This past July, Millersville University welcomed the new Dean of the College of Science and Technology, Dr. Michael Jackson. A Staten Island native, Jackson began his educational career within the Empire State, obtaining his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1992. He furthered his education at New Mexico State University and was awarded his Ph.D. in Physics in 1998. Since then, Dr. Jackson has worked around the country as an educator, administrator and physicist. He has served as professor and Chair at both the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and Central Washington University. Jackson has also taught during his time at New Mexico State University, as well as at the State University of West Georgia.
Dr. Jackson is a physicist by trade, but presents a passion for all aspects of the scientific and academic world. He went on to talk about his technical work as a physicist, including his Ph.D. thesis titled: “Far-Infrared Laser Stark Spectroscopy of CD3F, PH3, CH3OH, 13CH3OH and 13CD3OD.” In a nutshell, Jackson studied the stability of molecules via an apparatus consisting of a far infrared laser introduced to an external electrical field. This mechanism gives rise to what is known as the “Stark effect”. Dr. Jackson also served as a collaborator on many other projects throughout his career, including work done at NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
When asked of his motivation for joining the Millersville University community, Dr. Jackson spoke of his delight in the size and structure of the College of Science and Technology, as well as the University as a whole. He summed up his affinity for Millersville with one word: collegiality. The focus of student and faculty success was a selling point for Jackson. In fact, this concept of facilitating the success of MU students is a key point in Dr. Jackson’s agenda. He hopes to further expand student research and experiential learning opportunities to drive these successes.
Dr. Jackson’s approach to his teaching and learning style offers great insight into how he plans to embrace his new role as Dean. He spoke about how important it is for him to never stop being a scientist, whether it is in the lab or at the office. Pragmatic by nature, Jackson examines new opportunities and challenges with the intent to always find one thing that he can learn from the experience, good or bad. Dr. Jackson expressed how he rarely looks back at the past, in order to stay focused on the present. He looks forward to his present role, as well as a bright future here at Millersville University.