On the Hill: Emily Chadwick

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

For all students, the road to deciding what to do after high school is different. Junior family science major Emily Chadwick never expected to be where she is today.

“What lead me to OBU?” Chadwick said. “That’s a funny story. I never had any plans of ever going to college.”

Chadwick was working as a nanny for her brother in the area when they decided to move away.

“I needed to figure out what I was going to do in the next season of my life,” Chadwick said. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I was friends with a bunch of OBU students, and they were all like ‘Why don’t you come to OBU?’”

Chadwick had all sorts of excuses for not wanting to come to OBU.

These included claims about not being smart enough, or not having a high enough ACT score to be admitted into the school.

Chadwick’s thinking flipped after she found the determination with-in herself to want to be at OBU to learn and grow.

Chadwick was familiar with the OBU community because of her friends and family.

“I’ve always been amazed at and in love with the professors here,” Chadwick said. “Because all of my siblings previously at-tended OBU, I already knew some of them, and I knew that I liked them.”

Chadwick decided on a family science major during her time at OBU.

“I love family science because I love talking about people,” Chadwick said. “I want to know everything about people. I want to know why they do the things that they do, and what they want to do.”

Chadwick has a love for people and making relationships.

“I want to continue to learn and grow myself, while also helping those around me to learn and grow in healthy ways,” Chadwick said. “One of the biggest reasons I love family science is being able to learn about people and how people affect people.”

In the future, Chadwick is thinking about pursuing counseling as a career, though she is currently undecided.

“I really like hearing about people’s problems,” she said. “I like to love on people and listen.”

Chadwick currently works at the Hope House, a Youth and Family Resource Center in Shawnee. Her job involves making sure that kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing, like homework or another activity.

“It’s like babysitting or parenting,” Chadwick said. “It’s a very fluid job. You never know what is going to happen next.”

While the job is often demanding or challenging, Chadwick sees the reward in the eyes of the children she is caring for.

“The most rewarding thing is seeing that the kids are loved and cared for,” Chadwick said. “So, we have two little kids right now, around the ages of eight and nine. They have started asking for hugs. When they first came, they were afraid to ask. But now, they come up to me and look at me and say, ‘I just need a hug.’ It is the sweetest thing, and sometimes it makes me want to cry.”

Chadwick often looks for small ways to share the gospel with the people around her, and often does this by showing love to whoever she is around.

Junior biblical languages major Chloe Stokes has seen firsthand the qualities Chadwick displays. They attend church together at Temple Baptist Church.

“Emily has the unique ability of making everyone feel welcome,” Stokes said. “No one can feel alone when they are around Emily.”

Stokes also appreciates the way that Chadwick affects the people that she is around.

“Emily brings all of the energy to a room!” Stokes said. “Her laugh is contagious, and she is always laughing. Her love for everyone is evident, her friendship is invaluable, and she brings light wherever she goes.”

Terry James brings care, experience to OBU

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

If you were to sit in on one of associate professor of education and director of teacher education Dr. Terry James’s education classes, you would probably hear him say, “I think the teacher is the most important person in society today.”

James values education, learning and most of all, students.

James originally came to Oklahoma Baptist University in 2008 and served as an assistant professor of education.

During his time as an undergraduate student, James studied at Indiana State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree.

He completed a master’s program at Indiana University, and ultimately, a doctorate program at the University of Oklahoma.

James has always respected the profession of teaching and the function that it serves for society.

“I really decided in the eighth or ninth grade that I wanted to be a teacher,” James said. “I liked my teachers. I respected them. I thought that what they were doing was important. I guess I was fortunate, in a way, that I decided early.”

James is originally from Indiana, where he went to school.

“I majored in English, and taught English, Physical Education and coached some football and track in Indiana, then moved out to Oklahoma,” James said.

James has had many roles in the education system that vary in responsibility.

He taught in the public school system for many years, worked as both assistant superintendent and superintendent in different school districts.

