August 2008 Posts
Dr. Randel Everett, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, will deliver the Convocation address to HSU students, faculty, and staff at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, in Behrens Chapel as fall Convocation officially inaugurates the academic year. Dr. Everett became executive director of the BGCT in March, 2008. The theme of his address, his first at a BGCT affiliated university, is "Running the Right Race," from the biblical text of Hebrews 12:1-3.
Dr. Everett's primary gifts have been described as communication and visionary leadership. Serving as a pastor and seminary president in the nation's capital has given him a unique opportunity to observe the challenges facing the church in a multicultural pluralistic society. He has witnessed many of the Christ-followers from the emerging generation lose confidence in denominations and institutional Christianity.
Dr. Everett's commitment to historical Baptist values, his vast experience serving as pastor in diverse and significant churches, his world-view shaped through leadership roles in the Baptist World Alliance and his service in multiethnic congregations have equipped him to lead Texas Baptists to reach out to the changing world in relevant and creative ways while maintaining timeless biblical truths.
Dr. Everett holds a master's degree and a doctorate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He has been very involved in the Baptist World Alliance, serving as chair of the 2000 BWA Pastors Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
His experience attempting to bridge the gap between an affluent downtown congregation and the multiple needs of the urban poor did much to shape Dr. Everett's philosophy of ministry. The historic First Baptist Church of Gonzales was his first fulltime pastorate. Dr. Everett left Gonzales to become the pastor of the Inglewood Baptist Church of Grand Prairie.
Everett led over 30 Friendship Evangelism seminars in partnership with Texas Baptists while he was pastor of Inglewood. Three of the churches where he would serve as pastor were congregations that were deeply divided. By God's grace, he guided them to understand that unity comes when the church is united by a common Kingdom vision.
After serving as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Benton, Arkansas, Dr. Everett returned to Texas as pastor of the University Baptist Church of Fort Worth. Many of the denominational struggles were felt by this church that had 40 to 50 seminary faculty and staff members as well as a number of seminary students. The church maintained a strong international ministry, a vibrant Arabic congregation and one of the strongest deaf ministries in the state.
In "Running the Right Race," Dr. Everett says, "I believe each of us has a kingdom assignment. God has given us gifts, life experiences, and spiritual gifts to equip us for our life's purpose. I believe success can only be measured in light of this assignment and not by some of the measures society often holds before us."
Called to ministry while in college, "It is my prayer," says Dr. Everett, "that students will be challenged to discern what God's purpose is for their life and then apply themselves with excellence to this calling."
The new faculty members you see on campus this fall enrich our institution and elevate the learning experience of our students. Hardin-Simmons University welcomes 12 new faculty to the Forty Acres family this year and appoints two visiting faculty to tenure track status:
Dr. Jon Ashby, visiting professor of speech-language pathology, comes to us from Abilene Christian University where he was Director of the Communication Disorders Program. He also works in private practice at the Abilene Speech & Hearing Center. He was selected for the Hall of fame Award by the Texas Speech-Language and Hearing Foundation, is co-director of the Voice Institute of West Texas, and served as a missionary to deaf schools as a humanitarian aid worker in five countries. He received his Bachelor of Science in speech & hearing therapy at ACU in 1964, his Master of Arts in speech language pathology & audiology at Louisiana State University in 1966, his PhD in communication sciences and disorders at Louisiana State University in 1972, and completed postgraduate coursework at Baylor, University of Denver, University of Maryland, and Columbia University Teachers College.
Dr. John Davis, assistant professor of management, comes from Texas Tech University where he was the visiting assistant professor of business administration. He received his Bachelor of Science at the U.S. Military Academy in 1975, his Master of Business Administration in entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1982, and a PhD in business administration from Texas Tech in 2005.
Mrs. Lindsay Edwards, instructor of fitness and sport sciences, joins the HSU family with her PhD in kinesiology at University of Houston ABD. Her concentration is motor control and learning. She earned her Master of Education in physical education in 1999 at Tarleton State University, and her Bachelor of Science in exercise science at Abilene Christian University in 1996.
Dr. Ben Johnson, assistant professor of Biology, was previously with Spring ISD as a teacher at Wunsche Senior High School in Spring, Texas, and has also held adjunct responsibilities at North Harris College in Houston. Dr. Johnson has held scientific and educational positions with the Baylor College of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, and CalWest Seeds, West Salem, Wisconsin. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2000, and a PhD in molecular and cellular biology at Baylor College of Medicine in 2006 at the Houston campus.
