Friday, December 12, 2008

An Encounter at SBU

During a recent discussion with the parents of a prospective student, I was asked about the qualities that make Southwest Baptist University distinctively different. While, this inquiry is not unlike many other encounters I have had with visiting families and their future scholars, I was confident that my response was probably going to be one of the determining factors in their decision making analysis. The certainty I felt regarding my answer was the result of a short but intense encounter where I felt the presence and pleasure of God. As I recall my response to those questions today, I am flushed with the knowledge that God has a unique role for me at this university.
So, what makes Southwest Baptist University distinctively different? Many private universities claim to present a Biblical worldview. Southwest Baptist University fulfills that claim and additionally offers to its students the opportunity to establish a relationship with the faculty and staff that is based upon the love of Jesus Christ. This university has truly created a community that is “Christ-centered,” “caring,” and unabashedly “academic.” Having spent nearly fifteen years of my nearly twenty years in higher education at public universities, I bring a perspective that is framed by a lack of freedom in spiritual matters. At this university, I have found a committed group of Christians who are engaged in the spiritual lives of the students they encounter. On this day, I was pleased to have been able to communicate this special quality to the family in my office.
But more than that, this university has taken a leadership role in preparing students to become “servant leaders” once they venture off-campus. I am proud to be associated with an institution of higher education that prepares its students to be global ambassadors in this regard. I challenged the family I was talking to that day to identify another university that provided both the scope and depth of opportunities to impact this country and the world as ministers of the good-news gospel of Jesus Christ. Because I have been travelling to Siberia for the last four years with our students I am acutely aware of how Southwest Baptist University fulfills this mission goal. Ultimately I discovered that my pride in this university is based on equal parts of the final product we help produce at graduation and about glorifying God as we prepare our students for life. At the conclusion of our discussion that day, I privately thanked God for the opportunity to respond to such direct questions about my employer. I am certain that the encounter that day was as much about me identifying my role at this university as helping a family decide where to send their daughter to college.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Light Please

I love this time of year. All the Christmas songs, themes, symbols, and shows. Oh, the shows. I grew up watching them all: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon version); Rudolph; Frosty; and Charlie Brown. I got to where I had some parts memorized. Who can forget, "It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!" Or when the elf and Rudolph are going to off and be "Independent, together." (Go figure that one out).

But the classic scene I remember the most is the one where Linus, in answering Charlie Brown's question "Does anyone know what Christmas is about?" He simply steps forward and says, "Lights please" and begins the Luke narrative about the birth of Jesus. That was how I memorized scripture early on.

That simple story, that perfect narrative, enlightens us all, as to what Christmas is about. And while it may have been set on a school stage, the Christmas story sets the stage for the True Light, who came to redeem us all. So instead of saying "lights please," I think what we need this year, more than any other, is to say, "Light. Please."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It Costs What?!!

Just recently it was reported that if one were to "buy" all the gifts mentioned in the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," that it would cost $86,609 (AP story). Say what? That's almost a house for most people. That's almost the cost of an education at SBU (over four years). And, of course, the cost of those "12 days" gifts will keep going up. Well, I think, in this day and age of materialism and the way the economy is going, I am going to go a different route with gifts this year.
Fancy Christmas Card $4.50
Christmas candy for kids $12.00
Stocking Stuffers $15.00
Something for the wife $55.00
TOTAL $86.50 (Less than .1% of the cost for the 12 days)
But celebrating the Birth of Jesus, with my wife and my kids

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Santa Claus was a Psych major

I have uncovered a transcript, whereby we now know that Santa Claus had a major in Psychology.
General Psychology (Develop understanding of who people are and what they want)
Abnormal Psychology (To figure out who's been "naughty 'n nice")
Child Development (No explanation needed)
Social Psychology (Social influence on consumer behavior)
Statistics (Analysis of productivity of the elves and their job satisfaction)
Psychology of Personality (Knowledge of the perfect gift for each person)
Behavior Modification (Rewards do influence behavior; and to keep the reindeer in line)
Psychological Testing (Objective method of matching the right elf to the right job)
Physiological Psychology (Brain body connection for all the meals and goodies at Christmas time)
Being Human and Addicted (Study of the powerful behaviors related to shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving; OR beginning the shopping list back in February for the next Christmas; OR leaving up the outdoor lights until May; OR watching all the Christmas videos, over and over; OR dealing with withdrawal after the season is over; OR ... well you get the picture)
Way to go Santa!