When he was teaching in the public school, James taught English because of his love for literature.

“I thought, if I’m going to have to read all of this material, why not let it be something interesting and fun to read,” James said. “Would I rather read a chapter of a history textbook or would I rather read Dickens or Wordsworth? I’m actually reading the Canterbury Tales right now. I thought it would be more interesting and fun to read things that are considered great literature.”

James came to OBU after he retired from the public school system. He said he is very happy to be here working with future teachers.

“I can think of no greater privilege than to get to work with my future colleagues,” James said. “I am absolutely convinced that the teacher is the most important person in education.”

James is passionate about education as a system and as a deep need in our society. He said he believes that teachers are becoming even more influential and needed in society because of the functions that the schools serve today.

“I believe that the teacher is the most important person in our society right now, with everything that they are expected to do,” James said. “Teachers now have to analyze the deepest needs of a student and figure out how to respond to them. I have seen the role of the school increase over time, and the importance of the teacher, which was always important. So, what greater privilege is there than to get to work with my future colleagues?”

James currently teaches many education classes at OBU. He also serves as the director of the Teacher Education department.

Dr. James loves OBU and its students. He strongly believes that OBU prepares students to become great teachers.

“I think you all are wonderful,” James said. “I was involved in hiring maybe a thousand teachers over my career. I would hire you all in a second. I think the average OBU student is mature, a person of integrity, responsible and dependable. I just respect the students here, just who they are as people.”

Teacher Education students seem to appreciate Dr. James for all he does for the program.

“Dr. James really cares about you as a person and wants you to succeed,” freshman elementary education major Sadi Hostettler said. “I have learned so much more about our education system a how to become a great teacher.”

Blitz Week brings campus together for a cause

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Last week on Bison Hill was Blitz Week, a week focused on raising funds for a specific charity or cause.

This year, money was raised to help mitigate the cost of OBU’s Global Outreach trips, so that students can go out to many different parts of the world and serve people who are in need of the Gospel.

Currently, the co-chairs of Blitz Week are Braeden Mastin and Olivia Dudley.

“Blitz Week is a week in April every year dedicated to helping a charity/cause of our choice,” co-chair of Blitz Week Braeden Mastin said. “This year we focused on helping students afford GO trips. We strive to be light of the world by helping others, bring the campus together and to leave a positive impact on others.”

Last week’s events included a multitude of activities that raised money for the cause.

The first Blitz Week event was the Paintathon. Students gathered in the Gieger Center Sunday Night to paint canvases. The paintings were put up for auction all week in the Gieger Center. The starting bid for each painting was five dollars.

Another event that spanned the entire week was a campus-wide game of Humans versus Zombies. For two dollars, students could sign up to play the game.

Humans vs. Zombies trans-formed campus last week. Students and faculty had Nerf guns in hand, ready to defend themselves from the zombies.

To distinguish those who were playing the game, and which side they were on, players wore pink bandanas on their arm or on their head.

Humans could use their Nerf guns to stop a zombie from tagging them, which would cause them to switch sides and more their bandana.

Players often had to alter their plans so that they were not exposed outdoors in high traffic areas. Players could not be tagged on or off campus.

“The wildest experience I’ve had so far is when me and my friends, Sam and Noah, got surrounded by seven zombies in the library parking lot,” freshman Christian ministry major Silas Bell said. “We had to sprint from the library to Agee, and I thought I was going to die from exhaustion.”

Bell’s sprint must have been worthwhile, because at the time of the interview, he was still on the human side. On Friday night, the remaining humans and zombies gathered in the Oval for a final showdown to end the game.

Blitz Week also hosted a faculty versus varsity basketball game, an escape room in the library, a percentage night at Qdoba, trivia night with UCS and the Mr. Bison pageant.

The Mr. Bison pageant was held last Thursday in Yarborough Auditorium.

The contestants were Cole Kliewer, Caleb Newton, Caleb Dyer, Caleb Corff, Grady Liston, Jimi Parker, Joel Tetmeyer and Noah Graves.

