Theology Professor and Psychology Administrative Assistant Named Faculty and Staff Members of the Year


Dr. Travis Frampton, Hardin-Simmons University professor of biblical studies, was named Faculty Member of the Year, and Tracy Parker, administrative assistant, Family Psychology Center, was named HSU’s Staff Member of the Year during the faculty staff appreciation luncheon, Stars of the Purple and Gold, May 9, 2014

Members of the HSU faculty and staff select who among them should receive the honors. The appreciation luncheon is sponsored and hosted by the HSU Alumni Association to honor all faculty and staff for their service to the university.

Service pins for longevity were also awarded in five-year increments beginning with the employee’s first five years of service. Receiving the pin for the most years of service, 40 years, was associate dean of the College of Fine Arts, professor of voice, Dr. Jaynne Middleton.


The nominees for the Faculty and Staff Members of the Year must show loyalty and service to the university. They must exude competence and dedication in their responsibilities. They must also be friendly, have good rapport with their HSU constituents, and have a willingness to work productively with everyone. Finally, nominees must have high Christian ideals.

2014 Faculty Member of the Year                                                                                         

Dr. Travis Frampton

Professor of Biblical Studies in the Logsdon School of Theology

Dr. Travis Frampton has taught at HSU since 2000. He received his B.A. from Samford University (1994), his M.A.R. from Yale University (1996), and a dual Ph.D. in philosophy and religion from Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Baylor University (2004).

He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship during the 2001-2002 academic year to study early modern philosophy and hermeneutics at Erasmus Universiteit.

 Comments from the nomination forms include:

·         An incredible educator in the classroom

·         Has made it his mission to know the history of this school so we can better shape its future

·         Passionate about this university and its students

·         Is friendly and speaks to people while making campus rounds

·         Has modeled exemplary university and educational commitment to an education enlightened by faith

2014 Staff Member of the Year

Tracy Parker

Administrative Assistant for the Family Psychology Center

Comments from nomination forms:

·         Her work ethic, positive focus, and gentle spirit are exemplary ofChristian ideals for the campus

·         Is a self-starter and goes the extra mile

·         Maintains a high level of professionalism when managing the daily activities of the department

·         Plans well and simply does not get behind.

·         Is always friendly and looks for ways to be helpful

·         Elects to stay late on many occasions

·         Works collaboratively with all the faculty in the department

·         Is caring and compassionate

·         Demonstrates the perfect balance of displaying Christian grace while holding students highly accountable in terms of professionalism

Former Faculty and Staff Recognition

Recognition is also given to two people selected as the Former Faculty Member of the Year and the Former Staff Member of the Year. They are selected by the HSU Fellowship, an active group of retired faculty and staff members who meet on campus several times per year.

Dr. Collene Simmons, retired associate professor of education and director of the Center for Literacy and Learning, was named Former Faculty Member of the Year, and the Former Staff Member of the Year was Dorothy Kiser, retired associate vice president for student records and registration and Registrar.

Service Pins

The tradition of the Service Pins began 47 years ago under the presidency of Dr. Elwin Skiles. Since 1967, 1,872 pins have been presented to employees representing 20,955 years of service.

Celebrating 40 years

Dr. Jaynne Middleton | Professor of Voice/Associate Dean, College of Fine Arts

“Singer, teacher, actress and friend to all, 40 years after coming to HSU, she continues to make a difference in the lives of her students. Each day her warm personality is readily apparent and reminds us of her dedication and love for Hardin-Simmons University.”

Celebrating 35 years

Linda Butts | Secretary – Maintenance

“She is the glue that holds the maintenance crew together. She is loyal to HSU and participates in the HSU functions. She has mothered and counseled many student workers, and is loved by all.

Celebrating 30 years

Kimberly Howell ’84 | Administrative Assistant to Vice President, Enrollment Management

“Faithful, trustworthy, gracious, honorable, helpful and kindhearted, Howell is gifted with a quiet, calm, and gentle spirit. When she speaks, her words of encouragement bring peace to those in her office and to the numerous students that keep coming back to visit her. If someone shares their good news, she rejoices with them, and when someone is hurting, she exudes compassion.

Gary Stephenson | Educational Technology Services Director

“One of his greatest strengths is his affinity for the next new thing. When he started work at HSU, Stephenson checked out videotape recorders and 16 mm films. He continues to keep up with the next new thing in technology. He is now the library’s webmaster and is an expert on digitizing archives and educational technology.”

Celebrating 20 years

Dr. Thomas Copeland | Director of Honors Program; Associate Professor, Psychology

“He always goes the extra mile to serve the students and goes above and beyond what is expected in terms of service to the university. Students consistently say how much they enjoy and learn from him.”

Cheryl Davis ’12 | Manager, Administrative System Support


“Nobody knows the administrative processes of HSU quite like Davis. Her attention to detail, creativity, and strong work ethic literally keeps the university running. Her genuine spirit and kind-heartedness make working with her a joy.”

Dr. Robert Ellis ’77 | Associate Dean; Logsdon Seminary

“Dr. Ellis is one of those unique educators who combines a passion both for teaching and administration. He is a diligent worker who is never ill-prepared with regard to any task. Bob is a very gifted speaker and teacher. Students who are privileged to study with him always come away from the experience with the highest praise for his enthusiasm and teaching skill.”

Dr. Leigh Anne Hunsaker | Dept. Head and Professor of Music Education/Trumpet

“Dr. Hunsaker, a music educator and trumpet player, continues her devoted service to Hardin-Simmons University and our students through her excellent teaching and constant advocacy for music education which is embodied in her many successful students currently teaching music throughout the state.”

