Honors Program to host professor for three-part series
Feb21

Honors Program to host professor for three-part series

Scholar, professor, activist, speaker, author, husband, father, friend – Dr. David Gushee wears many different hats. The distinguished university professor of Christian ethics is the director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia. Gushee will deliver part one of his three-part lecture series in chapel Wednesday titled “Sanctifying Every Life.”  Sponsored by The Honors Program and the Center for Baptist Studies, Gushee will be discussing the sanctity of human life. “I am talking in three different ways about the ancient and beautiful Christian belief that every human life is infinitely sacred in the sight of God and should be treated accordingly by us,” Gushee said. “I believe this is the most important theological and moral belief in Christianity.” Gushee has written 12 books including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust and Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul.  His next book project  will be finished this summer and will explore the theological and ethical conviction that human life is sacred, which is the topic he will be discussing on campus. He was educated at the College of William and Mary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he earned a Ph.D. in Christian ethics.  He has continued in his vision for his life, offering service through scholarship, teaching and activism in Christian ethics. In addition to the chapel presentations Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.,  Gushee will cover “Sanctifying Life in Early Christianity”  at 3:30 p.m. in Manning Chapel. To conclude his series, Gushee will finish with “Christian Rescuers and the Sanctity of Life” Thursday at 11 a.m. in Manning. “My talks will include an overview of the theme in chapel then a talk on how the early church lived this belief out and finally a discussion of Christians who lived this by rescuing Jews during the Holocaust,” Gushee said. Dr. David Holcomb, associate professor of history and political science and director of the Honors Program, thinks students will enjoy the lectures. Gushee is a “leading evangelical spokesperson on many important ethical issues. He also has the reputation as an engaging and student-friendly speaker,” he said. In 2010, Gushee helped found the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good which is just one of the many organizations he is a part of. Other groups include Evangelicals for Human Rights, Climate Change and Peacemaking. The lectures are inspired by Gushee’s publications, especially his most recent project. Holcomb said, “Dr. Gushee’s lectures will draw from his forthcoming book entitled Sanctifying Life. He will challenge the audience to think about the sanctity of life more holistically, rather than trying to boil...

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Crusaders join schools at annual conference, gain new knowledge for leadership roles
Feb08

Crusaders join schools at annual conference, gain new knowledge for leadership roles

On Jan. 27, upwards of 30 UMHB students piled into the university’s vans and drove four hours to East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. ETBU was host for this year’s Christian Association of Student Leaders Conference. CASL was formulated and started by UMHB’s very own Dr. George Loutherback 13 years ago, and since then the conference has expanded to serve almost every major Baptist university in Texas. Each year in January students from schools such as Howard Payne, Hardin-Simmons, Dallas Baptist, Houston Baptist, East Texas Baptist, and UMHB come together to study leadership. Last year the conference was held on Houston Baptist’s campus, and next year the conference will travel to Dallas Baptist University. UMHB hosted the conference in 2008. Senior history major Jennifer “J” Larkin has attended CASL for the past four years, attending two years as a Ministry Leadership Council (MLC) leader as well as another two as a member of Campus Activities Board. Larkin said “CASL has impacted the way that I view leadership and taught me that I can love people in being a leader.” At CASL, leaders from each university’s Campus Activities Boards, Baptist Student Ministries, Student Government Associations, Residence Life, Welcome Week committees and recreational staff gather. Sophomore exercise sports science major Aaron Miller said, “Having the opportunity to understand how each individual leader functions on their campus helped me form new ideas on how to lead events and programs on our campus.” Miller serves on the Ministry Leadership Council as an internationals leader and is also a co-director of Missions Emphasis Week 2011. The conference program included three major speakers and four round table discussion group times, the last three immediately following a speaker. This year’s speakers included a pastor, Gene Wilkes; an educator, Sherilyn Emberton; and a politician, Bryan Hughes. This aray of speakers reflects the many different leadership groups attending the conference: leaders in ministry, campus activities and student government. The three speakers touched on valuable leadership topics such as servant leadership, adaptation, personal and spiritual care and generational differences in leadership roles. Freshman math major Ryan Frusha attended the conference through the Freshmen Ministries group at the BSM. He said he was “personally challenged to look at (his) life and see if it measures up to God’s standard for a man of God.” The round table groups provided leaders with a chance to meet students from other similar universities and build relationships with them, while constructively discussing the  strengths and weaknesses of each campus. Larkin expressed that, through the round tables, “CASL has been a place for me to come meet other people who, understanding the question, we all...

