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Teaching Students is Only Part of Profs Community Involvements

By Janlyn Thaxton



Alice Specht, Dean of University Libraries, was elected as the academic library representative-at-large to the executive board of the Texas Library Association. She will serve a three-year term. J. L. Cole, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Social Work, was recently elected as Treasurer of the Abilene Branch of the Texas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. He was also recently elected back onto the First Baptist Church, Abilene, body of Deacons.{{more}}Melissa Milliorn, Assistant Professor of Social Work, has been named the West Central Texas Branch Chair of the National Association of Social Workers, Texas Chapter.Carol Woodfin, Associate Professor of History, is the HSU faculty leader for the Hardin-Simmons University/University of Mary Hardin Baylor London semester in spring 2010 with 13 students from HSU and five from UMHB. Sandy Self, Associate Professor of Political Science, took two students to participate in the Texas Tech School of Law Tournament. Both Emily Hunter and Matt Mogish made it to the Octofinal round. Also, Self was elected SWAPLA Secretary for 2010-2011.Larry Brunner, Senior Professor of English, has a book review appearing in an upcoming issue of the journal, Christianity & Literature. In addition, Dr. Brunner is currently working on an article on British poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and has multiple biographical articles accepted for a reference work soon to be published. Robert Fink, W.D. and Hollis Bond Professor of English, completed his latest poetry book manuscript “Thin Places” and rewrote his literary nonfiction book manuscript “ETXEA: House of Our Father” over the summer of 2009. Dr. Fink, who directs HSU’s Creative Writing Program, is poetry editor of Texas Tech University Press’s The Walt McDonald First-Book Series in Poetry. His poems appear in the most recent issues of Crab Orchard Review , Iron Horse Literary Review , Image: Art, Faith, Mystery , and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review .Larry Fink, Professor of English, was elected vice-president of The C. S. Lewis & Inklings Society at their March 2009 meeting where he also delivered a paper, “Unexpected Themes in C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.” He presented two papers:”Religious Themes in the Lyrics of Marc Cohn” at the Southwest Conference on Christianity & Literature in Shawnee, OK, and “Pascal & Puddleglum, Boethius & Beowulf in The Silver Chair and Grendel” at the annual meeting of the Southwest Conference on Christianity & Literature in Houston, TX. More recently, he presented “Walter M. Miller, Walker Percy, Carl Sagan and Scientism” as part of the third annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture. Dr. Fink’s article “Imbruted Souls in Milton, MacDonald, and Lewis” appeared in Inklings Forever in 2008, and his book review of Dinah Hazell’s The Plants of Middle-Earth: Botany and Sub-Creation was published in the journal Seven: An Anglo American Literary Review.Jana Wesson-Martin, Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of HSU’s Writing Center, had the opportunity to spend two weeks journeying in Israel over for what she consideres “a lifetime highlight.” Dr. Wesson-Martin taught ESL classes at a children’s camp for Tents of Mercy, participated in Bible study, and toured the Holy Lands. Jason King, Assistant Professor of English, recently joined the faculty of HSU’s Department of English after finishing his doctoral work at Texas Christian University. Dr. King, who directs HSU’s Basic Writing program, wrote his dissertation on the ways digital technologies and online spaces shape writing and public argument in the twenty-first century. More specifically, he examined the ways in which the “autism epidemic” of recent years can be understood as a “rhetorical phenomenon” which has been enabled largely through the public’s increased access to new media writing technologies. Rich Traylor, Associate Professor of History, served as the distinguished lecturer at the HPU Lecture Series in American History. Rich’s lecture, “Hope, Change and the Revolution of 1800,” compared the presidential campaign of Thomas Jefferson to that of President Barack Obama, highlighting the political issues and bitter partisan differences that led to Jefferson’s election. The lecture will be published this coming year in the Texas Journal of Genealogy and History. HSU Associate Professor of Mathematics, Patrick Miller, started the International Astronomical Search Collaboration in October 2006 with five U.S. schools. IASC now serves over 250 schools per year from 21 countries. Students in elementary, middle schools, and high schools participate as well as many university students from all over the world. All totaled thus far, students have discovered over 300 nain belt asteroids. They have noted over 1,500 Near Earth Object observations, 200 NEO confirmations, and 50 virtual impactor observations. The newest of the IASC Asteroid Search Campaigns started on February 1 and will continue, until March 17, 2010. Schools from nine different countries will participate including Brazil, Bulgaria, England, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Poland, Portugal, and United States. The sky-watching students get 45 days to analyze telescope images from several observatories in North America. They compare images from the telescopes over the course of the campaign, and in that time, students are able to locate the objects in space which change positions. Comparing images over several weeks, students are able to animate the data to confirm the presence of the asteroids.About 400 people around the world recently tuned in to Trish Trifilo’s webinar on learning styles and their importance in teaching. Trifilo, Director of Online Learning, discussed how to prepare effective presentation material for Blackboard environments and other online uses. She also demonstrated the use of a software tool to facilitate online presentations. Jon Ashby, Visiting Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, debuted a locally produced a DVD with Austin King, M.D. and Robert Laird, CNA at a conference in Mexico City. The