Wesleynotes Volume 2, Issue 1 Fall 2014

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Read about what faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School of Arts and Letters at Texas Wesleyan University have been doing this summer and Fall. Give us your feedback and story ideas at sdaniell@txwes.edu.


Wesleynotes AbThe View from Poly HeightsVol. 2 / Issue 1Fall 2014Texas Wesleyan University visiting assistant professor of religion, Dr. Kendra Irons, has written a book on Christian feminism in the hope that she can inspire women to be all they can. Irons is working alongside a colleague from George Fox University, Dr. Melanie Springer Mock. Irons and Mock have been writing a blog together for more than two years titled Aint I a Woman, and from there came the inspiration for their book. We started this blog where we examined Christian popular culture, and what were looking for are ways in which these artifacts in Christian popular culture are used to essentially keep women in a specific box. Irons said.The book, Meant to be: A Christian Feminist Guide to Be-ing Yourself, Accepting Your Faith, and Changing the World is scheduled for release in April 2015. The book is essentially geared toward women attending Christian colleges such as Liberty University. Through Irons extensive research and studies she found that women in Christian colleges start out with higher self-esteem, and by the time they graduate, they have much lower self-esteem. What we have come to believe is that it is this kind of Chris-tian popular culture that essentially provides these messages to women that tell them: on the one hand God loves them, and on the other hand they are sinful like Eve. They are not as bright as their male peers [and] they should be leaders in only certain places, Irons said. There are mixed messages that women in particular get.Irons and Mock seek to provide a more accurate and Biblical understanding of the roles women play within Christianity by targeting subjects such as purity culture and the Proverbs 31 woman who is an example of virtue, responsibility and good sense. The women who attend Christian colleges are more exposed to a world where men are still the head of household. These women are far less exposed to strong women in executive po-sitions than they would be if they had attended a traditional or public college or university. The purpose of Irons book is to provide an alternative and change the stigmas associated with Christian women by tar-geting the women at Christian colleges.Its [the book] really driven by wanting women to have a sense that they should be all that they can be, Irons said. In Meant to Be, we critique the messages about gender that are ubiquitous in evangelical Christian popular culture. These messages are often labeled biblical or godly, but are based more on cultural stereotype than on anything the Bible might say. Meant to Be intends to be an echo of the groundbreaking book written by Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty published in 1974 titled All Were Meant to Be.Blog leads to book for Christian womenCourtesy of Dr. Kendra IronsDr. Kendra IronsArts & Letters 2 School of Arts & LettersFor Texas Wesleyan University asso-ciate professor Julie McCoy, singing is more than a hobby - it is a passion and a science. McCoy has been teaching choral music at Wesleyan for nine years. She has two degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, bachelors in music ed-ucation, and masters in music in vocal performance.McCoy is a soprano singer for a pro-fessional chamber choir, Conspirare, which means to breathe together in Latin. The Austin-based choir is one of the top chamber choirs in the world, and the group has had five recordings that have been nominated for Grammy Awards since 2006.Conspirare selects its performers from all over the nation, and McCoy was se-lected to do two concerts and a record-ing for the group in September. The re-cording is called The Poet Sings: Pablo Neruda. The songs lyrics are poems from Ner-uda, a Chilean poet who won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971. McCoy also performed a solo in a song, The Beati-tudes. The two concerts were held at the University of Texas at Austin in Bates Recital Hall, and the recording was done at Goshen College in Goshen, Ind. Goshen College has a recital hall that is completely sound-proof, making it a perfect place to record the music. The recording is expected to be released in September 2015.McCoy has been singing for Conspir-are for roughly seven years.It is very much an honor and a privi-lege to sing with this group, she said. She has done four recordings for the group, including Threshold of Night, which was nominated for two Grammy Awards in Best Choral Performance