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Dr. Jennifer McNabb


Dr. Jen McNabb Wins 2012 CAS Outstanding Faculty Award for Service

May 5, 2012

Dr. Jennifer McNabb, Associate Professor of History, has won the 2012 College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Outstanding Faculty Award for University and Community Service.

During the period covered by this award, from August 1, 2008 through July 31, 2011, Dr. McNabb, currently Vice Chair of WIU's Faculty Senate, has been an exemplary leader at the University and Department levels and an active participant in a broad range of significant and productive service opportunities at all levels, within the university, the profession, and the larger community.

Dr. McNabb, who has been named as the Associate Director of WIU's Centennial Honors College starting in Fall 2012, has provided WIU with leadership at the departmental, college, and university levels, and has also made valuable service contributions to the profession and the larger community, in which she has drawn on her professional expertise in multiple ways. Much of Dr. McNabb's service has focused on service to WIU's students, both within and beyond the Department of History and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). She has dealt in extensive and meaningful ways with important curricular, programmatic, scholarship, and recruitment matters, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, through active and engaged leadership of and membership on a variety of committees and councils, as well as award-winning mentorship of several student organizations. She has also played important roles in searches at both the Department and College levels and has been involved in evaluating research grant applications from faculty members and from graduate students from across the university as well as from undergraduate students in both the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Centennial Honors College; moreover, she has evaluated scholarship and grant applications from high school students and various organizations on behalf of the multi-million dollar Fellheimer Trust.

According to her department chair, Dr. Virginia Boynton, "Dr. McNabb does not serve merely because it is expected of WIU faculty, but because she wishes to make a positive difference through her contributions. Professional service is an integral part of her understanding of what it means to be an active, engaged member of this University and to be a representative of its mission, both on our campus and in the wider world."

At the University level, Dr. McNabb's leadership included serving as Chair of the University Graduate Council in 2010-11, in which capacity she also co-chaired the WIU Academic Integrity Committee. She also served that year and the previous year (as a member of the Graduate Council) on the Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund Subcommittee, which awards graduate student grants for travel, research, and development. As a member of the Graduate Council the previous two years, from 2008 to 2010, Prof. McNabb also chaired the Graduate Council's Curriculum Form Subcommittee. In 2008-09, she also was the Chair of WIU's Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) Committee, a university-wide committee, that under her leadership led an extensive review of courses that could act as the equivalent of WID courses for students in the BOT-BA (now BGS) program. Moreover, during the period considered for this award, Dr. McNabb represented College of Arts and Sciences faculty on WIU's Faculty Senate, where she now serves as Vice Chair, and she represented the Faculty Senate on the CAS Dean's Search Committee. Most recently, Dr. McNabb was elected this Spring to a three-year term, starting in Fall 2012, representing the College of Arts and Sciences on the university's curriculum committee -- the Faculty Senate's Council on Curricular Programs and Instruction (CCPI).

Dr. McNabb's university service also included a three-year term (2008-2011) as a member of the University Honors Council, in which capacity she served at various times as a member of the Honors Scholarship Subcommittee, the Honors Writing Prize Subcommittee, and the Centennial Honors College Scholar Selection Committee. The three years under consideration include all three years of her first three-year term (2008-2011) as a College of Arts and Sciences representative on the University Research Council (URC), on which she continues to serve. She also served on various other university-level committees, including several different First-Year Experience (FYE) Committees, the Talent Grants and Tuition Waivers Committee, the CAS Undergraduate Research Grants Committee, and several different Awards Selection Committees, as well as participating as a Faculty Orientation Leader for SOAR (Summer Orientation and Registration) programs for new students and as a Faculty Presenter at New Faculty Orientation.

Furthermore, during this three-year period, Prof. McNabb served as both Faculty Advisor and Chapter Advisor for Alpha Sigma Tau (AΣT), one of WIU's sororities. As a result of her outstanding service to the sorority, she was chosen by WIU as the Greek Advisor of the Year in 2009-2010, at the conclusion of her first year as the AΣT Faculty Advisor.

Among Dr. McNabb's most significant service contributions to the Department of History was her position from Fall 2006 through Spring 2011 as the Faculty Advisor for the Associated Students of History (ASH), the History Department's student organization. As ASH Advisor, Dr. McNabb attended ASH's biweekly meetings, met with the ASH Executive Board on the Thursdays when ASH was not meeting, and coordinated and participated in ASH's field trips, professional development activities, service activities, and other special events, including representing the History Department at WIU's annual Majors' Fair for high school seniors. In large measure because of her guidance and mentorship, ASH won the CAS Outstanding Student Organization Award for 2008-09. Dr. McNabb, currently Chair of History's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and a member of the Department Personnel Committee and the Scholarship & Recruitment Committee, also provided leadership during the previous three years at the department level as Chair of the Scholarship & Recruitment Committee and as Chair of its General Education Assessment Committee. She also played significant roles in recent years on the department's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and its Graduate Committee.

In addition to her service to the History Department, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Western Illinois University, Dr. McNabb continued to provide valuable service to the historical profession at the national level, serving as Texts and Teaching Editor for Quidditas: the Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association, a peer-reviewed historical journal. In the Spring of 2011, in recognition of her accomplishments in the field and her contributions to the success of the journal, she was appointed as Associate Editor of the journal and has been named to its Editorial Board. Dr. McNabb also consulted as a pre-publication Manuscript and Textbook Evaluator for a variety of textbook publishers on eight separate occasions during these three years, writing detailed reports on various textbooks for their publishers.

Furthermore, Prof. McNabb shared her professional expertise through a variety of public outreach avenues within the larger community. Dr. McNabb regularly worked with the region's secondary school History teachers in a variety of capacities to enhance the teaching of History to Illinois public school students. In each of the three years, she gave presentations on historical subjects to the teachers in attendance at WIU's Annual History Conference and gave invited presentations to the hundreds of history and social studies teachers attending the DuPage Valley Social Studies Conference, the largest such conference in the state; she also accepted an invitation to speak to the secondary school History and social studies teachers at the Davenport Public School District In-Service Program. Moreover, Prof. McNabb spent a portion of each Summer as a National AP Reader for the College Board's annual Advanced Placement (AP) European History Examination. In recognition of her outstanding work as a National AP Reader, she was appointed in Spring 2011 as a National AP Table Leader for the following year.

Finally, as first a member and later Chair of the Fellheimer Scholarship Committee of Wesley United Methodist Church's Fellheimer Trust, Dr. McNabb participated for all three years considered here in all deliberations concerning the awarding of Fellheimer College Scholarships to area students. She was subsequently appointed to a five-year term as a Member of the Board of Trustees for the $9 million Fellheimer Trust at Wesley United Methodist Church, in which capacity she evaluates grant applications to the Trust; in 2010-2011, she served as Vice Chair of the Fellheimer Trust.

Having been selected as the 10th Annual CAS Hallwas Lecturer in the Liberal Arts (2012) and having been accepted into the membership of the international interdisciplinary scholarly honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, where she currently serves as Chair of WIU's PKP Public Relations Committee, Prof. McNabb has ensured that her extensive service contributions have not come at the expense of her teaching or her scholarship; during the three-year period on which her CAS Outstanding Faculty Award for Service was based, she was also the winner of the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009), the CAS Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching (2009), and the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Studies Association's Delno C. West Award for Most Outstanding Journal Article by a Senior Scholar (2010). Most recently, Dr. McNabb has been nominated by the President of Michigan's Adrian College, her alma mater, as Adrian College's Distinguished Young Alumna for 2012.

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