Extra newsletter headerDecember 2018

Officer works to engage youth with local police

It was Roger Legendre's love for kids and desire to teach that first got the attention of two Albuquerque Police Department sergeants. More than 13 years later Roger is out of the taekwondo instructor's uniform and into police Officer Roger Legendre and older carblues himself, a sergeant with APD serving in a very special role.

Roger is one of the newest members of the Wayland alumni family, walking the stage on November 16 with a bachelor's degree in law enforcement from the Albuquerque campus. After putting off his education for years, Roger is finding extra value from the college experience and a renewed sense of purpose as he charts relatively new territory in the police department.

A new mission

After working his way up from beat patrol to training sergeant, Roger was moved into a community policing team that was heavily engaged in the community and working with residents to solve the problems facing the city. That role evolved as the deputy chief gave Roger a new task: grow youth engagement with the department and develop camps to achieve that purpose.

"We started this past summer of 2018 with two camps of 40 kids each. We have one coming up in January with 25 kids, and this coming summer we're pushing for six camps of 40 each, so it's growing," Roger says. "We want to grow the youth engagement; if we can establish that good relationship with law enforcement at a younger age, hopefully we can divert some of the wrong paths children might be going down."

Rebuilding the image

The APD camps are aimed at children 8-13, but Roger says he also has programs in the high schools targeting that older demographic. The discussion sessions include plain talk about Officer Legendre at football campcrimes that are commonly attributed to juveniles and how to avoid them, interacting with police officers and what to expect when contacted by an officer. All are aimed at strengthening the relationship between young people and the first responders that are called to serve them.

"In today's world, law enforcement is scrutinized very heavily and sometimes a negative perception can be given. I'd like to turn that around," Roger says. "We are guardians of the community, and I want youth to understand that when they are in trouble, law enforcement officers are the people to call for help."

Bettering himself

Returning to school was also at the encouragement of an APD officer, former WBU adjunct John Corvino. Roger agreed, made a visit and took one course. Then life intervened and he sat out several years. He returned for good in summer 2017 and took a full course load each term until he finished the degree. He especially appreciated the online opportunities Wayland provided since his 50-60 hours work week, four children and a wife at home didn't leave much time for class attendance. But he got so much more out of the experience.

"Not only was I learning things in the classes but I was able to apply it to what I was doing. To be able to use the terminology and philosophies in my involvement in the community on the job gave me a higher level of performance," he says. "It also set me up as a good example in the department, and we've since had even more officers join Wayland; I've become the new John Corvino, encouraging others to better the department and better themselves."

The next chapter

Roger hopes those skills will serve him well as he anticipates a promotion to lieutenant in the coming months and taking on a more supervisory role in the youth engagement arena, allowing him to grow the programs more each year and involve more officers and more community partners in the camps. He was appointed to the new Mayor's Kids' Cabinet group involving various city entities focused on youth engagement and partnering to reach each other's goals.

While he's years removed from those days as a taekwondo instructor, that world often merged with his law enforcement role. He tested as a black belt as a teen with a then-APD commander who is his mentor today. And Roger has built his January camp around martial arts, garnering sponsorship from instructors in three disciplines to encourage young participants.

"I want to teach youth that there are options to be active in the community and stay out of trouble," he says. "Taekwondo was a release for me and a way to keep me out of trouble, and I'd like to introduce that to these kids."

Devotional: Take lessons from the Wise Men

We have a neighbor catty-corner from us on our street who goes all-out on decor for each festive occasion. At Halloween, their house looks like an inviting abode for Freddy Krueger. At Christmas, you would assume that St. Nicholas Wise men visit Jesushimself will land on his rooftop and come down his chimney while the reindeer wait up top. We do our own form of decorations but do not go to the extent of Clark Griswold, or even to the extent of our neighbor, but each year, his prompt placement of his decor signals to me that time for me to do the same, is coming.

My wife loves Christmas. In fact, my whole family does, and soon the summons to get the bins down from the attic and out of our long-term storage will come. It is a day I look forward to and put off at the same time. It is partially my own fault. See, I insist on putting lights on our tree myself instead of giving into the new trend of pre-lit trees. Frankly, they don't have enough lights for our family's taste, and the joy on their faces reminds me the hours of light sorting and weaving are worth it.