Dr. Melissa Madeson, assistant professor of fitness and sport sciences, was a co-instructor in the Department of Exercise, Sport, and Leisure Studies, at University of Tennessee prior to her appointment at HSU. She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2002, and a Master of Science in Kinesiology in 2005, at California State University, Sacramento. She completed her PhD in Sport Studies at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2008.
Mr. Jodie McGaughey, visiting instructor accounting, comes directly from the private sector where he was vice president and chief financial officer for Skinny's Inc. Previously, he was their controller until his promotion in 1995. He received a Bachelor of Behavior Arts in accounting at Texas Tech University in 1983, and a Master of Accountancy at Abilene Christian University. While at Skinny's he was responsible for directing a corporate staff responsible for 102 convenience stores with annual sales of $70 million and assets of $39 million.
Dr. Jennifer Plantier, assistant professor of business and marketing, was visiting professor in the Department of Economics at Towson University prior to her selection here. She has also lectured at Towson University on principles of marketing and consumer behavior. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Hawaii Pacific University in 1995, her Master of Science in business administration at Texas Tech University in 2002, and her PhD in consumer economics at Texas Tech in 2007.
Mr. Edgar Reed, visiting instructor of fitness and sport sciences, comes in from Texas A&M University-Commerce where he was the interim director of student organizations and leadership. Prior to that, he was the director of intramurals and sport clubs at that university. He earned a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Angelo State University, San Angelo, in 2001, a Master of Science in kinesiology from Angelo State University in 2003, and is ABD for a PhD in higher education administration at Texas A&M-Commerce.
Dr. Melody Rich, assistant professor of voice, comes from the University of Texas at San Antonio where she conducted the UTSA Women's Concert Choir. Previously, she conducted the UTSA Chorus, was assistant conductor for the San Antonio Choral Society, and served as an associate minister of music for Christ Episcopal Church, San Antonio. She received the Bachelor of Music in voice performance, at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1988, and her Master of Music in voice performance and Doctor of Music Arts in applied voice at the University of Texas Austin in 1994 and 2003 respectively.
Mrs. Sue Robinson, visiting assistant professor of counseling and human development, comes to HSU from Clyde High School where she was the Junior and Senior counselor. Previously, she has been an administrative assistant to the facilities coordinator at HSU, and an X-Ray technician at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She was an adjunct professor in Counseling and Human Development in the Irvin School of Education at HSU in 2008, an adjunct professor for the distance learning program at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in 2007, and an instructor and supervisor of costume design and construction in the Theatre Department at HSU from 1998 - 2003. She earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice at Tarleton State in 1990, a Master of Education in counseling and human development at HSU in 2002, and is ABD for a PhD in counselor education & supervision at Regent University in 2008.
Dr. Dee Romines, associate professor of Music Education and Director of HSU Chorale, joins us from the University of Georgia, where he was assistant professor of Choral Music Education. Dr. Romines received a Bachelor of Science, in instrumental music education, from the University of Tennessee in 1980, a Master of Music in choral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester in 1985, and a Doctor of Music Arts in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2001.
Dr. Steven Rosscoe, assistant professor of geology, was a graduate student instructor in the Department of Geological Sciences at Texas Tech University. He received a Bachelor of Arts in geological sciences from SUNY College at Genesco in 2003, a Master of Science degree in geosciences from Texas Tech University in 2005, and just completed his PhD in geosciences at Texas Tech in 2008.
Although neither is new to Hardin-Simmons University, the University announces that Dr. Jeff Cottrell, instructor of low brass and theory, and Dr. Jana Wesson-Martin, assistant professor of composition and director of the Writing Center, have been appointed to tenure-track positions this year.
Our physical therapy group checked in after getting settled and establishing a daily routine in Jos. I'd joked that Jos is so remote that Google Earth takes a while to get there, but it's truly about as far from the world our crew has come to know as they are likely to experience for the rest of their lives. The students' descriptions are great and I'm just going to put them up as they are....fresh and real.
Kaysi Atkinson: This week has been a very educational week for me. I have been working in wound care, where we also have the opportunity to observe surgery. We have not had a course in wound care yet so all that we have been able to do this week is new for me. I really enjoy watching surgery, the surgeons are great at explaining to students what they are doing and why. Watching surgery makes it easier to work with the patients later, because we have seen exactly what the doctor did for them. It gives a better whole picture approach to determining treatment.
