AtÂ The Ends and Goals of Higher Education in Twenty-First-Century America: Change and the Calling of the Christian Educator,Â I had the privilegeÂ of getting to know a number of Christians who serve Christ in higher education. One such faculty was Dr. Jay McGhee, who serves asÂ Assistant Professor,Â Department of Natural Sciences, Northwest Missouri State University. In follow-up to our time together, I asked him a few questions regarding his life in higher education. We pray that you will find these words an encouragement as they “pull back” some of the veil of one Christian’s work-life journey in higher education. To God be the glory! ~ Thomas B. Grosh IV, Associate Director, Emerging Scholars Network
What were the key moments or individuals that guided you toward an academic vocation?
Several factors guided me towards an academic vocation. I began college after a brief stint inÂ the U.S. Army, and one of the things I liked about the army were the field experiences. I had hopes thatÂ through college I could pursue a course of study that would allow me to continue to do work outdoors.Â Iâ€™m also a fan of John Steinbeck. His novel Cannery Row, along with his eulogy of his friend Ed Ricketts (aÂ biologist) really influenced me to try wildlife biology as a major. Eventually, I took a course calledÂ Evolution & Genetics, which required some active research on my part as an undergraduate. It was myÂ first experience actually conducting science, and I loved it. When I continued my education in graduateÂ school, I earned money as a lab TA, and that got me hooked on teaching. Where can you both teach andÂ practice science? At the university!
How does your faith in Christ and theology of vocation influence your work as a faculty member in yourÂ particular field of study? [Read more…] about Faculty Interview: Jay McGhee, Natural Sciences