and Best Classical Album in 2008. She has also done several concerts with them, including one in Copenhagen at the World Symposium on Choral Music in 2008. McCoy is very fond of the choir and is really inspired by the founder and direc-tor, Craig Hella Johnson. The way he picks repertoire every single time is incredible, McCoy said. He is one of the finest musicians I have ever known, and also one of the most beautiful people I have ever known and is just a joy to work with. McCoy said she loves the challenge of singing for such a proficient group.When you are working at this level, every moment is a challenge for your brain and for your body, she said. I feel such a sense of accomplishment.McCoy wants to continue to keep learning about choral music, which in-volves studying the rapidly growing field of science behind singing. My goal is to keep up with informa-tion and the latest findings about sing-ing, McCoy said. I always try to keep learning for teaching purposes. McCoy is also a member of the Na-tional Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the group which selects the Grammy winners. She was selected into this Academy because of her profession-al recordings. When the group votes, McCoy re-ceives a ballot for the choral music se-lection because she is considered to be an expert.Choral music has been a passion throughout her whole life. McCoy grew up in Canyon, Texas, which is located in the Panhandle. She attended many choral concerts and lis-tened to recordings growing up. She also received excellent musical edu-cation and started singing in choirs in middle school. She began taking singing lessons as a freshman in high school. McCoy enjoys being able to combine her love for choral music and teaching into her career.Ive always loved school, McCoy said. Music is also a passion, and I was lucky enough to find those two and put them together.McCoy sings with Grammy-nominated choirCourtesy of Danny BrodGrammy nominee and Wesleyan professor Julie McCoy sings with Austin-based Conspirare. Arts & Letters 3School of Arts & LettersTexas Wesleyan Universitys The-atre Department has been producing student-written plays on campus since the 1990s, and this year was no differ-ent. Theatre professor Connie Whitt-Lambert knew that one of her students, Logan Rodgers, had a story that needed to be on stage. You wont have a good play unless you have a good story, Whitt-Lambert said. First the story has to be interest-ing; without an interesting story, you are just boring the pants off your audience. Rodgers definitely has an interesting story. The junior theatre majors play, In & Between, was performed on the Wes-leyan stage August 17-19 with encore performances on October 19-20. In & Between was created in Whitt- Lamberts playwriting class in 2013.I was very excited to read the first draft, Whitt-Lambert said. Even in that early developmental stage, it was very evident that this was a unique and interesting piece.After the semester in the playwriting class, the script was developed into a short play and was read in the Wes-leyan Playmarket Series in February 2014. Rodgers has rewritten In & Between a total of nine times since the last performance on campus. In & Between is a two-act play about two characters, Nyles and Armin, who become trapped in a forest with no way out. With help from a special friend, Kae, they realized why they were trapped and discovered how to escape.Rodgers is not only a playwright; he is also an accomplished actor. He has per-formed on the Wesleyan Stage in The Drowsy Chaperone, The Heiress, A Man for All Seasons, Certificate of Death and will perform in the upcom-ing production of Fuddy Meers. Rodgers intends to direct his first play, Mafia on Prozac, on December 2. He plays five instruments as well. I played the alto saxophone when I was part of my high school band, and since then I have dabbled with piano, guitar and mandolin, he said. I can play the uku-lele well. I can strum a mean four string.Rodgers involvement on campus in-cludes being the head representative for the Student Government Association and president of the theatre organiza-tion, Alpha Psi Omega. However, Rodgers believes he balanc-es his extracurricular activities and class work very poorly. He remains passion-ate about being a good storyteller. Thats the thing that I am most in-terested in; in life is storytelling and be-ing able to, Rodgers said. There are so many different avenues, which you can give justice to the story and share it with other people. I think thats why Im into it. As for his future, Rodgers wants to continue telling stories in his own way.Id like to voice act. Thats always been something that interested me, he said. Alternatively, Id like to also write for television shows and film and maybe get a few plays published.Whitt-Lambert has little doubt about his future success.Without question Logan Rodgers has a future as a playwright, Whitt-Lambert said. Hes already got a great start with In & Between. Im very proud of him. In & Between produced on campus Photo by Bryan StevensonFreshman theatre major Jacob Myers, alumnus Jeremy Jackson, and senior theatre major Kaila Saffle during a performance of In & Between. 