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Timm ‘Compassion’ately paints
Jan25

Timm ‘Compassion’ately paints

Many aspire to be compassionate, but feeling sympathy for others is as far as some will venture. When it comes to acting on that pinching emotion inside that whispers “Do something,” some merely ignore it. Many students couldn’t resist the empathy they felt in chapel Jan. 19 when Christian artist, author and speaker Eric Samuel Timm painted a picture of Jesus as he spoke and encouraged Crusaders to sponsor a child through Compassion, a Christian child advocacy ministry. “The biggest thing I love about Compassion is that they do it in Jesus’s name,” he said. Timm has been involved with Compassion for almost a decade. It seeks to provide the needs of children tormented by poverty while enabling them to become mature Christians. Members of the Baptist Student Ministry displayed information about the ministry in the SUB. A photo of a child representing a region in Africa, Asia, Central or South America appeared on the front of each brochure. The leaflets contained general information about the children and sponsorship materials. Several Crusaders crowded around, seeking to enhance the quality of a child’s life. Freshman education major Laura Briner, along with her friends, decided to sponsor Benson Joab Mwamso, a child from Tanzania. “We picked him because he lives in a place where there’s AIDs,” she said. Briner and her friends, freshman nursing major Ciara Prailey, freshman computer science major Kate Schladenhauffen and freshman accounting major Maizey Cardy are splitting the payment on the donation to Benson each month. The friends learned that they share a common interest with Benson. “He plays soccer and … three of us play soccer,” Briner said. Briner believes sponsoring Benson will be a great experience because of her love for kids and desire to teach. She thinks the presentation in chapel showed students how fortunate they are. “It should be an eye-opener to people that we are so spoiled,” she said. Timm’s message on “repainting Jesus” was that enlightenment for some. “Repainting Jesus” refers to Christians leading by example and using their daily actions to reverse fallacies about God’s message. “We can go rescue, feed and clothe, and end malaria, but what would  profit a man if he gains all the food, the clothing that he needs, but he loses his own soul?” he said. Timm began his presentation in chapel receiving laughs from the audience, but quickly awed them with his painting. His canvas revealed an image of Jesus painted in black and red, previewing his message. However, Timm does not always speak when he paints. Sometimes he paints on stage as another speaker addresses the audience or during a concert while a...

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Mathematician, former joke writer for Jay Leno speaks
Nov16

Mathematician, former joke writer for Jay Leno speaks

Mathematical geniuses and comedic geniuses are quite rare. Even more rare are mathematical comedians. Thursday evening the university was fortunate enough to have Edward B. Burger lecture, sponsored by the Honors Program and the College of Sciences. He is a self proclaimed semi-expert of humor as well as a professor of mathematics. An esteemed teacher, Burger, who once wrote jokes for Jay Leno, has been in the classroom for more than 20 years. Some of his posts have been at the University of Texas at Austin, Waterloo University and Williams College. Currently he is teaching two courses at Baylor University. Along with his busy schedule of teaching, Burger has produced teaching videos with Thinkwell. They were part of one of the first interactive virtual textbooks. The videos  are online and have been used as textbooks and supplementary material for students. Freshman honors student and psychology major Brooke Cox watched the videos in her junior year of high school to help in an algebra class she was having difficulties with. “The Thinkwell videos were really interesting just because he is making direct eye contact through the camera. It is really personal, kind of like you are with a tutor, and they are helping you through the math problems you have,” she said. Throughout his teaching career, Burger has received numerous awards. Reader’s Digest in 2006 named him America’s best math teacher in the annual “100 Bests of America.”  His most recent award was Baylor’s Robert Foster Cherry award which he received in 2010. Burger had this to say about the award: “The Robert Foster Cherry award for great teaching, (is) probably the biggest award I’ve received because it is a big international prize that is amongst all the English speaking faculty in the world in all subjects, and they only give it once every two years.” While he certainly appreciates receiving awards like the Cherry award, he finds it more rewarding when a middle school student sends him an e-mail thanking him for helping through one of his video lectures about math. Burger’s UMHB lecture was titled “Monkeys, Mathematics, and Mischief.” In spite of the title, the lecture was not strictly mathematical. It was really about the lifelong lessons of learning. At the end of the talk, Burger challenged the students to make the invisible visible. “By doing so, you will not only see the richness of the individual things that you are thinking about, but you’ll begin to see a new way of looking at everything. It is a habit of living, and it is the greatest habit we can embrace because that’s the habit of living that will...

