Impact Journal - 2019

Page 1

VOL. 4, 2019

Remembering Guatemala’s Genocide

C L E A N H 2O



Dr. Jill Ellenbarger and student researchers test methods to identify water contaminants

Dr. Preston Jones creates opportunities for veterans to share their perspectives and experiences

Dr. Jacob Stratman to publish his first collection of poems

Dr. Jill Ellenbarger and student researchers test methods to identify water contaminants

10 Pursuing Radical Pursuit Abby Grothe ’20 seeks and compiles professors’ faithfilled wisdom in her book Radical Pursuit

11 100 Years of Scholarship

Founder’s legacy of scholarship, publication continues into the future

12 Verdad, Justicia, Y Memoria

Dr. Trisha Posey, Dr. Kevin Simpson, and Dr. Joe Walenciak facilitate reflection on the Guatemalan genocide and the nature of evil


Professor Spotlight


Poems & Anticipation


Shaping Future Nurses


Beyond the Canvas

On the Offensive Dr. Preston Jones, Scholarship & Community Dr. Jacob Stratman, Scholarship & Vocation Dr. Ellen Odell, Community & Students Andrew McChristian ’18, Student Perspective

Mr. Peter Pohle, Vocation & Students


Old Dog, New Tricks


Building Grit in Entrepreneurship

Dr. Maxie Burch, Research & Teaching Dr. Ryan Ladner, Research & Students Emily Auel ’19, Student Perspective

28 Extending Religious Liberty for All Faiths “Ice on River” Peter Pohle, Professor of Visual Arts

Dr. Daniel Bennett’s Balzer Lecture explores the duty Christians have to fight for the freedom of all faiths


06 Clean H 2O

Professors should personally invest in your success You want a lot from life: • A great job right out of college • Financial stability • A strong sense of purpose and belonging But a degree on its own won’t be enough to overcome the unique challenges you’ll face.

You need mentorship tailored to your goals. At JBU, professors will know your name and personally invest in your success – academically, spiritually and professionally.

Arkansas’ Best College

—Money, 2018

Excellence in Faculty Scholarship at John Brown University

Administration Dr. Charles Pollard President Dr. Ed Ericson Vice President for Academic Affairs Julie Gumm ’95 Director of University Marketing & Communications

Publisher Dr. Carla Swearingen Dean of Faculty Development

Celebrating Faculty Scholarship Three hundred and seven. Though I have not personally counted, this is at least one scholar’s tally of ques-


tions that Jesus asks in the four gospels. I knew that Jesus was adept at using ques-

Dr. Jacob Stratman Chair of Humanities

tions in his interactions with people, but the sheer volume surprised me. However,

Creative Director Jake Smith ’20

Photographer Spencer Theobald ’21

as academics, we understand at least two reasons why questions are so important. First, questions have the power to transform. All good teachers know this. For example, read the exchange between Jesus and Peter in Luke 9:18-20. After Jesus inquires of his disciples about who the crowds think He is, they respond with various answers including John the Baptist and Elijah. It would have been perfectly legitimate for Jesus to take this opportunity to educate the twelve, i.e. to lecture, as we professors love to do. Instead, Jesus turns to His beloved disciple, Peter, and asks

Editorial Support

him, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”

Tarah Thomas ’16

Jesus’ pointed question to an individual produces a personal declaration of Jesus as Savior of the world.

Contributors Jamie Walt ’13 Spencer Patterson ’19 Rachel Maxson Catherine Nolte ’21 Dr. Jacob Stratman Dr. Ellen Odell Andrew McChristian ’18 Claire Johnson ’19 Dr. Maxie Burch Dr. Ryan Ladner Emily Auel ’19 Impact, a publication highlighting exellence in JBU faculty scholarship, is published once a year jointly by University Marketing & Communications and the Office of Faculty Development. Comments can be emailed to

Second, asking questions is at the heart of every good academic endeavor. One of the first concepts I used to teach in my introductory science course was the scientific method, and the first step in this process is asking a question. This is the case in all academic disciplines, where faculty who are engaged in scholarly projects are trying to answer worthy questions about truth, goodness, and beauty. I hope you enjoy the questions being asked by faculty in disciplines like business, English, and nursing in this issue of Impact. As we go about our work, may the answers we find to our questions draw all of us closer to the creator of heaven and earth. To God be the glory!


Dr. Carla Swearingen Dean of Faculty Development  |  Director of ATLAS  |  Professor of Chemistry

“As we go about our work, may the answers we find to our questions draw all of us closer to the creator of heaven and earth.”

6 | Impact

Dr. Jill Ellenbarger and student researchers test methods to identify water contaminants

Dr. Jill Ellenbarger is inspired by her love for architecture and supramolecular chemistry. She delights in mentoring her student researchers as they learn to solve challenges using computational chemistry methods.

by Jamie Walt ’13


or Dr. Jill Ellenbarger, science has

This concept forms the basis for the project

about the Christian Scholars Fellowship, she felt

always been about ministry. Ellen-

that has been on Ellenbarger’s mind since grad-

that it was a really great life stage and career fit

barger started her collegiate journey

uation: identifying water contamination. Ellen-

for her, since it is geared both toward supporting

at Union University, majoring in chemistry and

barger’s first introduction to the issue of water

new faculty member research and the integra-

minoring in mathematics. Through her stud-

contamination was through family friends on

tion of faith and learning. This grant, provided

ies, she found herself more and more drawn to

the mission field in Africa who were experienc-

through a collaboration of the Christian Schol-

the beauty of the interconnection of math and

ing health problems from a contaminated well.

ars Foundation and the InterVarsity’s Emerging

chemistry, and how they reveal a fascinating de-

Hearing this issue, Ellenbarger suspected that

Scholars Network, was one of only two award-

sign network with one another when they are

the problem fell under the umbrella of what her

ed in the United States and Canada. The $7,500

studied in conjunction. That is how she found

scientific background qualified her to investi-

she received supported six weeks of summer re-

herself studying inorganic chemistry.

gate. Though she loves the science for itself, the

search, one full-time and two part-time student

From Union, she selected Texas A&M for her

concepts of stewardship and ministry are what

researchers, and the resources she would need to

PhD program, since they have one of the high-

catalyze her pursuit of education. Why not use

advance her research.

est rated inorganic chemistry programs in the

your knowledge for God’s glory?

At its base, the project studies how Ellenbarg-

United States. Her dissertation, under Dr. Kim

Ellenbarger began teaching at JBU in fall 2016.

er and her team might be able to develop mo-

Dunbar, concentrated on molecular symmetry

Her research with students on urea-based recep-

lecular sensors that, when put in water, would

and how weak interactions on a micro level can

tor molecules, that began in spring 2017, was

change colors to identify various contaminants.

have macro scale implications.

a long time coming. When Ellenbarger heard

Currently, Ellenbarger explained, there are many

John Brown University  |  7

labs who are studying this concept synthetical-

Ellenbarger’s full-time researcher, Wesley

formation or absence of a protein that functions

ly, but there has not been much work done on a

Shorey, centered his work around the basic com-

to remove chloride (an anion) from cells. When

computational chemistry scale.

ponents of the receptors on the urea molecule

chloride is transported out of cells, water is at-

The difference between the two is in practice.