1984 graduate Cheryl Penland is now doing what she loves, which is teaching theatre at Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth.Penland received her degree in theater and then moved on to commercials and films. It wasnt until later that she discov-ered her passion for teaching.I agreed to fill in as a substitute teacher for my friend Erin McGrann (a fellow TWU Theatre Grad) in a high school The-ater classroom. I never thought I would teach, but fell in love with the job and actually went back to Wesleyan in order to get Arts & Letters 4 School of Arts & LettersEddye Gallagher is a 1969 alumna of Texas Wesleyan. She majored in English and minored in journalism and foreign language. At Wesleyan she was involved in working on the school publications and getting to know her professors, fac-ulty and fellow classmates. Texas Wesleyan gave her a lot of hands on experiences that she believes she wouldnt have gotten had she gone to a bigger university.After graduating she began her career at a business journal magazine as a writ-er, but after given an ultimatum to sign a long-term contract she decided to leave. She worked at Texas Christian Uni-versity in its public relations department for a short time before going to graduate school and taking a part-time position at the University of North Texas. Gallagher now serves as the director of student publications, adviser of The Col-legian, Tarrant Coutny Colleges student newspaper, and an assistant professor of journalism at Tarrant County College. Gallagher and her husband Ed, who is also an alumnus of Texas Wesleyan, con-tinue to support the university. Gallagher was recently named the Distinguished 2-Year Newspaper Ad-viser by the College Media Association. She was presented the award on October 30 at the College Media Associations na-tional convention in Philadelphia. Her predecessor, Joe Norton, won the same award in 1975.Gallagher has taught at Tarrant County College since 1970 and has di-rected the colleges student publications unit since 1999. In that time, her staffs have won numerous national, regional and state awards. More importantly she has seen a number of students go on to beome successes in various media. Gallagher is heavily involved in the Fort Worth professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and currently serves as SPJ region 8 director. I think its a great school, and I think its wonderful that Wesleyan is growing. Im glad that the journalism program is growing. I am just really pleased what Wesleyan has done for me, Gallagher said. Courtesy of Eddye GallagherEddye Gallagher was named the Distinguished 2-Year Newspaper Adviser by the College Me-dia Association.Wesleyan alumni continue to make their markEddye GallagherCheryl PenlandCHERYL, page 5my teaching certificate. I am now in my 26th year as a Theatre Arts educator, Penland said.Even though she enjoyed her time at Wesleyan, she wishes she would have taken advantage of the advanced technical classes that were offered. As a teacher, I now make sure my students are as skilled behind the curtain as they are in front of it. Texas Wesleyan is a great place for them to get training in all aspects of the theatre arts, Penland said.She believes that experiences at Wesleyan will serve as a strong foundation regardless of what career one pursues.I encourage current students to take time to nurture the relationships they will make in their time at Texas Wesleyan. They are working with some of the most talented and gifted people they will ever encounter, and they are fortunate to have that opportunity, Penland said.Sderbaum is a fall 2010 graduate. The Wesleyan faculty had a substantial impact on his career.I really came to Wesleyan intending to play some soccer and have an adven-ture studying abroad, but the Wesleyan faculty and staff soon saw something in me that I was unaware of, and they challenged me to reach for my full po-tential. I am convinced that I would not be where I am - or who I am - today, if it were not for Texas Wesleyan. Sder-baum said.Sderbaum received a B.A. in English with a writing concentration and a B.S. in Exercise Science. He then attended law school at Texas A&M and graduated in 2014. He currently works at the Supreme Court of Texas in Austin as a law clerk for the Honorable Justice Debra H. Leh-rmann.A few things Sderbaum