News Releases

Lander faculty members awarded endowed professorships

May 29, 2012
Two Lander University faculty members have been selected to fill endowed professorships awarded by The Lander Foundation for 2012-2014.

The recipients are Dr. Jonathan Bassett, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Lucas McMillan, assistant professor of political science.

The two awards are given to tenured or tenure-track faculty members who represent Lander's commitment to teaching and learning, who have distinguished records of scholarly and creative activity, and service to the university and the community.

Jon Bassett
Dr. Jonathan Bassett
Bassett, who was named recipient of The Lander Foundation Endowed Professorship, joined the faculty in Lander's Department of Psychology in 2005, and the following year he was selected for the university's Young Faculty Scholar Award. In 2011, he received two prestigious teaching honors: Lander's Distinguished Professor of the Year Award, and the Outstanding Teacher of Psychology Award given by the South Carolina Psychological Association.

A native of Gaffney, Bassett's undergraduate psychology degree is from Furman University and he received his master's and doctoral degrees in social psychology from Georgia State University. 

He is the author or co-author of 25 peer-reviewed journal articles, two book chapters and more than 80 presentations at professional meetings. He also has been the reviewer of more than 20 manuscripts for journals and other publications as well as grant proposals. 

Bassett is president of the S.C. Psychological Association. He chairs Lander's Faculty Senate and Psychology Assessment Committee, and is a member of the Top Students Task Force and Study Abroad Committee.

His research interests include attitudes about death and dying and testing the hypotheses derived from Terror Management Theory. He also conducts research on the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Bassett said he is honored to be selected for The Lander Foundation Endowed Professorship. "Scholarship is very important to me and I work very hard at it," he said, adding that it is rewarding to be recognized for his accomplishments in the field.

Lucas McMillan
Dr. Lucas McMillan
McMillan received the Monica Martin Stranch Endowed Professorship for exemplary teaching. The native of Mullins, S.C., joined Lander's political science faculty in 2008.

In 2011, he was named Lander's Young Faculty Scholar for his teaching and research achievements. In February of this year, he published the book "The Involvement of State Governments in U.S. Foreign Relations," which examines the increasing involvement of states and governors in international issues.

McMillan graduated from Wofford College and spent a semester at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. After earning a master's in international relations from the University of Warwick in England, he completed his doctoral degree in political science at the University of South Carolina.

McMillan is the 2011-2012 president of the South Carolina Political Science Association. He plays a leading role in Lander's American Democracy Project whose chapter coordinates all civic engagement activities on campus, bringing in speakers, hosting debates, and conducting voter registration drives and community service programs.

He coordinates Lander's participation in The Washington Semester Internship Program sponsored by the University of South Carolina Honors College. Since 2009, seven Lander students have applied for and been selected for internships to spend a semester working and studying in Washington, D.C.

McMillan said it is an honor to be chosen for the endowed professorship. "I enjoy teaching," he said, adding that he uses a lot of role-playing activities and simulations of decision-making groups in his classes and in student writing assignments. "All of these active learning techniques have been shown to increase critical thinking in students and make the classroom more fun."