(the one most often used to create these sensors)

tracted to the surface of the cell to carry away

Through the synthesis process, the scientists at-

and how to modify those receptors best for max-

the chloride and clean the surface of the cell. For

tempt to reach their goals through hands-on tri-

imized interactions with the anions.

people with CF, their cells that require “clean-

al and error. They may attain positive results, but

Her second student, Eliza Hanson ’19, chose

ing” cannot be cleaned, creating a mucus-like

it is after an arduous and time consuming pro-

to use computational chemistry to study what

coating on the cell’s surface. Although four out

cess. Computational research, on the other hand,

happens when these types of sensors are put in

of the five types of CF can be treated, the fifth

is attained through the use of computers. These

water. Would they bind to the contaminants or

type, which is without the protein, cannot. The

computer software programs help the researcher try and understand the details about the molecular structure like symmetry and reactivity. Why did a certain sensor work? Why did a different sensor not work? What would happen if they re-

Ellenbarger’s big-picture hope is to develop a material that can change color for specific contaminants and help identify contaminated water.

placed one element with another? At that point, they would be able to take a more logical ap-

not? So far, Eliza has successfully learned how

sensor that the research team has been working

proach, predict and improve future sensors, and

to conduct a computer-generated experiment

on understanding and developing might be able

computationally direct different synthetic ob-

to test the effects of urea in water. In the future,

to serve as a surrogate to move the chloride out

jectives. It not only saves time long term, but it

she intends to introduce the structures that the

of the cell.

can deepen a more global understanding of the

group created, and a time frame to float them

problem at hand.

and study the results.

In the beginning, Ellenbarger’s goals were to progress in understanding the interactions of

The specific type of contaminants that Ellen-

Natalie Lowry ’20 took a slightly different

larger urea-based receptors and solvation while

barger and her team of student researchers are

approach to the subject at hand. Since her edu-

encouraging a valuable learning experience for

seeking to identify through the use of a molec-

cational pursuits are biochemical in nature, she

her students. It’s not just about the research—it’s

ular sensor are anionic in nature, meaning the

chose to seek out ways in which there might be

about developing students as scientists who are

contaminants are negatively charged particles.

a practical, medical application for the contam-

able to gather relevant data.

Specifically, the group looked for anionic parti-

inant sensors.

For the team, the results considerably exceed-

cles such as fluoride, nitrate, and chloride. Be-

What she found is that, since the urea sensors

ed expectations. The team partnered with the

cause of interest differences, the members of

have the capacity to carry chloride across cellu-

engineering department to borrow some of their

their group focused on three different areas of

lar lines, they might serve as a therapy technique

computing resources, which sped up their calcu-


for those suffering from cystic fibrosis. At its

lations considerably. The department of chemis-

most basic explanation, CF results from the mal-

try purchased a site license for the Gaussian 16,

8 | Impact

which is the main software program Ellenbarger

what specifically they would need to clean out

and her team are using to model their data com-

of the water. The contamination sensors would

pounds. “My students were great!” Ellenbarger

also provide a peace for those using them, as no

said. Her students asked deep and probing ques-

color change would denote clean and safe water.

tions, had such diverse interests, and significant-

Other big picture hopes and dreams are to

ly multiplied her efforts by being such a great

be able to use the biomedical aspect of this re-

team. She felt blessed to be able to encourage

search to provide insight into receptor and drug

them to dig into the literature and to walk their

design. It excited Ellenbarger that there might be

individual journeys alongside them.

a two-for-one application aspect in their studies.

“I absolutely loved working with Dr. Ellen-

If there were a way to apply the receptor research

barger,” Lowry said about summer. She hadn’t

toward ongoing and future studies of therapy for

previously done research and felt overwhelmed

those suffering from cystic fibrosis, the possibili-

and unsure at first, but Ellenbarger listened to

ty would prove unexpected and groundbreaking

her concerns and gave her guidance while allow-

for medicine.

ing her to “do [her] own thing.” Ellenbarger gen-

More than anything, Ellenbarger’s hopes are

uinely demonstrated care both for her academic

personal. She hopes to continue facilitating re-

life as well as her personal and long-term life

search because she thinks it’s radically important

outside of college through her down-to-earth

for students. It provides hands-on application for


the theory that they’re learning, motivates them

“Everyone brought out a really cool conclusion

to dig deeper into science, builds problem-solv-

that helps the group,” Ellenbarger said, when

ing skills, and ultimately prepares them to be

considering her most proud takeaways from the

scientists in the future. For Ellenbarger, that’s

summer. Her team overcame a milestone in the

the very best part: preparing the whole person

overall project.

to seek and learn and serve God well. ■

Ellenbarger’s big-picture hope is to develop a material that can change color for specific contaminants and help identify contaminated water. Her goal, however, should not be misunderstood as a water purification system. The sensors Ellenbarger would create would, rather, simplify the process for other researchers who are working toward purification by helping them know

John Brown University  |  9

Abby Grothe ’20 Compiles Professors’ Faith-Filled Wisdom in Her New Book by Spencer Patterson ’19


bby (Roberson) Grothe, author

process also was a wonderful reminder of His

of Radical Pursuit: A Young Adult’s

work in my life, so I was grateful that I had this

Guide to Following Jesus, was not


a Christian before she came to JBU. She read

One of Abby’s main concerns about her book

through the gospels for the first time in her New

was the potential pitfall of it having too much

Testament class, and that was when she dedicat-

Christianese, or church lingo. Christianese

ed herself to following Jesus. However, the fol-

doesn’t make much sense to those who aren’t

lowing summer, she couldn’t find a way to artic-

around church frequently, and one of Abby’s

ulate the gospel to her friends.

goals for her book was to reach her friends who

Abby returned to JBU and was given an as-

struggle with the faith. “I want [the book] in the

signment through the Leaders Scholars Institute

hands of the stragglers that God leaves the nine-

to create something that didn’t exist previously.

ty-nine for because that’s where I was.”

That’s when she started on Radical Pursuit. She

Once she finally received all the contributions,

thought a book would be a great way to reach

Abby had to decide how she was going to orga-

her friends back home, and LSI was giving her

nize her book. “I actually just put them in the or-

the extra motivation she needed to start and fin-

and the only prompt she provided was “Write

der I received them, and it worked out perfectly!”

ish such an undertaking. Her vision? “Simple:

something on your heart.”

However, not every aspect of the book-creating

Abby wanted her book to be a collection of

process was easy. Radical Pursuit went through

stories and writings from different perspectives,

many stages of editing, and Lanker said that “it

She began by reaching a publishing agree-

and through her contributors, she was able to

was difficult (as is all editorial work) to allow for

ment with Dr. Francis Umesiri, a former JBU

make it so. “It was impressive to see how well

unique expression and emphasis while also fo-

chemistry professor who had recently started a

Abby was able to find authors who spoke to her

cusing on the elements of the faith journey that

publishing company. A guarantee that her book

key aspects of her journey,” Lanker said, “but

Abby believed others would find most impactful.”

would be published allowed her to confident-

with voices that made that process more univer-

Of course, Radical Pursuit was eventually

ly ask for contributors to her book. Abby also

sal and more rich.”

Here’s what it means to pursue God and have a relationship with him.”

completed, and is now for sale on Amazon. Abby

asked Dr. Jason Lanker, current Christian min-

Before her book was even published, Abby’s

has received a lot of positive feedback from her

istries and formation professor, to be one of her

project was helping draw people closer to God.

community back home: “Knowing I did some-

pastoral editors.

