Category Archives: Uncategorized

SBU student presents research at regional conference

SBU student Spencer Smith

SBU student Spencer Smith

Southwest Baptist University student Spencer Smith, a senior mathematics and computer science double major from Springfield, Mo., presented a talk at the Eleventh MAKO Undergraduate Math Research Conference held Saturday, Nov. 14, at Missouri State University.

The conference featured presentations by undergraduate students from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma about mathematics research they had accomplished. The conference was co-hosted by area institutions including Missouri State University, Southwest Baptist University, College of the Ozarks, Drury University and Evangel University.

Smith’s talk, “Average Intensity of the Distribution of Complex Zeros of a Class of Random Polynomials,” featured results from his Research Experience for Undergraduates in mathematics (REU) in summer 2015, during which he spent eight weeks working with Dr. Andrew Ledoan, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The REU was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Other SBU students also attended the conference, including Julie Bowman, Miranda Carlin and Joseph Reyes, as well as Dr. Stephen Bowling, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Kevin Hopkins, professor and chair of the mathematics department. Hopkins presented a talk entitled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” which included insights he discovered when helping finalize Smith’s presentation.

More details on the conference and abstracts of all speakers are available at More details about Smith’s REU is available at

For more information about the department of mathematics, contact Hopkins at (417) 328-1675 or

Follow-up to security incident at Leslie Hall

The safety of our campus community is of utmost importance, and we take all threats of violence seriously in order to protect our community. A security incident tonight (Saturday, Oct. 3) at Leslie Hall, fortunately, has ended without incident.

Law enforcement officers were called to SBU after receiving a report that an armed individual may be at Leslie Hall. A security alert was sent out via the SBU Alert system to make the campus community aware of a possible security threat in the area.

After questioning some individuals, law enforcement gave an all clear, as was communicated in the SBU Alert message. Be assured that there is no immediate threat at this time.

SBU Safety and Security reminds you always to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Please report any suspicious activity to SBU Safety and Security at (417) 328-8733 or contact the Bolivar Police Department at (417) 326-5298 or 911.

SBU celebrates new school year at formal convocation

Two faculty members and a staff member were honored at Southwest Baptist University’s annual convocation Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Convocation marks the formal beginning of the academic year and is a time that campus gathers to focus on SBU’s mission and traditions.

“All of us—students, faculty and staff—should be challenged by our mission statement to be Christ-centered and caring,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D. “We also should be challenged to do our best academically and to recognize the importance of servant-leadership. If each of us will continue the tradition of living out the SBU mission statement in our lives, the 2015-2016 academic year—which is our 138th year as an institution—will be a great year.”

Craig EndresConvocation Address

The tradition of the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award winner delivering the convocation address continued with Dr. Craig Endres, the 2015 recipient. The Distinguished Teacher Award is chosen by previous graduating classes and is presented annually to a faculty member for “outstanding teaching ability and personal guidance.”

Endres joined the SBU faculty in 1993 and is currently a professor of biology. He has served as chair of the biology department since 2003.

In his address, Endres encouraged students to seek Christ and take advantage of opportunities to grow in their faith while pursing their education at SBU. He also reminded students to be mindful of the purpose to which they are each called.

“No matter who you are—student, faculty or staff—we are all here for one main reason, and I believe it is what Jesus is saying in Mark 12:30, when he said: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ In other words, with your whole being.”

He also reminded students of the importance of humility, thankfulness and putting the Lord first in their lives.

“My challenge for all of us as we embark on a new semester is to deepen our love for God by committing ourselves to follow Jesus, putting God first in our lives, obeying and trusting God, and keeping humble and grateful hearts.”

Newcomer of the Year awards

 The Newcomer of the Year awards were begun in 1995 to recognize one full-time faculty member and one non-teaching staff member who, in their first months of employment at Southwest Baptist University, demonstrate exceptional commitment to the University’s mission and make a positive impact as part of the SBU family. Faculty and staff members who have been employed full-time for no more than 18 months prior to the selection process are eligible. Committees of peers select the winners.

