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Academics Briefs

September 30, 2010 | Liberty Journal

Dwayne Carson promoted to senior campus pastor

Dwayne Carson – a Liberty University alumnus and campus pastor for 22 years – has been named senior campus pastor. Carson will continue to serve as vice president of Spiritual Development, a role he has had since 2008.

As senior campus pastor, he is responsible for ministering to all resident commuter and online students, and will oversee all faculty chaplains and athletic team chaplains. Through this position he will provide pastoral care, counseling and support to the entire university.

“I believe Dwayne Carson’s leadership in this position will result in a spiritual awakening at Liberty University,” said Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Carson received a Bachelor of Science in Religion from Liberty in 1987.

Dr. Todd Campo, who served as superintendent of Liberty Christian Academy for the last three years, is now vice president of Student Leadership at Liberty. Campo has worked for the university since September 2004 in various positions involving student life.

Campo received a Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty University Online in 1989 and earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Theology in 1997 from Trinity Theological Seminary in Anaheim, Calif.


SHRM chapter wins top awards

The Liberty University chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) received the Superior Merit Award for providing opportunities for growth and development to its members. The chapter is also one of the top 10 student chapters in the United States, receiving the Outstanding SHRM Student Chapter Award for the 2009-10 academic year.

SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Founded in 1948, it has more than 450 student chapters within the United States.

Liberty’s SHRM competition teams have also earned top honors. In addition to winning the state HR competition for the previous two consecutive years, the teams won the 2009 SE Regional HR Competition and placed second and third in the 2010 SE Regional HR Competition.


Moot Court team wins second in national competition

Liberty University School of Law sent two teams to the regional ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) in Washington, D.C. in March.

Liberty School of Law (SOL) students Ben Walton, Tim Todd, and Matthew Hegarty took the second Best Brief award in the nation at the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition this past spring. In another section, Todd was awarded the fourth Best Advocate in the Nation for his oral argument performance. The moot court team competed against more than 200 other universities from across the nation.

Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty SOL, said, “Liberty’s performance against these teams is incredible.”

“As this team succeeds, their accomplishments make the school and everyone associated with it succeed.”

The team thanks professors Scott Thompson and Rena Lindevaldsen and the other faculty involved who invested many hours to ensure the success of the team.


Visiting professor hits best-seller lists

A visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law reached national best-seller lists this past spring with his political book about the motives of the Obama administration.

The Honorable Kenneth Blackwell is co-author of “The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.” Released in April, the book reached No. 5 on the Washington Post’s hardcover nonfiction bestseller list and No. 1 on its politics books list in May.

At Liberty, Blackwell teaches in the areas of public policy, government and international human rights.

A noted conservative leader, Blackwell serves as a Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council and is a contributing editor for



Advertising team places second at regional competition

Liberty's advertising team finished just behind the University of Virginia in a competition in April.

Liberty University’s advertising team placed second at the District 3 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) April 23 and 24 in Charlotte, N.C., just barely falling behind the University of Virginia. The team also received the top presentation award.

District 3 includes schools from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Each year, the NSAC, which is sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, provides students with a case study outlining the history of a corporate sponsor’s product and current advertising situation. This year’s national client was State Farm Insurance. Students researched the product and developed a fully integrated advertising campaign to present to a panel of judges.

“Being on the advertising team gave us real-world experience,” said Eli Overby, an advertising major. “We developed a campaign from the bottom up. It was an incredible experience.”


Online Academy sets the stage for young actress’s education

For 16-year-old Taylor Boswell, Liberty University Online Academy (LUOA) is the ideal alternative to the typical classroom. The teenager can now pursue her acting, modeling and singing career while doing all her schoolwork online through a fully accredited institution.

Boswell has appeared three times on “One Life to Live” on ABC, was recently filmed for an upcoming “Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC and is currently featured in a Nickelodeon promotional television commercial. She also landed the lead role in a full-length feature film, Windjammers, and spent a summer filming in the Bahamas.

Actors, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) lists Boswell as one of its top 100 success stories. She won AMTC’s winter 2009 Acting, Modeling & Talent Competition Overall Best Actress award.

“I am so grateful to have found a program such as LUOA,” she said. “The courses offered are interesting and fun. The teachers and faculty are very encouraging.”


Marketing team takes second in international competition

The Liberty University American Marketing Association (AMA) Collegiate Case Competition Team placed second at the Annual International Collegiate Conference April 8-10 in New Orleans.

