They said it
Foreign language earns national recognition
Board members achieve senior status
Education's accreditation extended
Coffee in, usage up at Brackett Library
Neely new Trustee
Spring Sing uncovers fountain of youth
Distance Bible available for high school students
Point of view
Plans announced for new brick walkways
Book to fund scholarship
From "Pep Talk," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sept. 28, 2008, editorial
"It occurred to us as we watched Dinesh D'Souza speak (and muffled our urge to cheer) that he wasn't talking to the Lions or Rotarians, but to college kids. Sorry — young adults. And they paid attention. And applauded him. And laughed at the occasional joke.
"He was connecting. Not only did he make sense to old fogies like us, he was connecting with the young crowd."
The foreign language teacher education program has been awarded nationally recognized status from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the National Council for Accreditation on Teacher Education.
The recognition — awarded to only 56 schools in the nation — puts the University in the top two percent of foreign language departments among colleges and universities across the United States. It is the only program in Arkansas, Tennessee, and among institutions associated with churches of Christ with this distinction.
"This was one of the most challenging tasks with which we have been confronted," said Ava Conley, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and International Studies.
The foreign language department was required to submit eight key assessments with criteria and data on student performance for the last three years. This data included results from national licensure exams, institutional comprehensive content exams, unit plans, student work samples, portfolios from student teachers, oral proficiency results, linguistic samples, and professional development and involvement assessments.
A major component was the Oral Proficiency Interview. The OPI is a carefully structured conversation between a trained, certified interviewer and the person whose speaking proficiency is being tested. The interview is interactive and continuously adapted to the speaking ability of the individual being interviewed.
"I feel honored but challenged," Conley said. "Having reached this status, the challenge for maintaining this level is even greater. There is the challenge of building confidence in the students and creating the desire to achieve the levels of proficiency required."
Four members of the University's Board of Trustees retired to senior status at the Board's semiannual meeting in October.
The University honored Pat Bell of Little Rock, Ark., Bob Brackett of Vero Beach, Fla., Mel Gardner of Fort Worth, Texas, and Jim Bill McInteer of Nashville, Tenn.
Bell, a 1958 alumnus, has served on the governing body since 1986. He was chairman from 1995-1998.
Brackett became a member of the Board in 1990. The University's library is named for him and his wife, Sandy.
Gardner, a semiretired executive with Trinkote Industrial Finishes, was appointed to the Board in 1990.
McInteer, a 1942 alumnus, began his service on the Board in 1950. From 1969-1977, he was treasurer, and, from 1978-2008, he was secretary. His tenure lasted an unprecedented 58 years.
Cannon-Clary College of Education received continued accreditation for eight years from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education following the organization's evaluation during the spring 2008 semester.
The College's graduate and undergraduate programs have been accredited by NCATE since 1961. The University offers 26 graduate and undergraduate programs within the College.
Approximately 2,200 students are enrolled in the College's programs each year. In addition to undergraduate students, classroom teachers, principals, superintendents and other administrators are enrolled in graduate programs at campuses in Searcy, North Little Rock and Bentonville, all within Arkansas. Graduate students account for approximately two-thirds of the College's enrollment.
"We are very pleased to have been associated with NCATE for 47 years," said Dr. Tony Finley, dean. "Harding continues to meet the high standards that NCATE sets forth. We are also very pleased that the Board of Examiners was so complimentary of our programs and the quality of our graduates."
College of Education faculty and students spent more than a year preparing for the site visit from NCATE's Board of Examiners. The next NCATE visit is scheduled for 2016.
NCATE currently accredits more than 600 institutions, which produce approximately two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates each year. NCATE accredits all of the universities in the state of Arkansas.
Student usage of Brackett Library, the new hot spot on campus, has gone up 37 percent this fall.
The library has always benefited from a centralized location on campus, but it has not always been a popular gathering place. After the recent additions of a Java City coffee shop and sleek, modern furniture, students are flocking to the library to research, use the desktop computers and wireless laptop lab, and buy vanilla lattes while studying. Library director Ann Dixon says, "The appearance is much more inviting, and students like the more relaxed atmosphere."
Brackett Library easily meets all of a study group's needs. The first floor features tables large enough to accommodate group projects, and quiet conversation is encouraged. To help with making handouts or posters, the multimedia center is also nearby. The second floor has four conference rooms, two of which come equipped with projectors to enhance presentation preparation.
