throughout their lives, reminding them that they can make a positive difference in our society one step at a time.
Since 2015, longtime Lake Tahoe resident John McDougall has helped South Tahoe, Mount Tallac High and George Whittell High School students; Lake Tahoe Community College students; and LTCC fire academy students Pay It Forward. In other words, the project has shown these students some generosity and kindness so they would demonstrate benevolence toward members of their own communities.
After relocating to Carson City, McDougall extended the Pay It Forward Project to Carson High School in 2020-21 and plans to establish the project at Douglas High School for the 2021-22 school year. During his brief time as a Carson City resident, he has also created an endowment for the Pay it Forward Scholarship at Western Nevada College, providing a $1,000 annual student scholarship and encouragement to contribute to their community.
The Pay It Forward Project also provides matching grant funds for student clubs and high school seniors doing community projects. This past year a senior from Carson High School completed a community project to raise funds for socks, gloves and diapers for the Carson City community during the health pandemic. The Pay it Forward Project matched donations of up to $500, which was divided between F.I.S.H. and the Ron Woods Center. The student was successful in raising $2,263.90 to assist these two important organizations. This same student was provided a scholarship to assist with her future college education.
“Our mission is to educate and encourage youth to make a positive difference in their communities. Philanthropy is just something I learned as I went along and especially while a member of our community Rotary Club,” McDougall said. “I just think in our society it is important to assist each other when we can and acknowledge the needs in our communities. We want to assist people who are struggling to get an education who are very qualified to have one, in addition to showing them they can make a positive difference by assisting others.”
The whole idea for the scholarship project began after seeing how a student helped by a scholarship from the Tahoe Douglas Rotary Club returned to the club and suggested that it provide his scholarship to someone else. The Pay It Forward Project encourages others, especially youths of a community, to do charitable deeds for others, donate time to community or environmental projects to show that they care and that we all can make a positive difference. This crusade to educate and spread goodwill with random acts of kindness has resulted in many heartwarming stories.
“One of the important things that I see with a scholarship is not to just hand a kid a check; it is a matter of sitting down and talking to them a bit,” McDougall said. “There’s a certain way that students can pay this forward, including helping a teacher, someone in school or a neighbor. It does not require money; it is different things that we can do to help each other. Students are encouraged to do that, and that is important because sometimes if you say, ‘Here’s a check, get a good education.’ Wait a minute now, the process is a little bit more than that.”
McDougall toured WNC facilities last summer to see new science labs, a reimagined library, practical manufacturing and mechatronics labs, a vibrant art gallery, and more, coming away impressed by the facilities and equipment that the college provides its students.
For a WNC student to qualify for the McDougall Pay It Forward Scholarship, he or she must demonstrate clear and consistent commitment to community service and have a financial need. The Pay it Forward Project grants can assist them in those community projects.
“Students can be really creative to help others; it’s just a matter of them channeling their energy,” McDougall said.
Winter session 3-week classes begin Jan. 3; spring semester starts Jan. 24
The second-round of accelerated online classes starts on Monday, Jan. 3. These three-week classes include Visual Foundations (ART 100), Art Appreciation (ART 160), Ancient and Medieval Cultures (CH 201), European Civilization to 1648 (HIST 105) and Introduction to Information Systems (IS 101).
To enroll in these classes after Jan. 3, students must submit a late registration form with instructor approval to Admissions and Records by Jan. 7. These classes will wrap up by Jan. 21.
Spring semester, which begins on Monday, Jan. 24, offers a variety of options for students. Besides an assortment of in-person classes and an increased number of online courses, WNC gives students the option of taking short-term, late-start and self-paced courses will also be available in the spring.
Students attending in-person classes will be required to be vaccinated. Students taking all of their classes online won’t be required to be vaccinated, but all students will need to fill out a vaccine status form at
To view all winter session and spring semester classes, go to For more information, phone 775-445-3267.
If you need help preparing for spring semester, arrange an appointment with Counseling Services at 775-445-3267 or
Adjunct Faculty Association recognizes four award winners
Western Nevada College’s Adjunct Faculty Association has honored four instructors for fall 2021.
Ana Casareto, Kevin Earl, Cindy Kuehn and Peter Mires have been selected for their dedication to teaching and their students.
“In reaching our decision, we took into account a number of different factors, including teaching ability, commitment to student success and retention, willingness to innovate, such as taking part in learning and training opportunities, and service to the college through participation on committees, mentoring, and other work,” said Lane Simonian, part of a selection committee that also included Deborah Fruechtenicht and Denise Frohlich.
Simonian said that this is the first time that adjunct faculty members have been honored for their teaching excellence with a monetary award since 2010.
“We are grateful that President Dr. Vincent Solis and Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. Kyle Dalpe have allocated money for this much-deserved recognition of adjunct instructors,” Simonian said.
WNCAFA plans to recognize four more adjunct faculty members in the spring.
“It is not too early for adjunct faculty to begin thinking of whom they would like to nominate then,” Simonian said. “I am proud to have known many of our nominees and have admired their contributions to student success and enrichment. Best wishes to them and to all our adjunct faculty.”
Nursing program entrance exam dates announced
Applicants to Western Nevada College’s Nursing program can choose from dates after the new year to take the required entrance exam.
The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam dates include 2022 testing dates in January, February and March:
• Jan. 28
• Feb. 4 and 18
• March 4, 11 and 18
Testing is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in WNC’s Cedar Building Room 320D. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.
Students must have completed the entrance exam in fall 2021 or finish it during spring semester to be considered for admissions into the Fall 2022 Nursing program.
For more information, contact the Nursing and Allied Health office at 775-445-4425 or email
College to close for New Year’s Eve
Western Nevada College's three campuses will be closed on Friday, Dec. 31 to celebrate the New Year's holiday weekend.
After being closed for the Christmas holiday weekend, starting Friday, Dec. 24, the college will resume regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 27 to help students with winter session and spring semester.
Following the New Year’s holiday weekend, the college will reopen on Monday, Jan. 3.
Many college services can be conducted online. For information, go to
Have a Happy New Year!


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment