Category Archives: News Releases

Tiffany Johnson of Warsaw earns award from SBU University Libraries

Southwest Baptist University student Tiffany Johnson of Warsaw, Mo., was honored by the SBU University Libraries as the Outstanding Student Assistant of the Month for April.

The University Libraries’ faculty and staff established the monthly award to recognize the outstanding characteristics—such as dependability, quality of work, motivation, attitude and cooperation—demonstrated by the student assistants employed there.

Johnson, an elementary education major, received an award letter from Dr. Edward W. Walton, dean of University Libraries, a certificate of recognition and a gift. Johnson is a student assistant in tech services and is one of 30 part-time student assistants working at the library as a part of SBU’s work-study program.

SBU names Parson next VP of Administration, CFO

Southwest Baptist University has selected Tara Parson, CPA, as the University’s next Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer, effective Aug. 1, 2015. She also will serve as a member of the University’s Executive Cabinet.

Tara Parson, CPA, will serve as SBU's next Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer.

Tara Parson, CPA, will serve as SBU’s next Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer.

“After a national search, Tara emerged as the top candidate,” said SBU President Dr. C. Pat Taylor. “She has a great history at SBU as a student and service as controller for the past three years. Her experiences with BKD, O’Reilly Automotive and Great Southern Bank have prepared her well for this new role. I look forward to working with Tara to help lead SBU to an even stronger future.”

Parson is a 2003 SBU graduate with a degree in accounting and has served as SBU’s controller since March 2012. Prior to joining SBU, Parson worked for Great Southern Bank, O’Reilly Automotive and BKD LLP, all in Springfield.

“Our search committee was very impressed with the wide range of Tara’s knowledge and skills,” said Dr. Bill Brown, SBU provost and chairman of the search committee. “We believe she has proven herself to be an effective leader and we welcome her to the Executive Cabinet.”

Tara and her husband, Kelly, live in Bolivar and attend First Baptist Church of Bolivar, where she has served as chairman of the Finance Committee. She also is a member of PEO and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

“I am excited to step into this leadership role at an institution that has significantly impacted my life,” Parson said. “I look forward to working with the Executive Cabinet as we transition current opportunities into new realities and ensure the University’s continued growth and success.”

The University’s current VP of Administration and CFO, Ron Maupin, is retiring July 31 after serving the University since 1999.

Brown-Peterson named chair of SBU business administration department

Angie Brown-Peterson, assistant professor of business administration, has been named as chair of the department of business administration in the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science at Southwest Baptist University.

“I am excited to have Angie serving in the role as department chair for business administration,” said Troy Bethards, DBA, dean of the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science. “She has a vision for the department and the drive and desire to move the department forward.”

Angie Brown-Peterson, assistant professor of business administration, is the new chair of the business administration department in the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science at SBU.

Angie Brown-Peterson, assistant professor of business administration, is the new chair of the department of business administration in the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science at SBU.

Brown-Peterson earned a bachelor of science in business administration (marketing) and an MBA from SBU. In addition, she holds a social media certification from Drury University. She is currently ABD in the pursuit of completing her Ph.D. in business administration (marketing) from Northcentral University.

Brown-Peterson teaches various business administration courses, such as business communications, social media marketing, ethics and professional development, marketing research and advertising.

“As a graduate of the business administration department and a faculty member in the department for six years, I am honored to serve as the department chair of business administration,” said Brown-Peterson, who assumed the role on Monday, May 18. “I am blessed to be surrounded by exceptional leadership, colleagues and students in my new position at SBU.”

 

SBU student named Ozarks Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants scholarship recipient

The Ozarks Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) has announced that Matt Randolph, a junior accounting major from Lebanon, Mo., is a recipient of an Ozarks AGA Scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year.

Matt Randolph, a junior accounting major from Lebanon, Mo.

Matt Randolph, a junior accounting major from Lebanon, Mo.

“Matt’s selection for a scholarship by the Ozarks AGA is evidence of Matt’s growing interest in governmental accounting and his leadership potential in this important area,” said Wayne Clark, professor and chair of SBU’s accounting department. “Tomorrow’s government financial management is dependent on future leaders like Matt, and we are excited he has been recognized by local AGA professionals in this way.”

