News & Events

Making the News: Faculty garner national attention for talent, expertise in their fields

February 26, 2019


Distinguished professor and archaeologist Dr. Randall Price was featured in the cover story of National Geographic’s December issue, “The Bible Hunters,” about the process of finding and preserving biblical texts and artifacts. Price, along with a team of Liberty students and faculty members, excavated a cave in Qumran, Israel, in January 2018, when National Geographic spent several days at the site. The article also described Price’s work there in 2017, when teams made the first major discovery related to the Dead Sea Scrolls in more than 60 years. Price led a team of two Liberty faculty members, a graduate student, and two alumni to continue excavations in two more caves south of Qumran this past January. (Read more at


Dr. Chris Underation (left), Chris Nelson, Kornel Gerstner

Two faculty members from Liberty’s digital media and journalism department, Kornel Gerstner and Dr. Chris Underation, along with Chris Nelson, associate professor of theatre arts, have been honored for their work with the serial radio drama “The Encounter.” In 2018, the faculty accepted two national awards from the Broadcast Education Association, including Best of Festival and Best of Competition, as well as the Seneca Award for best new radio drama from Audio Theatre Central. Students assisted in the production, gaining experience in writing, performing, scoring, and mixing. To date, two seasons have aired and at least two more are in production. Listen to the episodes at


A book by professors and husband and wife duo Marybeth and David Baggett was recognized on Christianity Today’s 2019 Top Books list. “Morals of the Story: Good News About a Good God” won the Award of Merit in the Apologetics/Evangelism category. In the book, the couple explores the moral argument for God’s existence, drawing on their backgrounds in their respective fields. David Baggett teaches apologetics in the Rawlings School of Divinity, and Marybeth Baggett is an English professor.


Dr. Woori Kim Smith, assistant professor in the School of Music, performed two concerts at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City last year. She was the first Liberty faculty member to perform a full concert in the venue. At her second concert on Dec. 26, Smith completed her goal of performing all of French composer Claude Debussy’s major piano works during 2018, the centennial of his death. She has been fascinated by the composer since she was a child and focused on his works during her graduate and doctoral studies.

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