Friday, November 7, 2008

“Things That Can Get You in Trouble”

As teachers we realize that good communication is essential to teaching and learning. As we communicate with others we are able to learn new procedures, share strategies that work, and seek suggestions for things that don’t work. Hopefully everyone benefits from this communication venue.

Each semester our department offers a seminar to benefit our first- and second- year graduates. This fall we chose the subject of classroom management, a topic that is of great interest to teachers. Good classroom management is an essential ingredient in effective teaching. It is probably the number one topic of discussion among beginning teachers.

Susan Mize, a former principal, presented on the topic “Things That Can Get You in Trouble.” Ms. Mize shared from the perspective of the principal what every teacher should know about classroom management. Her experience as a principal has given her keen insight into the problems encountered by beginning teachers. The following are suggestions made by Ms. Mize:

• Play and work well with others. You must be a good teacher and a good staff member.
• Dress respectfully and appropriately for your job.
• Get organized and learn to deal with paperwork.
• Plan ahead for class needs so you never have to leave your classroom unattended.
• Involve your students in their own learning.
• Exhibit a positive attitude toward your students and the content.
• Watch your boundaries with students and don’t ever be alone with a student.
• Don’t let students push your buttons and make you angry.
• Teach your students as though their parents were in the room.
• Be teachable.

What are your questions, thoughts, experiences, or suggestions you would like to share by responding to our BLOG?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mid-West Christian Psychology Conference

On November 15, the Mid-west Christian Psychology Conference will be held on the campus of the College of the Ozarks. SBU hosted this conference last year and it was a delight to see the students and faculty from nearby universities get together and engage in scholarly discussions and presentations. Students and faculty benefit from this type of conference, as we explore the relationship between psychological concepts and the spiritual side of human beings.
We will look forward to some presentations made by our students, as this gives them a taste of the "real world" that psychologists experience in scholarly activities and professional development.
If you are interested in this event, please contact the Behavioral Sciences office at SBU.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coming Enrollment

All students of the Behavioral Sciences Department should be alerted to the fact, next week begins the enrollment process here at SBU. With that in mind, I would like to also let you know that department faculty have sign up sheets in the office and students are to come by and sign up for an appointment with your advisor. Pay attention to the "number of hours completed" requirement when signing up, because that is based on the number of hours you had completed BEFORE this semester. That is, you cannot count the hours in which you are enrolled this fall.

Additionally, the department is known for "specialty" classes in Jan term, so don't overlook those when getting advised. If you have any questions, please contact your advisor or me.

Impressive quote of the day: "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another." G. K. Chesterton

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Welcome to the blog...

Welcome to the BLOG! Not bog, not fog, not frog, and certainly not hog. But hopefully for everyone, it is the establishment of some DIALOGUE that gives you and me the chance to talk about the happenings of the Behavioral Sciences Department of Southwest Baptist University.

I am Kevin Schriver and I chair this department. We have many things going on because of our fine faculty and the students we have in our majors.

Most recently, we had the opportunity to host a Graduate Records Examination (GRE) Preparation workshop for all students on our campus. This workshop was designed to not only introduce our students to the exam, but really give them an idea about the type of exam it is.

Many graduate schools will use the GRE as either a standard for admission to a graduate program in psychology, counseling, or sociology, or as a way to evaluate the students who are making application to such programs. It can be a scary part of the educational process for many students who are thinking about graduate school.

The workshop was led by a number of well qualified faculty and each assisted the students on everything from writing good essays, to building vocabulary, to reviewing math operations and statistics. We have done this type of thing before and the number of students taking advantage of this workshop is growing. Some of those who attended our workshops last year are in graduate schools all around the U. S.

It is really encouraging to me to see students use such an opportunity to get them focused on what they can do to achieve their goals. I am glad our department can help them reach those goals.

If you have any questions, or thoughts, I’d like to hear them. Blessings to all.