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School of Arts & Letters

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The Dean’s List

Vol. 5, Issue 2 Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Edon Ademaj Azeez Akande Elizabeth Allen Trudy Allen Mercedes Arevalo Haley Arnspiger Alison Baron Elaine Barron Samantha Bastien Samantha Berg Rachel Bradford Tristen Brown William Bull Luis Calderon Gladneetra Campbell Christina Carter Britany Clark Kirsten Clarke Trezjon Cothran Christopher Culross Torris Curry Miranda Day Misty Dedman Alpha Diallo Lauren Dixon Alexandra Fl.urry Jamie Ford Katherine Frankel Ashley Frazier Tyler Gager Selicia Gardner Lauren Garza Gary Girard

Richard Givans Melissa Gonzalez Sergio Gonzalez Tobin Griffin Isabel Guereca Ely Guy Kaitlin Hatton Enriqueta Hernandez Julian Hobdy Benjamin Huebner Brianna Hunter Han Mai Huynh Tara Kitchens Halle Koonce Mariah Kuhn Hannah Lathen Siying Liang Ebeline Luna Elena Maldonado Patricia Martinez Kayla Mattox Kaitlin McGehee Troy McKinney Larasue Merrit Jasmine Mesre Karan Muns Clarissa Murillo Lindsey Nance Kimberly Owen Sarah Owens Shaydi Paramore Adam Peters Skylar Peters

Carolyn Phillips Clayton Phillips Jaron Porter Kayla Prachyl Holli Price Delaney Pricer Antonio Quinones Jared Rabye Jorge Redmon Ryan Roberts Steven Roberts Jacqueline Rodriguez Jose Rojas Zahraa Saheb Crystal Salazar Alisha Sharp Daniel Sigala Ramirez Ryan Simon Samuel Smith Alberto Solis Jason Spangler April Suarez Olvera Alfredo Tamayo Tammy Titlow Jose Torres John Traxler Devon Tunnell Raquel Velasco Victoria Vera-Zamora Alan Whetsel Jacob Williams Ashton Willis Wenchuan Xue

Wesleynotes is the official newsletter for the School of Arts and Letters at Texas Wesleyan University. It was produced, designed and edited by students in MCO 3320 Digital Design and Editing and MCO 4346 Public Relations Campaigns and Programs at Wesleyan. Contributors: Sam Bastien Editor/designer Gloria Andrade-Borja Jeremy Crane Akeel Johnson Mattie Morris Sarah Owens Kayla Prachyl Peyton Prudhomme Jared Rabye April Suarez Olvera Gregory Taylor Ashton Willis Ted Wisdom Chalon Anderson Got a story idea? Something you’d like to hear about? Contact Dr. Kay Colley via email at kcolley@txwes.edu or by phone at 817-531-6525 A special thanks to Dr. David Ferman, Karan Muns and Hannah Onder.

CONGRATULATIONS!

W

ESLEYNOTES

Connecting you with the School of Arts and Letters

Assistant professor tackles research project with two students Inside: Dr. Ngozi Akinro researches the images of professional male and female athletes in magazines.

Story on PAGE 9

Letter from the Dean I am happy to present this semester’s edition of Wesleynotes, the School of Arts and Letters newsletter. This has been an eventful year in the School of Arts and Letters. The acquisition of a Steinway concert grand piano used in the Van Cliburn Competition, and the return of our annual musical to the Scott Theatre, have been a couple of the higher profile accomplishments. Additionally, Dr. Mark Hanshaw received an appointment to the UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry as the Associate General Secretary of the Division of Higher Education in Nashville. We wish him and his family well in their new home. We also bid welcome to Dr. Gladys Childs as interim dean, beginning June 1. She currently serves as University Chaplain and chair of the department of Religion and Humanities. While she will continue as Chaplain, Dr. Kendra Irons will take over as chair. Finally, I’d like to extend a big thank you to Sam Bastien and her team for putting together this issue! Students affiliated with the department of Mass Communication and with Rambler Media Group work hard to create this publication, and I am proud of the results.

Steve Daniell, Acting Dean


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School of Arts & Letters

McDonald publishes article on Luther

Photo by Chuck Greeson

Studying religion was not something that Bruce McDonald, P.h.D., professor of religion, was born doing; McDonald grew up in a Methodist church where he always had a relationship with God. “As for religion, I never studied it much in my childhood or teen years,” he said, “although I grew up in a Methodist church in Fort Worth. It wasn’t until I was nearly 23 that I committed my life to Christ. I didn’t like the way my life was going. I had no control over some of the things that were happening. I was totally miserable--and I knew enough to reach out to the boss--that Jesus guy--and things changed fast. After that, following Jesus was absolutely basic to me, and I was vitally interested in his concerns. I’m 72 now, so you can see that he and I have had almost 50 years together.” Now, McDonald teaches and studies religion and has even published articles and books on the subject. Recently, he published an article on the role of Martin Luther in the initiation of the Protestant Reformation. McDonald’s piece, “God’s Trumpet,” focuses on both the issues that motivated Luther and the relevance of these concerns in the modern era. “Luther is a complex individual, and I think he was probably bipolar, but when he was ‘up,’ he could get more done in one day than most of us could in 10 years,” McDonald said. “Also, at his best, he is a genius with words; that shows up even in translation. My German is not fluent

enough to read him in the original.” Students around campus had positive comments regarding the article. “I agree with Dr. McDonald when it comes to Martin Luther,” said Brooks Wallace, sophomore business major. “Studying Luther growing up, there were rarely positive outlooks on him as a person. It is safe to say he was complicated, but when I read Dr. McDonald’s article about him, I got to see Luther in a different light. There are two sides to every story, so seeing that uncut truth about Luther was refreshing.” Martin Luther was a man of great controversy. From his harsh language to his sexist tendencies, many consider him one of the most complex individuals of all time. The only person who has more books published about them is St. Paul. When asked what prompted McDonald’s interest in Luther he said, “I’ve always been interested in Luther since my seminary days. I read Roland Bainton’s classic biography of Luther, “Here I Stand”, which is still in print, as well as his book, “The Reformation of the 16th Century.” Those books piqued McDonald’s interest in Luther. “As time went on I read Lewis Spitz’s book on the history of the Reformation,” McDonald said. “My doctoral work was actually in the early church fathers. The date of my research was AD 200-451 and was a history of how the church fathers interpreted that obscure passage in I Corinthians 5: 3-5, but I’ve always been on the

lookout for good church history.” McDonald was asked to write the article on Luther by a friend named Stan Key, who heads the Francis Asbury Society. McDonald wanted to spin the general consensus on Luther. “Luther gets a lot of bad press, so it was a pleasure for me to set the record straight,” he said. “Stan noted that the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses was coming up, hence the request.” In addition to his academic work, McDonald travels the world in his time off to help him understand how other cultures interact. He brings this knowledge into the classroom and into his study of religion. When asked what advice he would have for young men and women looking to go into the field of studying religion he said, “As for advice, I would first make sure of my own stance. I’m always rooting around in the New Testament and commentaries to confirm my faith intellectually as well as spiritually. A good experience with Christ needs to be fed, and I am always out to do that. Sometimes the dichotomy between spirituality and intellect is a false one.” McDonald is adamant about having a clear stance. Without a clear position, we have nothing to defend or compare to. “Once our stance is clear, and we know how to defend it, we can look fair and square at other traditions, even when we don’t accept them, and give them fair treatment,” McDonald said. “Buddhists, for example, have excellent ethics, and Islamists have superb architecture.” McDonald went on to explain, “I teach World Religions, among other things. One student asked me some years ago, ‘Teaching all these religions, how can you believe that yours is better than the rest?’ I said, ‘It depends on the value one places on the resurrection of Jesus; if that really happened, and I think it did, it places Him in a different category from all other religious teachers or founders.’”

