Professor profile: Dr. Cotrill James

Dr. Cotrill James is a professor in the Political Science department. He is a new professor and came in Fall 2014. He studied at Texas A & M and got his Ph.D. there in 2004.

His research interests are in congressional elections and redistricting. He had his thesis dissertations on congressional elections, and he is very interested in the presidential elections this year.

He got a job as a graduate assistant at Texas A & M University, where he designed class syllabi and taught classes too. He then got a job at Santa Clara and taught political science classes for 10 years.

He teaches several classes at St. Cloud State University. He teaches American Politics, Congress, Presidency, Political Participation, Legislative processes, Politics in Mass Media and Political Research Methods.

He got a job at another school in Chicago, but came to St. Cloud since living here was better. He loves SCSU and he loves the diverse groups of students, he said.

He chose to be a professor, because he liked school and loved learning, and it inspired him to start teaching at the university. He spoke about how he loved learning, and he learns daily from his students who have diverse perspectives about different issues.

He spoke about how he engaged his students by making sure they are exposed to real life situations and that they understand that learning is not just in the classroom but it also takes place outside the classroom. He wants his students to have broad experiences, and he is dedicated to making sure that his students enjoy their classes and learn as much as they can, he said.

He is very involved on campus and he is in charge of the Survey Lab, he is on the hiring committee for the school of public affairs, School of Public Affairs Research Institute, he does media interviews about American Politics and would be involved in the senior to sophomore program which helps high school students to take college classes.

He spoke about how students are motivated by good grades but that it is good to learn as much as possible and not be bothered by grades. When students are learning, everything else falls into place. “College is not a race to run but it is an opportunity to learn and soak in as much knowledge as possible.”

College is not about grades but learning, and forging friendships. Embrace the college experiences. It is a change tool set up for lifetime for learning. He encourages students to think critically about the world around them.

He advises students to forge friendships and embrace the fact that college is a preparation for the real world and it is important to learn real life principles as adults.

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