Charlene StricklandAssociate Professor of Communication Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts
I grew up in West Texas riding horses and had wanted to come to HSU after high school graduation and become one of the Six White Horse riders. Finances intervened and I ended up at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) where I completed both my Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Arts degrees in Communication. It was not until I joined the faculty at Hardin Simmons that I began my doctoral work at the University of Oklahoma, emphasizing instructional communication and gender studies. I teach a variety of communication courses at HSU and always enjoy the introductory course and particularly enjoy the upper division interpersonal communication course which is populated primarily by our communication majors and minors.
Prior to joining the HSU faculty, I was an instructor at Pan American University in Edinburg (Texas), a high school speech and debate coach at Georgetown High School and an instructor back at SWT. When I joined the HSU faculty in the fall of 1983 my success as a high school speech and debate coach landed me the responsibilities of overseeing the Department’s competitive speech program. Being a certified secondary teacher in Texas, part of my teaching emphasis was the preparation of prospective high school teachers. I have worked with Educational Testing Services on the certification exam for Texas secondary speech certification and been active within the Texas Speech Communication Association regarding secondary speech certification in Texas.
My personal experience of having competed in University Interscholastic League activities while in high school and then teaching/coaching UIL activities as a high school teacher contributed to my steadfast belief and support of their mission and influenced my continuing work with UIL. Since 1982 I have served UIL as a consultant for speech events. Hardin-Simmons University served as a UIL Regional Site for twenty year during which time I served as the Regional Director. With the help of Departmental colleagues and HSU students, we continue to serve as judges and tournament personnel for UIL meets in and around Abilene. As a consultant I present at UIL SuperConferences in the fall and serve at the State Speech Meet as the extemporaneous speaking content director.
I have been honored and humbled by colleagues with numerous recognitions. In 1989 I received the Cullen Professor Teaching Award, (peer recognition for excellence in teaching) followed by being named Faculty Member of the Year in 2002. My teaching was again recognized in 2004 when I received the Teaching Excellence Award from the Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts. In 2013 I received the first Provost Award for Outstanding Service to the University. I am a life member of the Texas Speech Communication Association and have been recognized as an outstanding educator at the University/College level both in 1996 and 2004. In 2002 TSCA honored me with their award for outstanding service. During sabbatical for work on the Ph.D., I was named the outstanding graduate assistant in Communication at the University of Oklahoma.
I met my husband in Abilene and together we have one son. My husband grew up in Abilene and is the Taylor County Clerk. I love it when local students get married and he signs their marriage license! Our son is a 2014 graduate of HSU with a double major in accounting and finance and currently works as a Senior Credit Analyst with Happy State Bank. My husband and I both work with and support several local organizations and nonprofits, are active in our church, having served as deacon and elder, and enjoy being supportive fans to our HSU student athletes and our adorable granddaughter!