Dr. Allan Landwer | Professor of Biology, Director of International Studies

“Dr. Landwer is a herpetologist, having spent many years studying lizards in the desert. He now divides his time between teaching and directing HSU’s International Studies program so can keep up with snakes, turtles, and other reptiles on all continents.”

Celebrating 15 years

Dr. Charles Coltman | Professor of Woodwinds

“Dr. Coltman has taught orchestration, music fundamentals, all the woodwind instruments, and headed up the program in music business. His excellence is demonstrated in his daily preparation for classes, and he continues to charm audiences throughout the state of Texas with his remarkable clarinet talent. When not performing he spends his time making a positive difference in the lives of students.”

Dr. Lori Copeland | Professor of Psychology

“Dr. Copeland is a team player in every sense of the word. Students love her. Although she wears many hats, one of her specialties is child play therapy, which many undergraduate and graduate students are fascinated with and love to learn about.”

Bradley Holcomb | Assistant Baseball Coach

Holcomb has helped lead the Cowboys to nine ASC playoff appearances and is instrumental in the everyday operation of Cowboy baseball. He began his career as an assistant under Steve Coleman at Frenship High School.The Snyder native earned a master’s degree from ACU and a bachelor’s degree from Lubbock Christian. He was also an all-conference player at LCU for three seasons -- 1988, 1990, and 1991.

Deborah McFarland ’04/’09 | Administrative Assistant to Dean, College of Fine Arts

“Deborah McFarland is outstanding at her job, working beyond the normal duties required and providing stability, wisdom, and accuracy in reports. With a smile on her face, she is fully appreciated by both students and faculty for her excellent work and her axiomatic energy.”

Alice C. Murphy | Assistant Professor of Nursing

Alice Murphy has international recognition as a Virginia Henderson and Billye Brown Fellow of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and she is a Population Health Advocate. She is a veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm as a member of the United States Air Force Nurse Corps. She has mentored many students and fellow faculty in their scholarly pursuits.

Dr. Judy Shipley | Professor of Education

“You will most likely find Dr. Shipley in the Abilene Hall Gilman Technology Laboratory where she teaches instructional practices that reflect current pedagogy in technology education. Shipley enjoys assisting students with pre-professional conference presentations, and she is the faculty sponsor of Kappa Delta Pi.”

Celebrating 10 years

Dr. Joseph Bailey ’00 | Associate Professor of Communication
Stephen Brower | Associate Director of Financial Aid/Loan
Melanie Chonko ’01/’07 |
Head Women’s Basketball Coach
Tim Hobgood |
Maintenance Technician
Jim Jones ’75 |
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services
Melissa Milliorn ’93 |
Associate Professor of Social Work
Cameron Moore ’00 |
Manager, Technology Network & Systems
Steven Neves |
Assistant Professor of Art
Becky Sergeant |
Administrative System Support Specialist
Dr. Terry Sergeant |
Professor of Computer Science
Sharon West |
Assistant Director of Student Services, PHSSN Coordinator
Shane Williford ’06 | Head Tennis Coach

Celebrating 5 years

Dr. Larry Baker |Director, Doctor of Ministry Program; Professor of Pastoral Ministry
Cynthia Castel ’10 |
Instructor of Nursing
Mitchell Ezell |
Maintenance Technician
Dr. Robert C. Fink |
Assistant Professor of Education
Paul Garrett ’07/’08 |
Director for Intramural Sports
Donna Hall |
Administrative Assistant to the President
Dr. Rick Hammer |
Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr. Jason King ’99/’02 |
Assistant Professor of English, Director of Basic Writing
Jeremy Maynard ’08 |
Special Collections Manager
Tammi Outlaw |
Transcript & Catalog Coordinator
Zachry Pickelman ’07/’09 |
Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach
Crystal Schmidt ’08/’12 |
Admissions Event Coordinator/Office Manager
Timothy Schmidt ’06/’11 |
Residence Director for Anderson Hall
Janlyn Thaxton |
Media Relations Coordinator
Dr. Thomas Wier | Associate Professor of Economics

Faculty and staff members retiring:

Dr. Larry Brunner |Sr. Professor of English

“Revered and loved by his students and by the HSU faculty and staff, this senior professor of English, Robert Redford look-alike, and Easy Rider of 14 motorcycles in 46 years, is retiring at the end of this semester after 39 years in the academic saddle.”

Dr. Omer Hancock |Professor of Church Ministry

Dr. Hancock is the director of in-service training and professor of church ministry, providing courses in Bible, ministry, and field education. Through the In-Service Training Office, students receive guidance in the call to vocational ministry, opportunities to gain experiences in churches and ministry, financial aid for both undergraduate and graduate level vocational ministry students, and field education classes in churches and other areas of ministry.

Harold Preston |Sr. VP for Finance and Chief Operations Officer, Finance and Management

Harold Preston’s influence can be seen in institutions across Texas as he mentored many finance officers over the last 25 years. He has served at two Texas Baptist universities and is a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the U.S. Army as a 1st Lieutenant in a field artillery unit.

Leta Tillman |Professor and Education/Interlibrary Loan Librarian

Professor Tillman brought with her a love for children’s materials and knowledge of the public school classroom. She cheerfully fills student and faculty requests for resources from libraries around the globe and has served as our expert on young adult and children’s literature as well as education resources.


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