Spring 2018

Fisher travels to Taiwan

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Photo courtesy of Dr. John Fisher Students in Taiwan pose for a photo with one of Wesleyan’s favorite professors.

John Fisher, Ph.D., professor of piano, music theory and women composers, represented Texas Wesleyan for five weeks in Taiwan this past summer judging piano students from the age of five to 19. In the five weeks of judging these students, Fisher judged more than 1,600 students. “It meant the world to me,” Fisher said of his experience in Taiwan. “It was just a wonderful sort of out of the region, even out of the U.S., another part of the world, meant a lot. “Since I was judging piano performance and technique for over 1,600 students, the preparation requires years of piano study, teaching and experience. So essentially it’s been my entire professional life as preparation for this particular trip.” Fisher is the second faculty member from Texas Wesleyan to visit Taiwan and serve as a judge. Ilka Araujo, Ph.D., served as a judge in summer 2016. Araujo recommeded Fisher to the International Piano Performance Examination Committee, which hosts the annual summer program in Taiwan. “It is hard to overstate how much I enjoyed my trip to Taiwan,” Fisher said. “They were very friendly. I have hundreds of pictures with the participants and their families. They treated me very well.” Fisher continues his international travels in May when he is taking 16 students from the Department of Music to London on

a study abroad trip. The trip is nine days long and includes music professor Julie McCoy. “We are leading a group of 16 music students there for an indepth study abroad look at the musical life of the British capital, both past and present,” Fisher said. “It is a music trip focused on important composers and where they lived, hear some music, see some of the important larger things like the British Museum, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, and some of the other touristy things too.” The group is also scheduled to meet with a famous composer, Gregory Rose, during the trip. Fisher is excited about the future as well, looking forward to returning to Taiwan for another stint as an examiner with the IPPEC. “Next nearest time I could go back to Taiwan is in three years, since the IPPEC doesn’t allow any examiner to return for at least three years, just to inject new people in the system, but I’m looking forward to that.”

“It meant the world to me. It was just a wonderful sort of out of the region, even out of the U.S., another part of the world, meant a lot.” -Dr. John Fisher Upcoming Music Events

7:30 p.m. May 3 Wind Ensemble Nicholas Martin Hall. 7:30 p.m. May 8 Wesleyan Chorale Arborlawn Methodist Church.


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School of Arts & Letters

Small classrooms playwright The fluorescent lights turned off, the windows opened, and sunshine flooded the classroom as Alexandra Flurry, junior theatre arts major, began to type “Brainstorm Baby” at the top of her word document. That is how she always began her writing process in the Playwright I course she took in Fall 2017. “The first three weeks of class I never got past ‘Brainstorm Baby.’ I wanted to, but I just never had enough time,” Flurry said. “This idea is dumb, and this idea is wrong” is what Flurry would tell herself until the repetitive discipline of writing began to strengthen her confidence. Flurry’s second playwrighting assignment was due, and while the final piece was six pages long and sufficient to turn in, she was disappointed. Connie Whitt-Lambert, professor of theater and Flurry’s Playwriting professor, was waiting for that draft. Whitt-Lambert was hired by Joe Brown, dean of freshman success, nearly 30 years ago. “Even after 30 years of teaching, she is still so passionate,” Brown said. Whitt-Lambert stresses the importance of writing, rewriting, and revising in playwriting. “She (Whitt-Lambert) really helped bring out more, the more that I was thinking of,” Flurry said. “She asked me how can we translate this to something the audience can visually see and understand?” Whitt-Lambert said the writing, rewriting and revising is integral to the process. “It’s constant, and often students need to meet daily for feedback when working on a play, especially when they are motivated by an idea,” Whitt-Lambert said. “Waiting for a mentor’s comments when you’re eager to keep writing can be frustrating.” After rewriting the end of her play six or seven times, Flurry finally heard the words she was anxiously waiting to hear. “Yes, I’m seeing what an audience would want to see,” Whitt-Lambert said. “There you go. It’s done now.” “I haven’t had a teacher like Connie in a really long time,” Flurry said. “Just write, write, and write, is what Connie always said. Her method was to throw it all up on the page and clean it up later.” Flurry had several moments of astonishment throughout her time in Whitt-Lambert’s class. She knew she could write well, but she never knew she could write plays well. “It’s really inspiring to have a teacher turn to you and go ‘This is so good, do you want to enter it into a competition?’” Flurry said. Her play, “The Ramifications of a Changed Man,” was selected as one of six 10-minute plays at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Regional Festival. It is a competition made up of five states

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Spring 2018

A Native American detective story

Photo courtesy of Connie Whitt-Lambert

with submissions from graduate and undergraduate students alike. “It is an incredible honor, and says volumes about her work,” Whitt-Lambert said. “The Kennedy Center credit never leaves your resume.” Flurry’s new found playwriting confidence has brought a sense of comfort when brainstorming her story ideas, but what happened next brought her to tears. As the actors began to read Flurry’s play at the festival, she could not refrain from tearing up. I was sitting there going, ‘I wrote this on a computer, less than a year ago, and these people are reading what I wrote out loud,” she said. It was so intense to hear the actors say, ‘This is such a powerful line. I just love the way it’s phrased. How should I say it?’ and getting my advice. There is no feeling like it.” Despite being on sabbatical this semester, Flurry said Whitt-Lambert texted her words of encouragement before, throughout, and days after her time at the festival. “She wants to make people feel so secure in their writing,” Flurry said. “Every time in class, whenever someone would turn in something they were unsure about, she would discuss their play with such eloquent response. She would get inside their head. It’s so good. She’s like superwoman.” Lambert wrote that the small classrooms are crucial for playwriting, and students like Flurry are the reason she continues to teach. “She’s a master of turning everything on its head and oftentimes when you try what she says, you end up just getting all these ideas,” Flurry said. “It just opens up a whole new world of possibilities.”

Photo courtesy of Rambler Archives

Jeffrey DeLotto, professor of English, recently finished his first full-length novel. The novel, A Caddo’s Way, follows the character Two Hawks. The inspiration for this story was found in a Goodwill store. While looking through one such store, DeLotto found a book titled When the Storm God Rides: Tejas and Other Indian Legends. Published in the 1930s, this copy was an old school book, and happened to be given as a gift to someone named Leonard, according to the intimate writing in the first cover. “I started reading these children’s stories about the Tejas Indians, and well, I got hooked,” DeLotto said. After reading the book, DeLotto continued his research and went traveling to learn about where the Tejas once lived, and how they lived. From there, DeLotto created the focus of his previously published short stories, “Two Hawks,” “A Gutting on the Camino Real,” “Birds of the Storm God,” “The Hasinai Ear Spool,” and “Following the Water.” These stories follow Two Hawks’ exploits as an amateur detective in an area of neutral ground that existed between the Calcasieu River and Sabine River from 1820 to 1825. An older

member of the Caddo Native Americans, Two Hawks endeavors to solve crimes and mysteries in a no-man’s land with little government or traditional law enforcement. Before writing the novel, DeLotto wrote poetry and published books containing his works. “A colleague told me I should write poetry as an avocation rather than a vocation, so I went home and looked up what the word avocation meant,” he said. Despite the non-constructive criticism, DeLotto continued writing both poetry and his short stories. During a writer’s conference, he had the opportunity to read one of his short stories to fellow writers. It was there a colleague expressed how much they enjoyed the Two Hawks character. “That’s what makes me feel very good, when someone enjoys what you’ve written.” DeLotto is unsure exactly what the future holds, but he says he plans to continue writing. With plans of writing another full– length novel, a collection of short stories, and a book of poetry, DeLotto will be busy.