Since 1950, the AGA has been the educational organization dedicated to the enhancement of public financial management and is recognized as a leading advocate for improving the quality and effectiveness of government fiscal administration. AGA serves the professional interests of financial managers from local, state and federal governments, as well as public accounting firms.

For more information about the accounting department at SBU, please contact Clark at (417) 328-1951 or wclark@sbuniv.edu.

SBU graduates class of 2015 at three commencement ceremonies

Mikaela Schriver, athletic training major, receives her diploma from C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., SBU president.

Mikaela Schriver, athletic training major, receives her diploma from C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., SBU president.

Southwest Baptist University graduated 571 students at the spring commencement ceremonies held Thursday, May 14 and Saturday, May 16.

In addition to conferring degrees, various student and faculty honors were awarded.

Life Beautiful Awards

SBU faculty selected Renée Coleman and Taylor Qualls as the 2015 recipients of the Life Beautiful Awards.

Renée Coleman, computer science and mathematics major from Springfield, Mo., is the female recipient of the Life Beautiful Award. She is the daughter of Dr. Kelly and Kristin Coleman.

Renée Coleman, computer science and mathematics major from Springfield, Mo., is the female recipient of the Life Beautiful Award. She is the daughter of Dr. Kelly and Kristin Coleman.

Coleman was raised in Springfield, Mo., and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree, having double majored in computer science and mathematics. Among her various honors, she was recognized as a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and received the James Frederick Hurst Memorial Mathematics Award. She was active on campus in many capacities, including serving as a Welcome Week small group leader and support staff chair and a tutor for mathematics, computer science and the writing center.

Coleman is the daughter of Dr. Kelly and Kristin Coleman. Dr. Coleman is an SBU faculty member in the department of physical therapy.

Taylor Qualls, psychology and Christian studies major from Lee’s Summit, Mo., is the male recipient of the Life Beautiful Award. He is the son of Michael and Rebecca Qualls.

Taylor Qualls, psychology and Christian studies major from Lee’s Summit, Mo., is the male recipient of the Life Beautiful Award. He is the son of Michael and Rebecca Qualls.

Qualls, son of Michael, a 1986 SBU graduate, and Rebecca Qualls, was raised in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts, having double majored in psychology and Christian studies. He served as vice president of Psi Chi, the international psychology honors society, and was a member of the Gordon and Judy Dutile Honors Program. He was recognized as a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and was named the outstanding Christian ministry scholar.

Qualls has served on SBU mission trips to Spain and China with the Center for Global Connections, through which he will be leading an SBU mission trip to Georgia.

The award is given annually to an exceptional man and woman in SBU’s spring graduating class whose outstanding scholarship and character demonstrates that they live a “life beautiful.” SBU faculty selects the recipients, who are announced at commencement. The Life Beautiful Award was established in 1937 by Rosalee Mills Appleby, a career missionary to Brazil.

Dr. Craig Endres, chair of the department of biology and professor of biology, is the recipient of the Orien B. Hendrex faculty award.

Dr. Craig Endres, chair of the department of biology and professor of biology, is the recipient of the Orien B. Hendrex faculty award.

Orien B. Hendrex Award

The Orien B. Hendrex Award was presented to Dr. Craig Endres, chair of the department of biology and professor of biology. This honor is given annually to a faculty member who has been judged by the previous three years’ graduating classes to be outstanding in both teaching ability and personal guidance. The SBU Board of Trustees designated this award in memory of Hendrex, a former academic dean.

Senior speaker and music

Meagan R. Burns delivered the Bob R. Derryberry Senior Address, in which she encouraged students to strive to exceed the perceptions others have of their generation, as well as to approach challenges in their lives as opportunities to grow.

“Adversity teaches more lessons than the easy times ever can, and Scripture shows us this again and again,” she said, referencing Biblical figures like Job, who clung to the Lord’s faithfulness in spite of the suffering and trials that he was experiencing.