A new library Web site facilitates use of academic resources as the facility transitions from a print-based provider to promoting more online access. Librarians selected creditable Web sites, databases and print sources for certain subjects and put them into one accessible area on the Web site. If students need assistance with research or finding materials, they can find the name and contact information of the librarian who oversees those specific research areas.
Electronic course reserves are available online and can be accessed anywhere. "Last year, 5,838 reserve items were accessed by students," says Dixon. Brackett Library also offers more than 21,000 full-text academic journals through the University's subscriptions to online databases. Students are making frequent use of this resource.
According to Dixon, for the 2007-2008 school year, 316,797 searches were made on the 73 databases provided by the library.
Another resource available to students is student workers. "Service has always been our highest priority. Student workers are trained to recognize the needs of our patrons and to help when they can, but they can also bring in a librarian when the question is more complex," Dixon says.
A new face was present at the Board of Trustees meeting during Homecoming weekend. Lundy Neely ('71), the latest addition, was announced by President David B. Burks May 9.
Hailing from Vandalia, Ohio, Neely is president and chief executive officer of Crown Solutions Inc. He serves as elder at Vandalia Church of Christ and is a member of the University Builders Circle and President's Council. He has been named to Who's Who in American Leading Executives, an Arthur Andersen Up and Comer, as well as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. He and his wife, Beth Geer ('70), have seven children, all of whom graduated from the University.
Although Spring Sing is turning 36 this year, the theme "Juvenescence" proves that the musical revue doesn't feel a day past 15. April 9-11 the hosts and hostesses, 20-member ensemble, University Jazz Band, and seven club acts will "celebrate the energy and excitement of childhood, adolescence and young-adult life," said Director Steven Frye. "Seeing nearly 1,000 students engaged in musical parodies is juvenescence in a pure form."
The various club shows feature a car wash, the lost boys, adventures under the bed, a day at the beach in 1890, a look at geriatrics, a sock hop, and Native Americans.
"Every year is in a very real sense a first year," said Frye. "There are new directors, staff members, songs, costumes, sets, challenges and dreams. Our structure will be a little different this year. We may have a few more surprises in store."
Headlining the show are second-year host and hostesses Elizabeth Harrell, a senior vocal music education major from Brentwood, Tenn.; Logan McLain, a junior computer science major from Searcy; and Haley Jane Witt, a sophomore nursing major from Chattanooga, Tenn. Newcomer Nate White, a freshman vocal music education major from Omaha, Neb., completes the group.
Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday, April 9, and Friday, April 10, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 11. Tickets are $10 for Thursday's show, $12 and $15 for Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and $15 for Saturday night. They may be purchased at www.hardingtickets.com.
The University and the Institute for Church & Family will begin offering distance education Bible classes to high school students in the fall of 2009 through the Distance Delivery Bible Program.
Four freshmen level classes are being added to course listings of the College of Bible and Religion that will be available to high school students anywhere in the country. The courses are Leadership in the Old Testament, Leadership in the New Testament, Introduction to Religious Writings of the World, and Basic Introduction to Ethics.
Each of the four courses provided in this program was selected on two criteria. First, the course content needed to be relevant to the developmental needs and interests of students preparing for college. Second, the content was designed for transferability. In other words, students who enroll in the program should be able to have a meaningful academic experience as well as college credit that will work toward degree requirements at Harding and any other institution of higher learning.
"We are confident that most of the hours we are offering this fall will be accepted at least as elective credit at most colleges and universities," said Tim Westbrook, associate director of the Institute for Church & Family. "Students who complete the courses not only have a head start on hour accumulation, but they also have a challenging experience that should help prepare them for college life, both academically and spiritually."
Current students in the Distance Delivery Bible Program receive a 50 percent scholarship on their distance Bible courses. Dual-credit or high school participants will also receive the same financial assistance. ICF hopes that by providing this scholarship, more students will be able to benefit from Christian education, no matter what college or university they eventually attend.
For more information about how to enroll and participate in the University's new dual-credit program, contact the Institute for Church & Family at 501-279-4660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the "Around the World in 60 Minutes" missions panel held in Cone Chapel Sept. 29, Bill Richardson discusses Central and South America after Monte Cox gives a world overview. Others on the panel included Mark Berryman (Africa), Marvin Crowson (North America), Allen Diles (Europe) and Gordon Hogan (Asia, Australia and New Zealand).
