Dr. Jim McGill just completed his twentieth year on the faculty at Southeast. He holds the rank of professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics and serves as associate dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

McGill earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Southeast before earning his Ph.D.in Chemistry at Kansas State University. He’s originally from the Missouri Bootheel, growing up in Anniston, Missouri.

“I didn’t know anything about college,” Dr. McGill said. “No one in my family had been to college, so I didn’t know how it worked and I had to figure that out as I went along.”

Even though his education specialized in organic chemistry, McGill is an expert in forensic chemistry, focusing in the chemistry of illicit drugs and fingerprints. He worked as a forensic chemist for the Drug Enforcement Administration during a break from academia and helped secure over a million dollars in federal and corporate funding and donations for forensic chemistry at Southeast.

McGill says his true passion is helping others discover their gifts and their passions, then putting those together to find their calling and achieve their dreams.

“I say it to a lot of students, and I say it once they’re here, you belong here and you can do it,” Dr. McGill said. “Those are important things for me to share with students and prospective students. It’s okay if you’re not exactly sure what you want to do. That’s our job to help you find out.”

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