Lindsay Luker: The hospital is keeping me busy and challenged. I see something every day that I am not quite sure how to treat, but eventually problem solve my way through. And the people continue to be so genuinely grateful for our help...thanking God first, then the "white woman". And the outreaches in the afternoon are still my battery charger! The children continue to touch me in ways I didn't expect. I find they minster to ME more than I do to them. It's quite the paradox. Our visit to Mashiah Foundation, the HIV/AIDS outreach, was also a defining moment for the trip. The women there are the most joyful and grateful women I have ever met. We also had our trip to Yankari Wildlife Park this week, which was a nice escape. I can't believe we are going into our last week. I want to capture and savor every moment. I miss my family, but I could stay a little while longer..... God bless!
Kelsey Jones: Wow, I can't believe two weeks have already gone by and we only have one left. I spent the past week in the wound care and surgery area of the hospital with Kaysi. It never ceases to amaze me at how so much can be done with so little. We haven't had our wound care class yet, but it seems like in the States we do more for a wound than scrub it with saline and put sugar on it, then wrap it up. Yet that is how many wounds are cared for here; they may take longer to heal, but it works for them. I've also learned how to be more patient with a culture that does not seem to very efficient. My go-go-go nature has been put on hold until I get home. We have spent more time with the kids at transition house and another home (with girls in it) at Gyero. I continually learn something every day from them about life, whether it's making the absolute most of almost nothing or giving God the glory for everything (even though it may seem very small). My greatest lessons learned here are the ones being taught to me by these beautiful children.
Rebecca Warminski: I am constantly amazed by the attitude of the Nigerian people. Many are facing numerous hardships and challenges but there has yet to be a time when I wasn't warmly greeted. This afternoon we went to a neighborhood soccer game. Mathias's (the Palmer's driver from their previous trip) team was set to play in a tournament and I was excited about seeing how the game would be different here. However, I was much more impressed by the ministry Mathias is performing though his team. The idea is to supply entertainment, goals, and personal growth through team play and more importantly a way to bring others to Christ. Unfortunately the match was cancelled because the referee was in a car accident, but the team still scrimmaged for a couple of hours. The team looked great in their new warm ups that were donated from Cooper High School in Abilene, and you could sense the excitement among them. Even though the players were only scrimmaging, everyone gave an excellent effort. The players were all encouraging and supportive of one another. I couldn't help but feel that these young men understood much more of what it means to be for one another and a contributing member of a team than many players who have been playing organized sports their entire lives. As I gazed down from the stands (aka quite a large rock) that we were observing from I took in the kids with torn t-shirts, the soccer cleats with socks peeking out from the toes, and the amazing talent that very possibly could earn top dollar in the U.S. In my mind I thank God for all the opportunities I have been handed and pray for those around me who have not been born in such a fortunate situation. I hope I am able to use all of my blessings, talents, and gifts God has given me to help those who are striving to achieve something better for their life.
Aaron Pierson: I feel like it would be impossible to encapsulate what has happened here the past two weeks in less than an hour long conversation, so I'll do my best in this paragraph. Today after the soccer game that we watched, I had a similar feeling that I have had many times this week. I feel blessed and enlightened simply by being involved in certain situations; common everyday activities that teach me so much about the culture, the people, and by extension myself. It has been very helpful to experience so many different areas of the hospital, and I have had great opportunities to visit with these people who we are able to minister to. We are able to provide simple help to those previously deprived of appropriate therapy, like teaching exercises to post surgical patients to help get them on their feet faster. In the outpatient clinic, we are able to provide more in depth treatments with stroke and chronic pain patients. We have treated a lot of patients, but I feel like I have benefitted more than they have. Experiencing each specific patient situation, hearing the stories, and seeing the genuine gratefulness in their eyes has taught me a lot. Working with the kids in the care centers has been a similar situation for me... they have been an unexpected source of blessing and ministering to me as we have developed real relationships and spent time hearing about their lives. We have one week left, and I feel like we have more work to do and that God has more work to do in me. I can't wait...
VVF Sewing School
Michael: I have spent mornings in the last week helping as needed in the hospital. It has been so amazing watching the PT students' progress and learn with each new case they receive. I am still amazed at how the people are able to get better here after seeing the conditions of the hospital, yet we have seen quite a few patients discharged. Our afternoons have been spent at different ministries around town including an AIDS outreach center with women who were so happy to be alive and learning sewing as a means to provide for themselves. We were able to witness nine of the women receiving donated sewing machines and their singing and dancing for joy was definitely something I will remember for a lifetime. The boys continue to touch all of us with their hearts, and I can't wait for my final week here where I will spend most of my time helping with their annual camp. I still can't believe we only have one more week left.