Engineering professor Dr. Ted Song, one of the

thing with the people back in Ohio in mind

Abby sent out emails to pastors, authors, and

contributors, recalled, “As I was writing, I prayed

meant a lot to them, and that’s encouraging to

professors. She told them her theme was “any-

that my writing would be helpful for those who

thing relevant to young adults knowing God,”

are in the situation that I was in. The writing

10 | Impact

me too.” ■

Founder’s Legacy of Scholarship, Publication Continues into the Future by Rachel Maxson


he tradition of faculty scholarship

temporary concern and applied his understand-

and A Guide to Beautiful Singing by Mabel Oi-

at John Brown University is rooted

ing of scripture to these matters. His many books

esen (1978).

in the prolific output of the founder,

included Sharks, Gulls, and Little Fishes: Or, The

JBU faculty have been active participants in

John E. Brown, Sr., whose media ministry en-

Parable of the Sea (1935), The American Crisis

the resurgence of evangelical scholarship since

compassed not only radio evangelism but also

and the Way Out (1938), The God of the Living

the 1990s, as demonstrated by their published

magazine and book publishing. The print shop

(1939), One World: Is it of God or Satan? (1953),

works and prestigious fellowships, grants, and

in Center Point, Iowa, out of which Brown pub-

and There is Death in the Pot (1954).

awards. Faculty increasingly involve students in

lished a weekly newspaper in the early years of

Through the middle decades of the twentieth

their scholarship, giving them the opportunity

his career, evolved into the John Brown Univer-

century, faculty scholarly output as convention-

to contribute to the creation of new knowledge

sity Press, which published works by university

ally understood tended to be sparse; the college

and gain direct experience in the research prac-

faculty and other Northwest Arkansas writ-

concentrated on teaching students and building

tices of their disciplines. As the university enters

ers. The press also served to provide hands-on

up its academic standing. The volume and qual-

its second century, the original commitment to

training for students in the practical business of

ity of faculty’s academic work increased over the

“Head, Heart, Hand” continues to animate the

publishing, embodying Brown’s educational phi-

years as more faculty completed doctoral de-

losophy of “Head, Heart, Hand” – combining ac-

grees in the 1950s and 1960s. Faculty writings

ademic study, spiritual edification, and mastery

in the middle of the century frequently grew out

of a trade.

of their work in the classroom, with publications

Brown published extensively in multiple

like Studies in Biblical Psychology by I. L. Lowe

formats, including pamphlets, periodicals, and

(1925), A Syllabus to Accompany the Farmer and

books. His works commented on issues of con-

Economic Progress by Henry F. White (1946),

scholarly work of its faculty. ■

A few publications by John E. Brown, Sr.


12 | Impact

Trisha Posey

Kevin Simpson

Joe Walenciak

Dr. Posey is interested in the history of slavery in the United States, as well as the enduring legacy of racism left by slavery and effective methods of reform.

Dr. Simpson extensively studies the psychology of genocide and desires to help students recognize their vulnerability to being passive bystanders of injustice.

Dr. Walenciak has led many students on mission trips to Guatemala. He has twice been named an Ambassador of the Peace of Guatemala by the Guatemalan Government.

athering in a circle, people pass a

the nations of Belize, El Salvador, and Hondu-

the causes and consequences of genocides in the

flame from one slender white candle

ras. The massacre of over 200,000 individuals,

20th and 21st centuries, including those in Ar-

to the next. A few yards away, sap-

mostly indigenous Mayans, following centuries

menia, Rwanda, Guatemala and the Holocaust.

lings rise from the depths of a large pit, a tes-

of racism and disparity, resulted in the conflict

With this knowledge, students wrestled with

tament to 36 years of horror and the deaths of

between the dictatorship of General Efraín Ríos

how to respond in light of justice, prevention,

hundreds of thousands of men, women and

Montt and the Guerilla Army of the Poor in

and faith. The John Brown University course

children. A group of seven students and three

the 1980s. Guatemala’s national army, aided by

was co-taught by Trisha Posey, professor of his-

professors stands among the trees in Comalapa,

training from the United States military, burned

tory and director of the JBU Honors Scholars

Guatemala, wrestling with humanity’s capacity

villages to the ground and murdered families,

Program, and Kevin Simpson, professor of psy-

for evil.

devastating rural and mountainous regions.


by Catherine Nolte ’21


A Country Torn by War

In mid-October 2018, a group of JBU stu-

With a background in Holocaust research,

dents traveled to Guatemala as a part of the

Simpson approached Posey about creating the

The Guatemalan genocide occurred during the

honors colloquium, “Becoming Evil,” which

course in 2016. “Trisha and I share an interest

nation’s 30-year civil war from the 1960s to the

studied and explored how ordinary individuals

in genocide, and we wanted to see where that

1990s. Guatemala, in Central America, shares

commit genocide. With an emphasis on histori-

would take us, just a natural place to plug it in

the southern border of Mexico and neighbors

cal and psychosocial factors, students examined

with the honors colloquium series. She’s a spe-

John Brown University  |  13

cialist in African studies, so it was a great combination,” Simpson said. Student demand brought the course back in 2018, prompting Posey and Simpson to ap-

“You study these things. You read happened, but to see the pits an open wound that

proach Dr. Joe Walenciak, dean of the Soderquist College of Business who has over 20 years of experience traveling to Guatemala, about including an optional trip for students seeking an immersive experience. Over five days, the JBU team visited the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala (FAFG), and the Holocaust Museum of Guatemala, and genocide memorials in Comalapa.

An Open Wound After arriving in the country, the JBU team travels to the outskirts of Comalapa. Their guide, Cecilia Tuyuc, is a local university student who lost members of her family in the genocide. Chatter grows quiet as the van pulls into a forest clearing, revealing a memorial and rows of gray tombs. Silence turns to shock and sorrow as the group steps out among the trees, eyes frozen on a large empty pit – the now-exhumed site of a mass grave for hundreds of victims. “That is when it became real to me. You study these things. You read these things. You know they happened, but to see the pits there… it’s as if there is an open wound that still needs healing in some way,” Posey said, her voice growing soft. These pits expose the land’s dark and hidden history as a former military base where soldiers tortured and killed men, women, and children from Comalapa and Chimaltenango, and then buried them in mass graves during the Guatemalan civil war. “I immediately drew parallels to what I had seen in rural areas of Poland, walking the same ground where Jews had been murdered and 14 | Impact

This is one of two sister paintings created artist who experienced the genocide He stated that creating these works

these things. You know they there, it’s as if there is still needs healing.”

pushed into a ravine,” Simpson said. “I have a swirl of emotions that range from anger to a solemn sense of sadness, of course, but the first thing I thought was … I’ve seen this evil before.” Ushered into a circle a few feet from the open grave, Tuyuc passes out candles to the group. “We are going to ask the spirits’ permission to talk about what happened here … to talk about the genocide,” she says, lighting the first candle. Each person passes the flame forward, before setting his or her candle down in a circle. Once the ceremony is finished, Tuyuc shares the history of transforming what was once a military base and killing site into a memorial and place of peace. In 2003, FAFG gained access to the front portion of the land and, for three years, exhumed over 200 victims. FAFG built a memorial listing names of the victims of the genocide and a chapel featuring murals painted by widows. The tombs contain remains of unidentified victims, giving them a dignified resting place. Isabelle Martinez, a sophomore psychology major, was stunned by the length of the memorial. “There are just so many names, and they can continue to find bodies … We still haven’t even really scratched the surface of how many people went missing and/or died,” Martinez said.

