CLEMSON — Clemson University students have chosen Kerri D. McMillan as the Alumni Master Teacher for 2016. McMillan is a senior lecturer in the finance department of the College of Business and Behavioral Science (CBBS).
She teaches courses in investment analysis, risk management, insurance and personal finance to 150 upper-level undergraduate students each semester.
Kerri McMillan (center in black dress) stands surrounded by some of her students after accepting the Alumni Master Teacher Award. (Photo by Patrick Wright)
Kerri McMillan (center in black dress) stands with some of her students after accepting the Alumni Master Teacher award. Image Credit: Patrick Wright / Clemson University
The Alumni Master Teacher award for outstanding undergraduate classroom instruction is presented to a faculty member nominated by the student body and selected by the Student Alumni Council.
“I am so honored to be the recipient of this award. I was still so excited Monday night, I could hardly sleep,” said McMillan. “I especially enjoyed hearing what my students had to say about me. I truly love my field of finance and teaching our Clemson students. When I pull into Sirrine Hall parking lot, I count my blessings. I love every day I am in the classroom.”
Student Alumni Council member and Master Teacher Award co-chair Lillian Tribble said that students enthusiastically nominated McMillan.
“Mrs. McMillan’s students took the time to email descriptive nominations to the Master Teacher co-chairs, including reasons why they thought she was a ‘Master Teacher’ and observations about her teaching method,” said Tribble. “For example, one student said that she was the most positive teacher they had ever had.
“Students in the Student Alumni Council who knew Mrs. McMillan, from having her as a professor or from having her as an adviser for the Blue Key Honor Society, were passionate about her winning the Master Teacher Award. These students loved her and were able to tell many stories about their positive experiences in the classroom.”
Parkwood Griffith, also an Alumni Master Teacher award co-chair, said McMillan’s penchant for instilling passion in her students where it might not have been before and showing them the real-world applications for what they learn in her class helped set her nomination apart.
“Mrs. McMillan not only taught students the course material required, but also taught them how to apply this material and use it in the real world,” said Griffith. “Students felt like she encouraged and prepared them about finance in the real world. Mrs. McMillan’s students also mentioned that she encouraged them to be interested in a subject they originally thought was dull.”
McMillan received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1981, and earned her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Carolina in 1988. She earned Chartered Financial Analyst certification from the CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1994.
Before coming to Clemson, McMillan spent a decade as a portfolio manager and securities analyst for Liberty Capital Advisors in Greenville, an investment management company.
Beyond her teaching duties, McMillan is actively involved as the Wall Street South Investment Club adviser, is a South Carolina Society of Financial Analysts member and a Blue Key Honor Society academic adviser. When she is not in the classroom, she can be found in the trading room teaching students Bloomberg Financial Markets analytics.
She has received numerous awards for her dedication to students, including the CBBS Teaching Excellence Award and the Clemson University Student Government Excellence in Teaching Award.
“What is so gratifying for me is that our students are doing so well,” she said. “My students leave my investment analysis class with technical tools and a specific skillset. Many go on to study for the Chartered Financial Analyst certification exams. What a thrill it is to be a part of all the dynamic things that are going on in the college. I am grateful to my students, my husband, Dr. Jeffrey McMillan, who has also been my mentor, my wonderful three children and my distinguished colleagues at Clemson.”