“A colleague told me I should write poetry as an avocation rather than a vocation, so I went home and looked up what the word avocation meant.” -Dr. Jeffrey DeLotto


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School of Arts & Letters

Irons takes on new roles, publishes book Kendra Irons, Ph.D., associate professor of religion, has accomplished many things throughout this semester and will have a new role within the Religion Department starting in June. Irons spoke in February at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston. The United Methodist women at Chapelwood invited her to speak as part of the United Methodist reading program because they had chosen to read the book that Irons co-authored with Dr. Melanie Springer Mock, If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming All God Meant for You to Be. Chapelwood UMW had been reading the book and subsequent discussions took place through April after Irons’ visit. “This was an opportunity to introduce the book and the content,” Irons said. “We had dinner, and afterwards I provided a formal speech about why I wrote the book, and then offered an impromptu Bible study that reflects the methodology that I used in the book itself.” Irons said that several women afterwards not only bought her book and had her sign it, but they indicated that they really want her to come back because the Bible study really opened up the Bible in a way that they had not experienced before. While If Eve Only Knew still provides Irons with speaking opportunities, she is also currently co-authoring with Dr. Jann Aldredge Clanton a book to be published in May titled Building Bridges: Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Friends. “This book is a feminist biography of Letha Dawson Scanzoni,” she said. “I call it a feminist biography for two reasons--one, I have a co-author, and I think that there is something in feminist theory that suggests that we do better when we cooperate and work together and kind of resist this notion of individualism and recognize our connection.” The second reason, she said, is because “the biography goes beyond Letha herself to identify how her work has affected numerous other people.” Irons said that she and Aldredge Clanton are in the final stages of the publication process. “We just got the proofs back for the book,” she said. “So what we have now are the pages, like how they will actually look in the book. We are reading through the manuscript one last time to catch any errors or mistakes. It is a very tedious process but a necessary one.” In addition to this work on her book, Irons traveled to England for Spring Break with a group of students enrolled in the study abroad program. “The most exciting aspect of taking students abroad is to watch their worlds open up virtually overnight,” she said. “There is no substitute for learning about another culture than to actually experience it. It is that experience that can radically change one’s previously held perceptions.”

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Spring 2018

Repackaging stereotypes: A research project

Photo by Jared Rabye Dr. Ngozi Akinro and freshman mass communication major Anthony Belton conducting research.

Photo by Chuck Greeson Dr. Kendra Irons poses for a photo. Irons will take her new role as Department Chair of Religion starting in June 2018.

Irons’ perceptions will also change this year as she embarks on a new role in June 2018: She will be the new Department Chair of Religion. “I am excited to offer leadership to my excellent colleagues in the Religion Department,” she said. “I enjoy working with them and look forward to finding new ways in which I can support and encourage the work they do. I anticipate having a learning curve in which I will seek to listen for the best ways in which I can offer assistance.” Irons hopes that over time she will be able to focus and clarify the department’s mission. “I’ll be happy to provide leadership to address such opportunities,” she said. “Our two previous chairs have put us in a good place from which we can plan strategically for more growth. I’ll be looking for ways to capitalize on this potential.”

When Ngozi Akiro, Ph.D., wanted to conduct advertising research for the first time, she didn’t want to go it alone. Akinro, an assistant professor of mass communication, along with freshmen mass communication majors Anthony Belton and Miranda Day, have been conducting research since January on the representation of male and female athletes in magazines. Akinro is happy that she is not conducting the research alone and presented the research titled, “Their Gendered Bodies: An Examination of Images of Professional Athletes” with Belton and Day at the Western Social Science Association conference in San Antonio April 4-7. “I haven’t worked much in advertising,” Akinro said. “Having two students help me and learn with me has helped move the process along.” Akinro, Belton and Day also displayed their hard work at University College Day on April 18. “I hope this will provide Anthony and Miranda with valuable experience that they can expand upon while they are here at Wesleyan,” Akinro said. The original idea for the research was to view billboards with athletes on them; however, that proved difficult. So Akin-

ro and the students selected magazines instead. “It was really hard to find billboard ads,” Akinro said. “It was much easier to find athletes in magazines and other media. “Both students are helpful every time we meet, and I try to keep the discussion open, so that they can contribute to the research and bring in new ideas.” Akinro, Belton and Day mostly looked at two magazines, ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated, for their research. “ESPN and Sports Illustrated have different ways they display their magazines on their websites,” Akinro said. “We are still looking for a way to collect data from both ESPN and Sports Illustrated to unify our research.” Research is not new for Akinro. She has conducted research before on crisis and war coverage, visual representations and augmented reality. Another research area Akinro is working on right now is music and politics and how music can be used to make a political statement. “I am working on two papers with two other colleagues from other schools,” Akinro said. “One of the papers is about how political groups use music and the meaning of the music.”

The other paper Akinro and her colleagues are working on is how music has been used dating back two decades in Nigeria. “That paper is about how music affects politics and how it relates to the average Nigerian person,” Akinro said. Akinro has also been working on a project about the representation of women in African magazines. “That project is in a revise and re-edit stage right now, and I am hoping that it gets published,” she said. Akinro is from Nigeria in West Africa. She has been at Texas Wesleyan since the fall 2016 semester. She has taught students in digital production, advanced digital production, mass media and society, and other mass communication classes. She graduated from the University of Benin in Nigeria with a bachelor of arts degree in theater arts. She continued her education at Arkansas State University where she received a master’s degree in radio-TV, mass communications. She earned a doctorate in mass communication/ media studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.


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School of Arts & Letters

Childs looks to provide leadership

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Spring 2018

Sikes pumps spirit into Wesleyan band

Photo courtesy of Chuck Greeson

Texas Wesleyan University’s pep band performs at Farrington Field during a football game.

Photo courtesy Chuck Greeson Dr. Gladys Childs will take over as the Interim Dean of School of Arts and Letters.

Texas Wesleyan Provost Allen Henderson announced late February that Dr. Gladys Childs, chair of the Department of Religion & Humanities as well as University Chaplain, had accepted the offer to become Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Letters as of June 1. Childs will be filling the spot of the previous dean of the department, Dr. Mark Hanshaw, who has accepted the position of Associate General Secretary for the United Methodist Church Division of Higher Education. In this position, Hanshaw will have the opportunity to serve the presidents of all of the 199 United Methodist colleges and universities around the country, including Texas Wesleyan. Childs has been at Texas Wesleyan since 2001 and loves working here. She enjoys interacting with students and her fellow faculty members and said that stepping into the Interim Dean role will just be a different way of interacting with and supporting students and faculty. “I am looking forward to building new relationships and getting involved with my new role in the university,” Childs said.