Bones Cry Out for Justice A stone wall and white gate guard justice and dignity – the work of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala. In the forensic anthropology lab, skeletal reby Oscar Peren, an esteemed Guatemalan firsthand in his hometown of Comalapa. was the hardest thing he’s ever done.

mains are precisely arranged on individual tables. The bones, yellowed with age, glare against the backdrop of navy tablecloths. Some are iden-

John Brown University  |  15

tified with a glance. Others, made of hundreds of tiny shards, speak of unimaginable trauma. Students and professors gather around one table with remains resting on individual brown

“There’s a lot of hope the students in the stepping away

paper bags, yet to be arranged. Every storage box, bags, and bone is labeled with a three-part code listing the case, grave, and skeleton number. Fernando Devis*, the head of the forensic anthropology lab, greets the group. “First thing we do when the skeletons arrive is take a radiograph to see if there are bullets inside,” he said. “If they are teenagers, we see if the bones are fused.” Picking up the skull and turning it up toward the light, Devis* points to the third molar. “This woman is young because when you are 18 to 21, the third molar is here,” he said. Such small differences are crucial to identifying the age and gender of victims. “That was definitely a shock,” said Abby Babcock, sophomore English major. “I know there was a bunch of women and children who were killed, but it almost makes you sympathize more. Here I am still living, and this person didn’t get that chance.” Another victim was less than three years old, but they are unable to identify the gender from just the bones because the bones are not fused in children this young. “In this case, the DNA lab does the work to identify the gender,” Rebecca Ramirez*, a forensic scientist, said. “It was very, very hard for me to see the bones of the children, because it made me think of my own children,” Posey said, her eyes filling with tears. Following the overview of the identification process, the team travels to the FAFG DNA lab. There, Omer Fidan*, a biochemist, explains the cycle of DNA analysis: grinding bone sample into fine powder and using a detergent to break down 16 | Impact

Students Tucker Stuart, Catherine Nolte, Caroline White, Seth Billingsley and as part of their “Becoming

because we, even just genocide class, are from ignorance.”

the cell membrane. To date, FAFG has identified 3,340 victims, primarily focusing on bringing closure for the families stuck in a callous legal system that blockades justice. “It’s a worthy cause for a scientist,” Fidan* said.

Moving Forward Coming back to the states, students and faculty express grief and gratitude for their experiences, along with an eagerness to return to Guatemala. “We know people are suffering always, but … a specific instance of human suffering, particularly one in which you can see the humans who have been affected … or you can get close to things, it shows the total depth of feeling,” said Caroline White, sophomore history and English double major. “It can soften us in a way that is very important.” Through the difficult work of FAFG, Walenciak sees the power of redemption in individuals who pursue justice. “I see God at work forcefully, sometimes quietly, through humble people trying to do good things.” Isabelle Martinez stresses that the next generation needs to learn about mass atrocities. “There’s a lot of hope because we, even just the students in the genocide class, are stepping away from ignorance. A lot of genocides are a result of ignorance and allowing them to happen as a result of ignorance.” “It’s good to recognize that bad things happened, and this is what led to it, so we can, one, watch out for that, but two, respect the lives that have been lost to genocide that honestly could Abigail Babcock, Isabelle Martinez, Noah White went to Guatemala Evil” Honors colloquim.

have been prevented.” ■

*pseudonyms given for the protection of FAFG staff members.

John Brown University  |  17

Professor Spotlight Scholarship & Community

Dr. Preston Jones creates opportunities for veterans to share their perspectives and experiences

Interview conducted by Dr. Jacob Stratman

In February and September 2018, Dr. Preston Jones, professor of history, hosted two public events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. While hundreds of people attended these two events, I knew that hundreds more would be interested to hear about the interviews that Dr. Jones has conducted with war veterans for the last twenty years. What follows is just a brief introduction into some of these projects.

John Brown University  |  19

Professor Spotlight Scholarship & Community How many veterans have you interviewed? What motivated you to begin these interview projects? What sustains the project now?

What do you hope for your students when you conduct interviews in the classroom?

My first interview with a veteran was in 1997. An older gentleman with an

see that real people are more interesting, if also more difficult, than the

eye patch was a member of a discussion group. I learned that he lost his eye

relentless fraud and shallowness of social media. I hope they’ll feel inspired

in combat, fighting the Germans. I invited him to my history class. Since

to work on the skills that make meaningful conversation possible. I hope

then I’ve interviewed probably more than 300 veterans. I focused first on

they’ll be grateful. I hope they’ll think about what meaningful thing they

WWII veterans. Now most of the veterans I interview are from the Vietnam

can contribute to the world. I hope they’ll be interested in the world and in


people’s stories.

My interests have always been primarily psychological. I’m interested

I hope they’ll see how fortunate they are to be where they are. I hope they’ll

what they’ve done. Each veteran is different, so it’s always interesting to

What writing/interview projects have you planned for the future?

hear about different experiences. I also enjoy the challenge of working with

Interviews with combat veterans are regularly ongoing. The biggest event

very different personalities – having to figure out how to interact with each.

was broadcast on C-Span. It will probably never get bigger than that. Sev-

I like conversations. I don’t really like chit chat, but I like focused conver-

eral years ago, I wrote a short book: God’s Hiddenness in Combat: Toward

sations. I also like people feeling free to be who they are. Veterans often

Christian Reflection on Battle. I continue to write short journalistic pieces

ask me what the purpose of the interviews is. The simple answer: to collect

on veteran experiences, like a recent one in Christianity Today.*

in why people do what they do and what they think, after the fact, about

the individual stories of individuals. There’s no political agenda, though do like giving veterans a chance to express whatever views they have. My

Lastly, will you tell us more about the JBU Veterans Project?

one big regret is that I only recently began consistently video-recording the

The general goal of the project is basically the same as the other veterans


work, though I hope this can be a contribution to JBU’s historic sense of self.

some veterans assume there is. I’m not a fan of ideology of any kind, but I

How does your own past military service impact these interviews? I was not a good Navy sailor. When at sea, I furtively studied French when I was supposed to be looking into a radar screen. The taxpayers didn’t get their money’s worth out of me. This is a way I can make up for that.

It’s a way for JBU alumni to feel connected to JBU present, and it can serve to help people currently at JBU to feel connected to the school’s past. Fortunately, I was able to get a discussion with John Brown, Jr., on video, though the quality is not great. People interested in watching these interviews can find the series on YouTube.† They can also watch more veteran interviews at my website, “War and Life: Discussions with Veterans.” ‡ ■

* Read at † Watch at ‡ Watch at

Dolen Melson was recently interviewed by Dr. Jones. He served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 as an armored personnel carrier driver.

Scholarship & Vocation

Poems & Anticipation Dr. Jacob Stratman to Publish His First Collection of Poems An Advent Prayer at Springtime Romans 8:24-25

This poem is an excerpt from Jacob Stratman’s first collection of poems, What I Have I Offer With Two Hands, forthcoming from Cascade Books’ Poiema Poetry Series (Wipf and Stock Publishing). Stratman is a professor of English and chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division.

When the rose-breasted grosbeaks arrive with their bleeding hearts at the end of each April, perch on top of the shepherd’s hook that holds the feeder – their soft song waking us to spring, there above the chaos of finches and sparrows, and leave a week or two later, to summer further north – do not despair their leaving; do not curse their departure or the blandness of the brown female house finches or the couple of mourning doves that show up each morning in their absence. Do not wish for their return, as if they may not, as if your pouting or squinting eyes and pursed lips will secure their coming back, as if you are not a child of the miracles of expectation, of rhythm, of anticipating patience. We do not wish. We wait. And it will come then that you will be standing in the kitchen in front of the bay window on a late April day when the rose-breasted grosbeaks, again, with their bleeding hearts, will perch on top of the shepherd’s hook that holds the feeder – their soft song waking us to spring – there above the chaos of the finches and sparrows before they leave a week or two later to summer further north. So be it. ■


Professor Spotlight Community & Students

Shaping Future Nurses Nursing Students Build Meaningful Relationships Within Community

Dr. Ellen Odell began working with JBU in 2013 as a consultant for its proposed BSN program and began full time as program director in 2014. Because of her dedication and drive, JBU has a state-of the-art, fully accredited nursing program.