Cori Lane: This week I spent the mornings in the hospital doing inpatient physical therapy. I have been very surprised by how much I like inpatient care. Most of the patients were being treated for injuries relating to traffic accidents. I think what I enjoyed most about the week at the hospital was seeing the patients improve. The patient that I enjoyed treating most was a man with a recent nerve surgery due to an amputation. His attitude is great, and he is very happy to be improving. In addition to the hospital, this past week we spent the afternoons at different community centers around the Jos area. I really enjoyed Mashiah and Gyero. Mashiah is a home where women with HIV/AIDS, and AIDS orphans are able to receive care. The women in the program are provided with healthcare, housing, and work training so that they can care for themselves and their children. The Mashiah experience was incredible. The women told their stories, danced, and sang. While we were there, some of the women received their own sewing machines; the pure joy and excitement on their faces was extremely uplifting. In addition to Mashiah, I enjoyed Gyero. Gyero is a village outside of Jos where many young boys and girls are cared for. We spent time with the children, jumping rope, and playing games. This week we also went to Yankari, an animal reserve where we saw baboons, wild pigs, water buck and water buffalo. I am excited for next week!
Elayne Palmer: As everyone has already said, we have really packed a lot into 2 weeks. This diverse group of people has really become a team, caring for each other as well as the people of Nigeria. I spent this afternoon with Kelsey, Lindsay and Cori at the Gyero girls' care center. We had a wonderful time decorating hot pink girlie t-shirts, and sat and helped with knitting projects (caps for babies that have turned into treasured caps for each knitter). After the t-shirts were finished and drying, the rain that has been a daily event began again - this time it was more like Nigerian "monsoon!!!!!" It rained for over an hour, the dirt patio area was flooded, and all 16 care girls, the 4 of us and "Kaaka," the grandmother, sat in a small room with no electricity. The girls sang, danced, knitted and read to us, and our girls read to them. We had some very close "girl time" together. I'm so honored to be here, learning from "the least of these." Please keep us all in your prayers as we close out our time here.
Dr.Phil Palmer: Yesterday, I overheard one of the team members say, "I think I'm going to miss this place." As I continued eavesdropping, I heard, "It is so beautiful!" Nigeria is beautiful this time of year; green is the most prominent color. In the midst of the beauty, however, we have discovered much suffering and need. We have tried to be faithful to God and to help those he has called us to help, but the needs are so great, the resources so little, and the time we have to be here is so short. I do believe, however, that we have made an impact. Just this morning, a chief from a local tribe thanked us for coming to help his wife. He said, "See how Jesus has blessed us!" We are the ones who have been blessed as we've seen the work of God through us reaching out to the people of Jos, Nigeria.
You may remember HSU physcial therapy faculty Dr. Phil. Palmer, his wife Elayne, and two students working in Jos, Nigeria at the Evangel Hospital a few years ago. This summer, The Palmers went back to Jos with six physical therapy students. The students were as prepared as possible. They knew this would be a challenge unlike any other. They knew the hospitals would be crowded and understaffed. They knew they wouldn't have supplies to work with. But, they also knew they would have the gratitude of those they helped; people used to doing without, people used to living in pain. Rather than interpret what the participants experienced, I'd like to share their impressions just as they've written them. There may be a few updates over the weeks, so check back from time-to-time.
Lindsay Luker: Africa! The trip so far has been amazing. I have seen and experienced things that I have never seen or thought of to imagine. The culture is very different, but people have been inquisitive and equally accepting. The hospital setting is very basic, but the patients are very involved. We are learning to do a lot with very little. The times with the children have been my favorite. They are precious little souls who absolutely cling to the hand that will reach to them. They truly light up my day. I can't believe I am saying this...but I am not sure that three weeks will be long enough! I have been truly blessed....I just hope that I can bless in a similar and giving way.
Aaron Pierson: There have been so many experiences that I have had in the first few days that I never could have learned by looking at pictures or hearing stories. Seeing the positive faces of all of the kids who have next to nothing...including family...and listening to their dreams and future plans has been very uplifting. I have seen poor people before, but in this area of poverty everyone only knows this way of life and struggling, which they have gotten accustomed to and learned to find joy and "success" in other areas. Everyone greets each other with a smile and kind words (well...most) with a sincerity that is hard to find. I feel very blessed to be a part of these people's lives, and hopefully, their growth and increased health over the next couple of weeks.