How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
Reviewed by Cecil Boothe, director of Northwest Arkansas Professional Center
New York: Gallup Press, 2004, 128 pages
How Full Is Your Bucket? is written by a grandfather-grandson team that explores the positive psychology of everyday interactions and how these interactions can be contagious and change lives.
Dr. Don Clifton, former psychologist at University of Nebraska, began by asking the question, "Instead of focusing on what's wrong with people, what would happen if we focused on what's right with people?" The American Psychological Association recognized Clifton's work in 2002 and cited him as the "grandfather of positive psychology." That same year, he learned that he had aggressive, terminal cancer. He asked his grandson, Tom Rath, to join him in writing the book. The first draft was finished just weeks before his death.
The concept is based upon the simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket. The author explains that in each of us there is an invisible bucket that is constantly emptied or filled. By doing things that increase positive emotions, we fill our own and other people's buckets. In the same way, by saying or doing things that decrease positive emotions, we empty our own and other people's buckets.
The events of the Korean War are used to explain how American prisoners of war felt hopeless because of the effects of negative psychological warfare. In contrast, the story of the author's own childhood is used to explain the effects of constant positive reinforcement. Other examples are used to help the reader better understand that negative experiences will slowly and surely erode our well-being, and praise and positive experiences will build us up and improve our health.
The book concludes by challenging the reader to set a goal of giving authentic praise and recognition on a regular basis. Readers are directed to a Web site (www.bucketbook.com), which provides additional resources and allows the reader to send positive comments electronically.
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
Reviewed by Connie Elrod, director of North Little Rock Professional Center
West Valley City, Utah: Waking Lion Press, (originally published in 1922) 2008, 268 pages
Ever since I was a young girl, mystery novels have been my favorite books. The Happy Hollisters mysteries were a big hit in my home growing up. Because I am a fan of mysteries, Agatha Christie is my favorite author.
Of all of the detectives Christie uses to create her stories, Hercule Poirot's quirky nature has made him my favorite. However, the latest Christie novel I read, The Secret Adversary, starred the detective duo of Tommy Beresford and Prudence "Tuppence" Cowley.
Tommy and Tuppence, old friends and recent World War I veterans, find themselves down on their luck and broke. They decide to start a detective firm known as the Young Adventures. Their first case involves a young girl by the name of Jane Finn who had vanished in the midst of the war with a folder of government papers.
Tommy and Tuppence overhear the name while eavesdropping on a stranger's conversation. As the reader will soon learn, there is more to Finn than meets the eyes. Mystery, danger and intrigue begin as Tommy and Tuppence unravel the story of Finn, falling in love along the way.
The pair is quickly giving Hercule Poirot a run for his money as my favorite detective.
Top reads in the
Harry Potter series
by J.K. Rowling
Blue Like Jazz
by Donald Miller
by George Orwell
Chronicles of Narnia series
by C.S. Lewis
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Lord of the Rings trilogy
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Assistant Professor of Engineering Ken Olree gives his take on the personal applications of engineering.What sparked your interest in engineering?
Bioengineering drew me to engineering initially. My mom advised me to do something that would make the world a better place. For me, bioengineering emphasizes using your engineering talents to help people. In some cases, like the cochlear implant, you can directly help people who can't hear to hear. To me, that's really exciting. As an engineer, you're involved in research and creating new things, and you can develop a device that could potentially help thousands of people. You have the potential to make a much bigger impact using the skills God has given you.
You worked at St. Louis Children's Hospital for five years. What were some of the projects you did there?
We looked at the way children with cerebral palsy move. We put reflective markers all over their bodies and had them walk through a room, recording where those markers moved. Later we reconstructed the three-dimensional coordinates of their movement. We also put electrodes over the muscles, primarily on those in the legs, and had the children walk over force plates in the floor. Looking at the information, we then made a recommendation as to the types of surgeries they might want to do. A physician couldn't tell just by looking which muscles were active at what times and how much activity was there. We actually measured those things, which hopefully resulted in better outcomes for patients.
Relationships with students …
I tend to see the same students year after year since I teach sophomore- to senior-level classes. I get to know them pretty well. I have students who send me e-mails after they've graduated and ask for advice. I get wedding invitations and announcements about babies. It's neat to be able to develop close relationships like that.