by Dr. Ellen Odell

In the nursing program, service learning

Then, in collaboration with faculty, the students write three learner objec-

experiences are a small component of select

tives for themselves. They keep a log of their hours; and at the end, an agen-

clinical courses. Students are provided with

cy official signs off to verify hours of service. Students also write a reflective

a list of possible “healthcare” organizations,

journal each time they attend or participate; they are encouraged to include

mostly small nonprofits. All of the agencies

any passages from Scripture the Lord called to their mind related to this

have opportunities for students to assist with

experience. At the end of their experience, they also write a two- or three-

the healthcare needs of others; however, a

page scholarly discussion. In this discussion, students describe how they

broad, holistic definition of health is used:

met their objectives (or how they didn’t and why), a description of the orga-

physical, psychosocial, and spiritual. The purpose is twofold: firstly, it is

nization and the services it provides (now that they have served), and how

important for future nurses to know what services are available in the com-

the Lord has used this experience to shape them as they prepare for a career

munity, who is eligible for the services, and how these services are accessed.

as a professional nurse. They include specific examples demonstrating each

Secondly, students are presented with opportunities to engage in meaning-

and supporting their views and thoughts. Lastly, students pres-

ful relationships and experience the value of committing time and energy to

ent highlights of their learning experiences and mean-

support and encourage others. The agencies must provide services that are

ingful encounters with clients to the rest of the

consistent with the mission of the Department of Nursing and the call as

class. Students can attest to the value of their

Christian learners to serve others. For example, students can become a Big

experience within the organization or recom-

Brother or Big Sister and help one child with emotional or psychological

mend future students not to use it as a ser-

health, encourage them, and mentor them. Students can provide compan-

vice opportunity. Should a student choose to

ionship for the elderly through agencies such as Kind At Heart Ministries or

continue service in the same organization in

our local rehabilitation center. Students can provide respite care for families

subsequent clinical courses, they must write

of a child with disabilities through Ability Tree or private day care. Students

different objectives that reflect a deepening of

can provide education and translation services to the local pregnancy cen-

their relationship with the client, how they will gain a

ter and offer support and love to a woman in need. Students are encouraged

deeper understanding of the services provided, and/or how

to spread out their required hours over the course of the semester in order

services provided by the organization can be better accessed by

to build meaningful personal relationships with the clients. There is a written component to the assignment as well. After choosing an agency and service based upon interest, students describe the mission of the agency and why they selected this particular population or agency.

22 | Impact

those in need. ■

Student Perspective

Christ-like Manner Servant Heart Refined Through Volunteerism

U by Andrew McChristian ’18

pon being told there was a required service

when preparing for a career in nursing. The amazing thing about being

learning component in the nursing program,

a nurse is that, when I go to work every day, I am expected to serve other

I initially felt overwhelmed with the thought

people, and whether or not I do so in a Christ-like manner is my decision.

of trying to find time to do nursing-related

There are many great nursing schools in our region, but few prepare

volunteer work in addition to the mass of

you to serve your patients in the way we are called to serve. This is where

other schoolwork I was juggling. After all,

JBU stands out. There are certainly days at work where I struggle to keep

I was already serving many people by com-

my heart in the right place, and I am often negatively influenced by other

pleting my eight hundred plus clinical hours

healthcare staff who are interested in serving only themselves. It is on these

without being paid, right? Looking back on the service learning component

difficult days when I have to remind myself why I am a nurse: I am a nurse

of nursing school, I think that the most import-

ant thing I learned about servanthood is that

you only begin serving with the hands of Christ once the intent you have in your heart is to serve.

“The most important thing I learned about servanthood is that you only begin serving with the hands of Christ once the intent you have in your heart is to serve.”

Sure, you can say that you obtained twenty volunteer hours throughout the semester, or eight hundred clinical

because we are called to serve each other, and, through serving others, I

hours throughout nursing school, but did you truly

am serving Christ; as it is stated in scripture, “The King will reply, ‘Truly

serve with the hands of Christ if your inten-

I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sis-

tion was limited to merely obtaining

ters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40). I believe that every single

the required hours to graduate?

program at JBU could benefit from a service learning component because

As a student, I didn’t realize

it allows you to see and practice how you can serve others within your spe-

how critical the concept

cific career. I chose to volunteer as a mentor at New Life Ranch for my

of servanthood was

service learning requirement. I encountered many JBU students serving at New Life Ranch who were studying to go into many different career paths, and I still continue to volunteer as a mentor even after graduating because I truly enjoy serving the children, and I feel that it brings me closer to Christ. I don’t think I ever would have been involved at New Life Ranch if I hadn’t been required to do some sort of service learning in the nursing program. The service learning component of the nursing program taught me that no matter what career path you choose, you will be serving someone (if you

choose to), and by serving someone you will be serving the Lord. ■ Nursing student Drew Merritt uses a high-fidelity simulator to hone his skills.

John Brown University  |  23

Professor Spotlight Vocation & Students

Beyond the Canvas Peter Pohle Makes His Mark as a CGI Artist and Mentor

Mr. Peter Pohle has extended experience in traditional as well as digital art. He enjoys the range of working on the computer modeling in 3D or illustrating in Adobe Photoshop. In his free time, he works in traditional media with oils and oil pastel.

by Claire Johnson ’19

Three-dimensional images of soaring ste-

ent medium. It’s a different way of expressing my creativity.” The beauty

ampunk hot air balloons and flittering metal

of creation continues to inspire Pohle to create as he integrates faith and

birds are framed along the walls of Professor of

learning in his role as a professor at JBU and answer the question of how

Visual Arts Peter Pohle’s office. In 2017, Pohle

being an artist contributes to the kingdom of God.

was named one of Creative Quarterly’s Best 100

“... I realized that it is a gift that God gave me,” Pohle said, “and art is

Artists. Pohle has been a pioneer in the field of

something that adds quality to life … in that sense, it’s a glorification to the

Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI), combining

creation of God – that God put all of those ideas, and those elements to

illustration with his love of the steampunk genre.

create those beautiful things in order to also glorify His creation.”

“I’ve been [expressing my creativity] a long time, even before the term

Pohle also sets aside time to work with oil mediums and loves to paint

steampunk became a generic term,” Pohle said. “I hadn’t even heard of it

in his little corner of the new Peer-Andrus Studio and Project Barn at JBU.

until 2003 or so. But before that, I always was kind of a fan of Jules Verne’s

“I’m looking forward to pursuing both of my directions still,” Pohle

type of science fiction.”

said. “...I never paint at home because I don’t want to be locked in at home,

CGI is a medium where artists create magnificent three-dimen-

so having a little corner in the art barn and having my easel set up there

sional scenes via software. Pohle branded his CGI work as Steam Bird

has actually really motivated me to do more paintings … The art barn is


really revolutionary to me and to JBU, because faculty all have our work-

“I needed some kind of logo for my identity as an illustrator,” Pohle began. “So, I thought about

space there. It becomes more of a mentoring environment rather than just teaching in a classroom.”

this mechanical machine that has a pencil for a

Pohle has been teaching at JBU since 2001 and takes great joy in helping

head and wings that form a bird. This [logo] ac-

his students get excited about creating. “Now I’m at an age where it’s not

tually got me a lot of freelance jobs.”

really important that I make a big mark as an artist myself … What is ful-

In addition to, Pohle

filling to me is that I feel like whatever I learned in my lifetime, if I can pass

manages his personal portfolio website Peter-

that on to students, that is the satisfying part. I feel like that is a responsi-, which showcases his fine oil painting.

bility that God gave me. When I see students of mine being successful and

“My one passion is oil painting for galleries and landscapes, and my other

growing – that is satisfying to me.”

passion is doing computer work which is totally opposite in medium and

Pohle has also been named Master Artist, a recognition for being one

creative approach. Doing 3D work is like being an artist but using a differ-

of the best digital illustrators worldwide, in Exposé 10. His work has been accepted in a variety of prestigious publications such as Creative Quarterly Magazine, the Annual of Society of Best American Illustration, and Exposé 11. We can continue to expect captivating work from Pohle in the future, both in the worlds of oil painting and CGI. ■