Childs’ new duties will include providing advocacy for, leadership to, and managerial responsibility for the programs, faculty, and budgets of the school. She plans on providing leadership in support of the university’s strategic plan as well as in the development and execution of the school’s strategic plan, goals, and assessment. Also, she plans to work closely with the chairs to streamline and enhance current programs while looking for new opportunities.  Childs’ goal in the beginning is to build strong relationships with the various leaders of Texas Wesleyan and the larger universities, which will help lead to creating a shared vision and to strengthen the programs of the School of Arts and Letters and the rest of the departments at Wesleyan. When asked what she thought about potentially moving into the position permanently, she said that what matters to her most is to be the most effective Interim Dean possible. “As for the rest, we will just have to see how things progress,” Childs said.

Now that Childs has moved on to focusing on being the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters, Dr. Kendra Irons will be taking over the spot as the Chair of Religion and Humanities. Irons is excited to offer leadership to her excellent colleagues in the Religion Department. She enjoys working with them and looks forward to finding new ways in which she can support and encourage the work they do. In the beginning she anticipates a bit of a learning curve, but she plans to seek and listen for the best ways in which she can offer assistance. “Over time I expect ways to focus and clarify our department’s mission [so that it] will become evident,” Irons said, “and I’ll be happy to provide leadership to address such opportunities.”

Photo courtesy of Texas Wesleyan University Department of Music

Paul Sikes, Asst Professor of Instrumental Studies

Paul Sikes, Ph.D., assistant professor of instrumental studies, may be new to campus, but he is a Fort Worth native. Sikes earned his bachelor of music in education degree from Texas Tech University, his master of music in conducting degree from Baylor University and his doctor of musical arts in music education degree from the University of Houston. After spending 11 years at Texas A&M University in College Station, Sikes was ready for a change and found Wesleyan. “The last university I was at did not have a school of music,” he said. “All of my students were non-music majors. I reached a point in my career where I wanted to have a positive impact on music education. I was looking for a school that would allow me to do that, and a job opportunity at Wesleyan presented itself.” Sikes also had roots at Wesleyan. “My mom actually went to Wesleyan, so it kind of worked out beautifully,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to have gotten the job.” To mark the historic return of football, President Fred Slabach decided to start a pep band as a way for students to be more active on campus. Sikes said it was something he naturally wanted to get involved with. “I’ve had a lot of experience with university bands,” he said. “I wanted to help push

the ball forward. With my background, I knew I could get it going. “What is so great about the pep band is that it is open to anyone. While we use this as a way to help our music students gain the knowledge they’ll need in their careers, it also acts as an opportunity for students who just have a love of music. The pep band is unique in its ability to create a fun collegiate atmosphere, so we just want people to come out and have fun.” With the new pep band and more changes on the horizon in the Music Department, Sikes says that Wesleyan is true to its Smaller. Smarter. promise. “It’s a neat time to be at Wesleyan because in the short time I have been here I can see a cultural shift,” he said.

Did you know that you don’t have to be a music major to be in Pep Band? Contact Dr. Sikes for more information.


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School of Arts & Letters

Childs, Hall, and Pevateaux cross the line while creating book Intersections Two Texas Wesleyan professors and one administrator have contributed their ideas to a new book coming out called Intersections. Gladys Childs, Ph.D., Dennis Hall, Ed.D., and Chad Pevateaux, Ph.D., each played a role in the creation of the text, which was co-edited by former Arts and Letters Dean Mark Hanshaw, J.D., Ph.D.   Hall collaborated with Childs to create a chapter for Intersections. He said that Hanshaw was the one who gave them this opportunity.   “I co-authored a chapter within the edited book,” Hall said. “Dr. Gladys Childs and I worked together to write about how Spiritual Life and Student Affairs have worked together in support of the spiritual development of our students.”  Hall said he got to add his own individuality to the chapter as well.   “Specifically, I was able to share my personal experiences and viewpoints in that relationship,” Hall said. “That includes challenges, resources, new initiatives and future directions.”  Hall said his expectation for the book is that it will influence how students and campuses across the nation view different types of spirituality and ideas.   “My hope is that it will have a positive impact on the practice at other campuses when working with students and their spiritual education and The Intersections cover vividly displays a Texas Wesleyan connection. development,” Hall said. “I also hope that other Childs said the book primarily focuses on the different types of campuses will be inspired to provide transformabackgrounds students come from, and how colleges and universitional experiences for their own campuses.”  ties can be inclusive of everyone.   Hall said he is thrilled to see Texas Wesleyan University men“The book is about the impact of increased religious diversity tioned in this book.  on college campuses and the importance of interfaith engage“My favorite part about this whole thing is the representation ment, ” Childs said. “This was written primarily for Methodist for Texas Wesleyan University,” Hall said.  “Our institution was circles, but it is applicable anywhere.”  involved on a number of different levels, and that is very exciting Childs said her favorite part was getting to work with Hall.   to see.” “I enjoyed getting to know Dennis better,” she said. “It was Childs said her chapter focuses on bringing people from all interesting to get to see him from a different perspective than I different backgrounds together on college campuses.   normally do. ”    “Our chapter is ‘Spiritual Diversity and Mindfulness: A Pathway Pevateaux, who has his own chapter in the book, said his inspito Inclusion on a University Campus,’” Childs said. “We wrote ration came from something he had previously written.  about our perspectives and how we go about trying to create a “My chapter I wrote in a really abbreviated form a decade ago,” spiritual environment that is welcoming to all individuals regardhe said. “I had never published it in any context yet, and it was less of their religious or non-religious backgrounds.”  

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Spring 2018 only one page before, but I submitted that as the chapter proposal. They accepted it so then I expanded it.” Pevateaux said that his chapter primarily focuses on the book of Job in the Bible.   “My chapter is titled ‘How the Story of Job May Help Us All Get Along,’” Pevateaux said. “The chapter is not just a decade ago, it’s much older than that in terms of that impulse or desire to help us all get along.”  Pevateaux said he had a certain mindset behind creating his chapter.   “The purpose of the writing is to provide various ways to help us unite together,” Pevateaux said. “Resources to help us get along, and I’m using specifically the story of Job, which is shared in common by all the Abrahamic traditions in religion.”  Pevateaux said there are several things he hopes the reader gains from reading this book.  “I hope they take away a lot of practical knowledge that they can apply to their own lives, family, community, churches, synagogues, mosques and especially their campuses,” he said. “This volume would be a real big resource for interfaith programs, certificate programs and initiatives on various campuses.”   Pevateaux said he hopes people feel pushed by this and get a little out of their comfort zone.   “I hope that people feel challenged but in positive ways,” he said.” If it’s not challenging and it doesn’t push the comfort zone, then I don’t know if we’re doing the change we need to do.”

Photo by Ashton Willis Dr. Gladys Childs is represented in the new book Intersections.

“If it’s not challenging and it doesn’t push the comfort zone, then I don’t know if we’re doing the change we need to do.” -Dr. Chad Pevateaux

“My favorite part about this whole thing is the representation of Texas Wesleyan University.” Photo by Ashton Willis Dr. Chad Pevateaux is excited Wesleyan is in the book.

Photo by Chuck Greesen Dr. Dennis Hall is excited Wesleyan is in Intersections.

