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Academics


McMurry professors balance the highest level of scholarship with a true dedication to teaching and collaboration with students. Our 20 academic departments offer 45 majors and 38 minors prepare students for success in any field of professional (or personal) endeavor. Offering a diverse academic curriculum students can choose from majors in the arts, business, education and the sciences as well as our pre-professional programs in medicine, dentistry, engineering, law, pharmacy, physical therapy and others.

McMurry's unique academic offerings include the Servant Leadership program and the Honors Program. The Servant Leadership program, an innovative and nationally-respected program promoting the leader as a servant first, prepares students to be strong, effective leaders who place service to the greater good of others before self. The Honors Program, a robust four-year honors track designed to enrich the college experience, guarantees a stimulating intellectual challenge. Honors courses, thesis research, and conference participation help honors students develop the skills, creative independence, and confidence necessary for success in graduate training and professional life as well as creating opportunities for students to present original research and creative work in an academic conference setting.

McMurry’s Core Values of Christian Faith as the foundation of life, Personal Relationships as the catalyst for life, Learning as the journey of life, Excellence as the goal of life and Service as the measure of life are the foundation on which the McMurry experience is built.

Academic Notables:

Drs. Daniel Patten, assistant professor of sociology, and professor of sociology Robert Wallace of the Department of Sociology and Criminology recently presented the following papers at the Southern Sociological Society meetings in New Orleans.

Patten paper was “Trumping the NAFTA Conversation: A Brief Analysis on How Donald Trump has Shaped the Coverage of NAFTA;” and Wallace's paper was “Scaling Cross-Class Marriage Sensibilities.”

Wallace’s co-author is Cole Baggett ’17 who is currently working on his masters’ degree in sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Political Science Professor Dr. Tina Bertrand’s paper on the UN Alliance of Civilizations has been accepted for formal presentation at the International Peace Studies Conference in Vienna, Austria. The conference is part of the Academic Council on the UN System (ACUNS) series. The keynote speaker at this year’s conference will be Dr. Heinz Fischer, the former president of Austria.

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History Professor Dr. Don Frazier served as an expert commentator for the third season of Fox News Network 12-episode series Legends and Lies: The Civil War. The series will begin airing on Sundays and will be hosted by Fox News personality, Brian Kilmeade.

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing has published Professor of Sociology Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth’s new book, Native America in the 21st Century. The book, which is dedicated to McMurry’s first president Dr. J.W. Hunt, investigates the social problems and the status of Native Americans in the United States in the twenty-first century. It identifies and describes the social problems faced by Native Americans today, and brings up a valuable argument: have the Native Americans really assimilated?

Dr. Hollingsworth has spent the past fourteen years travelling to developing countries, researching and observing various social conditions in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He has published two other books as well, Children of the Sun: An Ethnographic Study of the Street Children of Latin America, and The Social Problems of Children in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as numerous articles and studies on the social problems of children and their development. His most recent research has involved the social problems of Native Americans.

Also, Hollingsworth was recently invited to become a member of the Editorial Advisor Board for Cambridge Scholars Publishing for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

His duties include editorial duties, as well as having the opportunity to shape and guide Cambridge’s future publishing direction; reviewing proposals; and getting fast-track decisions on personal book proposals.

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Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Pug Parris presented at the annual state convention of the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD). Her activity-based session, geared for elementary PE teachers, was entitled "I Like that Old Time Rock and Roll" and featured nine routines to classic pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s. 

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Professor of Religion Dr. Philip LeMasters presented “The Eucharistic Context of Pastoral Response to Contemporary Challenges in Marriage, Family, and Sexuality” at a conference sponsored by the Amsterdam Centre for Orthodox Theology in the Netherlands.  He also published a book review of Christianity, Democracy, and the Shadow of Constantine in a recent edition of the journal Political Theology.

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Beth Lawrence, instructor of developmental English, and Dr. Ann-Marie Lopez, associate professor of English, presented at the College Academic Support Programs (CASP) Conference in Galveston. The title of their presentation was “The Politics of Literacy in FYC: A Curricular Shift for Student Awareness.”

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Dr. Bryan Stewart, professor of religion, gave a presentation at the Annual Fall Touchstone Conference in Deerfield, IL. The conference theme was on Christian martyrdom through the ages, and Stewart’s lecture was entitled: “In Accord with the Gospel: A Theology of Martyrdom in the Early Church.”

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Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Jose Gomez has written a review and two practice tests for the Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Spanish teacher certification exam. This test is quite difficult and is very different from any other certification test in that students not only answer questions about the Spanish language, they must also listen to passages spoken in Spanish and complete certain tasks. Questions require students to answer questions about a Spanish dialogue they heard and compose a letter that is dictated to them in Spanish. 