The competition was hosted by Kirt Henderson, director of Student Success.

The judges of the competition were Resident Directors Kyle Opskar, Dayla Rowland, Lanie Allred, Tanner Roberts and Erin Gulserian.

The event began with a dance number featuring all of the contestants choreographed by Sarah Cordle, a sophomore cross-cultural ministry and sociology major.

“My experience with the Mr. Bison pageant was one for the books for sure,” Cordle said. “I have never choreographed before and most of the guys never learned a dance before, so that was interesting, to say the least, but they all worked hard to learn the dance. What made it so great is that they were having a great time doing it. It was so much fun watching them finally perform it and they all did a really great job!”

Then came the introduction of the contestants and their escorts. This also served as the formal wear category. Henderson’s introductions of the contestants included hilarious fun facts about each of them.

Next up came the talent portion of the pageant. Talents included, but were not limited to neck wrestling, cooking demonstrations, lightsaber reenactments, interpretive dancing with a puppy and more.

After the talent portion, the contestants went into the audience to collect money from their fans as votes for the audience favorite award.

Then, the final five were announced: Caleb Newton, Caleb Dyer, Caleb Corff, Grady Liston and Jimi Parker.

They moved on into an interview portion. Each contestant was asked a couple of questions.

After that, the judges deliberated, and the new Mr. Bison was crowned.

Caleb Dyer won third place. Caleb Corff won second place and the Audience Favorite award. Caleb Newton won Best Talent with his impressive neck wrestling. Taking home the big prize was Jimi Parker, who spent the entire competition dressed in a Nacho Libre costume.

For his talent, he gave the audience a cooking lesson involving raw hot dogs. “It has been extremely rewarding and fun leading and facilitating fun events, and bringing the campus all together,” Mastin said

Dr. Abigail Mace brings experience to OBU

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Dr. Abigail Mace is new to Bison Hill. She joined the faculty for the Fall semester of 2018.

Dr. Mace is an assistant professor of music and is currently the director of OBU’s Music Preparatory Department.

“I teach applied lessons, piano ensemble, piano accompanying and harpsichord,” Mace said.

Mace has a love for music, especially piano and harpsichord. Mace attended Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance.

She later attended the University of Texas at Austin to complete both a masters and doctoral program in Piano Performance.

“One thing that drew me to OBU was the fact that I had a similar background in my undergraduate experience,” Mace said. “The combination of strong academics and a strong music program was so similar to my undergraduate experience, and that drew me to OBU.”

Mace received the honor of being a recipient of a Full-bright Fellowship.

This program allows for recipients to study at an international school of their choice.

Mace chose to study at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in Holland during 2010 and 2011.

Mace said that the biggest challenge in this process was finding someone to sponsor her while living in the states.

“Through God’s grace, miraculously, it worked out,” Mace said. “I got a sponsor over at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. The reason why I chose that particular school was that it has the largest early music program in the world. It has some of the top names in the whole field of Historically Informed Performance”

Historically informed performance, also known as HIP, seeks to know how music would have been performed in the time period that it was written or performed in, so that it can be performed in a manner truer to its time period in modern settings.

“[It] was a movement that started in the 1960s, that started to really flourish in the 1970s,” Mace said.

Mace is passionate about this area of study, and this movement. She said is a major reason why she chose to study at the Royal Conservatory of the Hauge.

“So, there’s this whole movement trying to perform music accurately, how the composers would have heard it, how the people of the time would have heard it,” Mace said. “My Fullbright Fellowship was to go and study harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, with Jacques Ogg. He was my primary harpsichord instructor there.”

This field of music is still very popular today with many people in the community who love and care about the historical context surrounding classical music.

“It’s still a very popular area with many CDs of harpsichord music being put out all the time,” Mace said. “A lot of orchestral music is being recorded on historical instruments with gut strings, which has a totally different sound than the steel strings that we have nowadays. They don’t project as much, but they have a warm, rich tone to them.”

