Monthly Archives: August 2013

Guest artist cello recital to be held at SBU

The Southwest Baptist University Department of Music is hosting a guest artist cello recital at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3 in the Meyer Recital Hall. Dr. Michael Murray and Dr. Robert Carney will present a program of vocal songs transcribed for the cello titled, “Songs without Words.” The program will feature a broad selection of art songs, including those by Brahms, Strauss, Fauré, Poulenc, Duparc and others.

Dr. Murray is a professor of music at Missouri State University and principal cellist of the Springfield Symphony. As founding member of the Hawthorne Trio at MSU, Murray performed widely across the United States, Japan, Czech Republic, England and at the Chopin Academy in Warsaw, Poland. Researching music for cello composed in the 1930s, Dr. Murray held artist/scholar residency at the American Academy in Rome and conducted classes in music for the Missouri London Program.

Dr. Carney is an assistant professor of music at SBU.  Dr. Carney was awarded the doctor of musical arts degree from the prestigious University of North Texas and also holds a M.M. from Louisiana State University and a B.M. from Missouri State University. As a soloist and collaborative pianist, Carney has performed throughout the midwest, south and east coast and appeared as a soloist with the Louisiana State University and Missouri State University Orchestras. Competitive performances have yielded numerous top prizes including first place in the Janice K. Hodges Contemporary Piano Competition, first place in the Missouri Music Teachers’ Association State Competition and special recognition as a Presser Scholar.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the SBU Music Office at (417) 328-1644.


SBU alumna featured in upcoming movie, ‘Seasons of Gray’

Southwest Baptist University alumna Megan (Parker) Wilson will be featured in an upcoming film, “Seasons of Gray,” set to be released to theaters in September.

“Seasons of Gray” is the inaugural production of Watermark Films, which is the feature film ministry of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. The film will be distributed by EchoLight Studios, which produces and distributes high-quality movies for families of faith. “Seasons of Gray” is a modern-day retelling of the biblical story of Joseph with a strong storyline of forgiveness and God’s providence. The official trailer for the film can be found online at

Wilson graduated from SBU in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in Speech Communication and Theatre. While at SBU she performed in “Everyman,” “The Triangle Factory Fire Project,” “Last Train to Nibroc,” “Little Women” (Amy), and “Fiddler on the Roof” (Yente). She was also the student director for “The Burial at Thebes.” Wilson received a nomination for the Irene Ryan acting scholarship for her performance as Amy in “Little Women.”

During the 2009 spring semester, Wilson participated in the Los Angeles Film Studies Center through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ Best Semester program. While in LA she interned at 20th Century Fox Feature Casting Office. Wilson had a small role in “Aliens in the Attic,” which filmed during her semester at LAFSC.

Wilson is grateful for her experiences at SBU and says, “The SBU Theatre program taught me that we don’t have to sacrifice quality for Christianity. As believers, we should be the best storytellers in the realm of fine art; after all, we have the greatest story to tell.”

Meg married Nathan Wilson after graduation from SBU. They live in Dallas and are involved with local theatre, film and television opportunities. Meg currently serves as the Speech Communications Studies Director at Prestonwood Christian Academy, is a middle school theatre teacher and also teaches at Genesis Children’s Theatre.

For more information about SBU’s Theatre program, please contact Elissa Sartwell, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication arts-theatre and director of SBU Theatre, at (417) 328-1688.

SBU celebrates beginning of school year with formal convocation

Three faculty members and a staff member were recognized with awards during Southwest Baptist University’s formal convocation Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Convocation is the formal beginning of the academic year and a time to focus on traditions that have become a part of SBU.

“An important tradition at SBU is our commitment to stay focused on our mission, which has remained consistent down through the years,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D. “Even though we created our current mission statement only 16 years ago, a study of SBU’s history reveals that it always has been a Christ-centered institution.”


Bing BayerBing Bayer, Ph.D., recipient of the Orien B. Hendrix Distinguished Teacher, delivered the convocation address, as is tradition. The Distinguished Teacher Award is chosen by the current and three previous graduating classes and is presented annually to a faculty member for “outstanding teaching ability and personal guidance.”

Bayer is chairman of the Department of Theology and professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. He has taught at SBU since 1988.

He encouraged students to become professionals to serve God, not themselves.

“If we are going to live for God, you’re studying for Him,” he said. “We can’t be lazy. We have to study, and that includes studying for those you will minister to after graduation. We have to be competent in what we do.

“It’s not all about you,” he said, referring to research that shows today’s millennials — those born between 1980 and 2000 — are more narcissistic than people in previous generations. “You are not the center of the universe. This is God’s world, not yours.”

He concluded by saying, “If you still think you’re the center of the universe, then go make you some stars.”

Parkway Distinguished Teacher AwardKathy Brown

Kathy Brown, D.M.A., was awarded the 2013 Parkway Distinguished Teacher Award. She is a professor of music.

The Christian College Education Committee of Parkway Baptist Church in Saint Louis awards this honor annually to faculty members from each of the four Missouri Baptist colleges who have made outstanding contributions to Christian education.

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. The winners are selected by committees of their peers.


Tao WeiFaculty Newcomer of the Year Tao Wei, Ph.D.: Dr. Wei has a medical degree from Henan Medical University in China and a Ph.D. in microbiology from Uppsala University in Sweden. He is an associate professor of biology and continues to do an extensive amount of medical research. His current research is aimed at biodefense and bacterial combat-wound infections, cross-disciplinary in nature over microbiology, molecular biology, bacteriology, immunology, cell biology, proteomics and biophysics.

One student wrote about Dr. Wei, “I like that he has us think critically about experiments so that we come to the conclusions with our own thoughts, rather than spoon feeding us the answers; this helps us develop thinking skills while learning and understanding the information.”

He was a member of the faculty/staff trip to East Asia in May. He attends Southern Hills Baptist Church in Bolivar. He and his wife, Ai Jie, have been married for 26 years and have two sons.


Staff Newcomer of the Year Charlotte Marsch: A 1997 SBU graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in communication arts, Marsch joined SBU in Charlotte MarschJanuary as director of marketing and communications. She previously worked for the Bolivar Herald-Free Press for 16 years, the last eight of those years as editor.

“In the short time that she has worked here, she already has made significant contributions to SBU,” said Stephanie Miller, Ed.D., vice president for enrollment management. “Her understanding of the university mission, work ethic and willingness to care about employees and students demonstrates that she can readily apply and live the concept of a servant leader.”


She is married to David, who also works at SBU as a help desk technician and was last year’s Staff Newcomer of the Year Award winner. They attend First Baptist Church of Bolivar and have two daughters.


Photo cutlines (all photos by Rollie Skinner):

Bing Bayer.jpg — Bing Bayer, Ph.D., left, recipient of the Orien B. Hendrix Distinguished Teacher, and SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D.

Charlotte Marsch.jpg — Charlotte Marsch, left, Staff Newcomer of the Year, and SBU Provost Bill Brown, D.M.

Kathy Brown.jpg — Kathy Brown, D.M.A., left, 2013 Parkway Distinguished Teacher, and SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D.

Tao Wei.jpg — Tao Wei, Ph.D., left, and SBU Provost Bill Brown, D.M.