Two Penn State New Kensington faculty awarded full professorships

Two faculty members at Penn State New Kensington were promoted in June to full professor. K. Robert Bridges was elevated to professor of psychology and Michael McGinnis to professor of business administration.

The two educators have a combined 56 years of teaching experience at the campus. With the June retirement of Bud Gibbons, professor emeritus of visual arts, Bridges and McGinnis are the only full professors on the campus faculty. Full professor is the highest rank attained by senior faculty members. It is a prestigious landmark in the life of the professorate and means recognition by peers for exceptional contributions within their discipline.

“Dr. McGinnis and Dr. Bridges are wonderful examples of the high-quality faculty at Penn State New Kensington,” said Andrea Adolph, director of academic affairs. “Both have extensive research records and long histories of classroom excellence. Both also contribute to the campus, University and community in various ways."

K. Robert Bridges
A member of the campus faculty since 1971, Bridges teaches introductory courses on psychology. Most of the Penn State New Kensington students who have matriculated on campus in the past 40 years have experienced a Bridges psychology class. He has served as a mentor to many students by providing support and guidance about graduate school, internships and future employment. In addition, he has been integral to the establishment of the Penn State New Kensington Psychological Association and serves as its faculty adviser.

His contributions to the campus and community have been recognized throughout the years with many awards, including Excellence in Teaching by the New Kensington campus, Blue White Spotlight by the Alle-Kiski Alumni Society and Citizens Advisory Board Advocacy by Family Services of Western Pennsylvania.

Bridges' teaching acumen was acknowledged by the University in 2005 with the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching. Penn State honors faculty and staff annually for academic excellence, outstanding leadership and meritorious service. The Eisenhower Award recognizes excellence in teaching and student support among tenured faculty. Milton S. Eisenhower, brother of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, served as president of Penn State from 1950 to 1956.

The Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, resident earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his master of arts in experimental psychology from Temple University and his doctoral degree in child development from the University of Pittsburgh. Bridges is the author or co-author of numerous publications.

Michael McGinnis
After 11 years as professor of logistics and management at the University of South Alabama, McGinnis joined the New Kensington faculty in 2001. He teaches upper-level business administration courses, including "Supply-Chain Management," "International Business" and "Personal Selling." Prior to joining academia, he worked for four years in industry as a packaging engineer and served three years on active duty as a U.S. Army officer.

McGinnis holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and a doctorate in business from the University of Maryland. He is a Certified Professional in Supply Change Management and a Certified Purchasing Manager. His research areas are purchasing, logistics strategy, negotiations and supply-chain management.

The Michigan native has published more than 50 articles in the academic literature and trade press. In 2004, he presented a paper, “Supply-Chain Management Coverage in a Bachelor of Science in General Business Program: A Case Study,” at the 15th annual North American Research and Teaching Symposium on Purchasing and Supply-Chain Management in Tempe, Ariz. His presentation was based on research completed by Leslie Wolfe, one of his honors students. Wolfe, who works at Penn State’s Electro-Optics Center, is now a colleague and adjunct instructor in business administration at the campus.

Another paper he co-authored was recently selected as Outstanding Paper of 2013 by the International Journal of Logistics Management. “A Comparison of the Effect of Logistic Strategy and Logistics Integration on Firm Competitiveness in the USA and China” was published last year in the journal (Vol. 24, Issue 2, pp. 153-179) and reviewed by the editorial board at Emerald Group Publishing Limited, which publishes the journal.

On campus, McGinnis’ extracurricular activities include the chair of the Campus Speakers series and chair of the Administration committee. He is a member of the University College Promotion and Tenure committee and previously served two years on the Penn State Faculty Senate. In addition, he toured China with Bud Gibbons, professor of visual arts, and a 19-member delegation of students, faculty, staff and alumni. McGinnis kept a daily diary of the trip, and the journal was a part of a campus Art Gallery exhibit that included photographs, drawings and memorabilia.

McGinnis remains active in his profession. For more than 15 years, he served with the Institute for Supply Management at the local, district and national levels, and as a reviewer for several logistics/supply chain management academic journals.

“This trifecta of teaching, research and service is the foundation on which we evaluate all faculty, and the achievement of promotion to full professor recognizes many years of consistent strengths in all three areas,” Adolph said. “We are so fortunate to have Drs. Bridges and McGinnis on campus to serve our students.”

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