Mace believes that God had a major part in her travel and study to Holland and other European countries.

“It was amazing to be over in another country, living there, studying with these people that I’ve heard about,” Mace said. “It was just incredible. God did a lot of amazing things in my life during that time, too. He gave me a wonderful church home, Trinity International Baptist Church…I got travel to Italy, Germany, Belgium, and of course, all throughout Holland while I was over there in Europe.”

Mace is grateful and happy to be part of the Oklahoma Baptist University community.

Faculty speak at Half-Past Three

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Thursday, March 28, the English Department hosted this month’s Half-Past Three gathering.

Half-Past Three is a time for English major, minors, faculty and anyone interested in the subject to set aside a little bit of time to hear from English department faculty or guest speakers and meet and spend time with those at OBU who have a love for English, reading and writing.

This event provides everyone with the opportunity to discuss with English faculty in a more relaxed setting than the classroom.

Four English faculty members were present at this March’s gathering: Crouch-Mathis professor of Literature and English Dr. Benjamin Myers, assistant professor of English Dr. Lindsey Panxhi, Associate Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences Division Chair, Language and Literature and professor of English Dr. Christopher Hair and associate professor of English and Spanish Dr. Charles Swadley.

Held in a room in the upper Geiger Center, this month’s gathering was focused on why students should, at the very least, consider being an English major or minor. Myers led an insightful discussion over the topic.

Myers was formerly the Poet Laureate for the State of Oklahoma. He currently teaches a multitude of English classes at OBU, including Western Civilization and Creative Writing.

During his lecture, Myers gave information about becoming an English major at OBU and defended the major against criticisms it: that it is unreasonable or impractical.

Myers encouraged students to pursue fields and careers that they love, and ones that they will want to do their entire lives.

For many students, English and reading are things that they feel a pull to, but do not pursue as viable career options due to the lack of understanding about the possibility that having an English degree brings.

Often, there is much apprehension surrounding a student pursuing an English degree from a parent.

“What you’re doing in your education is laying a foundation,” Myers said.

He said that having an English degree will open up job possibilities because of the writing, communication and critical thinking skills that a student would learn during the process of obtaining that degree.

It is also important to note that English is a very popular undergraduate degree for those planning to study law in the future.

Other beneficial aspect about Half Past Three is the opportunity to ask questions of the English faculty. They are genuinely interested in what students have to say and want to help find an answer to those questions.

Panxhi elaborated on a question from a student. The question was “Why minor in English?”

Panxhi cited many similar reasons to Myers. She also encouraged students to fulfill their dreams and passions in the literary world.

Panxhi also shared her experience of wanting to do something with reading and writing when she was in high school. She went to John Brown University and pursued English as a career.

Another option for students who love literature and English is to take courses as electives.

This gives students an avenue to explore their love for the subject without having to commit to an English degree.

The faculty presented important information regarding what is required to minor in English.

According to resources posted on okbu.edu, the English minor requires 18 to 19 hours of selected English courses. There are many different course options to choose from to fulfill these requirements.

Overall, it is evident that those present at Half Past Three are passionate about what they do and teach and are excited to share the possibilities of English with students.

At the end of the event, students were encouraged to stay and discuss their thoughts with faculty members, who were happy to discuss student’s academic plans with them.

Dr. Donnelly brings experience to Bison Hill

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Dr. Paul Donnelly has a PhD in Criminology and is currently an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Oklahoma Baptist University.  

Donnelly studied sociology in his undergraduate years at Biola University in California. He earned a Master of Science in Public Administration at the University of Texas at Tyler. Finally, Donnelly earned his doctorate degree in Criminology at the University of Texas at Dallas.  

Prior to working in education, Donnelly worked in the criminal justice field for many years. He mainly worked in juvenile field of criminal justice.  