- Dr. Dennis Hall


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School of Arts & Letters

Childs, Hall, and Pevateaux cross the line while creating book Intersections Two Texas Wesleyan professors and one administrator have contributed their ideas to a new book coming out called Intersections. Gladys Childs, Ph.D., Dennis Hall, Ed.D., and Chad Pevateaux, Ph.D., each played a role in the creation of the text, which was co-edited by former Arts and Letters Dean Mark Hanshaw, J.D., Ph.D.   Hall collaborated with Childs to create a chapter for Intersections. He said that Hanshaw was the one who gave them this opportunity.   “I co-authored a chapter within the edited book,” Hall said. “Dr. Gladys Childs and I worked together to write about how Spiritual Life and Student Affairs have worked together in support of the spiritual development of our students.”  Hall said he got to add his own individuality to the chapter as well.   “Specifically, I was able to share my personal experiences and viewpoints in that relationship,” Hall said. “That includes challenges, resources, new initiatives and future directions.”  Hall said his expectation for the book is that it will influence how students and campuses across the nation view different types of spirituality and ideas.   “My hope is that it will have a positive impact on the practice at other campuses when working with students and their spiritual education and The Intersections cover vividly displays a Texas Wesleyan connection. development,” Hall said. “I also hope that other Childs said the book primarily focuses on the different types of campuses will be inspired to provide transformabackgrounds students come from, and how colleges and universitional experiences for their own campuses.”  ties can be inclusive of everyone.   Hall said he is thrilled to see Texas Wesleyan University men“The book is about the impact of increased religious diversity tioned in this book.  on college campuses and the importance of interfaith engage“My favorite part about this whole thing is the representation ment, ” Childs said. “This was written primarily for Methodist for Texas Wesleyan University,” Hall said.  “Our institution was circles, but it is applicable anywhere.”  involved on a number of different levels, and that is very exciting Childs said her favorite part was getting to work with Hall.   to see.” “I enjoyed getting to know Dennis better,” she said. “It was Childs said her chapter focuses on bringing people from all interesting to get to see him from a different perspective than I different backgrounds together on college campuses.   normally do. ”    “Our chapter is ‘Spiritual Diversity and Mindfulness: A Pathway Pevateaux, who has his own chapter in the book, said his inspito Inclusion on a University Campus,’” Childs said. “We wrote ration came from something he had previously written.  about our perspectives and how we go about trying to create a “My chapter I wrote in a really abbreviated form a decade ago,” spiritual environment that is welcoming to all individuals regardhe said. “I had never published it in any context yet, and it was less of their religious or non-religious backgrounds.”  

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Spring 2018 only one page before, but I submitted that as the chapter proposal. They accepted it so then I expanded it.” Pevateaux said that his chapter primarily focuses on the book of Job in the Bible.   “My chapter is titled ‘How the Story of Job May Help Us All Get Along,’” Pevateaux said. “The chapter is not just a decade ago, it’s much older than that in terms of that impulse or desire to help us all get along.”  Pevateaux said he had a certain mindset behind creating his chapter.   “The purpose of the writing is to provide various ways to help us unite together,” Pevateaux said. “Resources to help us get along, and I’m using specifically the story of Job, which is shared in common by all the Abrahamic traditions in religion.”  Pevateaux said there are several things he hopes the reader gains from reading this book.  “I hope they take away a lot of practical knowledge that they can apply to their own lives, family, community, churches, synagogues, mosques and especially their campuses,” he said. “This volume would be a real big resource for interfaith programs, certificate programs and initiatives on various campuses.”   Pevateaux said he hopes people feel pushed by this and get a little out of their comfort zone.   “I hope that people feel challenged but in positive ways,” he said.” If it’s not challenging and it doesn’t push the comfort zone, then I don’t know if we’re doing the change we need to do.”

Photo by Ashton Willis Dr. Gladys Childs is represented in the new book Intersections.

“If it’s not challenging and it doesn’t push the comfort zone, then I don’t know if we’re doing the change we need to do.” -Dr. Chad Pevateaux

“My favorite part about this whole thing is the representation of Texas Wesleyan University.” Photo by Ashton Willis Dr. Chad Pevateaux is excited Wesleyan is in the book.

Photo by Chuck Greesen Dr. Dennis Hall is excited Wesleyan is in Intersections.

- Dr. Dennis Hall


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School of Arts & Letters

Childs looks to provide leadership

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Spring 2018

Sikes pumps spirit into Wesleyan band

Photo courtesy of Chuck Greeson

Texas Wesleyan University’s pep band performs at Farrington Field during a football game.

Photo courtesy Chuck Greeson Dr. Gladys Childs will take over as the Interim Dean of School of Arts and Letters.

Texas Wesleyan Provost Allen Henderson announced late February that Dr. Gladys Childs, chair of the Department of Religion & Humanities as well as University Chaplain, had accepted the offer to become Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Letters as of June 1. Childs will be filling the spot of the previous dean of the department, Dr. Mark Hanshaw, who has accepted the position of Associate General Secretary for the United Methodist Church Division of Higher Education. In this position, Hanshaw will have the opportunity to serve the presidents of all of the 199 United Methodist colleges and universities around the country, including Texas Wesleyan. Childs has been at Texas Wesleyan since 2001 and loves working here. She enjoys interacting with students and her fellow faculty members and said that stepping into the Interim Dean role will just be a different way of interacting with and supporting students and faculty. “I am looking forward to building new relationships and getting involved with my new role in the university,” Childs said.

Childs’ new duties will include providing advocacy for, leadership to, and managerial responsibility for the programs, faculty, and budgets of the school. She plans on providing leadership in support of the university’s strategic plan as well as in the development and execution of the school’s strategic plan, goals, and assessment. Also, she plans to work closely with the chairs to streamline and enhance current programs while looking for new opportunities.  Childs’ goal in the beginning is to build strong relationships with the various leaders of Texas Wesleyan and the larger universities, which will help lead to creating a shared vision and to strengthen the programs of the School of Arts and Letters and the rest of the departments at Wesleyan. When asked what she thought about potentially moving into the position permanently, she said that what matters to her most is to be the most effective Interim Dean possible. “As for the rest, we will just have to see how things progress,” Childs said.

Now that Childs has moved on to focusing on being the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters, Dr. Kendra Irons will be taking over the spot as the Chair of Religion and Humanities. Irons is excited to offer leadership to her excellent colleagues in the Religion Department. She enjoys working with them and looks forward to finding new ways in which she can support and encourage the work they do. In the beginning she anticipates a bit of a learning curve, but she plans to seek and listen for the best ways in which she can offer assistance. “Over time I expect ways to focus and clarify our department’s mission [so that it] will become evident,” Irons said, “and I’ll be happy to provide leadership to address such opportunities.”