Kevin MarcumFaculty Newcomer of the Year:

Kevin Marcum joined the University in August 2014 as an instructor of University Studies in the University Success Center, an academic program that helps new students transition into college through University Studies courses and academic advising.

“He is an outstanding addition to the Success Center and to SBU,” said Dana Steward, director of the University Success Center. “He consistently demonstrates the SBU mission statement in his interactions with students, faculty and staff, as well as in his personal life. His greatest strength is his ability to build a positive rapport with students. His course and instructor evaluations, which were exceptionally positive, reflect his ability to communicate the course material while engaging and motivating students.”

He and his wife Lesa are both SBU graduates and have four children: Allie, Hannah, Ella and Elias. They are members of Eudora Baptist Church, where he serves as a youth minister. 

Megan HibmaStaff Newcomer of the Year:

Since August 2014, Megan Hibma has served in the department of university relations as assistant director of the annual fund. In this capacity, she leads annual giving functions, supervises the University Relations call center, and creates and plans all aspects of the direct mail program.

“She has been a great addition to the university relations team,” said Brad Johnson, Ed.D., vice president of university relations. “Hanging in her office is a placard that reads, ‘Today, I choose joy.’ Without a doubt, she brings a positive and joyous outlook to her work and the difference that joy makes is truly remarkable.”

She is married to Levi, a student in SBU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. They are members of Freshwater Church in Bolivar.


Craig Endres — Dr. Craig Endres (left), professor and chair of the biology department, delivered the convocation address during the Aug. 26 chapel. SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., presents Endres with a plaque recognizing his selection as the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher. The winner is announced each year at graduation and then is the speaker at the next fall’s convocation.

Kevin Marcum — SBU interim provost Dr. Allison Langford, right, presents Kevin Marcum, instructor of university studies, with the Faculty Newcomer of the Year Award.

Megan Hibma — SBU interim provost Dr. Allison Langford, right, presents the Staff Newcomer of the Year Award to Megan Hibma, assistant director of the annual fund.

Organizations welcome at SBU Volunteer Fair

BOLIVAR, Mo. — The social work program at Southwest Baptist University will host a campus-wide Volunteer Fair 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, in the Goodson Student Union on SBU’s Bolivar campus. More than 20 local and regional agencies, nonprofits and other organizations will be in attendance to share information with students about service opportunities in the community.

“The purpose of the fair is to give students the opportunity to meet great local agencies, particularly those that need volunteers,” said Angelia Ham, director of the social work program at SBU. “It’s very special to have so many students and organizations all in the same room, so it’s a great opportunity. I hope this event will be fruitful for all participants.”

Interested organizations may reserve a table at the fair by filling out the registration form at The deadline to register is Monday, Aug. 24. For more information, please contact the SBU social work program at (417) 328-1736.

BKD Foundation donates $25,000 to Taylor Center project

BKD donationThe BKD Foundation, the charitable arm of BKD LLP, a national CPA and advisory firm with offices in Springfield, donated $25,000 toward the renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor National Free Enterprise Center that houses the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science at Southwest Baptist University. Construction is expected to begin in January 2016 on the $2.7 million project. Pictured are, from left, Ron Maupin, SBU’s vice president of administration and chief financial officer; Kim Hamm, a partner with BKD LLP representing the BKD Foundation; and Tara Parson, controller at SBU.

Public Notification of Opportunity to Comment

Southwest Baptist University is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will host a visit November 16-17, 2015, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission. Southwest Baptist University has been accredited by the Commission since 1957. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the college:
Public Comment on Southwest Baptist University

The Higher Learning Commission

230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500

Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s Web site at
Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by October 16, 2015.

