Community involvement earns McGinley BGSU recognition

BOWLING GREEN, O.— Tracy McGinley, a lecturer in criminal justice at BGSU Firelands, received the Recognition for Community Involvement at the Faculty Excellence Awards on April 14.

The award is presented by Faculty Senate to recognize a faculty member for outstanding contributions to the community or to other local, state, national or international communities, and includes a $1,000 prize.

McGinley is a board member of the Court-Appointed Special Advocates of Erie County and the Milan-Berlin Township Library, a member of the Erie County Domestic Violence Task Force, a Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Counselor in the areas of law, crime prevention and citizenship, and a member of the Erie County Safe Communities Coalition.

She is also involved with the Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center, where she and fellow BGSU Firelands faculty member Mary Beth Wade Jones started a Help Center in the summer of 2014. The Help Center is designed to provide assistance to ex-offenders in the re-entry processes and to those who are in recovery.  The center was awarded the 2014 Outstanding New Program Award by the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties.

One of McGinley’s areas of greatest passion is advocating against human trafficking, an issue of critical concern to northeastern Ohio.  She designed several service-learning opportunities for students to participate in the Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (S.O.A.P.) campaign, in which students canvased community hotels with literature and information printed on soap bars in an effort to reach potential victims. McGinley also developed and implemented human trafficking awareness campaigns conducted at Ohio Turnpike rest stops, which garnered significant media exposure. In addition, she secured a grant to bring a nationally recognized speaker on the topic to the community.

“She has demonstrated a deep, continuous and significant commitment to community involvement,” said Dr. William Balzer, BGSU Firelands dean. “She is a shining exemplar of community involvement and a great asset to the reputation of BGSU Firelands and BGSU.”

McGinley is also active in outreach to the youth of the community.  She has recently created a book club at the Erie County Juvenile Justice facility and most recently, through a Dorn Foundation Fellowship and in collaboration with faculty from both campuses, developed and implemented a summer enrichment program for area gifted elementary students.

“She is a stellar example of ‘public sociology’ – taking expertise out of the ivory tower to empower individuals and communities,” said Julie Didelot, a BGSU Firelands sociology lecturer and McGinley’s peer.  “It is a rare day that I pass Ms. McGinley in the hall and she is not returning from or on her way to a meeting or event in the community. She is an inspiration.”

McGinley earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Toledo and a bachelor’s degree in political science/criminal justice and an associate degree in criminal justice from the University of Akron. She has more than 10 years of professional experience in the criminal justice field and has been teaching at BGSU since 2001.