may do on a typical day include research, writing, and legal analysis.Sderbaum advises all students to, build relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students; utilize all the re-sources available to you, and try to make a difference while at Wesleyan. Sderbaum passed the Texas Bar Exam and he is now able to be sowrn in as a licensed attorney in Texas.Arts & Letters 5School of Arts & LettersJoakim SderbaumCourtesy of Cheryl PenlandCheryl Penland discovered a love for teaching and returned to Wes-leyan for a teaching certificate. CHERYL continued from page 4Photographer/Rambler StaffJoakim Sderbaum recieves his Aggie class ring from Professor Kelly at the law school this spring.Arts & Letters 6 School of Arts & LettersThree Wesleyan professors explore ChinaDr. Mark Hanshaw, along with two other Wesleyan faculty members, Dr. Jay Brown and Dr. Kalpana Pai, traveled across the globe and spent much of their summers teaching in Bei-jing, China. The reason that we found ourselves in China this summer was because a new arrangement has been facilitated between our institution and an institution in China, Hanshaw said. Through this exchange, it is anticipated that each summer there will be some number of Wesleyan faculty that will travel to China and spend at least part of their summer teaching in China working with individual Chinese students on a variety of different subjects. Hanshaw and his colleagues began their stay at the Com-munications University of Beijing in mid-June and remained until early August. The Wesleyan faculty members brought a variety of lecture topics to the university including psychology, philosophy, business and accounting. The university has more than 15,000 students in attendance and is one of the largest in Beijing. Our purpose was to give the Chinese students there the op-portunity to have interaction with Western faculty, Hanshaw said. It represents a great exchange because its an opportunity for us to learn from our Chinese neighbors and perhaps for them to learn a bit from us through the academic process. The Wesleyan faculty members spent their days living like the citizens of Beijing. We were sort of thrust into a local community, Hanshaw said. Faculty had to become accustomed to the local foods and shopping along with their daily subway rides. The Beijing sub-way is said to be the busiest subway system in the world with more than 2 million travelers per day. At times we found ourselves packed into the subway cars like sardines, Hanshaw said.It was a rarity for the faculty members to find any utensils they were accustomed to. Getting used to eating every meal with chopsticks is alone sort of an interesting experience, Hanshaw said. I am a firm believer that one of the things that we can do in life that has the greatest impact upon us is being exposed in a deep way to at least one other if not multiple other cultures. I think it is a transformative experience, Hanshaw said when asked about the importance of travel. I believe that through this kind of experience I become a better teacher, Hanshaw said. I become better able to help students think about and reflect on their own culture and oth-er cultures. I am better able to help students bridge the some-times sticky divisions that separate individual cultural groups.Courtesy of Dr. Mark HanshawWesleyan faculty members taught in Beijing, China, this summer including: Dr. Mark Hanshaw, pictured left, ANL faculty member. Arts & Letters 7School of Arts & LettersDr. Kay Colley, associate professor of mass communication, recently attended the Society of Professional Journalists Diversity Program. The program was part of the Excellence in Journalism Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Sept. 3-7. In addition to simply attending the conference, Colley was selected as a Leadership Fellow of the SPJ Diversity Leadership Program. According to the SPJ, Diversity Lead-ership Fellows work to improve diversity within the workplace. This program was created to increase diversity within the organizations membership, which is lacking diversity. When we would go to the committee meetings, there was very little diversity, Colley said. So it was really important to bring some diversity into the organi-zation [the Society of Professional Jour-nalists] because its still dominated by white men.Colley said there are other organi-zations that focus on specific diverse groups, but it seems that SPJs diversity efforts havent really tapped into those groups. There is a National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association, a Native Ameri-can Journalists Association, a National Association of Black Journalists, and also the National Hispanic Journalism Association, Colley said. But when you go to those