“History does not remember those who meet expectations,” she said. “Rather, it remembers those who surpass them.”

Violinist Elizabeth E. Caddy, who earned a bachelor of science in economics and finance, presented the senior music performance. Caddy performed “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken,” composed by Franz Haydn and arranged by Ken Lynch.

Retiring faculty and staff

Six retiring faculty members were recognized at the commencement ceremonies, including:

  • Pearlene Breshears, counselor and assistant professor of psychology;
  • Dr. Kathy Brown, professor of music;
  • Dr. William Brown, provost, professor of music and former dean of the Geneva Casebolt College of Music, Arts and Letters;
  • Dr. Delta Cavner, associate professor of education;
  • Dr. Dot Hash, professor of physical therapy and program director of the physical therapy department from 1994 to 2005; and
  • Dr. Jim Frost, professor of intercultural studies.

One staff member was recognized: Ron Maupin, vice president for administration and the University’s chief financial officer, who will retire July 31.

Commencement addresses

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt delivered the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony. Prior to being elected to the United States Senate in 2010, Blunt served as Missouri’s Secretary of State, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and as president of SBU from 1993 to 1996.

He challenged students to cherish and protect the American right to religious freedom, as well as to build their lives on Gospel truth. “Southwest Baptist University is a place where you come and learn not just how to make a living, but where you can come and learn how to live a life, and particularly to live that life on the life framework of the Gospel,” he said.

He also encouraged students to embrace the exciting time in which they are living and to look forward to all of the possibilities, opportunities and advancements that the future holds.

“I think that we live in a very exciting time,” he said. “Part of the excitement is that we can’t predicting what the world will look like in the next few decades, but it is a world that has lots of potential opportunities for us.”

The graduate ceremony commencement address was given by Dr. J. David Taylor, who graduated from SBU with a master of physical therapy in 1998 and currently serves as associate professor of physical therapy at University of Central Arkansas. In June, he will be joining the department of physical therapy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Taylor encouraged students to resolve to serve the Lord with their lives, citing the Biblical story of Ananias, who was called by God to minister to the Apostle Paul shortly after his remarkable conversion on the road to Damascus. “I have a meaningful question to ask of you: Are you prepared to serve God, and will you make the choice to serve God?” Taylor asked. “Your decision to serve God is indeed your choice.”

“Do not allow the things of your past to stop you from serving God,” Taylor said. “Look ahead, not back.”

SBU to hold three commencement ceremonies, 571 students graduating

Southwest Baptist University is set to graduate 571 students this month at three separate commencement ceremonies scheduled to take place May 14 and 16.

“This is a tremendous time of celebration for our outstanding graduates, who have worked diligently to earn these degrees,” said C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., SBU president. “We are pleased to honor the achievements of our students, including those completing graduate programs, who will now have a separate, more intimate ceremony.”

Graduation ceremonies for Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences students will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, in the sanctuary of Second Baptist Church, 3111 E. Battlefield Rd., Springfield.

For the first time, Bolivar undergraduate and graduate students will be honored at two separate ceremonies, with the undergraduate commencement taking place at 10 a.m., followed at 3 p.m. by the graduate ceremony. Both ceremonies will be held at John Q. Hammons Court within the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus, with overflow seating being offered in Pike Auditorium in the Mabee Chapel building for undergraduate commencement.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt will deliver the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony. Prior to being elected to the United States Senate in 2010, Blunt served in the U.S. House of Representatives and was president of SBU from 1993 to 1996.

Meagan R. Burns will deliver the Bob R. Derryberry Senior Address. For the senior music performance, Elizabeth E. Caddy will present “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken,” composed by Franz Haydn and arranged by Ken Lynch.

Five retiring faculty members will be recognized:

  • Pearlene Breshears, counselor and assistant professor of psychology;
  • Dr. Kathy Brown, professor of music;
  • Dr. William Brown, provost, professor of music and former dean of the Geneva Casebolt College of Music, Arts and Letters;
  • Dr. Delta Cavner, associate professor of education; and
  • Dr. Jim Frost, professor of Intercultural Studies.