24 24 | Impact

Research & Teaching

Old Dog, New Tricks Dr. Maxie Burch Rethinks and Revitalizes His Teaching Methods

Dr. Maxie Burch greatly enjoys teaching and serving JBU students with his colleagues. He and his wife Lisa have four grown children and one grandson. He enjoys backpacking, working out, and fly fishing.

by Dr. Maxie Burch

The first thirty-five years of my teaching career

So what did I do? You have to start somewhere, so I got busy radical-

were spent focused on content with my primary con-

ly changing my Essentials of Evangelical Theology course from one that

cern being, am I a good teacher? Am I covering the

focused on abstract theological ideas and concepts to one that asked my

essential material? Are the students performing well on

students to consider what they truly loved, what they really desired, and

assessments? Do students like me? Though those were

whether God made the list. In addition to reason as a tool for theology,

not bad questions or poor motivations for teaching,

I also emphasized imagination and analogy as essential tools. I still give

there were better questions that I was not asking. Are

exams, but the following class period the students spend the entire class un-

my students actually learning what I think they are learning? Should learning

packing their theological questions and observations regarding some of our

also be about developing virtue? Should learning be transformational and not

culture’s pressing social issues in order to ask the most important question:

just transactional?

So what am I going to do? Students meet six times a semester to discuss their

Okay, so at this point some of you may get the uncomfortable feeling

theological views with classmates over a meal because we never do theolo-

that I drank David Smith and James K.A. Smith’s proverbial Kool-Aid. Yes,

gy alone. They write a theological autobiography, and they use imagination

yes I did, and I am still imbibing. But why you ask? That’s the path to the

and analogy to create an original art project depicting how they understand

dark side! Well, because as I read and listened to these colleagues, I began to

God and His work in their lives.

realize that at some point in my thirty-five years of teaching, I had become

So what happened? I am still in the process of finding out, but some

lazy and was bored with my discipline. If I had to attend one more con-

things have become clearer. I am not bored anymore because my students

ference where participants read inane papers on inane topics that only an

are learning with me. I am never exactly sure what’s going to happen in

inane professor could love, I would go crazy. But, worst of all, I was boring

class, so I pay more attention and listen closer. I am not afraid that the class

myself, and if I found myself boring, how long could I keep convincing my

will go in a direction I did not plan. Students share their lives with me in a

students that this material was really exciting stuff?

way they did not before. Oh, and the theological art projects are amazing.

In the words of Donald Miller, reading Smith and Smith became “an in-

It’s not about being artistic. It’s about having the freedom to visualize faith

citing incident” for me. I was being challenged to live my teaching and not

as something more than doctrines and ideas about God. So, is this now the

just teach my discipline. But how? Where do I start? And of course there

greatest theology course ever? No, not really. I am still collecting the data

was that nagging fear that it was too late to change, that I would fail, that

and the jury is still out, but I got into this teaching gig almost thirty-five

I didn’t have the energy or imagination to make meaningful changes, that

years ago because I loved students and I loved learning.

my students’ blank looks would become even blanker, if that were possible.

I am discovering that I still do. ■

Then I remembered a rule of thumb from Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art: “The more scared we are of the work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. So if you are paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.”

John Brown University  |  25

Professor Spotlight Research & Students

Building Grit in Leadership Dr. Ryan Ladner Incorporates Innovation into Business Plan Development

Dr. Ryan Ladner is the dean of the Soderquist College of Business at JBU. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in strategy and marketing and conducts research in many areas, including active learning and team-based learning.

by Dr. Ryan Ladner

The College of Business has long featured a capstone

In the teams’ final pitches, we bring in investors, local entrepreneurs,

course focused on the creation of a comprehensive busi-

faculty, and other business leaders to judge their final work. Teams present

ness plan to be presented to investors in an attempt to

their businesses and finish their presentation with a direct “ask” to investors

obtain funding. Business education and the use of the

working through an appropriate equity valuation of their company based

business plan have long been synonymous, but there

on financial models. The judges then have a question-and-answer session

is a shift happening in the market. After speaking with

and provide feedback to the teams. We have found this process to be very

dozens of entrepreneurs and two large local incubators,

valuable and lead to potential mentorship opportunities and resources for

we made a major change to our capstone entrepreneur-

business development. While the presentation is the final step in the class,

ship course. The era of the business plan has come to an end and a new

we encourage teams to pursue other opportunities such as pitching at local

learning experience, the lean startup methodology, is emerging.

and regional entrepreneurial events, competing in regional and national

Most entrepreneurs fail because they build products no one wants. The

competitions, and getting in contact with local startup incubators.

lean startup methodology is a framework developed by Eric Ries to elim-

Our student teams have competed in business plan competitions at the

inate waste in the entrepreneurial process and build more successful busi-

state and tri-state levels for fifteen years, winning over $500,000 in prize

nesses. The framework stems from the concept of lean manufacturing and

money. During that time, three companies launched as a result of the course,

applies it to entrepreneurial problems. The fundamental task of the entre-

two of those companies were accepted into the Northwest Arkansas Ark

preneur is to “build-measure-learn” in a continuous cycle, constantly seek-

Challenge accelerator program, and all three were featured on CNN Money.

ing feedback to guide decision-making and increase success.

We continue to compete regionally, but in the last two years, with our

In the new capstone course, the “build-measure-learn” process is in-

shift to the lean startup model, our teams have begun receiving exposure

corporated through a tool designed by Ash Maurya called the lean model

on a national scale. We have been chosen to compete in the International

canvas. The canvas begins with teams writing a set of assumptions. In con-

Business Model Canvas Competition (qualifying regionally and at-large),

trast to the business plan, teams immediately test hypotheses with custom-

the Texas Christian University Values & Ventures competition, and Abilene

ers in an attempt to validate the problem they are trying to solve through

Christian University’s Startup Madness competition.

their businesses. From this feedback, they then revise their assumptions

When students solely focused on the creation of a business plan, they

and form more tests. It is not uncommon for the canvas process to result

tended to ignore a large part of the entrepreneurial experience: failure and

in hundreds of face-to-face interviews with potential customers prior to

uncertainty. The lean model canvas process has illustrated that while failure

finishing a working prototype. By the end of the canvas process, teams real-

and uncertainty are challenging, there is something that ultimately can be

ize that their initial thinking was incorrect. They continue in this feedback

learned from the experience. This process has exposed students to an im-

loop until they present their pitch, which includes their business model,

mersive entrepreneurial ecosystem that more accurately reflects the envi-

minimal viable product and research, at the end of the capstone experience.

ronment they will enter—one in which they create their own ventures that

26 | Impact

honor God, serve others, and impact the world. ■

Student Perspective

Failure & Uncertainty Emily Auel and Team Pivot Target Market for Successful Product Placement

O by Emily Auel ’19

ne of the pinnacle responsibilities

After doing extensive research and conducting over thirty interviews

of a business major is to be flexible and

with Ultimate players, we found that our initial thinking was incorrect.

adaptable in any situation. Taking the

Many interviewees thought it was a cool idea but said that they would not

reimagined business capstone course,

use it in their practices. Since those in our target market were not willing to

Innovation Launch Lab, taught me how

buy it, this was not viable for our product. So, we had to pivot. We ended

to be flexible when we got results that

up shifting our target audience to the pet parent market. We found that

contradicted our hypotheses. I learned

this group had a high amount of disposable income that they were willing

how to adapt a product to a completely

to spend on their pets and that more luxury pet hotels were being opened

new target market in a short period of time and how to learn from failure and accept that there is a lot of uncertainty as an entrepreneur.

During the fall semester of my senior year, I took my business capstone class. I had been

where our product could potentially be placed.

