Jamie McCauley: sociology professor to technology hero
by Josh Kisner
This year’s outstanding faculty Chauncey’s Champion isn’t typically in town during the summer, but we can still ‘feel the teal’ from hundreds of miles away.
Cincinnati native Jamie McCauley, assistant professor of sociology, is the recipient of the outstanding faculty Chauncey’s Champion award for the 2018-2019 academic year. She received this honor due to her outstanding work helping a fellow member of Teal Nation.
McCauley earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in sociology and women’s studies at the University of Cincinnati. After completing her master’s, she worked at Clermont College as an academic director of the Women’s Center and taught sociology and women’s studies courses. In 2006, she began her Ph.D. studies at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Two years later, she started teaching sociology at Northern Kentucky University and was on tenure track when she completed her Ph.D. in 2012. After several years at NKU, she applied for a sociology position at CCU and started in August of 2016.
“One day in the fall of 2016, I saw a job ad from the American Sociological Association list serve about a position in sociology at Coastal. It was like the position was made for me,” said McCauley. “I decided to apply and see what happened. Well, here I am!”
McCauley relocated to Conway with her partner, Lisa, who she has been with for 20 years. They spend their winters in Conway and have a house in Cincinnati where they go for the summer to spend time with family.
“It is actually kind of nice because I get to keep one foot in the country and one foot in the city,” said McCauley. “It is kind of nice to leave the beach to tourists in the summer when I can go anytime I want the rest of the year!”
CCU and McCauley share a mutually beneficial relationship. They both have positively impacted the other in multiple ways. McCauley has many different things that she wants to accomplish, but she says time is her biggest challenge in her role.
“I’m so fortunate that my major problem in my work is that I ‘want’ to do so many things and I have so many opportunities,” said McCauley. “I have to hold back and prioritize my time, otherwise I’ll overload myself.”
McCauley is proud of her great relationship with the faculty at CCU, in addition to her connection with students. She values reaching out to struggling students and seeks to get help for the ones in need. These experiences have allowed McCauley to develop what CCU means to her.
“In a word, I’d say CCU means opportunity. Both for me and for our students,” said McCauley. “I’ve had so much support here to grow my research and teaching. By extension, this means more opportunities for students. I’ve been able to include students as research assistants and find support for students to bring their own research and project ideas to fruition.”
McCauley actively helps students with different projects they want to complete. For example, she helped bring one of her student’s ideas of a community garden to life. McCauley teamed up with Darcy Coughlan, a fellow sociology professor, to craft a proposal to create a community garden on the Churches Assisting People property in Conway. The two sociology professors were pivotal in helping the project receive a $10,000 grant in experimental learning funds.
McCauley was nominated by Elizebeth Javener as a Chauncey’s Champion for helping her with an issue she was having with the computer and projector in a classroom. Javener approached McCauley and she was happy to assist.
“I was experiencing technical difficulties in my classroom on a night when I had three guest speakers coming in, so to say that I needed my projector equipment to work would be an understatement,” said Elizabeth Javener, outdoor recreation coordinator. “I asked Jamie if she happened to know how to trouble shoot the computer and projector system and she stopped what she was doing, walked into my classroom, and not only fixed the issue, but gave me step-by-step directions on how to do so should it happen again.”
Just a few weeks after helping out Javener, McCauley received the notification that she was nominated.
“There is a saying that goes, ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,’” said McCauley. “My class had ended at 5:15 p.m. and my students were filtering out. That’s when Beth popped her head in and asked if I was familiar with the classroom technology in the building. I said I was and walked with her to her classroom. I showed her how to work the projector and ran through how to address other issues that could arise. Like what to do if the projector works but not the sound, for example.”
The outstanding Chauncey’s Champion awards are presented to the two most deserving individuals, one faculty and one staff member, who demonstrate that it truly means to be a Chanticleer.
“There is a committee of nine individuals across campus who created and implemented the Chauncey’s Champion recognition program,” said Nick DeStefano, service excellence coordinator. “This group meets at the end of the year to review, score and rank all eligible employees for the outstanding champion bonus. Each approved Chauncey’s Champion nomination is scored based on the five dimensions of service: reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles.”
The employees with the highest scores are discussed among the committee and a winner is picked from each faculty and staff. They are chosen based on score and depth of impact made on campus and are awarded a cash bonus.
McCauley is joined by the winner of the outstanding staff Chauncey’s Champion award, Tinisha “Shay” Mableton, program assistant for PGA golf management. The bonus awarded to this year’s outstanding Chauncey’s Champion recipients was $1,954, the same number as the founding year of Coastal Carolina Junior College.
McCauley lives by the quote: “Be the person you needed when you were young.” She continues to work hard and lives up to the values of a Chauncey’s Champion through and through.
Chauncey’s Service Excellence Champions are University employees (faculty or staff) who perform service-oriented actions that go above and beyond their job duties and that meet at least one dimension of service quality. These employees are recognized for outstanding performance and embody the Feel the Teal initiative. To nominate someone for Chauncey’s Champion, visit coastal.edu/feeltheteal, fill out the form and submit it. Approved nominees will receive an exclusive Chauncey’s Champion gift as well as consideration for additional recognition. View all the Chauncey’s Champions at coastal.edu/feeltheteal/champions/champs.php.