Photo courtesy of Texas Wesleyan University Department of Music

Paul Sikes, Asst Professor of Instrumental Studies

Paul Sikes, Ph.D., assistant professor of instrumental studies, may be new to campus, but he is a Fort Worth native. Sikes earned his bachelor of music in education degree from Texas Tech University, his master of music in conducting degree from Baylor University and his doctor of musical arts in music education degree from the University of Houston. After spending 11 years at Texas A&M University in College Station, Sikes was ready for a change and found Wesleyan. “The last university I was at did not have a school of music,” he said. “All of my students were non-music majors. I reached a point in my career where I wanted to have a positive impact on music education. I was looking for a school that would allow me to do that, and a job opportunity at Wesleyan presented itself.” Sikes also had roots at Wesleyan. “My mom actually went to Wesleyan, so it kind of worked out beautifully,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to have gotten the job.” To mark the historic return of football, President Fred Slabach decided to start a pep band as a way for students to be more active on campus. Sikes said it was something he naturally wanted to get involved with. “I’ve had a lot of experience with university bands,” he said. “I wanted to help push

the ball forward. With my background, I knew I could get it going. “What is so great about the pep band is that it is open to anyone. While we use this as a way to help our music students gain the knowledge they’ll need in their careers, it also acts as an opportunity for students who just have a love of music. The pep band is unique in its ability to create a fun collegiate atmosphere, so we just want people to come out and have fun.” With the new pep band and more changes on the horizon in the Music Department, Sikes says that Wesleyan is true to its Smaller. Smarter. promise. “It’s a neat time to be at Wesleyan because in the short time I have been here I can see a cultural shift,” he said.

Did you know that you don’t have to be a music major to be in Pep Band? Contact Dr. Sikes for more information.


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School of Arts & Letters

Irons takes on new roles, publishes book Kendra Irons, Ph.D., associate professor of religion, has accomplished many things throughout this semester and will have a new role within the Religion Department starting in June. Irons spoke in February at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston. The United Methodist women at Chapelwood invited her to speak as part of the United Methodist reading program because they had chosen to read the book that Irons co-authored with Dr. Melanie Springer Mock, If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming All God Meant for You to Be. Chapelwood UMW had been reading the book and subsequent discussions took place through April after Irons’ visit. “This was an opportunity to introduce the book and the content,” Irons said. “We had dinner, and afterwards I provided a formal speech about why I wrote the book, and then offered an impromptu Bible study that reflects the methodology that I used in the book itself.” Irons said that several women afterwards not only bought her book and had her sign it, but they indicated that they really want her to come back because the Bible study really opened up the Bible in a way that they had not experienced before. While If Eve Only Knew still provides Irons with speaking opportunities, she is also currently co-authoring with Dr. Jann Aldredge Clanton a book to be published in May titled Building Bridges: Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Friends. “This book is a feminist biography of Letha Dawson Scanzoni,” she said. “I call it a feminist biography for two reasons--one, I have a co-author, and I think that there is something in feminist theory that suggests that we do better when we cooperate and work together and kind of resist this notion of individualism and recognize our connection.” The second reason, she said, is because “the biography goes beyond Letha herself to identify how her work has affected numerous other people.” Irons said that she and Aldredge Clanton are in the final stages of the publication process. “We just got the proofs back for the book,” she said. “So what we have now are the pages, like how they will actually look in the book. We are reading through the manuscript one last time to catch any errors or mistakes. It is a very tedious process but a necessary one.” In addition to this work on her book, Irons traveled to England for Spring Break with a group of students enrolled in the study abroad program. “The most exciting aspect of taking students abroad is to watch their worlds open up virtually overnight,” she said. “There is no substitute for learning about another culture than to actually experience it. It is that experience that can radically change one’s previously held perceptions.”

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Spring 2018

Repackaging stereotypes: A research project

Photo by Jared Rabye Dr. Ngozi Akinro and freshman mass communication major Anthony Belton conducting research.

Photo by Chuck Greeson Dr. Kendra Irons poses for a photo. Irons will take her new role as Department Chair of Religion starting in June 2018.

Irons’ perceptions will also change this year as she embarks on a new role in June 2018: She will be the new Department Chair of Religion. “I am excited to offer leadership to my excellent colleagues in the Religion Department,” she said. “I enjoy working with them and look forward to finding new ways in which I can support and encourage the work they do. I anticipate having a learning curve in which I will seek to listen for the best ways in which I can offer assistance.” Irons hopes that over time she will be able to focus and clarify the department’s mission. “I’ll be happy to provide leadership to address such opportunities,” she said. “Our two previous chairs have put us in a good place from which we can plan strategically for more growth. I’ll be looking for ways to capitalize on this potential.”

When Ngozi Akiro, Ph.D., wanted to conduct advertising research for the first time, she didn’t want to go it alone. Akinro, an assistant professor of mass communication, along with freshmen mass communication majors Anthony Belton and Miranda Day, have been conducting research since January on the representation of male and female athletes in magazines. Akinro is happy that she is not conducting the research alone and presented the research titled, “Their Gendered Bodies: An Examination of Images of Professional Athletes” with Belton and Day at the Western Social Science Association conference in San Antonio April 4-7. “I haven’t worked much in advertising,” Akinro said. “Having two students help me and learn with me has helped move the process along.” Akinro, Belton and Day also displayed their hard work at University College Day on April 18. “I hope this will provide Anthony and Miranda with valuable experience that they can expand upon while they are here at Wesleyan,” Akinro said. The original idea for the research was to view billboards with athletes on them; however, that proved difficult. So Akin-

ro and the students selected magazines instead. “It was really hard to find billboard ads,” Akinro said. “It was much easier to find athletes in magazines and other media. “Both students are helpful every time we meet, and I try to keep the discussion open, so that they can contribute to the research and bring in new ideas.” Akinro, Belton and Day mostly looked at two magazines, ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated, for their research. “ESPN and Sports Illustrated have different ways they display their magazines on their websites,” Akinro said. “We are still looking for a way to collect data from both ESPN and Sports Illustrated to unify our research.” Research is not new for Akinro. She has conducted research before on crisis and war coverage, visual representations and augmented reality. Another research area Akinro is working on right now is music and politics and how music can be used to make a political statement. “I am working on two papers with two other colleagues from other schools,” Akinro said. “One of the papers is about how political groups use music and the meaning of the music.”

The other paper Akinro and her colleagues are working on is how music has been used dating back two decades in Nigeria. “That paper is about how music affects politics and how it relates to the average Nigerian person,” Akinro said. Akinro has also been working on a project about the representation of women in African magazines. “That project is in a revise and re-edit stage right now, and I am hoping that it gets published,” she said. Akinro is from Nigeria in West Africa. She has been at Texas Wesleyan since the fall 2016 semester. She has taught students in digital production, advanced digital production, mass media and society, and other mass communication classes. She graduated from the University of Benin in Nigeria with a bachelor of arts degree in theater arts. She continued her education at Arkansas State University where she received a master’s degree in radio-TV, mass communications. She earned a doctorate in mass communication/ media studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.