“I learned that entrepreneurship is difficult and in order to succeed, you have to be content with failure and uncertainty. You have to be resilient and persistent.”

told that the style of this capstone had changed. At the beginning of the class, each student had to pitch a business idea to

Since we used the lean startup methodology, we had the flexibility to

a group of business professionals. One of my classmates and I ended up

switch to a different target audience quickly. With the older business plan

partnering with a group of engineering majors who had already created

model, we would have felt committed to our first target demographic.

a prototype, and we pitched the idea together. The prototype was a device,

Throughout this process, I learned that entrepreneurship is difficult and

similar to an automatic baseball pitcher, that could independently catch,

in order to succeed, you have to be content with failure and uncertainty.

load, and launch a Frisbee about seventy-five feet. In order to add variabili-

You have to be resilient and persistent, especially during the research and

ty to the launches, the device could be set at different throwing angles. After

development stages. Because business is constantly changing, you have to

hearing our pitches, the professionals voted on which ideas they thought

be ready to adapt with it. ■

could work. The ideas with the most votes moved on to the next phase and teams were formed. The original market for this product was competitive Ultimate Frisbee teams. It was designed to help them run more efficient practices by giving players consistent throws, a solution if they didn’t have a partner to practice with, and a way to practice catching skills through repetition.

John Brown University  |  27

An Interview with Dr. Daniel Bennett conducted by Dr. Jacob Stratman

Dr. Bennett spoke at the Lee Balzer Lecture about his study of the Christian legal movement in the United States.

About the Lecture: The Lee Balzer Lecture was established by the JBU faculty to honor Dr. Lee Balzer upon his retirement in June 2004 after serving JBU as president for ten years. During his tenure, Balzer not only modeled quality scholarship, he also vigorously promoted the academic enterprise of the university. The lecture is intended to showcase quality scholarship in a liberal arts or professional discipline by a faculty member at John Brown University, as well as to stimulate others in their scholarly pursuits. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Faculty Development department invite full-time faculty to submit a proposal. The presentation should address a topic that advances the field of knowledge of the speaker’s discipline, promotes the interests of that specialty within the context of the evangelical Christian university, and is accessible to a wide audience.

For people who could not attend the Balzer Lecture, give us a brief synopsis of your argument and research regarding the Christian legal movement.

How else does religious liberty play a role in these groups’ work? Does it carry over to other substantive issues? Absolutely. Take LGBT rights. After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex

The Christian legal movement has become a mainstay in American law and

marriage nationwide in 2015, Christian legal groups strategically turned

politics, with many of the movement’s interest groups becoming persistent

from making negative arguments about same-sex marriage to making pos-

players at the nation’s highest courts. One of the most frequent issues these

itive arguments about religious liberty in the new context of legal same-sex

groups work on is in support of religious liberty. Most groups portray their

marriage. That is, they turned toward protecting the rights of individuals

work as benefiting all religious traditions, saying that strengthening reli-

and businesses who have deeply-held objections to same-sex marriage,

gious liberty for some means strengthening religious liberty for all. How-

such as wedding vendors and faith-based organizations. In the years ahead

ever, not all Christian legal groups – nor Christians in general – share this

these conflicts will continue to arise, and there is already debate within

approach, with some preferring to extend religious liberty protections to

the Christian community regarding how to respond to these tensions. The

favored groups but not disfavored groups. I believe this is a mistake, and

Council for Christian Colleges & Universities has shown a willingness to

argue that Christians should support extending religious liberty protec-

make compromises with LGBT rights advocates, while legal groups like Al-

tions to all faith traditions. In doing so, Christians can act strategically in a

liance Defending Freedom are skeptical of these compromise efforts.

changing culture, while also showing grace to those with whom we disagree.

Tell us more about your next scholarly project. What arguments do these Christian legal groups make for extending religious liberty protections for all groups and for some groups?

I’m currently working on a project asking whether people’s attitudes toward

For those embracing broad support for religious liberty, they argue that a

ated a series of survey experiments designed to capture these answers, and

win for one tradition or group necessarily means victory for other groups,

the results so far have been intriguing. We’re looking forward to digging

too. That is, one favorable precedent is good for everybody. Some Christian

deeper into this question in the coming months.

groups affect support for constitutional protections. That is, do people support constitutional rights for everybody, or is this support contingent on the recipients? Working with a colleague from Purdue University, we cre-

legal groups, though, don’t think some traditions should receive the same sort of religious liberty protections as others. Take Islam, for example: a

Where can we read your research?

couple of Christian legal groups are skeptical that Muslims should be pro-

My book, Defending Faith: The Politics of the Christian Conservative Legal

tected by the same First Amendment guarantees as Christians, mostly be-

Movement, was published in 2017 by the University Press of Kansas. I also

cause these groups see Islam not as a religious tradition, but as a subversive

have a chapter in the recent book The Evangelical Crackup?: The Future of

political ideology. This argument is problematic, though, since critics could

the Evangelical-Republican Coalition from Temple University Press. I have

make the same kinds of arguments about Christianity. It’s much better to

written articles for Religion and Politics on how the Supreme Court makes

embrace a broad conception of religious liberty that applies to everybody

sense of the relationship between evangelical Christians and President


Trump,* and on the rise of Alliance Defending Freedom as a powerhouse in the Christian legal movement.† My research has also been published at

The Monkey Cage, a political science blog at The Washington Post.‡ ■ * Read at † Read at ‡ Read at

John Brown University  |  29

Noteworthy Faculty Achievements Published Works Books Dr. Robbie Castleman (Faculty Emerita) Interpreting the God-Breathed Word: How to Read and Study the Bible Dr. Bonnie Phillips (Counseling) The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitative Relationships

Chapters and Articles Dr. Aminta Arrington (Intercultural Studies) “World Christianity and the Ethnographic Imagination,” Journal of World Christianity “Christianity in India,” Fortress Press “Reimagining Discipleship: The Lisu Life–Rhythm of Shared Christian Practices,” International Bulletin of Mission Research Dr. Steve Beers (Student Development) “The Status of Student Affairs Divisions Within the CCCU,” Christian Higher Education Dr. Daniel Bennett (Political Science) Ongoing research with Religion in Public Published a chapter in The Evangelical Crackup?: The Future of the EvangelicalRepublican Coalition, Temple University Press “Brett Kavanaugh, Christian Conservatives, and the Art of the Deal,” Religion and Politics Mr. Jim Caldwell (Construction Management) “Arkansas Contractors Support Medical Work in Myanmar,” AGC Arkansas Blueprint Mr. Chad Clark (Music) “Effects of Straw Phonation on Acoustic and Perceptual Measures of a Barbershop Chorus,” Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education Dr. Brian Greuel (Biology) “The Sciences and Christian Formation: Helping Today’s Students Find Deeper Faith in a Science-Dominated World,” Christian Higher Education Ms. Rachel Maxson (Library) “People of the Magazine? Evangelical Innovation for Cultural Engagement Amid Technological Change,” Christian Scholar’s Review Dr. Gary Oliver (The Center for Healthy Relationships) “People of the Magazine? Evangelical Innovation for Cultural Engagement amid Technological Change,” Christian Scholar’s Review “Mentor, Not Monitor,” HomeLife “Different Discipline,” HomeLife “Time and Space,” HomeLife “Seen, Safe, Soothed & Secure,” HomeLife “Hanging Out: Understanding & Spending Time with Your Kids as They Grow into Adolescence,” HomeLife “Barnabas,” HomeLife “Solid Parenting,” HomeLife “Seen & Heard,” HomeLife “Listening Ear,” HomeLife “Conflict Resolution,” HomeLife “So Sorry,” HomeLife

