Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SBU Formal Convocation to Launch 2010-11 Academic Year

SBU Formal Convocation to Launch 2010-11 Academic Year

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Sharina Smith, Office of Marketing & Communications
417-328-1803 / scsmith@sbuniv.edu

BOLIVAR, Mo.Southwest Baptist University will begin its official academic year with a formal convocation at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 25, in Pike Auditorium on the Bolivar main campus. Dr. Julie Bryant ’97, assistant professor of education, and recipient of the 2010 Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award, will present the annual convocation address.

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.”

Dr. Martha Hicks, professor of music, will be recognized for receiving the 2010 Parkway Distinguished Professor Award. 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.

The faculty and staff Newcomer of the Year awards also will be presented during formal convocation.

2010 Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher
Julie Bryant has been part of the University faculty since 2002 and is an assistant professor of education. She has taught courses including: behavior and classroom management; methods of teaching social sciences; integrating art, music, and movement in the classroom; methods of teaching reading; teaching reading and writing in the middle school; home, community partnerships; children’s literature; and several graduate level courses.

Dr. Bryant graduated from SBU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary and early childhood education. She then taught kindergarten and first grade for five years at School of the Osage in Lake Ozark, Missouri. During that time, she completed a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1999.  In May 2008, she obtained a doctorate in education from Liberty University in the areas of educational leadership, curriculum and instruction and reading. Dr. Bryant co-authored a series of international discipleship curriculum for Global University that targets children ages 8-11. The first set of the three part series has been published.

Dr. Bryant and her husband, Robbie, reside in Bolivar with their two children, Jaron and Jaylee. Robbie is employed at the SBU physical plant.  The family attends Lakeside Assembly of God in Pittsburg, Missouri, where her uncle is the pastor, her husband plays various instruments with the worship team, and she sings in the choir. Additionally, Dr. Bryant and her husband are involved at the Esquire ministry in Bolivar.

2010 Parkway Distinguished Professor
Martha Hicks is serving in her 13th year of teaching at SBU.  Her faculty position includes SBU’s coordinator of church music and directs the Higher Ground ensemble, which travels to many churches and private schools each year for ministry and concert opportunities.  As advisor to all church music majors, she provides caring leadership to these students not only while at SBU but also in their placement to church music positions and to seminaries. 

Dr. Hicks' life and work at Southwest Baptist University consistently displays a gift for serving her students and colleagues.  She sees her teaching role as more than schedules, books, notes and tests.  Dr. Hicks’ ability to discern a need and quickly respond is extraordinary. She truly strives to be an educator encompassing a perspective inside and outside of the classroom.  She is a model Christian educator for students as she clearly lives out the SBU mission statement.  Dr. Hicks is respected among church musicians across the state of Missouri, particularly for her work in hosting the annual SBU Church Music Workshop where she organizes forums for the education and development of church musicians already in the field.   

Dr. Hicks served Southern Baptists as a music minister before coming to SBU.  She has participated in workshop conferences at Glorietta and Ridgecrest, acted as worship leader at numerous churches, and provided leadership for the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference Executive Conference.   Dr. Hicks received her doctorate of musical arts from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1991.

Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. Since 1878, the faculty and staff have created a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. The University has been named one of America’s Best Christian Colleges® for 13 consecutive years, one of America’s 100 Best College Buys® for 14 consecutive years, and it has been named among institutions with America’s Best College Scholarships® for the past four years by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc.

For more information, visit www.SBUniv.edu. SBU’s Office of Marketing & Communications is available to news media 24/7 at 417-399-7918.