Friday, December 26, 2008

Top Ten: Lee Faculty and Staff Personalities (Fall 2008)

We've reached the conclusion of another semester, which means we get to look back at the top ten staff and faculty personalities of the term.

So who makes the cut? Newsmakers around campus. Those who have changed the status quo. The faculty and staff who stand out and make a difference. Those who bring something new to Lee University. That's who makes the list.

So here's my list for top ten in fall 2008:

10. Dr. Randy Wood and Dr. Ollie Lee

The university professors were appointed chairs of the Department of History and Political Science and the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department respectively. Wood took the position following Dr. Murl Dirksen's 14 years of service. Lee replaced Dr. Robert Graham. Read the story here.

9. Dr. Carolyn Dirksen

Lee's vice president of academic affairs was appointed chair for the Chief Academic Officers Commission at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in early summer. The council is made up of eight chief academic officers from the 101 schools in the CCCU. Read the story here.

8. David Altopp

Lee University's former baseball coach for 35 years may have resigned after the 2006 season after having been included in the NAIA and Lee athletic halls of fame, but he's not done yet. In January 2009 he's expected to be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in San Diego, California. Read the story here.

7. Mark Brew

The Flames head basketball coach Mark Brew was named "Coach of the Year" twice over this fall. First, the Rawlings-NAIA Coach of the Year, and secondly, the American Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. In fact, it's only his third year as head coach for Lee's team. Read the story here.

6. John Maupin

Taking on the challenge of being Lee University's first women's golf coach, John Maupin is aiming to bring the new team success. After playing in three national championships himself during the past 14 years, he said getting such a great job this year is perhaps one of his biggest achievements. Read his profile here.

5. Jimmy Harper

After listening to students talk over the summer about what Christianity had become, Campus Pastor Jimmy Harper made the decision to radically alter select chapel services through a series titled "We Are Becoming." The services strived to reach student life in chapel as well as beyond the walls of just the building. Through an intricate woven fiber including videos, a blog, and projects including the "Secrets" campaign, Harper shook up the idea of faith and fellowship, building excitement and intrigue. What's next? Being. In 2009. Read the story here.

4. Dr. Paul Conn

In a letter from Lee University's president in the latest issue of the Torch, Dr. Paul Conn wrote, "When money is tight, as tight as it is across the nation in late 2008, everyone feels the stress. Colleges are not exempt from the tough times–especially not private colleges, and that includes Lee University." Finances have been, without a doubt, one of the biggest issues Conn has faced this semester. The U.S. economy has plummeted to the worst state it has been in during his presidency, and the financial outlook looks as if it will grow bleaker for schools around the nation. Conn's administration has been a good steward of finances in years past, however, helping the university overcome the current recession. After attending conferences for college presidents throughout the country facing the same dilemma, Conn has been diligent in ensuring the faculty and staff of Lee University are well informed of the school's position and options, placing documents about the downturn's effects on higher education in proper hands and holding conferences to detail plans for the future. Even while many schools have stopped spending money, Conn has kept the building project for a new science/mathematics building on schedule. Read the story here.

3. Larry Carpenter

Since being named Lee's athletic director in 1995, Larry Carpenter has driven the university's sporting teams to a position of excellence, meriting the decision of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to name him the 2007-08 NAIA Athletic-Directors Association "Athletics Director of the Year." Read the story here.

2. Cole Strong

2008 has been a busy year for Cole Strong, assistant to the university's president. His biggest job yet has been to manage the construction of two large university building projects as construction liaison for the projects. After managing the successful completion of the new School of Religion building, focus has been centered mostly around the new science and mathematics building this fall. Cinderblock and steel columns were erected earlier in the semester, forming the larger half of the full building, which will not be completed until 2010. Strong's involvement with the project has been paramount, all the way from consultation in a faculty committee to supervising progress at the actual construction site. Read more about the new building here.

1. Matt Yelton

Despite injured players among other challenges, Matt Yelton coached Lee's Lady Flames soccer team to become the first team from Lee ever to win a national championship. As the 2008 NAIA National Champions in soccer following a match in Daytona Beach versus Concordia. Yelton praised his players for their quality of character and chemistry that made them "well deserving of a championship." Read the story here.

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