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Phil McBride, EAC dean and chemistry instructor, wins regional teaching award

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Phil McBride, EAC dean and chemistry instructor, wins regional teaching award

By Todd Haynie

THATCHER, AZ—EAC dean and chemistry instructor, Dr. Phil McBride, was recently honored by the American Chemical Society with the 2008 Rocky Mountain Region Excellence in College Teaching award at the group’s regional conference on June 18 in Park City, Utah.

The award is given for excellence in teaching chemistry, biochemistry, or a chemistry-related field at a post-secondary institution that does not offer a Ph.D.-granting program in that field. Recipients of this award are selected from nominees from the Rocky Mountain region, consisting of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

As recipient of the award, McBride received a plaque and a cash award of $1000.

“It felt good to be nominated by my colleagues at the University of Arizona,” said McBride. “This [award] was a great honor. It was so competitive; I didn’t think I was going to win. It was a nice surprise.”

His wife, Paula, and two of his sons, Dakota and Ethan, traveled to Park City to be with him for the presentation of the award. “I am very appreciative of the support that my wife and family have given me throughout my life,” said McBride, “especially for their willingness to move to Ohio for a time while I pursued a Ph.D. in chemistry, and for their willingness to be with me as we travel to attend conferences each year.”

McBride has taught chemistry at Eastern Arizona College since 1991. In January 2007, he was appointed Dean of Instruction and in this position he has responsibilities over the College’s Science, Math, Nursing and Allied Health, and Fine Arts divisions, and summer school. He also continues to teach chemistry classes each year.

In addition to his busy administrative and teaching duties, McBride has been a driving force behind the College’s annual Chemistry Adventure since 1991, he has served as the recording secretary from 1995-1996 for the Arizona Science Teachers Association and currently serves as the Region V director. McBride shares his knowledge with others in his field, having presented papers at over 14 regional and national conferences over the past several years.

Understanding the importance for his students to see first-hand how chemistry is applied in the industrial world, McBride has taken his students on field trips to places such as the Freeport-McMoRan Copper Mine in Morenci, the Tucson Crime Lab, and Eurofresh Nurseries. He regularly involves his students in community outreach activities by having his students teach short science lessons to elementary schools throughout the valley.

“I love teaching and plan to continue to teach throughout my career,” explained McBride. “I feel that I am able to make a difference in the lives of my chemistry students as well as help other faculty become better teachers, thus touching many lives for good.”