Dr. Jim McGill, professor of chemistry and director of the Jane Stephens Honors Program at Southeast Missouri State University, will be honored with the 2018 PRIDE Award during the University’s Faculty Development Day at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 9 in the University Center Ballroom.
McGill will be honored for exemplifying the teacher/scholar model. He was selected for the PRIDE Award by the Council of Deans after nominations were solicited from each of the University’s colleges and schools. This is the 22nd year Southeast has presented the PRIDE Award.
“When I learned that I had been selected as the recipient of the PRIDE Award, I was very surprised. I did not even realize I was being considered for the award,” McGill said. “I know so many colleagues who are more deserving of this award than I am. It emphasizes to me the importance of looking around us and seeing those individuals who are striving to do the best they can for others, recognizing them and thanking them.”
The Provost’s Research, Instruction and Development for Excellence (PRIDE) Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence as a teacher, an extraordinary level of scholarship and service and whose overall accomplishments are especially noteworthy.
“Dr. McGill is an outstanding faculty member who exemplifies the teacher-scholar model while putting students first,” said Dr. Tamela Randolph, interim Southeast provost. “He is recognized both on and off campus as a leader. It is a great honor for me to be presenting the PRIDE Award to someone as dedicated to teaching, scholarship and service as Dr. McGill.”
McGill has been employed by Southeast for 18 years and has developed a reputation for his dedication to students, the University and the forensics profession.
“Dr. McGill’s work as a teacher and scholar are evident in his passion for student success and the respect he has earned from the professional forensics community,” said Dr. Brad Deken, interim dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “He continuously goes above and beyond to help students, and that helpfulness and good attitude extend into his service to the University.”
Student evaluations consistently rank him highly, and he advises an above average number of students. He supports the Honors students as the Honors Program director and helps other students and faculty at the University, Deken said. His leadership of the forensic science program, acquisition of major grant funding, and service to the Faculty Senate have been “astonishing.”
“I am an alumnus of Southeast, and it changed my life. It is no accident that I chose a career in higher education. I am driven by a desire to be to others what I needed so badly as a young person and found in several key teachers,” McGill said. “I do what I do to pay back and to pay forward all that I have received. I believe we are here in this world to love and to serve others, and this is a way that I can use my gifts to love and serve.”
During this past year, McGill was honored at Southeast with the University’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award in April and then advanced to the national level where the National Academic Advising Association presented him with an Outstanding Advising Award for a faculty advisor. These honors came after McGill was certified as a Master Advisor in 2016.
Amanda Eller, assistant director of Academic Advising at Southeast who nominated McGill for the award, said, “I am so excited that he was able to be recognized on this global level for his achievements in academic advising and his commitment to his students. He embodies the elements of a true Master Advisor with his excellent relational skills, a true understanding of the conceptual importance of academic advising, and extensive institutional and professional knowledge base required to advise effectively.”
In addition, McGill has developed two forensics-related courses and revised the “Basic Principles of Chemistry” online course to align with the Quality Matters rubric.
“He has truly distinguished himself in teaching, scholarship and service,” said Dr. Philip Crawford, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics. “He serves as a prime example of what a faculty member at Southeast should be.”
He has served and continues to serve on numerous committees within the University. He has been a member of the Department of Chemistry Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) User Group since 2015 and the chair since 2016. He has served twice as a member of the University Budget Review Committee, most recently from 2016 to 2018, and served as the chair of Faculty Senate from 2017 to 2018.
McGill is a member of professional organizations such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Chemical Society, its Chemistry and the Law Division and Organic Division; the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists and the International Association for Identification. He is also a member of the Phi Lambda Upsilon National Honorary Chemical Society, serving as president of the Alpha Epsilon Chapter from 1999-2000. He is certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Criminalistics with a specialty in drug analysis.
In addition to the advising awards, McGill also has received the Southeast Missouri State University Student Government Association’s Outstanding Faculty Member Award and the National Residence Hall Honorary’s Institutional Faculty/Staff of the Month Award.
McGill holds a doctoral degree in chemistry from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Southeast Missouri State University.
He began his career at Southeast as a visiting assistant professor, becoming an assistant professor in 2002, an associate professor in 2008 and a professor in 2015.