One staff member will be recognized: Ron Maupin, vice president for administration and the University’s chief financial officer, who will retire July 31. Award presentations will include the student Life Beautiful Awards and the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award.

Dr. J. David Taylor will deliver the commencement address at the graduate student commencement ceremony. Taylor, who graduated from SBU with a master of physical therapy in 1998, is an associate professor of physical therapy at University of Central Arkansas. One retiring faculty member will be recognized: Dr. Dot Hash, a professor of physical therapy who served as program director of the department from 1994 to 2005.

For more information about the Bolivar commencement, please contact the Provost’s Office at (417) 328-1601. For more information about the Springfield commencement, please call (417) 820-2069.

SBU Students Chosen for Small College Intercollegiate Band

Two students from Southwest Baptist University recently traveled to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., to perform with the 2015 Small College Intercollegiate Band at a March 28 concert. The concert was part of the biennial convention of the College Band Directors National Association, which was attended by Dr. Brian Hopwood, SBU music professor and Wind Symphony conductor.

Comprised of more than 95 auditioned musicians representing 49 schools from across the nation, the ensemble selected Courtney Munton (flute), a senior music education major from Greenfield, Mo., and Ashley Fox (French horn), a junior music education major from Dunnegan, Mo.

Munton and Fox were selected from a group of more than 300 students applying for admission to the ensemble, in which SBU was one of only two Missouri colleges to be represented. “I have never had as much fun performing a concert as I did performing with this group,” Fox said. “It was truly amazing.”

SBU students Courtney Munton (left) and Ashley Fox (far right) with Dr. Ray Cramer, director of the 2015 Small College Intercollegiate Band.

SBU students Courtney Munton (left) and Ashley Fox (far right) with Dr. Ray Cramer, director of the 2015 Small College Intercollegiate Band.

The group was under the direction of Dr. Ray Cramer, emeritus professor of conducting and emeritus director of Bands at Indiana University, where he was conductor of the University Wind Ensemble. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to perform with such talented and committed players, as well as to learn from Dr. Cramer,” Munton said. “It was truly an amazing experience.”

Musical selections at the concert included “Celebration Fanfare and Dance” by Kevin Walczyk; Symphony No. 6 by Vincent Persichetti; “Seal Lullaby” by Eric Whitacre; “Symphony IV: Bookmarks from Japan” by Julie Giroux, and “Dance of the Jesters” by Peter Tchaikovsky and arranged for band by Dr. Cramer.

SBU trustees vote to reinstate MBA program

Southwest Baptist University’s Board of Trustees voted during the board’s April 28 meeting to reinstate the Master of Business Administration degree.

The MBA program was suspended in May 2012 due to low enrollment and decreasing revenue, but SBU has continued to have approved degree status for the program from the Higher Learning Commission, the University’s overall accrediting body, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the business accrediting body.

Dr. John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, presents a check to Southwest Baptist University President Dr. C. Pat Taylor during the April 28 SBU Board of Trustees meeting. The money will be used toward the renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor Free Enterprise Center.

Dr. John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, presents a check to Southwest Baptist University President Dr. C. Pat Taylor during the April 28 SBU Board of Trustees meeting. The money will be used toward the renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor Free Enterprise Center.

Classes will begin in Fall 2015 on the Bolivar campus for the Residential MBA that is designed for graduates of the traditional undergraduate program on SBU’s Bolivar campus. A second track, the Professional MBA that is designed for the business professional who desires to return to school to complete an MBA, will be introduced to the Springfield market at a future time.

The program has three distinctive components: Being intentionally faith-based with a focus on leadership and an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

2015-16 budget: Trustees also approved a $58 million budget that includes a 4-percent raise for all employees if enrollment goals are met.

MBC donation to building project: Dr. John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), presented a check from the MBC to be used toward the renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor Free Enterprise Center. The estimated total cost of the project is $2.5 million, with more than $1.4 million raised. Expansion is necessary due to enrollment growth in the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science.