Dr. Gomez is making this valuable resource available to McMurry students and others who are seeking certification in Spanish. His work will make it much easier for students to take and pass the Spanish certification test.

Student Notables

The McMurry University Servant Leadership program hosted Wylie ISD Gifted and Talented 5th and 6th graders for a Leadership Summit. This is the first year McMurry collaborated with Wylie ISD for the Leadership Summit; however, McMurry has worked with AISD in the fall for the Leadership Summit for 5th graders since 2002.

Dr. Jasmine Majkowski and Mrs. Erin Wilson, co-instructors of the Servant Leadership (SL) class, provided an interview process for McMurry students enrolled in or previously enrolled in the SL class on-campus. Ten students served as preceptors for the Wylie ISD Leadership Summit. Much like the SL class led by Majkowski and Wilson, preceptors engaged the 5th and 6th grade students in meaningful learning activities with discussion questions focusing on developing leadership skills.

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The McMurry Alpha Chi Chapter Texas Upsilon sent a delegation to the Alpha Chi National Honor Society Annual Convention in Portland, OR. While there, Symphony Munoz ’19 and Brett Banks  ’18 presented research they are working on as part of their honors theses. Munoz presented, “Mob Violence and Its Victims: A Comparative Analysis of the Alleged Crimes for which Mexicans and African Americans were Lynched” and Banks presented, “A Queer Hermeneutic.” 

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Quintin Gorman '18, a double major in political science and sociology, will be working on his Ph.D. in sociology at Rice University. Quintin was admitted to several different graduate programs, but chose Rice because he felt most comfortable at Rice.

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Five McMurry University scholar-athletes have been named to the American Southwest Conference's (ASC) Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams. The ASC academic accolades are selected from the sports of women’s and men’s cross country, football, women’s and men’s soccer and volleyball.

Recognized from the War Hawks’ programs were: Tyler Rohrman ’20 (Waller, Texas) for men’s cross country; Kylie Fonville ’19 (Azle, Texas) for women’s cross country; Jamir Bowser ’19 (Austin, Texas) for football; Javi Mejia ’20 (Azle, Texas) for men’s soccer, and; Jordyn Burnell ’19 (Sinton, Texas) for volleyball. 

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Kenneth Mostert '18 has been selected for membership in the 2018 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Southwest Division Intercollegiate Band. Mostert is a senior music education major from Abilene High School and is the trumpet student of Dr. David Amlung, assistant professor of music.

Members of the group were selected by application from undergraduate and graduate band students from across Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. The Intercollegiate Band, under the direction of renowned composer Frank Ticheli, will meet, rehearse and perform at the CBDNA Southwest Division Conference at the University of Houston.

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A team of faculty and students from the Department of Chemistry recently attended the American Chemical Society Southwest Regional Meeting (ACS-SWRM) in Lubbock, TX. Students attending were Alisa Rasley '19, Haley Shepard '19, Megan Butler '17, Bethany Everett '19, Kelsey McKiernan '17, and Liyha Stotts '21.

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McMurry Biomedical Science junior Bethany Everett '19 has been accepted into the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy (TTUHSC-SoP) as a member of the Class of 2022. She is the latest student to participate in McMurry’s Early Admission/Early Acceptance articulation agreement with TTUHSC-SoP. 

In this program, she will forego her senior year at McMurry to begin pharmacy school and her first year of pharmacy school classes will transfer back to complete her McMurry BIMS degree. This program is one of a growing number of agreements forged with professional schools, each providing talented McMurry students with exceptional opportunities to pursue advanced education in health professions

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Six McMurry physics students and all physics faculty attended the Texas Section of American Physical Society/American Association of Physics Teachers/Society of Physics Students meeting at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX.

During the conference, physics students Alexandria Mendoza ’19 and David Winski ’19 presented a poster on “Density Functional Theory Study of First Order Phase Transition in 2D Lattice Fluid." This poster was based on the project they completed as part of Thermodynamics II course they took with Dr. Bykov in the Fall of 2017. This was the second time for Mendoza and Winski to present a poster at a regional physics meeting.

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McMurry University’s chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta, a national academic honor society for first-year students, received a Delta Silver award from the national organization for a 29% increase in the chapter’s membership in 2016-17. 

Membership is open to students who achieve a GPA of 3.5 or higher during their first semester of college. Dr. Philip LeMasters, professor of religion, and Dr. Jori Sechrist, assistant professor of sociology,  serve as co-sponsors.