Pursuing a successful career while leading a balanced life can be a rewarding experience if new graduates stand up for their principles, Dr. Harvest Collier said during commencement ceremonies at Missouri S&T on Friday, Dec. 19, and Saturday, Dec. 20.
In his commencement address, Collier, professor emeritus of chemistry and former vice provost of undergraduate studies at Missouri S&T, asked the graduates to stand up for courtesy, integrity, perseverance, indomitable spirit and self-control.
“With these principles being a part of you, you will be rewarded in many ways,” Collier said.
Graduates who began their academic career at Missouri S&T as freshman, heard Collier speak about integrity during Freshman Convocation.
“Part of that message included the emphasis on a tradition of working hard, a culture of collaboration, a proper perspective toward inclusiveness, and a strong emphasis on integrity and excellence,” Collier said. “Arriving at this day, you have demonstrated a clear understanding of the value of integrity. Continue to stand up for integrity and this banner will be one of the most important characterizations of your life.”
During commencement, Collier was awarded the Chancellor Medal, which is given to individuals who have contributed to the well-being, growth and development of the university.
Collier, who retired from Missouri S&T in 2012 after more than three decades of teaching, service and leadership, also served as director of Missouri S&T’s Center for Educational Research and Teaching Innovation. The center promotes faculty development in areas of collaborative and experiential learning, technology-enhanced learning, and educational research.
During his tenure at Missouri S&T, Collier initiated and led several programs designed to improve student learning, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An advocate of collaborative learning and the use of technology in the classroom, Collier was instrumental in developing programs such as Hit the Ground Running to help incoming freshmen make the transition from high school to college.
In 2010, Collier was one of 10 educators named Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, a national organization based at the University of South Carolina.
Collier, who holds bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in inorganic chemistry from Mississippi State University, joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 1982 as an assistant professor of chemistry. He was promoted to associate professor in 1988 and professor in 1994. From 1996-1999, he served as chair of the chemistry department, and from 1999-2002, he was associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. He was named vice provost for undergraduate and graduate studies in 2001 and in 2007 became vice provost for undergraduate studies.
Since leaving Missouri S&T, Collier has continued to research, evolve and share strategies for student retention and success at the higher education level.