Five-year strategic plan: Trustees approved an updated Pathways for Success: 2015-2020 strategic plan. Goals identified in the plan are:

  • Place students first;
  • Commitment to employee well-being;
  • Achieve enrollment goals;
  • Advance excellence in teaching and learning;
  • Integration of faith in all aspects of university life;
  • Enhanced visibility and reputation; and
  • Improve financial health.

During his state of University address, Dr. Taylor also detailed the purchase of a 15,000-square-foot building adjacent to the Springfield campus that houses the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU. Total cost of the building purchase, renovations and installation of a state-of-the-art simulation lab is estimated to be $3.5 million. The Springfield campus has more than 700 students enrolled in nursing, radiography and health sciences programs.

Senior art students’ work on display at SBU

Works by four graduating senior art students are on view at the Driskill Art Gallery at Southwest Baptist University. The show features about 60 pieces in various mediums, such at watercolors, ceramics, graphic design and fiber arts.

Featured student artists include:

  • Nikki Abbott, a commercial art and general art major from Roach, Mo.;
  • Jessica Betts, a general art major from Bolivar, Mo.;
  • Luke Liston, a commercial art major from McCall, Idaho; and
  • Stephanie Menez, a general art major from Bolivar, Mo.

The show will be on display through Saturday, May 16. Following the May 16 commencement ceremony for Bolivar undergraduates, a reception honoring these senior artists will be held at the Driskill Art Gallery from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The Driskill Art Gallery, situated on the SBU campus in the Jester Learning and Performance Center, is free of admission and open to the public on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the exhibition or the Driskill Art Gallery, please contact gallery director and art instructor Dawn Katzer, who may be reached at (417) 328-1651 and dkatzer@SBUniv.edu.

SBU students come out on top at Phi Beta Lambda state conference, qualify for national competition

Southwest Baptist University’s Computer and Information Sciences Department (CIS) students in the Missouri Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) placed highly in various categories at the Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference, held April 12-14 in Springfield, Mo. Winning students earned the honor to compete this summer at the National Leadership Conference in Chicago.

SBU had 15 students competing under the direction and support of advisor and CIS instructor Meilani Conley. “I am very proud to sponsor such a talented group of students,” Conley said. “Our students work hard to prepare for competition and the results show their strong academic ability. I am blessed and excited to see our students represent SBU FBLA-PBL at the national level.”

SBU students who won at the state level and qualified for the national conference include sophomore Regan Katz (Hampton, Iowa) in Information Management and Project Management; junior Matt Shaffer (O’Fallon, Ill.) in Computer Concepts; and sophomore Maura Sturguess (Bolivar, Mo.) in Job Interview.

Other national-qualifying students include sophomore Kelli McNabb (Clever, Mo.) in Mobile Application Development; freshman Emily Woods (Osceola, Mo.) and Kenzie Booker (Carthage, Mo.) in Business Presentation; sophomore Becca Brandon (Alton, Mo.) in Macroeconomics and Microeconomics; junior Steven Harris (Bolivar, Mo.) in Cybersecurity; and junior David Thomas (Monett, Mo.) in Networking Concepts. Harris and Shaffer also qualified in Network Design.

Additional members of the SBU team include junior Ashley Morgan (Granite City, Ill.), sophomore Andy Johnson (Piedmont, Mo.), junior Elisabeth Whaley (Fair Play, Mo.) and junior Ruoxi Zhang (Baoding, China).

Missouri FBLA-PBL is the official Career and Technical Student Organization for Missouri Business Education. Missouri FBLA-PBL is supported and run by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Missouri’s FBLA-PBL membership amounts to nearly 16,000, making it the second largest state chapter in the nation.

SBU’s CIS department is home to five full-time faculty, two faculty associates and more than 100 students majoring in computer science, computer information science or web systems and design. The SBU CIS Department is the recipient of multiple national awards each year and among evangelical Christian institutions, SBU is one of the leading producers of software engineers in the United States.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of the CIS department, at (417) 328-1704 or tdeclue@sbuniv.edu.