New deans are welcomed as Crusaders
This year has been one of change, and changes have reached the university in the form of the new deans in the College of Christian Studies and the Scott & White School of Nursing.
Both new faculty members have much experience and plan to bring positive changes to their departments and to the campus.
Dean of nursing, Dr. Sharon Souter, arrived at the campus in August and has felt welcome by faculty and administration from the moment she stepped into Vann Circle.
She said of her colleagues, “I think the majority have been very supportive. We have an excellent faculty.”
The things she has enjoyed most so far about the university are “how pretty it is and that the people are very friendly.”
Souter intends to implement some positive change in the School of Nursing. Some of her ideas for the program include instituting a new curriculum and possibly acquiring a new building.
She said, “This is going to be the best nursing program in the state — possibly in the nation.”
Students have enjoyed Souter’s presence in the classroom.
Junior nursing major Meg Roe is taking Souter’s Foundations of Nursing class and thinks that she has a love for the Lord and a desire to mold students into great nurses.
“Because Dr. Souter has a passion for nursing education, I know that she will excel this nursing program,” she said. “Numerous changes will take place shortly in the Scott & White School of Nursing, but I am confident that all of these changes will be for the benefit of us, the students, here at UMHB.”
Roe commends Souter for her ability to make Foundations of Nursing an interesting class.
“Learning the theories and legalities of nursing is generally not very fun, but Dr. Souter brings real life application and excitement to the curriculum,” she said.
The College of Christian Studies is also seeing excitement in its new building.
Dean, Dr. Timothy Crawford, has big plans for the department and is thankful for the privilege to come into a brand-new building and an accepting staff.
“Everybody has been really welcoming,” he said, “I have come into a position where I’m a little higher up the food chain than just a new faculty person, and sometimes there are issues that you walk into, but it has been remarkably smooth.”
Crawford took over a program previously headed by friend and colleague, Dr. William Carrell. Crawford and Carrell worked together for a number of years at Crawford’s previous school, Bluefield College.
Crawford plans on hiring more fulltime faculty for the Christian studies department in order to help ease the load on professors and provide a better backbone.
He said, “In order to build the major, and . . . help a connection with students, you really need more people so you can build those things.”
Students have also enjoyed Crawford’s sense of humor in class and his desire to teach the ins and outs of the Bible to those willing to learn.
Freshman sports management major Andy Evans is in Crawford’s honors Old Testament class and thinks that he does a good job of filling the enormous shoes as the new dean of Christian studies.
“I think Dr. Crawford is a good fit for the position as the dean of Christian studies,” he said, “He stays on top of things and has done a great job with the opening of the Christian studies building.”
Evans studies daily for class in preparation for Crawford’s tests due to their difficulty and thinks that he teaches students the infinite value of what the Bible teaches.
Evans also adds that “his tests take a very studious lifestyle in order to be as prepared as you need to be for them” and “they require note taking in class and critical Bible reading in order to make a successful score.”
Both Crawford and Souter have a passion for what their respective departments teach, and each shows this through their teaching and advising. Evans thinks that Crawford is an inspiration in the classroom and teaches the Bible with eloquence.
“He enjoys what he does and teaches with passion,” he said, “He uses his abundance of knowledge in his field of study to give his students a greater understanding of the Bible that very few could provide.”