Will McGill receives McMurtry teaching award

September 15, 2011

William “Will” McGill, assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), was recently named the winner of the 2011-12 George McMurtry Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award.

Established by IST in 2002, the award is given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates innovative teaching, commitment to student learning and creative interaction with students. The award is funded by George McMurtry, one of the founders of the College of IST and former associate dean of the College of Engineering.

“In recent years, I took some risks by trying out a few new and different types of activities in the classroom that I thought would improve student learning,” McGill said. “This award tells me that I am on the right track.”

During a faculty meeting on Sept. 9, Madhu Reddy, Faculty Council chair and an associate professor at the College of IST, presented McGill with a $500 check and a statue of the Nittany Lion. As the winner of the McMurtry award, McGill also is given $500 for professional development and has his name inscribed with earlier award winners on a plaque that permanently hangs in the Dean’s Suite of the IST Building.

McGill, who joined the IST faculty in April 2008, has a doctorate in reliability engineering from the University of Maryland and degrees in aerospace engineering from both the University of Maryland and the University of Southern California. In 2003-04, he served as the first ASME Federal Fellow to the Department of Homeland Security, where he assisted the department in developing its first generation of risk analysis methods. His current research focuses on security risk management, with an emphasis on the design and application of serious games and participatory sensing campaigns to support all phases of risk management.

“Will McGill is an enthusiastic young faculty member, whose enthusiasm clearly shows up in the classroom,” said David Hall, Dean of the College of IST. “His previous experience working with the federal government provides an added dimension that he brings to his teaching.”

In the award citation, Reddy praised McGill’s energetic teaching style and his use of games as a method for teaching risk analysis strategies.

“Will’s dynamic presentation in the classroom makes him a role model for the students in his class and provides them with an exceptional learning environment,” Reddy said.  “He is a valued asset to the College of IST.”

Last Updated January 09, 2015