Maybe for you, it's not a neighbor who heightens your awareness of the coming attraction of Christmas, it is all of the pre-Thanksgiving Black Friday preview ads. Chances are that part of your preparation for Christmas includes lists, gift ideas, budget analyses, and travel plans. Perhaps, you prefer e-commerce and buy online now, so that you can avoid the crowds, and maybe, you stay close to home instead of traveling great distances. I am not sure, but I can guess that some of the above options pertain to you. They do to us.

Christmas is about preparations. When I think about the biblical account, I see a similar bevy of activity. For Mary and Joseph, there were travel plans and accommodation challenges. For the wise men, there were gift ideas, some form of purchase, and the plan to distribute a gift. Yet, in the midst of all of that busyness, the event that took center stage was the birth of the Christ child.

I hope for you that this birth will be the climax of your Christmas holiday experience. How can it be? Take a lesson from the wise men. Bring King Jesus gifts that signal that He is royal (gold), worthy of worship (frankincense), and Savior who died for the world (myrrh). Emulate their generosity to others by considering bestowing gifts to someone you have never met. Take a lesson from the shepherds. Come as curious seekers of an announced Savior. Make places in your heart for the message of Christmas to be new again. Imitate their actions, and find Jesus at a place of worship this Christmas season. Take a lesson from the angels, and share that message with others.

Before you know it, we'll pack the stuff away, take down the lights, and start paying down the potentially accumulated debt. What will remain? Well, that is truly up to how you prepare.

Dr. Kris Knippa is pastor of First Baptist Church in Hale Center, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree at Wayland in 1998 and a master's degree in Christian Ministry in 2010.

Wayland Alumni Travel program launches

We are excited to announce the launch of a new program designed to provide unique opportunities to connect with WBU alumni and leadership while enjoying amazing venues and once-in-a-lifetime sights and sounds.

Neuwanstein Castle, GermanyWayland Alumni Travel formally launched Dec. 1 with two trips already on the books for guests. A five-day trip to Springfield-Boston-Salem, Mass., is offered for September 2019, and a longer 11-day Classic Austria and Germany trip is planned for June 30-July 10, 2020.

"We have been considering alumni travel for about a year now and working on what trips to launch with the new program. We believe this will give our alumni and friends a great chance to visit places they may have always dreamed about without having to do the legwork to put together such adventures," says Teresa Young, Alumni Director. "Besides, what could be more fun than experiencing these things with other WBU friends and leadership.

Young said an added bonus of the Europe vacation will be the hosts, Dr. and Mrs. Bobby Hall, Wayland's president and first lady. Having visited that region several times, the Halls were excited to help host the trip and introduce WBU friends to an area they really love.

"Not everyone can say they have vacationed with the president of their alma mater, so this is truly an added bonus for folks who decide to join us! Another plus is getting to see the world-famous Passion Play in Oberammergau that is only Fanueil marketplace, Bostonperformed every 10 years, with great first-class seats provided by our travel agents," Young added. "And while 2020 seems a long time away, these trips are selling out quickly so folks will need to jump on board and make their deposit to secure space with us."

The 2019 trip is a shorter venture to Massachusetts, to see historic museums and sites in Springfield and Boston, ferry to Salem and spent time in Plymouth in early September with the crisp fall air as a backdrop. Airfare is not included so participants may take advantage of travel miles or points to get to the area or work with WBU trip agents to schedule flights.

"These historic cities are a great chance to enjoy a different part of our own amazing country and take it some beautiful sights on the coast," says Young. "The Spirit of Boston dinner cruise will be a highlight, and there's plenty of free time built in to tailor your sight-seeing to the things you most want to enjoy."

Both trips can be paid out in installments, with signups available now. For full itineraries, cost and registration processes, visit our webpage at www.wbu.edu/alumni-travel and download the brochures. For additional questions, contact Teresa Young at (806) 291-3600 or email her here.

Meet your Alumni Board

As a Wayland student, Olivia Bybee Adams was one of those who jumped headfirst into the college experience and savored every moment. From serving in Student Foundation to being a President's Ambassador and an RA, those experiences just deepened Olivia's love for her school.Olivia and Zach Adams

"Those things and so many more taught me so much about how to interact with varying levels of professionalism and within the community. Also, they reiterated things I already knew how to do and helped me become better at them, and they created lots of memories and fun times," said Olivia, a 2016 graduate and a master's degree student.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Olivia jumped at the chance to serve on the Alumni Board. One of the newest members, she's already enjoyed serving at big events like homecoming or at the alumni tent at the football games. The experience has already been rewarding.

