Oklahoma Christian loses 24 campus employees, welcomes new science, music professors

Students will be greeted with new faces, after losing 24 faculty and staff members last year.  Photo by Elise Miller.

Students will be greeted with new faces, after losing 24 faculty and staff members last year. Photo by Elise Miller.

Students on the Oklahoma Christian University campus will be seeing some unfamiliar faces in their classes, after a total of 24 faculty and staff members left their positions during the summer.

According to Chief Human Resources Officer Terry Winn, four employees retired, three left for graduate school, one left to pursue a private business and 10 sought professional advancement.

“Five previous full-time employees remain involved with OC through part-time employment or business partnership,” Winn said. “Also, five of the 24 were Resident Directors, which tend to turnover every one-to-two years here, and on most college campuses. Summer is a busy season for moves among employees in any organization — especially for universities and other schools because of the academic calendar.”

Among the 11 new faculty members on campus is Oklahoma Christian alumnus Dr. Paul House. As an associate professor, House is leading the launch of the Nutrition and Exercise Science program.

“The curriculum for the Nutrition and Exercise Science program has more math and science course work requirements than is typically seen in an exercise science program,” House said. “This would be advantageous for those students interested in nutrition and exercise physiology while also desiring to pursue clinical degrees post-graduation, because there are less prerequisites to take in order to get into a clinically based program.”

According to House, Oklahoma Christian’s pairing of nutrition and exercise science gives the program a distinct advantage compared to other universities.

“I do not know of any other universities that combine these two symbiotic disciplines,” House said. “Another interesting component to the program is that there is a nutrition and an exercise science track enabling students to refine their focus and specialize. Overall, students completing the Nutrition and Exercise Science program will be equipped to go into the nutrition and fitness industry as well as continue their education in the exercise science, nutrition or clinical disciplines.”

House said he did not originally plan on pursing a Ph.D. during his time as an undergraduate student at Oklahoma Christian.

“I did not envision myself having the opportunity to come back and teach, but I am very pleased that it has worked out this way,” House said. “Looking back, I see the Lord works in very mysterious ways.”

Eric Colgrove is joining the department of music and will teach courses as well as direct the Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra. According to Colgrove, Dr. John Fletcher and Dr. Kathy Thompson influenced his decision to teach at Oklahoma Christian.

“At my interview, I was able to spend some time talking with Dr. Fletcher. I appreciated his humility and love for the music students and the band program,” Colgrove said. “Then I was able to meet Dr. Thompson and the rest of the music department. I was excited about the high standards, yet love for the students, the department showed. The final influence I received was working with the students. I will forever be indebted to John Fletcher and Kathy Thompson for allowing me to work with these musicians and for the years they served making these ensembles what they are today.”

According to Colgrove, students of all majors can benefit greatly from performing in a musical ensemble like the Symphonic Band or Chamber Orchestra.

“The characteristics of musicians are highly sought after by all professions — from finding ways to meld your talents and skills with others while creating something greater as an ensemble, to dedicating lots of time to maintaining and improving your skill set,” Colgrove said. “Performing, especially in an ensemble, can provide an emotional release from the stresses of the day. For many people, the idea of group work is not an enjoyable experience, but music provides a perfect medium for a group coming together and working together through a problem.”

Colgrove said he spent the past 12 years conducting all types of ensembles. He has conducted many pit orchestras for musicals and created a full orchestra program at the last school he was employed, which received superior ratings at contest.

“I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to direct the Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra at Oklahoma Christian,” Colgrove said. “Beyond the high-level musicianship shown by these ensembles over the years, I greatly appreciate the quality of the musicians’ characters. The years of high standards for the music programs at Oklahoma Christian shows in the way these students carry themselves in and out of the rehearsal hall, and I look forward to carrying on the tradition of high character and quality performing groups.”

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