conferences, almost every-one there is that kind of person. SPJ itself hasnt opened up its arms and embraced all of those people and tried to get them to come into the organization and take over as leaders. So its been challenging. And because of that, you get one view-point in training. All those different as-pects of journalism where you need to have that diversity of opinion, youre not getting it.Colley said she has used things she learned in this program in the class-room. I learned that it is very good to be in a group like that because everyone knows who you are. I made connections that I wouldnt have made otherwise, Colley said. For instance, in my international and intercultural communications class we had a guest speaker who spoke to us from his breakfast table in Arizona. He is the opinions editor for the Arizona Republic, and I met him through the conference. Colley said she integrates diversity into every one of her classes and sees it as a very important aspect of journalism and communication.For her, the best part of the trip was that because it was a diversity fellowship, and people were not all alike, they asked each other very frank and honest ques-tions. Normally you couldnt have these types of conversations with people be-cause it would be very uncomfortable, she said. We were able to have fun, hon-est and open conversations.Colley attends SPJ as diversity fellow Courtesy of Dr. Kay ColleyDiversity Fellows for 2014: From left, Amy Lieu, Dr. Kay L. Colley, Athima Chansanchai, Khalil Garriott, SPJ President Dana Neuts, Ricardo Torres and Georgia Dawkins.Arts & Letters 8 School of Arts & LettersIreland study abroad tripCosta Rica study abroad tripDr. Kendra Irons, visiting assistant professor of religion and philosophy, and Sharon Manson, former director of housing at Texas Wesleyan University, accompanied 20 students across the At-lantic Ocean to Ireland. Wesleyan students toured the south-ern region of Ireland from May 19 to 29.Students fulfilled humanities and reli-gion credits on their trip. Traveling with Wesleyan students to Ireland was a highlight for me, Irons said. Not only did we get to experience Irish culture, including food and mu-sic, museums and ancient remains, we learned more about each other: those who love to dance, those who can strike up a conversation with anyone about anything, those who will go to incredible lengths to ensure everyone is safe. This is one of the profound surpris-es of traveling abroad: upon returning home, you realize it was more than a passing experience, something about it stays with you, Irons said.Students learned about the culture and religion aspect of all the different cities they explored. Spending two or three days in each spot, the group visited Navan, Dublin, Galway, Blarney and Sligo, Ireland. The students traveled by bus the ma-jority of the trip, staying in hotels and one hostel in Galway. During the spring semester, students worked on individual projects focusing on the places they were assigned, so stu-dents became the tour guides and led the group once the group arrived in their as-signed place. I gained exposure to culture, because its still a very high agriculture place to see how someone else lives, works, com-municates, and to just experience Ire-land as a whole, said Wesleyan senior psychology major Katie Brown. The students were required to keep a working journal to describe what it was they were seeing and how it related to classwork. Courtesy of Katie BrownStudents display the Wesleyan flag during their trip to Ireland. Texas Wesleyan associate professor Dr. Amy Bell led 10 Wesleyan students to the heart of Central America to the capital of Costa Rica, San Jos. Students in Spanish class have taken this trip ev-ery year since 2012. The trip is important because it al-lows students to learn about Costa Rican history and culture firsthand, not only in the classroom but inside and outside the home, Bell said. Being in Costa Rica also really helps students develop their Spanish. Costa Ricans are friendly and will gladly chat with students, and the Spanish spoken there is clear and easier to understand than in many other Span-ish-speaking countries. Study abroad challenges students to examine their culture from the point of view of countries outside the U.S. It shat-ters biases and prejudices and expands students worldview, not to mention their circle of friends. It even enhances students employment opportunities; it looks good on a CV here at home, and the contacts students make in a new country could also lead to employment there, she said. Students lived with Costa Rican fami-lies during their stay where they were al-lowed to only speak Spanish around the home. During this trip, the objective of the students was Spanish language ac-quisition