"It is so neat to be able to meet a few individuals that I did not know already and be present at various events and help encourage the community of fellow alumni and hopefully help them stay connected when so desired," she says. As an evaluator now in the BAS/BCM office, working with students in Anchorage, Olivia has a new viewpoint about the impact of the university.

"Most likely an alum's time at Wayland made a huge difference, whether it was here in Plainview or even one of the external campuses," she says. "Wayland is a place that helps grow individuals and helps them achieve something that they may not they could have otherwise and in an encouraging way."

One of her own favorite experiences is a great example of that. Visiting a math professor's office while having a hard time with a few questions showed her the passion and encouragement WBU faculty possess. He talked her through, encouraged a different approach to the problem and waited excitedly as she worked through it out loud.

"He was so excited to watch the light bulb come on that he made me think of a little kid SUPER excited to see what they got on Christmas morning," she recalls. "That was a very frustrating week, but knowing that my professor believed I could do it made it a little less frustrating."

Olivia still experiences that encouragement as an employee, with coworkers and with students she is able to champion as they work toward graduation. She hopes other alumni will jump on board and stay connected however they are able.

Alumnus, colleague pen textbook for speech courses

It's not uncommon for university professors with decades of experience and a host of degrees after their name to pen a textbook for their students to use. But that same scenario doesn't typically happen at the junior college level.

Yet Kelley Dunn Finley, a 2005 graduate of Wayland and an assistant professor in the speech communications department at South Plains Janine Fox and Kelley Finley with new bookCollege, found herself doing just that when she and fellow faculty member Janine Fox found the offerings lacking for a particular class they both teach heavily. The two co-authored Entry Level to Executive: All Communication Counts, completed in late summer through Fountainhead Press.

"We started using (Fountainhead), which is a smaller publishing company, a few years ago, and we liked that they were more personal. But they didn't have a book for professional and business speech, and that is one of our biggest classes at South Plains because many of our technical students take it," Kelley explains. "When we asked about it, they said they really didn't have anyone ready to write it, but they suggested maybe we might write it. We knew we could write something our students would appreciate, because most books are aimed at junior-level classes and our students are not at that level."

Kelley and Janine met to outline their "perfect fit" book and sent a few of the first chapters as a proposal. Fountainhead wasn't too crazy about it, so they sent the proposal to another company and they were interested in helping the ladies self-publish just for use at SPC. They proceeded with that outcome in mind, but when Fountainhead found out the book was nearly done, they asked to see it again.

"We had both companies mock it up and both were interested in publishing it, but we went with Fountainhead so it can be distributed to other schools to use," Kelley said.

The pair has been using the book for this fall semester and are loving the personalized approach. Where both had been taking a larger book and pulling pieces out to teach and rearranging it to Kelley and Janinefit their desires, this book follows their dream syllabus to a tee. The authors took turns writing each chapter and interjected their personal thoughts into each one so there are two perspectives.

Another benefit is to the student in terms of cost, Kelley noted. The traditional books offered for the class were running around $120 for a student, with about half the content not even touched in the SPC course. Finley and Fox's textbook runs $57 for a student through the bookstore and is exactly enough to cover the 15-week semester.

That makes a huge difference to the 500-600 students who enroll in the course each year and take it as their speech communications requirement to earn an SPC degree. While students can also opt for Interpersonal Communications or Public Speaking, Kelley said most lean toward the business and professional course since it covers aspects of those as well as resumes and interviewing that tend to be helpful regardless of a student's major field.

This term only SPC has adopted the textbook, but the publisher expects more junior colleges will get on board with the offering. Individuals can also purchase it through Fountainhead's website for their personal edification.

Kelley, who earned her master's degree in speech from Texas Tech in 2012, said it's a bit surreal to teach from her own textbook but that she's loving the easy format. She is in her seventh year of teaching at SPC and teaches a mixture of the three classes offered in speech. She finds the work quite rewarding.

"I like the job because it's not a job; I really love what I do. I teach a class that people are scared of, that they usually come in and say they'd rather be anywhere else," she laughs. "But I know that what we're teaching them is just as important the day we teach it as years down the road. Sometimes students think they're never going to use it but they are going to have to communicate with people at some point."

Kelley and husband Paul, a 2005 graduate who teaches middle school history in Brownfield, have three children.

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