Friday, September 9, 2011

SBU Welcomes New Faculty and Honors Newcomers

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

BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University recently began its official academic year with a formal convocation in Pike Auditorium on the Bolivar main campus. The annual convocation address was presented by Dr. Rosalyn Snellen ’73, senior professor of biology, and recipient of the 2011 Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award.

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. Kevin Hopkins, professor of mathematics, was recognized for receiving the 2011 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 were introduced during the formal convocation.

The 2011 Faculty Newcomer of the Year is Dr. Robert Carney.
Dr. Carney has a Bachelor of Music degree from Missouri State University, a Master of Music degree from Louisiana State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas.  He currently serves as an assistant professor of music on the Bolivar campus. 

He taught at his own private piano studio in Keller, Texas, played the piano for First Baptist Church Smithfield in North Richland Hills, Texas, and worked at the Master’s Touch School of Music and Performing Arts in Grapevine, Texas, prior to coming to SBU in August of 2010.

Dr. Carney’s dean, Dr. Jeff Waters, said the following about him: “He has shown himself to be a gifted teacher and faculty colleague, who demands high standards of himself and of his students.  During his first year on the faculty he was very active as a pianist in numerous musical performances on campus and in the region, and in adjudicating events for Music Teachers National Association and other professional organizations; he was appointed State Honors Auditions Chair by the Missouri Music Teachers Association; and Missouri State University presented him with the Outstanding Music Alumnus award last spring.  He developed and taught the first SBU music course to be delivered completely online during the summer of 2011.”
Dr. Carney is married to Lisa, and they have two sons: Jayden and Jonathan.  They are members of First Baptist Church in Springfield.  He enjoys watching vintage Star Trek episodes and grilling.

The 2011 Staff Newcomer of the Year is David Ginnings
Ginnings graduated from SBU in 2004 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in history, and received his master’s of science degree in education from SBU in 2007.   He is currently the assistant director of extended learning.  Prior to working at SBU he was a special education teacher and case manager for Marion C. Early High School.

Dr. Allison Langford, assistant provost, said the following about him: “He is courteous, helpful, and goes above and beyond to help people.  He hosts a weekly small group meeting associated with his church, and organizes monthly service events for this group.  He constantly looks for ways to serve others.”  He is known among his colleagues as professional, humble, graceful, and a Christian role model.”

He attends Alliance Fellowship in Bolivar.  He enjoys cycling and the outdoors.  He is married to Melissa and has one daughter, Sophia, who is almost two years old.

Dr. Rosalyn Snellen
2011 Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher
Dr. Rosalyn Snellen began her career with SBU as a student graduating with a degree in biology and mathematics in 1973. In 1978, soon after the completion of her Ph.D. from North Texas State University, she became a full time faculty member at SBU. Throughout her tenure at SBU, Dr. Snellen has served the University in a variety of capacities including: senior professor of biology, assistant dean of the college of science and mathematics, dean of the college of science and mathematics and associate provost. Additionally, Dr. Snellen has been both the assistant and head coach of SBU’s softball team and has led University mission trips to East Asia.

Dr. Snellen successfully led the University’s self-study for the Higher learning Commission (HLC) leading to the HLC re-accreditation. Additionally, she has overseen the University’s general education committee since 2001. She has been a part of many other University committees over the years including: University Planning Advisory Council, Graduate Council, Deans Council, an Ad Hoc Committee for Gender Equity in Athletics and many others.  Additionally, Dr. Snellen was instrumental in the formation of the joint nursing program with St. John’s Hospital and was a part of the Institutional Coordinating Committee for the Associate Degree in Nursing. 

Dr. Snellen is or has been a part of many professional organizations including The Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities, Women’s Leadership Development Institute, the American Association for Higher Education, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Women in Education, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, and the North American Benthological Society. Dr. Snellen has continually been active in attending national meetings, assisting high school and middle school students in learning science, and in judging science fairs and other community-based events.
A member of Way Point Church in Bolivar, Dr. Snellen has volunteered at many local organizations such as the Salvation Army, Exodus Ministries, Alpha House, and International Friends. 

Dr. Kevin Hopkins
2011 Parkway Distinguished Professor
Dr. Kevin Hopkins joined the faculty and became the chair of the mathematics department in 1989.  He has overseen several revisions of the mathematics curriculum during his tenure.  In addition to serving as the mathematics department chair, Kevin teaches upper level mathematics classes and general education mathematics classes. He is a former recipient of the SBU Faculty Life Beautiful Award and received the College of Science and Mathematics Faculty Service Award in 2007.

Dr. Hopkins consistently organizes multiple mathematics contests each year in which hundreds of students visit the SBU campus to compete.  He also organizes and leads multiple mathematics contest camps in the summer at SBU where many students learn mathematics within a Christian environment
In 1983 Dr. Hopkins earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and physics form Greenville College. He earned a Master of Science in 1986 and a Ph.D. in 1980 in mathematics from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign.

Dr. Hopkins attends and presents at numerous state and national conferences.  He has been a grader of AP Calculus tests for the last several years.  Kevin is a member of First Baptist Church in Bolivar.  He sings in the choir, plays in the hand bell choir, publishes his Sunday school class email newsletter, and is the secretary of the fellowship of deacons.  
Dr. Hopkins is married to Lori, and they have two children, Megan, a junior at Oklahoma Baptist University; and Eric, a freshman at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The following new faculty members also were introduced during the formal convocation:

Amanda Keys is the new instruction of social work and director of field education. Amanda holds a M.S.W from Missouri State University; and has a Ph.D. in progress

Rebecca Koe joined the SBU staff as Lecturer in communication Arts. Rebecca has a B.A. in communication from Southwest Baptist University and is working on her M.A.

Susan Kromrie is the news assistant professor of library services in the position of reference librarian/university archivist – college liaison. Susan holds a M.A. in library science from the University of Columbia.

Kelzia Lilly is the new Assistant Professor of Nursing. She has a M.S.N in nursing and MBA with emphasis in healthcare administration from University of Phoenix.

Bethany Messersmith is the new assistant professor of library services in the position of information literacy librarian – college liaison. Bethany has a M.L.S. in nursing and M.A. in Journalism from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Timothy Richmond joins the Southwest Baptist University staff as the new assistant professor of chemistry. Dr. Richmond holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jonathan Wehmeyer is the new instruction of theatre. Jonathan has a M.A. in theatre from the University of Central Missouri – Warrensburg.

Josh Welker is the new assistant professor of library services in the position of electronic/media services librarian- college liaison. He has a M.A. in library science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Jena Whetstine is the new assistant professor of chemistry. Dr. Whetstine holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

PHOTOS: Faculty & Staff Newcomers with President (left to right) David Ginnings, President Dr. C. Pat Taylor, Dr. Robert Carney

New faculty 2011
From left to right, front row: Timothy Richmond, Kezia Lilly, Josh Welker, Jonathan Wehmeyer, Susan Kromrie, and Jena Whetstine.
From left to right bottom row: Amanda Keys, Rebecca Koe, and Bethany Messersmith.

Teacher Awards (left to right) Dr. Kevin Hopkins, President Dr. C. Pat Taylor, Dr. Rosalyn Snellen

Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit

SBU’s Office of Marketing and Communications is available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 399-7918.