and culture. Students attended afternoon classes at ILISA language in-stitute in the suburb of San Jos, Costa Rica. CR, page 9The Summer II trip to Costa Rica is ideal because it is affordable, and it al-lows busy Wesleyan students (who often work and/or have familial obligations) to enjoy all the advantages of study abroad and earn 6 credit-hours in a two-week period, Bell said.Students spent time in the heart of San Jos visiting the national museum and the gold museum. The students took morning excursions to visit Doka cof-fee plantation, Pos and Iraz volcanoes, and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a biologi-cal reserve for native plants and animals. During the weekend, students visited Punta Leona, a beautiful beach on the Pacific Ocean side of the country, where they relaxed on the beach and went zip lining.Arts & Letters 9School of Arts & LettersFor students, studying abroad frees them from the norms of the United States by exploring foreign cultures at a low cost. Professors from Texas Wesleyan Uni-versitys School of Arts and Letters ac-companied 15 students this summer on a trip to France and Spain.In May 2014, the group spent 17 days visiting Avignon and Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain. They departed DFW Airport on May 18 and returned June 4. The trip was in association with basic art, humanities and digital photogra-phy taught by associate professors Terri Cummings and Peter Colley. Educational travel is taking us out of our known environment and being im-mersed into another culture. To many, it is almost like being re-born. We see with new eyes, we stretch our thinking to un-derstand an unfamiliar custom, Cum-mings said. In France we slowed down (well, sometimes)discovering a French waiter will never deliver a check until requested. (It is considered disrespect-ful to appear to rush the guests.) Our dinner conversation focused on critical thinking around the appropriate ques-tion of Why? The custom of dining and enjoying the company of your dinner guests in a leisurely, all-evening event is part of the French identity. We eventual-ly learned this custom as was evidenced by our long, leisurely, conversation-filled good-bye dinner to Paris.The group spent eight days in Avi-gnon, three days in Barcelona and four days in Paris. They spent time trying new foods, enjoying the different views of the Eiffel Tower, exploring the ancient Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard from the inside, experiencing the unfinished masterpiece basilica in Barcelona The Sagrada Familia (the Holy Family), sit-ting outside local cafs enjoying music and local French b-boys a type of hip-hop dancer.Traveling abroad is preparing stu-dents not only for a trip that will en-hance or elevate their cultural horizons, but it will push them to know that travel-ing is possible, said Jeremy Hunt, mass communication junior. France & Spain study abroad tripCourtesy of Jeremy HuntSenior mass communication major Jeremy Hunt overlooking Arles, France. Courtesy of Kimberlee SimsFaviola Ojeda, Nicole Griffin, Betsy Careaga and Kimberlee Sims enjoying a buffet over the Costa Rican rainforest. CR continued from page 8Arts & Letters 10 School of Arts & LettersDeans Honor Reception BevanBowersBrownBrownBrumfieldBuentelloBurnhamByerlyByrdCapaldoCardonaChaseCrabbCunninghamEakerEspinozaFloresFurrGriffinGuseHandHansonHemingwayHensleyHensleyHerringtonHilliardHoukHumphreyIkensJohnsonJusticeKhatiLasaterLiptakLoveManuelMaples-DavisMarshallMcDermottMcIntyreMucinoNunezODonnellOjedaOrtegaOwensOwensPaynePendletonPhillipsPressleyRamirezRodgersSanchezSimsSmithSpearsStewartTuncelVaughnVaughnVinsonVuWallWestWrightZamarron-MaldonadoZhaoSageTamaraFeliciaMcKenzieCarlosTabithaSortiaCameronCheriCarleenEulalioDejaTimothyJeffreyHayleyUlyssesAlmaAmyNicoleTylerAmandaMelindaLauraMichelleShaunSamanthaAshleyMickiJohnDalynVictoriaPaulaSanirKrystalynJessicaTempieKelseyEmilyCynthiaEmilyAmberMacedonioEricHeatherFaviolaJohnAkiraMoniqueCicelyJessicaLaurenShelbyCesarDallisJacobKimberleeRebekahValerieMaeganCenkAvaryJaymeBlakeGiangLewisJasmineChelseaMarcosYukunWesleynotes is the official newslet-ter for the School of Arts and Letters at Texas Wesleyan University. It is produced by Ram Integrated Media Group, a student integrated market-ing communications group at Texas Wesleyan University. Arts and Letters Dean:Dr. Steven DaniellFor more information, contact the Dean of Arts and Letters office at 817-531-4900 or come by Polytech-nic United Methodist Church, 256.contributorsJessica LiptakJessica NgborRebekah RuizValerie SpearsTaylor Tyler Josette VargaseditorRebekah RuizDr. Kay Colley - student media directorDr. Dave Ferman - Faculty AdvisorClaudia Ikeizumi - graphic designerFirst NameLast Name Last Name First NameA+