Irvine, Colin

Portrait of Dr. Colin Irvine

OCON 247
Sr Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Colin Irvine, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, joined Carroll’s administrative team in July of 2015.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Carroll in 1991 before receiving a Masters of Arts in American Studies at the University of Notre Dame.  Following the completion of his MA, he spent three years teaching at his alma mater, Bishop Kelly High School, in Boise, Idaho.  He then pursued a PhD in literature at Marquette University, where he was awarded the Arthur J. Schmitt Memorial Fellowship as well as the John D. McCabe Excellence in Teaching Award and the PFF Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2004 he joined the faculty at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.  During his twelve years at Augsburg, he served in various roles associated with the Office for Undergraduate Research, the Honors Program, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Office of Admissions.  He also taught numerous courses in composition, education, and literature, including several team-taught sections in environmental studies.  In 2012, he was presented with the Augsburg College Excellence in Teaching Award.

He was named a Fulbright Roving Scholar in 2010, a grant which provided Dr. Irvine the opportunity to teach lessons on American culture and to offer educational methodology workshops to instructors at universities and videregående skoles (grades 10-13) throughout Norway.  In the course of the 2010-2011 academic year, Dr. Irvine visited 45 schools in 35 cities, including schools in Oslo, Bergen, Longyearbyen, Kristiansand, and numerous towns and cities in between.  During a subsequent sabbatical, he taught literature and education courses at Anqing Teachers College in Anqing, China.  More recently, in January of 2015, he was granted a second Fulbright, this time to undertake research at the University of Bergen.  He declined the award, electing instead to pursue his present work in Academic Affairs at Carroll. 

Although committed to his career as a professor, and though enthusiastic about spending another year in Norway teaching and researching, the decision to return to Carroll was an easy one for Dr. Irvine.  A first-generation student, he believes deeply that his four years at Carroll enriched his life beyond measure and in so doing made many of the fulfilling, enriching opportunities after graduation possible. 

After taking courses at Carroll from such extraordinary individuals as Hank Burgess, John Downs, Maria Vanesko, and Robert Swartout, Colin spent his own teaching career striving to emulate their examples by educating his own students as effectively and as honorably as these professors served theirs.  And now, in his role as VPAA, he continues to pursue this goal, doing so by supporting Carroll’s faculty and their efforts to challenge and inspire students while engaging in significant research.  Dr. Irvine is thus committed to encouraging and facilitating innovation, collaboration, student scholarship, faculty development, and, above all, high standards and still higher hopes for Carroll’s present and its future.  

Some of Dr. Irvine’s publications include “Who Knows What When?  A Narrative-Based Approach to Teaching American Literature” (2014) 53-70; “Cognitive Phenology:  A Place-Based Approach to the Challenges of Teaching Environmental Literature” (2014); “Teaching Like a Mountain: The Aldo Leopold Papers Project” (2014); ‘“The middle found me.’ Using a life-story approach to guide the career paths of future middle grades teachers” (2013); and, “A Novel Understanding of Ecology” (2003). In addition to contributing chapters to several edited collections, he recently edited two editions of the Journal of the West, each focusing on the contemporary suburban West.  He has edited one book, Teaching the Novel Across the Curriculum:  A Handbook for Educators (2007); and is focusing on a second that seeks to incorporate narratological theory and practice into the high school language arts curriculums. 

In step with Carroll’s mission, Dr. Irvine’s guiding mantra is simple:  Work hard.  Have faith.  Be positive.   

Chuck & Maggie Endowed Scholarship

Chuck & Maggie IrvineChuck Irvine began sharing his time and energy with Bishop Kelly in the fall of 1975, when he put his baking skills to work on behalf of the BK Booster Club.  For the next 34 years, he would organize and manage hundreds of breakfasts and dozens of St. Patrick Dinner Dances and Winner’s Choice Dinners.  He cracked thousands of eggs, cooked entire herds of cattle, and, at one breakfast in the mid-eighties, even served French crepes for brunch.  As importantly, he’d tell you, Chuck and his volunteer crew always, always, always left Alice’s kitchen cleaner than they found it.  In this way, he helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars, money that supported all kinds of curricular and co-curricular activities at BK. 

In the fall of 1985, his connection to BK became still more involved.  He took over as Head of Maintenance, and from his first day on the job until his very last one 24 years later, he worked hard – very hard! – making sure that Bishop Kelly’s students, faculty, and staff enjoyed the benefits of a spotless, well-maintained and truly well-loved facility.  He believed in both the value of curb appeal and the deep-clean approach to maintenance; accordingly, he made sure every day that the weeds were weeded, the grass mowed, the garbage gathered, the sidewalks shoveled, the windows washed, and the hallways swept; and, behind the scenes, he insisted every square inch of the school be scrubbed, polished, buffed, and, when necessary, twisted tight and made snug and square. 

In short, Chuck Irvine gave his everything to Bishop Kelly because he believed that, in his own way and with the help of his crew, he was making a difference in the lives of the students and in the work of the teachers.  We were and we remain as former students, teachers, and staff grateful to him for his tireless service and for the model he shared with so many of us, one that underlined the beauty that attends doing something well, really well, for all of the right reasons.

We are equally appreciative of his wife, Maggie, who made time for all things BK, while also keeping their compass pointing toward what matters most: faith, family, and friends. We sincerely hope that Chuck’s dedication and Maggie’s unwavering support are at the heart of this scholarship and all that it represents. We wish the recipients of this support the kind of success modeled by this extraordinarily kind and humble pair of BK Boosters.

Thank you for thinking about giving to this scholarship. Please know that it's not about the dollars but about the gratitude your participation represents and the opportunities it helps to make for an aspiring and deserving student. If you're interested, please give online now or send your donation in the form of a check to Carroll College, 1601 North Benton Ave, Helena, MT 59625 C/O Dan Minor, and write "Chuck & Maggie Irvine Scholarship" in the subject line.