“I had an adjunct teacher who was a juvenile probation officer, and one of the assignments was to either write a term paper, or you could volunteer with one of the kids on her caseload,” Donnelly said. “Well, that was easy for me. I didn’t want to do a paper if I could avoid it.” 

Donnelly began volunteering with one of the kids, who was eventually arrested. It was during this time that he found his calling.  

“Then I started seeing him in juvenile hall,” Donnelly said. “I was pretty good at relating to this kid. I was kind of a bad kid in my own way, not criminally necessarily, but rebellious. It was like a light came on: this is what I want to do with my life. So, that led to a couple of part-time jobs working with kids that were involved in the system.” 

Many of the children Donnelly had worked with in his early career in California were either gang members or on the path to becoming one. 

“I was really good at it and I really enjoyed it,” Donnelly said. “After I graduated from college I moved to Texas, from Southern California, and got a job working for the Dallas County Juvenile Probation Department in the detention center.” 

He thrived in his job and received many promotions. He spent this next period of his life working in positions that gave him more and more responsibility, and he also went to school to obtain a graduate degree.  

“When I finished that I got a job offer as a chief probation officer in Corpus Christie,” Donnelly said. “I was there for three years. I really love Corpus Christie. It was one of my better jobs. Then, I was hired to run the largest juvenile correctional facility on the East Coast, which happened to be in Maryland.”  

Donnelly has held numerous positions in the criminal justice field that carry great power and esteem. He spent nearly 30 years working in the field, and then made a switch to education. When Donnelly retired from the criminal justice field, he went back to school to earn his doctorate degree.  

“I went back to school and got my PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas in Criminology, which studies the correlates of crime, because I wanted to teach,” Donnelly said.  “I had always hoped to teach so that I could take 30 years of actual experience and combine it with what I learned in the sciences, and then present it to students so they can be prepared to be Christian leaders in the 21st century.” 

One of the many classes that Donnelly teaches is Introduction to Sociology, which many freshmen and sophomore students take. In addition to an introductory textbook, Donnelly employs the use of “Generous Justice” by Timothy Keller to intertwine faith and content learning. He also teaches criminal justice courses. 

“I’ve been here six years, and the first three years I was teaching sociology and preparing a criminal justice major,” Donnelly said. “For the last three years we’ve had the criminal justice and the forensic psychology majors.” 

Donnelly hopes to prepare and inspire leaders who might come out of his classes. Amber Rodriguez is a freshman political science major who has taken class with Dr. Donnelly.  

“My greatest take away from Dr. Donnelly’s lectures was the importance of diverse worldviews and experiences,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone experiences life differently and that can be a very valuable thing to consider when learning. Being aware that there is more to life than what we know is the greatest tool and lesson that Dr. Donnelly has given me.” 

Students and faculty alike acknowledge that the method in which Donnelly teaches is helpful and thought-provoking.  

I appreciate that Dr. Donnelly encourages us to learn from each other, his Socratic approach really opens up the classroom to engage in discussion,” Rodriguez said. “He really makes it easy to find a connection to the lesson on a personal level rather than feeling like it’s just test material.” 

Dr. Kaine Ezell, an associate professor of English at OBU, shares similar thoughts. 

“Dr. Donnelly is a great professor because he himself is a seeker of knowledge and wisdom,” Ezell said. “Because he is seeking, it allows him to provide his students with space to seek solutions to problems based on their own experience and observation. He does not see himself as one who lectures students on the responses he thinks are appropriate to a given question, but he encourages students to provide input into seeking solutions.” 

Learning languages creates opportunity

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Last week was National Foreign Language Week. The week celebrates the learning of languages and culture.

Oklahoma Baptist University currently requires all students to complete at least 2 modern foreign language classes. Most students take French or Spanish to fulfill this requirement.

Some students see the requirement of studying a second language to be unnecessary, but that is not the case. Learning a second language has benefits across many areas of life.