From SBU Life magazine: Changing Gears and Finding Purpose

This weekend, we will continue sharing stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit

Sara (Drake) Salguero ’04

B.S. Elementary Education and currently serving as International Relations Coordinator of Casa Bernabé, Guatemala (Learn more at

By Stephanie Benoit

Although Sara (Drake) Salguero was always passionate about working with children, she acknowledges that when she started at SBU, she did not envision herself living out that passion as a missionary.

“I wanted to be a teacher since I was 5, so when I went to SBU, that was a no-brainer,” Sara said. That fall, however, her focus shifted after hearing a missionary speak at chapel. “I started shaking when I listened to her [because she] was so moving. I went back to my dorm room and asked God, ‘What are you trying to show me?’” Although Sara struggled to let go of becoming an educator, she realized that God’s desire was for her to be a missionary.

Sara (Drake) Salguero and Edgar, her husband of seven years, with their children—Andy, 9; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

Sara (Drake) Salguero and Edgar, her husband of seven years, with their children—Andy, 9; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

That calling eventually led Sara to Casa Bernabé, a Guatemalan orphanage nurturing dozens of abandoned and abused children. Today, she serves as an administrator of the organization and its international relations coordinator, helping direct visiting missionary groups, much like the one through SBU that first brought her to Guatemala in 2002.

“It really wasn’t until I went on that trip that I said, ‘I get it—I see it now,’ because I fell so deeply in love with these kids,” Sara said. “I saw real hurt, real pain, and yet so much joy. I knew I wanted to be a part of this.”

Sara often looks back on the instruction she received in SBU’s education department, such as the educational psychology course taught by Dr. John Wheeler, as instrumental in helping prepare her for a life of ministry and servant leadership.

“That class shaped so much of how I make decisions,” Sara said. “While Dr. Wheeler was teaching, everything went back to real life [and] being a light in darkness. All of that has come in handy, because my life is [about] kids every day.”

Although caring for youth at Casa Bernabé dominates Sara’s time, as well as that of her husband of 7 years, Edgar, much of it is also spent looking after their children—Andy, 9, whom they adopted from the orphanage; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

“If I had ignored God’s calling, life would still be good,” Sara said. “But would it be what it is? I don’t think so. I am experiencing so much more than what I had dreamt for myself. I’d encourage SBU students to say, ‘God, whatever it is that you have for me, I want to be part of it.’”

Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at

Weather-related status for today, March 4, on all SBU campuses

Bolivar campus: Campus is OPEN Wednesday, March 4, and classes ARE in session (see inclement weather policy below)

Springfield campus (Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU): No classes 10 a.m. or later (including evening classes); offices closing at noon

Mountain View campus: Closed all day

Salem campus: Closed all day

Here is a summary of the University’s Inclement Weather Policy:

Because SBU is a residential campus, the University rarely cancels classes on the Bolivar campus due to inclement weather. However, students will be notified by Angel and/or SBU email if a faculty member cancels a class today due to inclement weather.

Students who commute should use good judgment regarding traveling to campus and notify professors if not able to attend classes. Professors will make reasonable accommodations for commuters who are not able to travel safely to campus.

We appreciate all of our employees who are working to clear campus streets, parking lots and sidewalks. Above all, please be careful!

Classes canceled, offices closed on Bolivar campus Feb. 16

Classes are canceled and offices are closed at Southwest Baptist University’s Bolivar campus Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, due to a winter storm that is expected to bring significant snowfall accumulation, causing hazardous roads. Students are encouraged to stay on campus until roads are adequately cleared for safe travel. Employees, please contact your supervisor concerning whether you need to report to work.

We want to extend an extra appreciation to employees who are working today to provide meals for students, to clear snow from campus streets, parking lots and sidewalks, to keep the wellness center open and more.

Even though classes are canceled, we must continue to provide essential services for students. The status of some campus services are listed below.

• Chapel: CANCELED
• Wellness Center: OPEN with special afternoon activities
• Mellers Dining Commons: OPEN 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Kaldi’s and Sports Cafe CLOSED
• Library and Computer Labs: CLOSED

Updates will be posted as more information becomes available.