Kaysi Atkinson: These past few days have been very eye opening for me. This trip to Africa is allowing me to see first-hand how different places in the world approach physical therapy. Although a lot of the basics of PT are the same, there are several differences in treatment approaches. For example, treatment goals are slightly different here in Africa than they are in the US. In the US, goals are often based upon healing the patient and maximizing their level of function. In Africa, while the goals of treatment do focus on healing and increasing function, the main goal is to get the patient back to work as soon as possible. In Africa, the patients can't afford to take off work to allow their bodies to heal. If they don't work, they won't make money and they won't be able to take care of their family. Often, their extended family is not much better off than they are and, therefore, are unable to help financially. This has taught me to always be conscientious of a patient's financial situation and not just assume that they have the financial means to take the time off for quality physical therapy. This is just one of many lessons I hope to learn on this mission trip to Africa.
Cori Lane: This trip has been incredible so far. The city (Jos) is so different from anywhere I have ever been. There are a few million people in the city, so it is extremely crowded and the roads are a mess - the driving, not the actual roads. The culture is vastly different from that of the US. People are very social, and greet each other every time they pass. The electricity sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't but no one seems to mind either way. The hospital is very, very, very different from any hospital I have ever seen. It reminds me of a hospital from a movie. The wards are long, filled with beds without curtains. Patient's family members do all the care - feeding, cooking, bathing, laundry, changing sheets... outside the hospital looks somewhat like a camp because women are lined up cooking, and washing clothes. I spent today in the wound care unit, very different than the way it would be done in the states. Although it is different, and seems "backwards," the way they provide care seems to work for them. One thing I have noticed is that people do not complain - they can sit for hours waiting their turn and never complain. Aside from our work in the hospital, we have been spending afternoons with "street children" in centers. The kids are so much fun to play with, and love attention and having their picture taken. I spent a couple of hours playing basketball with the teenage boys at one of the group homes. I look forward to more great experiences over the next few weeks.
Kelsey Jones: Africa is not quite like Texas, imagine that! I could spend a long time telling you about all the variety of things we've seen and experienced in the past few days, but I'll keep it short and sweet. It's amazing to me how we come half way around the world to help people or touch someone's life and I come away at the end of the day feeling like my own heart has been changed. Time in the hospital has been incredibly eye opening, but it's our afternoons that have made the biggest impact with me. Today after we left the hospital, we spent several hours at Transition House, a Christian home for boys (they may have previously been street boys or come from broken homes). Time was spent playing games and sports, but the most precious moments came afterwards when we were singing praises and worshiping with the boys. I realized in these moments that God is so much bigger than anything I could ever think of. If these sweet young men could lift their voices in praise and love God with all their hearts, why do we struggle so much to have faith in Him? They have next to nothing in the way of worldly possessions, yet they have so much more than many of us do... they have pure joy in life because they know that God truly lives in their hearts and they exhibit that in their actions. This is what life is really about, finding joy in our lowest moments, rejoicing in our struggles, and living life to its fullest because Christ lives in us and has saved us. Our first week is almost over and I can't wait to experience the next two and find out what God has in store for our group and those we are working with.
Michael: The first week has been a bit of a blur, but very exciting and life changing. I have had the opportunity to spend one on one time with a great young guy in Transition house, and played 'football' with a large group of energetic young boys. I have experienced some of the worst roads in the world as well as a culture who expects you to greet each person you pass. Electricity is almost as erratic as the motorcycle taxis. But these differences and difficulties is what make this trip so life changing. Overall, my favorite part of the trip has been watching the boys at transition house worship God in songs. These boys are so passionate singing, whether it's in English or their native Hausa. Their prayers show a side of them that they truly understand the Love of God and should be role models for us all.
Rebecca Warminski: My first impression of Nigeria wasn't what I had anticipated. While the landscape is like something out of the Lion King; the people, culture, and Jos are quite eccentric. The people are very friendly and welcoming. In fact that is one of the group's favorite phrases we have picked up. Whenever you arrive at your destination there is always someone around to say "You are welcome." I am constantly surprised by the overwhelming amount of joy and generosity of the Nigerian people. Most don't have much, but whatever is available is shared openly. The culture values family unity, respects age, and harbors humility and humbleness. Jos in general is a bustling city. The traffic reminds me of playing Frogger when I was younger on the Atari. Take your chances stepping out in this traffic. Overall I am very pleased with the start this little excursion. I am learning so much about treating the person as a whole above and beyond the realm of physical therapy. I am trying to soak as much of this experience in as possible, and I am sure that I will not be able to absorb enough.
Elayne Palmer: It is really a joy to be back in Nigeria, seeing old friends and making new ones! I've spent most of my time in the children's homes - Transition House, Gyero girls and boys' homes, and Gidan Bege. I've also spent some time with the widows' ministry. Everywhere I go, I am greeted with enthusiasm. I love it here. Your prayers are felt and are being answered. Keep praying for this people who needs so much, and we Americans who have so many material possessions but need spiritual health.