DVD is entitled Anesthesia and the Larynx. He also recently represented HSU as a convention speaker on Pharyngoesophageal Reflux and Voice Disorders in Austin at the Texas Speech-Language and Hearing Association Annual Convention. Lynnette Chambers, Associate Professor of Voice, taught voice lessons and participated in several panel discussions during Hardin-Simmons’ first School of Music sponsored All-State Choir camp. Chambers was recently the alto soloist for the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. She also sang the alto solos in the Mozart Requiem with the Hardin Simmons University combined choirs and orchestra. Chambers performed the role of Mercedes in Abilene Opera‘s production of Carmen under the stage direction of Ron Luchsinger. Earlier this year, she traveled to Central Michigan University where she gave a master class and participated in a quartet recital featuring works from various operas and oratorios. Michael Jones, Professor of Art and Head of the Department of Art, designed three paperback books for Rude Dude Productions. Mike served on the Abilene Branding Committee to help set graphic standards for the Abilene Visual Identity campaign. Mark Puckett, Professor of Piano and his wife, Lauren Puckett, Associate Professor of Piano, will perform the Concerto for Two Pianos by Ralph Vaughan-Williams with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2010. Steve Neves, Assistant Professor of Art, won third place for his alabaster and stainless steel sculpture, “Cock of the Walk”, at the Texas Association of Schools of Art faculty show. Neves work, “The Head Above the Mantle,” was recently on exhibit at the Abilene Center for Contemporary Arts. Neves lectured at Amarillo Community College, discussing his artwork where he gave a urethane foam carving demonstration to ACC students and faculty. Mr. Neves also has a one man art show during the months of February and March in Midland, Texas.Larry Wolz, Professor of Music History and Voice, planned and engineered the Smith Music Library’s historical display celebrating the 500th birthday of Jean Calvin. The exhibit highlights the influence that his reform movement had on the music of the church. Wolz has written several articles for publication over the last several months. He contributed an introduction and commentary on Frank van der Stucken and his songs for a reprint edition of the composer’s Acht Lieder, Op. 17 published by Recital Publications in Huntsville, TX. He has also written articles, “Carl Beck” and “Frank van der Stucken” for the upcoming second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music to be published by Oxford University Press. Wolz recently wrote an essay titled “Frank van der Stucken and American Music Boosterism in the late Nineteenth Century” for a book about the Texas-born composer to soon be published by the Center for the Study of Flemish Music in Antwerp, Belgium. Dr. Wolz recently completed a six-year term as associate editor for book reviews for THE HYMN, the official journal of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. During his term, he edited for publication 227 reviews, 60 of which he wrote himself. He continues to serve on the journal’s editorial advisory board. Mary Christopher, Associate Professor of Education, has been named as HSU’s Spotlight Teacher of the Year in conjunction with the other universities and the local Independent School Districts’ annual Spotlight Teachers of the Year.Corrie Reed, Instructor of Fitness and Sport Sciences, served on the Texas Special Olympics Volunteer Awards committee, and has been accepted to be a presenter at the March 2010 Texas Recreation and Park Society Institute. Mrs. Reed has also been admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. in Sport Administration at Texas Woman’s University. Recently, Judy Shipley, Associate Professor of Education, made a presentation entitled, Digital Stories to Develop 21st Century Skills at both the Texas Education Agency Conference and at the Texas Computer Educators Association Conference in Austin. This presentation has been chosen as a sponsored session by Qwizdom Response Systems that will furnish response system keypads for use by all participants during the session.Edgar Reed, Instructor of Fitness and Sport Sciences, has been admitted to the candidacy for the doctoral program in Supervision Curriculum and Instruction – Higher Education at Texas A & M University, Commerce.Robert Moore, Professor of Fitness and Sport Sciences, will have a paper entitled, “A Christocentric Approach to Intrinsic Motivation,” for the Christian Sport, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies Association published in their October journal. The same paper has been accepted for presentation at the Christian Sport, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies Association Conference, June 10, 2010. He has submitted for publication a paper to the magazine, Faith and Fitness, entitled “Sport, A Tool for Teaching Life Lessons.” Dr. Moore was interviewed by the Baptist Standard for an article published in the January 18, 2010 edition entitled, “Coaches Have Potential to Teach Christian Understanding of Life.” Dr. Moore also recently accepted the position of publications coordinator for the Family Fitness Department of the magazine, Faith and Fitness.Lindsay Edwards, Assistant Professor of Fitness and Sport Sciences, and Chuck Ruot, Professor of Fitness and Sport Sciences, received a grant from the Academic Foundation to purchase an electromyography system that assesses muscle activity to be used in the HSU Human Performance Laboratory. Dr. Edwards’ other activities include serving as a consultant for IntelliGEN, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the health and function of those who are paralyzed due to spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy; working as a consultant for the development of a multipurpose center for Disability Resource Incorporated; and serving on the Board for Abilene Hope Haven.Carol Layton, Professor of Educational Studies, was instrumental in starting a new chapter of the Student Council for Exceptional Children, directly linked with International and National Council for Exceptional Children. The Council works to improve the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and/or