New academic year at Wayland begins with new faculty faces

PLAINVIEW – The fall term at Wayland Baptist University begins this week with a lineup of new faculty on campus. The new faces take over for retired or departed faculty in various academic divisions.

In the Division of Business, Dr. Shelley Tapp joins the faculty for a second time as associate professor of management. Tapp taught in business at Wayland from 1997-2001 and comes back to WBU after a three-year stint at Mid Continent University in Mayfield, Ky., and three years at West Texas A&M University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College, the master’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and the doctorate from Indiana University.

In the Division of Exercise and Sports Science, new coaches have already been hard at work with various athletic teams. Tory Bryant came on board in April to coach the women’s basketball team, and WBU graduate Shiloh Posey arrived in the spring to begin recruiting for women’s soccer, a returning program to the athletic lineup that begins play at the end of this month.

Jim Giacomazzi of Canyon joined the faculty as head coach of women’s volleyball in early July, and Brian Whitlock, who had served as assistant coach in track and field and cross country, was promoted to head coach in that area. All will teach in the exercise and sports science division as well.

The Division of Fine Arts welcomes three new faces to its ranks. Joseph Vandiver, who has served as an adjunct instructor for the past year, joins as director of instrumental music education and assistant professor of music. Kimberly Brown joins as assistant professor of vocal studies, and Dr. Stephen Furlich is assistant professor of speech communications.

A graduate of Texas Tech University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in trumpet, Vandiver is working toward the doctorate at Tech as well. He has taught in the public schools in Lubbock and Canyon and in several other cities during the summer months. He is in the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and the Midland Odessa Symphony and has played with the New Mexico symphony and other ensembles.

Brown is a graduate of Jacksonville State University in Alabama and has a master’s degree from the University of Alabama. She is completing the doctorate in vocal performance through the University of Memphis in Tennessee. She has been a voice teacher at UM and at UA and has had a private studio for several years and has performed in a number of operas.

Furlich holds three degrees from Texas Tech, including the doctorate in higher education. He has taught adjunctly for Tech for several years and was a graduate teaching assistant at Tech and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He replaces Virginia Myers in the speech department.

The Division of Languages and Literature fills a vacancy with David Splawn as assistant professor of English, and Dr. Timothy Brady comes on board as associate professor of English for the Sierra Vista, Ariz., campus. Splawn is a graduate of Wayland and earned master’s degrees from Golden Gate Baptist Seminary and University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. He is working toward the doctorate in English literature at Texas Tech, where has been a graduate instructor for several years. He has previously been a lecturer and language consultant with two organizations in Indonesia.

Several new faces join the Division of Mathematics and Sciences as professors retired or dropped to part-time status with the new term. Mark Bryan joins as assistant professor of earth sciences for the Virtual Campus, and Dr. Gary Gray joins as professor of chemistry, replacing retired professor Dr. Harold Temple. Dr. Randy Craig also joins as a lecturer in vertebrate biology and David Schmidt as an instructor in earth science.

Bryan has worked as a geologist for several years and holds two degrees in the field. His undergraduate degree is from Phillips University, while he earned the master’s degree from Oklahoma State University. He lives in Enid, Okla.

A 1979 Wayland graduate, Gray comes to Wayland from a faculty position at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri, where he was also dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. He also has the doctorate in chemistry from Texas Tech. Prior to his time at SBU, Gray was assistant professor at Milton Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University for two years and conducted research in human endometrial and breast cancer.

A contract veterinarian, Craig is picking up biology courses left vacated by Dr. J. Hoyt Bowers, professor of biology who dropped to a 2/3 load this year, and Dr. Gerald Thompson, professor of science who dropped to 1/3 load. Craig has also practiced veterinary medicine in Mississippi and Alabama and received his doctor’s degree from Mississippi State University. He also attended Texas Tech and Odessa College.

Schmidt is a part-time instructor while completing the doctoral program in geology at Texas Tech. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a master’s degree in geology from Fort Hays State University. He has been a teaching assistant at Tech while in graduate work and worked in the geophysical field prior to that.

Also new for the division is a change in leadership as division chair and biology professor Dr. Vaughn Ross shares the reins now with Dr. Joel Boyd, assistant professor of chemistry. Boyd will be overseeing strategic planning for the division, and Ross will oversee program administration.

“Dr. Boyd has a deep commitment to Christian higher education and has been an outstanding faculty member, consistently demonstrating a drive for educational excellence and a caring concern for Wayland students,” said Dr. Bobby Hall, provost. “His vision for the development of the Division of Mathematics and Sciences will serve Wayland well in the future.”

Other faculty changes include the move from dean to full-time faculty for Dr. Jeff Anderson of Anchorage and from staff to faculty for Dr. David Howle in Plainview. Anderson is now professor of religion after recently handing over the reins of the Anchorage campus to new hire Dr. Eric Ash. Howle, who has been the director of the Virtual Campus for several years, moved to full-time online faculty as associate professor of religion.