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School of Arts & Letters

Small classrooms playwright The fluorescent lights turned off, the windows opened, and sunshine flooded the classroom as Alexandra Flurry, junior theatre arts major, began to type “Brainstorm Baby” at the top of her word document. That is how she always began her writing process in the Playwright I course she took in Fall 2017. “The first three weeks of class I never got past ‘Brainstorm Baby.’ I wanted to, but I just never had enough time,” Flurry said. “This idea is dumb, and this idea is wrong” is what Flurry would tell herself until the repetitive discipline of writing began to strengthen her confidence. Flurry’s second playwrighting assignment was due, and while the final piece was six pages long and sufficient to turn in, she was disappointed. Connie Whitt-Lambert, professor of theater and Flurry’s Playwriting professor, was waiting for that draft. Whitt-Lambert was hired by Joe Brown, dean of freshman success, nearly 30 years ago. “Even after 30 years of teaching, she is still so passionate,” Brown said. Whitt-Lambert stresses the importance of writing, rewriting, and revising in playwriting. “She (Whitt-Lambert) really helped bring out more, the more that I was thinking of,” Flurry said. “She asked me how can we translate this to something the audience can visually see and understand?” Whitt-Lambert said the writing, rewriting and revising is integral to the process. “It’s constant, and often students need to meet daily for feedback when working on a play, especially when they are motivated by an idea,” Whitt-Lambert said. “Waiting for a mentor’s comments when you’re eager to keep writing can be frustrating.” After rewriting the end of her play six or seven times, Flurry finally heard the words she was anxiously waiting to hear. “Yes, I’m seeing what an audience would want to see,” Whitt-Lambert said. “There you go. It’s done now.” “I haven’t had a teacher like Connie in a really long time,” Flurry said. “Just write, write, and write, is what Connie always said. Her method was to throw it all up on the page and clean it up later.” Flurry had several moments of astonishment throughout her time in Whitt-Lambert’s class. She knew she could write well, but she never knew she could write plays well. “It’s really inspiring to have a teacher turn to you and go ‘This is so good, do you want to enter it into a competition?’” Flurry said. Her play, “The Ramifications of a Changed Man,” was selected as one of six 10-minute plays at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Regional Festival. It is a competition made up of five states

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Spring 2018

A Native American detective story

Photo courtesy of Connie Whitt-Lambert

with submissions from graduate and undergraduate students alike. “It is an incredible honor, and says volumes about her work,” Whitt-Lambert said. “The Kennedy Center credit never leaves your resume.” Flurry’s new found playwriting confidence has brought a sense of comfort when brainstorming her story ideas, but what happened next brought her to tears. As the actors began to read Flurry’s play at the festival, she could not refrain from tearing up. I was sitting there going, ‘I wrote this on a computer, less than a year ago, and these people are reading what I wrote out loud,” she said. It was so intense to hear the actors say, ‘This is such a powerful line. I just love the way it’s phrased. How should I say it?’ and getting my advice. There is no feeling like it.” Despite being on sabbatical this semester, Flurry said Whitt-Lambert texted her words of encouragement before, throughout, and days after her time at the festival. “She wants to make people feel so secure in their writing,” Flurry said. “Every time in class, whenever someone would turn in something they were unsure about, she would discuss their play with such eloquent response. She would get inside their head. It’s so good. She’s like superwoman.” Lambert wrote that the small classrooms are crucial for playwriting, and students like Flurry are the reason she continues to teach. “She’s a master of turning everything on its head and oftentimes when you try what she says, you end up just getting all these ideas,” Flurry said. “It just opens up a whole new world of possibilities.”

Photo courtesy of Rambler Archives

Jeffrey DeLotto, professor of English, recently finished his first full-length novel. The novel, A Caddo’s Way, follows the character Two Hawks. The inspiration for this story was found in a Goodwill store. While looking through one such store, DeLotto found a book titled When the Storm God Rides: Tejas and Other Indian Legends. Published in the 1930s, this copy was an old school book, and happened to be given as a gift to someone named Leonard, according to the intimate writing in the first cover. “I started reading these children’s stories about the Tejas Indians, and well, I got hooked,” DeLotto said. After reading the book, DeLotto continued his research and went traveling to learn about where the Tejas once lived, and how they lived. From there, DeLotto created the focus of his previously published short stories, “Two Hawks,” “A Gutting on the Camino Real,” “Birds of the Storm God,” “The Hasinai Ear Spool,” and “Following the Water.” These stories follow Two Hawks’ exploits as an amateur detective in an area of neutral ground that existed between the Calcasieu River and Sabine River from 1820 to 1825. An older

member of the Caddo Native Americans, Two Hawks endeavors to solve crimes and mysteries in a no-man’s land with little government or traditional law enforcement. Before writing the novel, DeLotto wrote poetry and published books containing his works. “A colleague told me I should write poetry as an avocation rather than a vocation, so I went home and looked up what the word avocation meant,” he said. Despite the non-constructive criticism, DeLotto continued writing both poetry and his short stories. During a writer’s conference, he had the opportunity to read one of his short stories to fellow writers. It was there a colleague expressed how much they enjoyed the Two Hawks character. “That’s what makes me feel very good, when someone enjoys what you’ve written.” DeLotto is unsure exactly what the future holds, but he says he plans to continue writing. With plans of writing another full– length novel, a collection of short stories, and a book of poetry, DeLotto will be busy.

“A colleague told me I should write poetry as an avocation rather than a vocation, so I went home and looked up what the word avocation meant.” -Dr. Jeffrey DeLotto


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School of Arts & Letters

McDonald publishes article on Luther

Photo by Chuck Greeson

Studying religion was not something that Bruce McDonald, P.h.D., professor of religion, was born doing; McDonald grew up in a Methodist church where he always had a relationship with God. “As for religion, I never studied it much in my childhood or teen years,” he said, “although I grew up in a Methodist church in Fort Worth. It wasn’t until I was nearly 23 that I committed my life to Christ. I didn’t like the way my life was going. I had no control over some of the things that were happening. I was totally miserable--and I knew enough to reach out to the boss--that Jesus guy--and things changed fast. After that, following Jesus was absolutely basic to me, and I was vitally interested in his concerns. I’m 72 now, so you can see that he and I have had almost 50 years together.” Now, McDonald teaches and studies religion and has even published articles and books on the subject. Recently, he published an article on the role of Martin Luther in the initiation of the Protestant Reformation. McDonald’s piece, “God’s Trumpet,” focuses on both the issues that motivated Luther and the relevance of these concerns in the modern era. “Luther is a complex individual, and I think he was probably bipolar, but when he was ‘up,’ he could get more done in one day than most of us could in 10 years,” McDonald said. “Also, at his best, he is a genius with words; that shows up even in translation. My German is not fluent

enough to read him in the original.” Students around campus had positive comments regarding the article. “I agree with Dr. McDonald when it comes to Martin Luther,” said Brooks Wallace, sophomore business major. “Studying Luther growing up, there were rarely positive outlooks on him as a person. It is safe to say he was complicated, but when I read Dr. McDonald’s article about him, I got to see Luther in a different light. There are two sides to every story, so seeing that uncut truth about Luther was refreshing.” Martin Luther was a man of great controversy. From his harsh language to his sexist tendencies, many consider him one of the most complex individuals of all time. The only person who has more books published about them is St. Paul. When asked what prompted McDonald’s interest in Luther he said, “I’ve always been interested in Luther since my seminary days. I read Roland Bainton’s classic biography of Luther, “Here I Stand”, which is still in print, as well as his book, “The Reformation of the 16th Century.” Those books piqued McDonald’s interest in Luther. “As time went on I read Lewis Spitz’s book on the history of the Reformation,” McDonald said. “My doctoral work was actually in the early church fathers. The date of my research was AD 200-451 and was a history of how the church fathers interpreted that obscure passage in I Corinthians 5: 3-5, but I’ve always been on the

lookout for good church history.” McDonald was asked to write the article on Luther by a friend named Stan Key, who heads the Francis Asbury Society. McDonald wanted to spin the general consensus on Luther. “Luther gets a lot of bad press, so it was a pleasure for me to set the record straight,” he said. “Stan noted that the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses was coming up, hence the request.” In addition to his academic work, McDonald travels the world in his time off to help him understand how other cultures interact. He brings this knowledge into the classroom and into his study of religion. When asked what advice he would have for young men and women looking to go into the field of studying religion he said, “As for advice, I would first make sure of my own stance. I’m always rooting around in the New Testament and commentaries to confirm my faith intellectually as well as spiritually. A good experience with Christ needs to be fed, and I am always out to do that. Sometimes the dichotomy between spirituality and intellect is a false one.” McDonald is adamant about having a clear stance. Without a clear position, we have nothing to defend or compare to. “Once our stance is clear, and we know how to defend it, we can look fair and square at other traditions, even when we don’t accept them, and give them fair treatment,” McDonald said. “Buddhists, for example, have excellent ethics, and Islamists have superb architecture.” McDonald went on to explain, “I teach World Religions, among other things. One student asked me some years ago, ‘Teaching all these religions, how can you believe that yours is better than the rest?’ I said, ‘It depends on the value one places on the resurrection of Jesus; if that really happened, and I think it did, it places Him in a different category from all other religious teachers or founders.’”