“Many students sadly don’t understand the value of knowing another language, and how beneficial it can be,” freshman physics major Nathan Murillo said. “I know many of the conversations I’ve had with students on campus about language classes has gone along the lines of ‘I’m never going to use this. Why do I need to learn it?’”

Dr. Lyda Murillo Wilbur, assistant professor of Spanish, has an answer to that very question.

“Learning a world language such as Spanish, French, or German opens the door for students to look at what is happening in the world, not only as a mere spectator but also as someone who can be a part of that world,” Wilbur said. “Without language acquisition visiting a world country is as if the student is going to a museum where he or she perceives the world from a distance and cannot feel, smell, taste, or move around what he or she sees. The student does not get to fully experience the world or be fully empowered to influence it.”

There are benefits to learning additional languages that reach beyond personal use.

“When I’m speaking to someone who’s native language is one I can speak, it makes communication much easier, and people are that much more willing to talk with you,” Murillo said. “Knowing a second language also brings a unique aspect to job applications and internship applications that employers like to see. I realize that is sometimes thought of as an overused cliché, but I have experienced how much it helps personally. Along with that, knowing a second language makes it significantly easier to pick up a third, fourth, fifth, and beyond.”

Kristin Dodd is a senior multilingual communications major deeply understands the importance of language learning. She can currently speak 4 different languages: English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin.

“I absolutely believe it is important to know more than one language,” Dodd said. “I think Americans often don’t see the need to learn a second language, as we live in a huge country. In Europe, if you drive for ten hours, you can be in a few different countries that all speak different languages, but if you drive for ten hours in the USA, you might never leave Texas.”
The United States is home to a culture that is heavily influenced by various cultures and people of various backgrounds, which makes learning languages other than English very significant and useful.

“Our country as we know it is built on immigrants and we live in an increasingly globalized culture and economy,” Dodd said. “Learning another language is not only practical but opens doors in communicating with that world that surrounds us.”

It is obviously very helpful to know the language that is spoken in the country that you are travelling in.

“Learning a language when travelling is not a necessity, but it is a benefit,” Dodd said. “You get better prices in the markets and are less likely to be cheated by taxi drivers. You learn how to navigate places that are more a part of the everyday life of people around the world. Iconic places like the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and the Statue of Liberty are popular for a reason, but speaking a local language allows you to see and learn more about the local culture than many tourists never see.

Here on Bison Hill there are many bilingual and multilingual students and faculty.

“I was raised in a Spanish speaking country, the Republic of Panama,” Wilbur said. “At the time less than 14% of Panamanians spoke English. Therefore, my first language is Spanish. My experience learning English has been a journey. I came with my family to the United States in 1981 and I was immersed in a school where English was the only language spoken. Not many people looked like me or spoke Spanish. Back then the world felt different and was seen through a different set of lenses.”

OBU currently offers degrees in Spanish, multilingual communication and global studies, with many different minors to choose from, one of them being TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of a Second Language). This is similar to what is often called ELL or ESL.

Dr. Wilbur went to a school that offered English learning classes.

“I remember I had a kind teacher who took interest in helping me learn English, Mr. Gonzalez,” Wilbur said. “At the time, there were not many books in both languages, and the internet did not exist; therefore, learning American traditions or folktales, was not as easily accessible.”

OBU’s mission statement is: “As a Christian liberal arts university, OBU transforms lives by equipping students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of knowledge, engage a diverse world, and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ.”

Learning a second language could prove to be essential to engaging a diverse world. Dr. Wilbur wants to encourage students to seize every learning opportunity they have during their time at OBU.

“Language is a tool,” Wilbur said. “More specifically, this tool can be used as a key to open new doors to new and exciting places all over the United States and the World. There are people groups from all over the world including the United States who are waiting to meet them; new people who also need to know about Jesus!

Wilbur said she wanted to challenge every OBU student to find ways to learn another world language and not to be afraid to listen, speak, read and write.

“All students should take advantage of the language classes offered at OBU and take the time to travel and learn another world language,” Wilbur said.