Instrumentation and the iPhone …
One of the classes I teach is Instrumentation. In this class, physical variables such as temperature, pressure, flow, stress and strain, and light intensity are measured and converted into an electrical signal that a computer can read and use to create something interesting. For instance, you can twist and turn iPhones, and the screen orients to whichever way is up. An accelerometer inside measures the acceleration of gravity, telling it which way is down when the screen is turned.
The job market …
We've had a lot of different employers hire our graduates. I've had students call or e-mail me and say that they went on a job interview and had an offer immediately after the interview. Huntsville, Ala., has been kind of a hot zone for our students. Many of them have gone there and found a lot of success. Most have jobs lined up before they graduate, and others are finding them pretty quickly once they are out.
With the economy in a recession, do you think these jobs will take a hit?
I don't think we're seeing any decrease in the interest of hiring engineers. In fact we've had a large proportion of engineering managers tell us as recently as October that they're still looking to hire. Even though the economy may slow down a little bit, I'm not anticipating any significant decrease in interest in hiring our students.
Where do you think engineering is headed?
In the U.S., greener alternatives and alternative energy will be two of the biggest demands for engineers. The need for better-maintained infrastructure will be another demand, making what we have now work better. Looking at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Web site, two fields of engineering are expected to grow faster than average for all job categories. One is environmental engineering, and the other is bioengineering. Environmental engineering is concerned with how to make the environment cleaner and better. Bioengineering is concerned with improving healthcare and developing better medical devices. In bioengineering, a much bigger need for medical devices will surface because more people will get their care from home. With these devices, information can be sent back to a physician or hospital. H
Dr. Ken Olree is an assistant professor of engineering in the College of Sciences. A Searcy native, he holds a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Utah. Prior to teaching at the University, he worked at St. Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri. During the summer of 2008, he consulted for G6 Inc., a Salt Lake City company, aiding in the design of a device for blocking nerve impulses using large, time-varying magnetic fields. This work incorporated information he developed as a part of his doctoral studies. A portion of this research is currently under review for a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Alumni and friends of the University now have another opportunity to be part of the school's history. Two more areas of historical interest on campus have been designated for brick-paved walkways.
The first walkway will surround the Kenneth Davis Fountain at the center of campus. The second will surround the Bell Tower near Pattie Cobb Residence Hall. Both projects are part of the Paving the Way fundraising project.
Previously alumni and friends had the opportunity to buy inscribed bricks on the plaza in front of Benson Auditorium or on the front lawn walk between the American Studies and Olen Hendrix buildings.
In the new project, bricks will first be placed around the Davis Fountain. Once that area is filled, bricks then will be placed on the walkway around the Bell Tower.
Gifts of $125 will be recognized with a four-inch by eight-inch inscribed brick. The bricks can be inscribed with one to four lines of text with up to 15 characters per line. Funds from the sale of the bricks go toward scholarships awarded by the University.
"These walkways will become a part of two historic areas of the campus," said Dr. Jim Carr, executive vice president."Bricks are a great way to recognize a graduation, birthday, wedding, anniversary or other special achievements.Donors may also wish to purchase a brick as a memorial to honor a friend or family member, an alumnus, or a special faculty or staff member of the University."
Ordering your brick is simple. Complete the card included in this issue of the magazine and mail it to the address on the form with a check payable to Paving the Way project. If you want to purchase more than one, simply copy the card for each additional brick and send the forms together with your check
Topper Long, former CEO of Textron Engine Marine and Land Systems, is donating the profits of his recently published book to the University's Lois and Eunice Scholarship Fund.
While writing the book, Gullible's Travels: Leadership Lessons for Your Journey Through Life's Jungle, Long and his wife, Carole, decided to give the proceeds to the fund.
The book encourages business professionals to "do what's right" in today's fast-paced world. "It's truly a jungle out there, and we all need guidance if we're going to survive with Christian values intact," said Long.
The Lois and Eunice Scholarships began in 1997 when the Longs created the fund to help deserving and financially disadvantaged female students.
Last year eight young women were the beneficiaries of scholarships. This year the Longs anticipate helping 12 to 15 women through the fund.
Gullible's Travels may be purchased at www.CornerStoneLeadership.com.