Marketing professor Dr. Ken Brunson led the team of eight students: Matthew Smith, Storm Blizzard, Jesse Perry, Kelly Donnelly, Mike Godsoe, Kelly Detweiler, Peter Hoppe and Wesley Cole. Brunson and the team began preparing for the competition in early August.

This year’s challenge was to create a marketing strategy plan for UNICEF, an organization that works with more than 150 countries to provide children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education and emergency relief through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Students presented their plan to help raise $2 million in 2010 and ultimately eliminate deaths from unsanitary water conditions around the world.


Debate Team wins national sweepstakes championships

Liberty's debate team had another historic season in 2009-10.

The 2010 Liberty University Debate Team continued its historic run of success this spring by winning the National Debate Tournament (NDT), Cross-Examination Debate Association (CEDA) and American Debate Association (ADA) sweepstakes championships for the third consecutive year and the fourth time in the last five years. Liberty remains the only school to claim all three championships in a single season.

The Flames set new CEDA and NDT records, making the 2009-10 season historic, even by Liberty’s lofty standards. Liberty University established a new CEDA record of 197 points, breaking its own record of 196 points set in 2009.

The Flames finished the season with 626 NDT points, shattering the previous record of 608 set by Liberty in 2004 — the only two times the 600-point barrier has been crossed in the tournament.


Student-made designs take the runway at charity fashion show

The Liberty University Department of Family and Consumer Sciences sponsored its fourth annual student-initiated and directed fashion runway show on April 9 in the Schilling Center.

This year’s show, titled Timeless, the Cotton Collection, was funded by a $15,000 grant from Cotton Inc., a research and promotion company based in Cary, N.C. More than 1,800 people attended the event, which raised more than $3,600 for the Liberty Godparent Home and the Blue Ridge Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Freshman Katie Johnson won the Best of Show top prize — a “Project Runway” sewing machine — for her design line. The three other featured Judges’ Choice award winners are: first runner-up Tshaerng Sherpa, second runner-up Molly Neff, third runner-up Oronde Vassell. Neff also won the Designers’ Choice Award, where the student designers cast a silent ballot for their favorite line.



Art students recognized in national advertising competition

From left, Jael Schultz, Lee Ann Cusi Zipagan and Kathleen Ostrom show off their award-winning designs.

Three Liberty University Visual Communication Arts (VCAR) students were honored at the ADDY Awards Western Virginia Regional Competition in Roanoke on March 6. The ADDY Awards, hosted by the American Advertising Federation, is the largest advertising competition in the world.

Award winners are Jael Schultz for her CD design Schindler’s Foot (Silver), Lee Ann Cusi Zipagan for her collateral material poster Love Nature (Gold), and Kathleen Ostrom for her cover design of LU’s literature magazine “The Lamp” (Silver).All Gold ADDY winning entries are automatically forwarded to the Third District ADDY competition with a chance to compete for a national award. Zipagan’s poster went on to win a silver at the district level, competing against students from public and private colleges and universities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.




Newly formed Forensics Team achieves national recognition

Liberty University’s Forensics Team ended its first year with a victory at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational March 5-7, hosted by Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio.

Liberty brought home the second-place Team Sweeps trophy, competing against 27 other colleges and universities, including Covenant College, Bethel University, University of Virginia and Cedarville University.

Intercollegiate Forensics is an academic competition focused on advanced skill in oratory. Tournaments include three types of competition: platform oratory, limited preparation oratory and oral interpretation. Students are critiqued on the quality of their presentation and the quality of their selection.

Team members Christina Haynes, Josh Wade, Meridith Brush and Colin Dowd placed third overall with their Reader’s Theatre presentation of The Singer, as adapted by Liberty professor Dr. Darlene Graves.

Dowd ranked second in the nation for Interpretation of Faith Literature; Wade placed fourth in the nation with his poetry interpretation; and Brush ranked 10th in the nation for Novice Sweepstakes Points earned and is the national champion for Communication Analysis.


Liberty professor makes presentation at Oxford

Professor Rob Van Engen participated in the fifth annual Autonomous Learning World Caucus (ALWC) at Linton Lodge and Exeter College at Oxford University, Oxford, England, March 8-12. The ALWC is an international forum that discusses human resource development, autonomous learning and learner-centered leadership.

Van Engen is Liberty’s assistant director for Christian/Community Service and teaches GNED classes as an assistant professor in the School of Religion. He graduated from LU in 1987 with a bachelor’s in Pastoral Leadership and holds a master’s in Ministry Leadership from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.