KimMarie McGoldrick, PhD, has received two notable awards this month: the Virginia Foundation of Independent College’s H. Hiter Harris Jr. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Joseph A. Jennings Chair in Business for 2010–16.

“Because the nomination [for the H. Hiter Harris Jr. Award] occurs at the University level this nomination demonstrates that my colleagues at the University of Richmond understand and respect the work I do within the institution and professionally. I was honored to be the face put forward that [the University] believes upholds the values of this institution,” McGoldrick said of her VFIC nomination.

This award recognizes McGoldrick for her clear and abiding commitment to the craft of classroom teaching, the teaching-learning process and the development of each student as an individual.

Dean Nancy Bagranoff recently remarked that the Harris Award recipient is chosen from nominations that make up, ‘the best of the best’ because each of the 15 member schools can only nominate one candidate. "At [the Robins School of Business], we are all dedicated to delivering the highest quality education to our students and no one demonstrates this better than Professor McGoldrick, who is a nationally recognized educator and scholar in economics education," said Bagranoff. "While it is an honor just to be nominated, to receive [the H. Hiter Harris Jr. Award] is another story. In my [acceptance] remarks I suggested this honor isn’t a pat on the back, it’s a motivation to work harder," McGoldrick explained.

The Harris award was created through an endowment gift from the family of the late Hiter Harris Jr., a leading Virginia banker and a member of VFIC’s board from 1973-98 and includes a stipend to support the recipient’s scholarly research and professional development activities.

The second accolade McGoldrick has recently received, the Joseph A. Jennings Chair, was created by a gift from United Virginia Bankshares Inc., now Suntrust Banks Inc., in honor of Jennings, former rector of the University’s Board of Trustees, for his contributions to the company and the University.

She sees the Chair as reflective of the value the University places on education. According to McGoldrick, pedagogic research is often considered less valuable than other types of research within academia at large.

“[Being inducted as Chair] was (in a way) a relief, because it was that recognition for hard work you’ve done that is consistent with the University’s mission. This University cares about the teacher-scholar model and this is a really important signal that this University cares about education, broadly defined,” she said.

McGoldrick received a B.S. from SUNY-Oswego and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from SUNY-Binghamton. At the beginning of her career she primarily focused her research in the field of labor economics, specifically on gender-related issues.

However, as a result of a workshop on service-learning and a resultant incorporation in her economics classes, McGoldrick found herself shifting her focus and passion to pedagogic research and understanding how students learn.

“[My research on] service-learning was a pinnacle moment, tipping my focus to methods for engaging students in my classroom,” she said.

Not surprisingly, McGoldrick, who centers her research on student learning, points to her students when asked the source of her greatest motivation behind her success.

“The students motivate me. I have a responsibility to them….that’s my job, it all comes down to them. I work to broaden the way economics is taught, not just for University of Richmond students, but for all economics students,” McGoldrick explained.