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Jazz concert based on board game concepts

“Do Not Pass Go” is based on the concept of the Monopoly man. This may seem strange for a jazz concert, but it makes a statement that this ensemble means business. Director of the university’s jazz ensemble Nils Landsberg wants people to attend the concert Nov. 19 because “we take what we do seriously.” Sophomore psychology major Brandon Rodriguez, who plays the trumpet, said, “What’s different about this concert compared to one in the past is that what we’re playing is harder. We’re being more musically challenged than last year.” The songs will come from a wide spectrum ranging from blues, ballads, shuffle charts, modern funk and many others. There will be songs from 1931 as well as tunes from 2003. Landsberg said, “Jazz is an ensemble that has truly been an American art form since it was born in America. It creates music for the sake of art.” Because it is such a diverse  genre, jazz brings students from all walks of life together. Rodriguez said, “Everyone brings something different to the table. We all come from different musical backgrounds like rock, funk, classical. One of the girls, Sabrina Ozio, is even making her own country album now.” The ensemble practices Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and a half. Each of the 20 members is also responsible for a 30-minute sectional outside of rehearsal. Landsberg said, “I make them (practice) so the students can have more ownership of the group. They can get involved, give me ideas and ask questions.” After their upcoming concert, the ensemble will not perform again until March 4 when they go on tour to Memphis where they will sing in  churches and high schools. This is used as a recruiting tool to get the name of UMHB out there. Trombone player and junior music education major Andrea Mercer said, “It’s really neat to see how far we come musically in a few short days while we’re on tour.” The concert is Nov. 19  at 7:30 p.m. at Hughes Recital Hall. The director encourages “people on campus to hear what we have. This concert is going to be really good, and I’ll be completely surprised if no one likes it,” he said. Landsberg thinks very highly of the opening number  for the “Do Not Pass Go” performance. He said,  “Not only are we featuring one of our faculty, Stephen Crawford, but our opening tune is basically going to punch the audience in the jaw. It’s going to have a big...

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Classes face off in annual flag football game
Nov02

Classes face off in annual flag football game

It was the year of the seniors as each class went head to head for the title of Sader Puff champions. With a big freshmen class, a senior class that wanted to win and a combination team of the juniors and sophomores, everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves playing a friendly game of flag football. The winning team, the seniors, took it more seriously than the others. With wrist bands full of different plays, four-year player senior Julia Bishop liked the intensity. “Even though at first I thought they were all taking this way too seriously, I still had fun,” Bishop said. “I just like to be out there and have fun with my friends.” While some of the players take it seriously, the coaches do not. Guys coach the women and are even seen jokingly harassing the refs. Bishop said it’s all good fun. “All the guys are just big dorks. They will be running up and down the sidelines, holding their heads. Some even throw their clip boards down just to be funny,” she said. “I think Sader Puff is more of a fun time for them than it is for us.” Sophomore Jenny Binford went out to see some of the games. “Despite the cold, it was interesting to watch,” Binford said. “Some of the girls are really tough about it, but for the most part, I thought everyone was out there just for fun.” The food was a big hit as well. “The fact that they had hotdogs and drinks was a definite plus,” Binford said. “People just came out and would eat, watch and socialize. It was fun.” Only three games were played. First, the combined junior and sophomore classes took on the freshmen class.  The freshmen lost. Then the seniors took the field to knock off the junior and sophomore team. And then the seniors played the freshmen. For some it was the end of a tradition that they had been a part of since their first year of college. “I have played on the team all four years, and it’s sad because I know I won’t be able to play anymore because I’m graduating,” Bishop said. “Even though it was so much fun to play, it also showed that my days in college are ending soon, and that’s sad.” For sophomore Mandi Watts, this was the first time she went out to watch some of her her fellow classmates play ball. She said, “I wanted to see what everyone was talking about. After watching them, if I go next year, I will definitely be watching again. Some of those girls played rough...

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