talents. In February, the Abilene Autism Resource Group was added to the Department of Educational Studies Center for Literacy and Learning that has a long history of working to improve the educational success of students with dyslexia. The Abilene Autism Resource Group will bring quality services and research-based educational programs to teachers and families of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Renee Collins, Assistant Professor of Education, recently received grant funds from the Academic Foundation for student Active Boards that interface with Promethean Boards sufficient for one classroom of students. Susan Pigott, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew and Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, was the speaker for the First Central Presbyterian women‘s retreat. The topic of her talk was Bathsheba. Dr. Pigott has written a series of Sunday School lessons on Bathsheba for Smyth & Helwys, published this fall. She also taught an HSU Threshold Explorations session for gifted children about the Feasts of Israel. Kelly Pigott, University Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Theology, is completing a book on spiritual formation. Pigott serves as one of the editors of the Texas Baptist History Journal and has written three book reviews for the Texas Baptist History Journal and two book reviews for Review and Expositor. He also gave a presentation at the local National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, served on a panel discussion recently, and presented a paper on George W. Truett for the Texas Baptist Historical Society. Dan Stiver, Cook-Derrick Professor of Theology, recently addressed the Baptist General Convention of Texas Chaplaincy Retreat on “The Theology of Suffering in the Context of Suffering.” He presented a session, “Challenges for Baptists in a Postmodern World,” at Baptists@400, the Logsdon celebration of the 400th anniversary of Baptists. Dr. Stiver has also written a paper, “Sign, Symbol, and Story,” on the philosophy of religious language, for Dialogue, an Australian journal for high school students studying for A-level exams. He recently published a book this, Life Together in the Way of Jesus Christ: An Introduction to Christian Theology, . Stiver spoke on “Hans Küng: Disputed Freedom” and “Cold Mountain: A Fractured Course of Recognition,” at the Southwest Regional American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting. At the annual meeting of the New Mexico/West Texas Philosophical Society in Houston, Stiver delivered the paper “Which Good? Whose God? Barack Obama’s Policy on Politics and Faith.” The paper has also been accepted for publication. As vice president of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, he served as program director for the meeting and was elected president for the upcoming year. As founding vice president of the Society for Ricoeur Studies, he is in charge of coordinating the review of all papers and planning the programs for the annual meetings. Tommy Brisco, Dean of the Logsdon School of Theology, recently chaired a comprehensive accreditation visit to a Canadian seminary on behalf of the Association of Theological Schools. He also presented a lecture on the “History of the Bible in English” at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas.Robert Ellis, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew and Associate Dean for the Logsdon Seminary, recently served as the leader for a Bible Conference on Exodus and Leviticus at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. Dr. Ellis is also a Book Review Editor and member of the Editorial Board for the journal, Review & Expositor. For the past two years, Omer Hancock, Professor of Church Ministry and Director of In-Service Training, has served as the chairman for the Board of Directors for the Association of Ministry Guidance Professionals. In he received the Lewis W. Newman Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions since 1981 to the field of supervised ministry and his leadership to ISGA.Larry McGraw, Professor of Bible and Associate Dean of the Logsdon School of Theology, serves as the Secretary/Treasurer and on the Executive Board of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion—Southwest Region. Ronnie Prevost, Professor of Church Ministry, serves on the Editorial Board of REA’s journal, Religious Education. In that capacity, he serves as the chair of the REA Religious Education and Academic Communities Forum. He is also the editor for the web-based research site, Christian Educators of the 20th Century. Bill Tillman, Professor of Christian Ethics, continues to provide editing for the Window and the “Right and Wrong” column for The Baptist Standard. He also reviews manuscripts for the learner’s and teacher’s guides for the Adult Bible Study for BaptistWay Press. Doug Thomas, Professor of Psychology and Department Head, recently spoke as part of the Visiting Scholar Series at the Church of the Heavenly Rest. The theme for the lectures was Human Nature: Psychological and Christian Perspectives. The Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing is pleased to announce that Jeanne Tucker, Nursing Instructor, has been appointed by the National League for Nursing to serve as an NLN Ambassador. As a participant in this elite corps, Dr. Tucker will help keep faculty and administration informed about the NLN’s initiatives, grant opportunities, conferences, publications, workshops, and other benefits available to NLN members.Dr. Dan Cooper, Senior Professor of Sociology and Social Work, and Dr. Ed Hewett, Senior Professor of Mathematics, plan to retire at the end of this academic year.New faculty member:Mrs. Barbara Stafford joined the faculty of the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing in January. She has most recently been on the faculty of New Mexico State University at Carlsbad as an Assistant Professor of Nursing and as the RN-BSN Facilitator. She also has previous experience as the Administrator for the Lakeview Christian Home, a long-term care facility. Mrs. Stafford earned a M.S.N. in Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso and completed her B.S.N. at New Mexico State University.

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