By: Jennifer Gasiorek—
Muncie, IN—Ivy Tech Community College has awarded 19 faculty members with the President’s Award, which recognizes individuals who exemplify the mission of the College. This annual tradition, which began in 1983, awards one full-time faculty member per campus.
Each President’s Award winner is eligible for the Founder’s Award, formerly known as the Glenn W. Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction. The winner of the Founder’s Award will be announced in a June ceremony.
As a psychology professor for the campus of Ivy Tech Muncie/Henry County, Autumn McNichols connects with students about topics that people have to deal with on a daily basis. She incorporates service learning projects into her curriculum. For example, in the winter, her students put hats, scarfs, gloves and notes all over Muncie for people who may need extra warmth. These projects not only impact her Ivy Tech students, but the community as a whole. To date her students have logged nearly 4000 volunteer hours resulting in a $90,000 financial impact for the local community.
“Psychology is a subject, we live every day of our lives. We need it to navigate life and relationships in general,” said McNichols. “My job as a teacher is to push my students to see things in a different way. Nothing is off-limits in my classroom and we do talk about sensitive issues; however, I do ask that they be respectful.”
McNichols work experience includes the Department of Child Services, Adult and Child Mental Health Center, and Indiana University/Riley Hospital. Currently, she is working as a therapist and clinical evaluator for Shelby Psychological Services, a private psychological practice, specializing in the treatment of adolescents with serious psychopathology. As part of this work, she also conducts juvenile and adult psychological assessments for the probation and court systems. Additionally, she is the school-based evaluator for Mays Community Academy, a charter school in northern Rush County.
“Her experience outside of Ivy Tech allows her to bring a real-world scenario into the classroom.” Said Dr. Mia D. Johnson, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. “She connects with students, and brings life to the classroom. By remaining active in the psychology field, she can marry the real life experiences with the textbook theories and applications to create a better learning experience for her students.”
McNichols received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice/ Criminology from Ball State University Honors College in May 1996. She later earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Ball State University in December 2003. Autumn began as an adjunct faculty member with the Central Indiana region in January 2005. In January 2011, she assumed the role of Assistant Professor of psychology for East Central Region (Muncie). In 2013, she was promoted to Associate Professor, and in August 2018, she was granted a promotion to full professor.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.