30 | Impact

Dr. Chuck Romig (Graduate Counseling) “Using Moral Foundations Theory to Enhance Multicultural Competency,” Counseling and Values Dr. David Vila (Biblical Studies) “Abila of the Decapolis and the Diversity of Jordan’s Cultural Heritage,” International Conference Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson (English) Two published pieces in the University of Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal “Why Christians Need a Poetic Imagination,” The Gospel Coalition A chapter for Theology and Geometry: Essays on John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces An introduction for The Family and the New Totalitarianism “Simone Weil’s Christian Approach to Education,” James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal “In Praise of Useless Reading,” The Gospel Coalition A review of Harrison Key’s memoir in The Christian Century “The Devil Lives in the Mirror,” Christianity Today “Solzhenitsyn’s Literary Ascent,” Law & Liberty “Why You Should Read Russian Literature,” Intercollegiate Review

Presentations Mr. Kyle Agee (Visual Arts) Christian Business Faculty Association Conference Evangelical Press Association Christian Engineering Educators Conference Mr. Dave Andrus (Visual Arts) Five public art sculptures for Main Street Siloam Springs and the City of Siloam Springs Two paintings accepted into the 4th Annual National Juried Show “Portraits and Figures.” Dr. Aminta Arrington (Intercultural Studies) The Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity Conference Dr. Steve Beers (VP for Student Development, Athletics and Facilities) Westmont College’s ACSD Praxis Workshop Annual CCCU Multi-Academic Conference Dr. Daniel Bennett (Political Science) Law and Society Association Dr. Jay Bruce (Philosophy) Liberty Fund Colloquium Dr. Nick Cornett (Graduate Counseling) 9th Annual Psychology Symposium Association for Play Therapy’s Annual Conference Dr. Curtis Cunningham (Education) Ozarks Unlimited Resource Education Cooperative Ms. Liesl Dromi (Music) Small Schools All-Region Choral Clinic NATS Arkansas Chapter Conference Faculty Recital Berry Performing Arts Center Directed and produced “Hello, Dolly” and “The Fantasticks” at JBU

Dr. Stacey Duke (Online Programs & Strategic Initiatives) ACCESS Conference 24th Annual CAHEA conference Christian Business Faculty Association Conference Ms. Jen Edwards (Music) Calvin Worship Symposium Ms. Eva Fast (Business) Christian Business Faculty Association Conference Ms. Amy Fisher (Human Resources) Ellucian Live Dr. Brad Gatlin (Business) Northwest Arkansas Project Management Institute Mr. Todd Goehner (Visual Arts) Harding University USDA Design Educators summit Ms. Tessa Hastings (Graduate Counseling) Arkansas Association for Play Therapy Annual Conference Dr. Samuel Heinrich (Business) Christian Business Faculty Association Conference Dr. Brian Herndon (Teacher Education) 2018 Christian Educators Conference Mr. Neal Holland (Visual Art) Evangelical Press Association Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Dr. Chris Hull (Graduate Counseling) The Joshua Center Ms. Kim Johnson (ATLAS) 2018 Innovation Institute Dr. Preston Jones (History) Co-recorded “Thinking Together” Ms. Melanie Kennedy (Human Resources) Ellucian Live Dr. Ryan Ladner (Business) Christian Business Faculty Association Conference Ms. Tiffany Lopez (Grad and Online Undergraduate) 24th Annual CAHEA Conference Mr. Bobby Martin (Visual Arts) Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Hardesty Arts Center Fayetteville, Arkansas ArtVentures Ms. Rachel Maxson (Library) Association of Christian Librarians Annual Conference Dr. Kimberly Murie (Teacher Education) Critical Questions in Education Conference Christian Educators Conference Dr. Gary J. Oliver (CHR) Christian Counseling Conference EFCA Pacific Northwest District Bethel University

Dr. Traci Pierce (Business) Christian Business Faculty Association Conference Mr. Peter Pohle (Visual Arts) “The Journey” in Creative Quarterly’s Best 100 Artist’s Annual of 2017 (one of 25 best illustrators) Dr. Trisha Posey (History) National Collegiate Honors Council Conference Dr. Chuck Romig (Graduate Counseling) Christian Association for Psychological Studies Arkansas Association for Play Therapy Annual Conference. Ms. Erin Shaw (Visual Arts) Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA Tulsa) Dr. Kevin Simpson (Psychology) Holocaust Museum Arkansas Holocaust Education Committee’s 27th Annual Conference Dr. Marquita Smith (Communication & Fine Arts) The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Convention 5th World Journalism Education Congress ICAfrica Biennial Conference Dr. Ted Song (Engineering) Annual International Student Program Conference American Society for Engineering Education Conference Christian Engineering Educators Conference Dr. David Vila (Biblical Studies) Near East Archaeological Society American Schools of Oriental Research Dr. Joe Walenciak (Business) 2018 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Deans Symposium Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson (English) Mars Hill Audio Journal University of Notre Dame Smith Presbyterian Church Co-recorded “Thinking Together” Loyola University of Maryland

Honors Mr. David Andrus (Visual Arts) Painting in the Arkansas Territory Collection and Exhibition, commemorating 200 years Painting won the Gamblin Merchandise Award Ms. Amy Fisher (HR) Received the HR Professional of the Year Award from Northwest Arkansas HR Association Dr. Joel Funk (Biology) Awarded $40,000 by the Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Dr. Kevin Simpson (Psychology)

Completed a Fulbright teaching appointment in Bratislava Mr. Steve Snediker (Visual Arts/Digital Cinema) Screening Committee for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Dr. Ted Song (Engineering) Master of Theological Studies degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Mr. Austin Robertson 2019 Faculty Appreciation Award Winner

Course Affordability Grants Dr. Ken Hahn Dr. Samuel Heinrich Dr. Sheryl Hill Dr. Geoffrey Reddick

Office of Academic Affairs Grants and Honors

Faculty Development Grants

Faculty Awards

Faculty Development Scholars Grant

McGee Chair Dr. James Bruce (Philosophy)

Mr. Bobby Martin (Visual Arts) and Ms. Erin Shaw (Visual Arts) ( joint project) Dr. Tim Wakefield

Summer Professional Development Grants Dr. Aminta Arrington (Biblical Studies) Dr. Dan Bennett (Political Science) Dr. Michael Francis (Political Science) Dr. Brad Gatlin (Business) Dr. Tim Gilmour (Engineering) Dr. Melissa Hall (Family & Human Services) Dr. Kirk Jackson (Accounting) Dr. Ryan Ladner (Business) Dr. Geoffrey Reddick (Family & Human Services) Ms. Erin Shaw (Visual Arts) Dr. Kevin Simpson (Psychology) Dr. Marquita Smith (Communication) Dr. Ted Song (Engineering) Dr. Tim Wakefield (Biology) Mr. Josiah Wallace (Speech & Theatre)

Summer Scholars Fellowship Dr. Aminta Arrington (Intercultural Studies) Dr. Daniel Bennett (Political Science) Faculty Excellence Award Dr. Marquita Smith (Communication) 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant Dr. Kevin Simpson (Psychology) Full Professorship Dr. Trisha Posey (Honors) Dr. Jacob Stratman (English)

Supplemental Travel Grants Dr. Curtis Cunningham (Teacher Education) Dr. Kirk Jackson (Accounting) Dr. Ryan Ladner (Business) Dr. Preston Jones (History) Dr. John Lee (Engineering) Dr. Robert Moore (History) Dr. Charles Pastoor (English) Dr. Traci Pierce (Marketing) Dr. Trisha Posey (Honors/History) Dr. Marquita Smith (Communication) Dr. Jacob Stratman (English) Dr. David Vila (Biblical Studies) Dr. Joe Walenciak (Business) Dr. Jessica Wilson (English)

John Brown University  |  31

2000 W. University Street Siloam Springs, AR 72761

Berry Performing Arts Center