Spring 2018

Fisher travels to Taiwan

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Photo courtesy of Dr. John Fisher Students in Taiwan pose for a photo with one of Wesleyan’s favorite professors.

John Fisher, Ph.D., professor of piano, music theory and women composers, represented Texas Wesleyan for five weeks in Taiwan this past summer judging piano students from the age of five to 19. In the five weeks of judging these students, Fisher judged more than 1,600 students. “It meant the world to me,” Fisher said of his experience in Taiwan. “It was just a wonderful sort of out of the region, even out of the U.S., another part of the world, meant a lot. “Since I was judging piano performance and technique for over 1,600 students, the preparation requires years of piano study, teaching and experience. So essentially it’s been my entire professional life as preparation for this particular trip.” Fisher is the second faculty member from Texas Wesleyan to visit Taiwan and serve as a judge. Ilka Araujo, Ph.D., served as a judge in summer 2016. Araujo recommeded Fisher to the International Piano Performance Examination Committee, which hosts the annual summer program in Taiwan. “It is hard to overstate how much I enjoyed my trip to Taiwan,” Fisher said. “They were very friendly. I have hundreds of pictures with the participants and their families. They treated me very well.” Fisher continues his international travels in May when he is taking 16 students from the Department of Music to London on

a study abroad trip. The trip is nine days long and includes music professor Julie McCoy. “We are leading a group of 16 music students there for an indepth study abroad look at the musical life of the British capital, both past and present,” Fisher said. “It is a music trip focused on important composers and where they lived, hear some music, see some of the important larger things like the British Museum, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, and some of the other touristy things too.” The group is also scheduled to meet with a famous composer, Gregory Rose, during the trip. Fisher is excited about the future as well, looking forward to returning to Taiwan for another stint as an examiner with the IPPEC. “Next nearest time I could go back to Taiwan is in three years, since the IPPEC doesn’t allow any examiner to return for at least three years, just to inject new people in the system, but I’m looking forward to that.”

“It meant the world to me. It was just a wonderful sort of out of the region, even out of the U.S., another part of the world, meant a lot.” -Dr. John Fisher Upcoming Music Events

7:30 p.m. May 3 Wind Ensemble Nicholas Martin Hall. 7:30 p.m. May 8 Wesleyan Chorale Arborlawn Methodist Church.


School of Arts & Letters

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The Dean’s List

Vol. 5, Issue 2 Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Edon Ademaj Azeez Akande Elizabeth Allen Trudy Allen Mercedes Arevalo Haley Arnspiger Alison Baron Elaine Barron Samantha Bastien Samantha Berg Rachel Bradford Tristen Brown William Bull Luis Calderon Gladneetra Campbell Christina Carter Britany Clark Kirsten Clarke Trezjon Cothran Christopher Culross Torris Curry Miranda Day Misty Dedman Alpha Diallo Lauren Dixon Alexandra Fl.urry Jamie Ford Katherine Frankel Ashley Frazier Tyler Gager Selicia Gardner Lauren Garza Gary Girard

Richard Givans Melissa Gonzalez Sergio Gonzalez Tobin Griffin Isabel Guereca Ely Guy Kaitlin Hatton Enriqueta Hernandez Julian Hobdy Benjamin Huebner Brianna Hunter Han Mai Huynh Tara Kitchens Halle Koonce Mariah Kuhn Hannah Lathen Siying Liang Ebeline Luna Elena Maldonado Patricia Martinez Kayla Mattox Kaitlin McGehee Troy McKinney Larasue Merrit Jasmine Mesre Karan Muns Clarissa Murillo Lindsey Nance Kimberly Owen Sarah Owens Shaydi Paramore Adam Peters Skylar Peters

Carolyn Phillips Clayton Phillips Jaron Porter Kayla Prachyl Holli Price Delaney Pricer Antonio Quinones Jared Rabye Jorge Redmon Ryan Roberts Steven Roberts Jacqueline Rodriguez Jose Rojas Zahraa Saheb Crystal Salazar Alisha Sharp Daniel Sigala Ramirez Ryan Simon Samuel Smith Alberto Solis Jason Spangler April Suarez Olvera Alfredo Tamayo Tammy Titlow Jose Torres John Traxler Devon Tunnell Raquel Velasco Victoria Vera-Zamora Alan Whetsel Jacob Williams Ashton Willis Wenchuan Xue

Wesleynotes is the official newsletter for the School of Arts and Letters at Texas Wesleyan University. It was produced, designed and edited by students in MCO 3320 Digital Design and Editing and MCO 4346 Public Relations Campaigns and Programs at Wesleyan. Contributors: Sam Bastien Editor/designer Gloria Andrade-Borja Jeremy Crane Akeel Johnson Mattie Morris Sarah Owens Kayla Prachyl Peyton Prudhomme Jared Rabye April Suarez Olvera Gregory Taylor Ashton Willis Ted Wisdom Chalon Anderson Got a story idea? Something you’d like to hear about? Contact Dr. Kay Colley via email at kcolley@txwes.edu or by phone at 817-531-6525 A special thanks to Dr. David Ferman, Karan Muns and Hannah Onder.

CONGRATULATIONS!

W

ESLEYNOTES

Connecting you with the School of Arts and Letters

Assistant professor tackles research project with two students Inside: Dr. Ngozi Akinro researches the images of professional male and female athletes in magazines.

Story on PAGE 9

Letter from the Dean I am happy to present this semester’s edition of Wesleynotes, the School of Arts and Letters newsletter. This has been an eventful year in the School of Arts and Letters. The acquisition of a Steinway concert grand piano used in the Van Cliburn Competition, and the return of our annual musical to the Scott Theatre, have been a couple of the higher profile accomplishments. Additionally, Dr. Mark Hanshaw received an appointment to the UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry as the Associate General Secretary of the Division of Higher Education in Nashville. We wish him and his family well in their new home. We also bid welcome to Dr. Gladys Childs as interim dean, beginning June 1. She currently serves as University Chaplain and chair of the department of Religion and Humanities. While she will continue as Chaplain, Dr. Kendra Irons will take over as chair. Finally, I’d like to extend a big thank you to Sam Bastien and her team for putting together this issue! Students affiliated with the department of Mass Communication and with Rambler Media Group work hard to create this publication, and I am proud of the results.

Steve Daniell, Acting Dean

ANL spring 2018 book  
ANL spring 2018 book  
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