Debate Team Racks up More Awards

Debate TeamFebruary 9, 2018 — Four debate team members and Debate Coach Liz Absher recently traveled to the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville to compete in a two-day tournament.

This tournament featured one-on-one style IPDA debate. While new to most of our team, they forged ahead with great can-do attitudes. Other teams represented Union University, UTK, UTC, and Middle Tennessee State University. Approximately 60 debaters in 4 divisions competed.

In the Junior Varsity Division Spencer Baker and Emily Weber captured the 2nd and 4th place Speaker Award, respectively.  To put these awards in to perspective, Bryan College received 2 of the 5 speaker awards presented at the tournament in this division! Emily finished 7th in debate while Spencer claimed the #3 spot. Emily servers as the team captain and Spencer is the resident professor. Both Emily and Spencer had impressive preliminary round records of 6 and 1, respectively.

In the Novice Division Alex Daniels was only a few speaker points away from entering Quarterfinals. That is a fantastic outcome for his first time at bat in IPDA debate and only his third  tournament. First time debater Glorianna Sapp garnered a winning ballot in two of her rounds. Her finish is even more astonishing when considering that she had attended only two team meetings.

The team looks forward to other team members traveling to the Tennessee State Championship Tournament on February 17th at MTSU. They welcome students who are interested in debate to travel with the team to the tournament in order to observe “live” rounds.

The Bryan Debate Team meets on Thursday evenings at 6:30 in Mercer 111.

Written by Debate Coach Liz Absher.


Rachel Pacurari Awarded Staff Member of the Fall

Pacurari and LivesayFebruary 7, 2018 – Last week Bryan College President Stephen D. Livesay awarded the Staff Member of the Fall Award to Director of Counseling Services Rachel Pacurari. Supervisors and colleagues nominate staff members who have modeled exemplary service to the college. Nominees display characteristics that enhance the Bryan College mission.

One individual who nominated this year’s recipient said, “Rachel is an exceptional counselor and mentor to many. Since she is an RD’s wife, her role does not end when she returns home. She is constantly pouring herself out for students. I have seen her commitment to students and Bryan’s counseling center firsthand. Rachel has a confidence about her that is rooted in Jesus Christ. I have grown to deeply respect her as a leader, counselor, mom, and wife. She is an amazing model of living out emotionally healthy spirituality for many young women. One of the main reasons I believe she should be recognized for such an award is her faithfulness to those in need.”

“I am incredibly honored by this gracious reward,” Pacurari commented. “I am blessed to work alongside many wise and godly individuals who help carry me and support the counseling ministry at Bryan. To God be the glory for all that is done through counseling services.”

Bryan College is grateful to Rachel for her dedication, service, leadership, and compassion.


Spring 2018 Semester in Full Swing, Opens with Engage Conference

January 19, 2018 – The spring 2018 semester has taken Bryan College by storm – or perhaps by flurry with the spattering of snow to hit East Tennessee this month. Students have returned to campus and class amid miniature snowmen and chilly winds. Everywhere there is the fresh energy and promise of a new year.

The semester officially began on January 10, although many student leaders and athletes arrived the week prior. To kick off the new year, the Engage Conference encouraged students to consider the role of the church in today’s increasingly post-Christian society. These sessions were hosted by keynote speaker Greg Darley.

Darley serves as a mobilization and generosity consultant with Generis, helping non-profits, schools, and churches fully fund their kingdom visions. He has authored multiple books, including Wasted Prayer. Darley is also IJM’s former director of college mobilization, the founder of Backstage Leadership, the executive director of World Causes, and a founding member of The Good Society.

During his talks Darley spoke about how “in a post-Christian society, our job is still the same” and encouraged students to deeply and practically consider their role in influencing culture for Christ. The method he proposed was not for listeners to view uncertain futures through “me-centered” lenses, but rather through the lens of asking God what He is currently doing in the world and how one can help further those causes: preaching the Gospel, compassion, justice, love, charity, generosity, and so on.

He said, “The journey God takes people on starts with invitation, and before they get to activation, in the center there’s a season of preparation.” In this current world of “hacks” and “shortcuts,” Darley pointed out, the idea of the hard (sometimes grueling) work of preparation is not a popular one – but vital to future success: “My encouragement is to start now!”


Hilltop Players to Present Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap

January 19, 2018 – The Hilltop Players will be presenting Agatha Christie’s acclaimed murder mystery The Mousetrap on January 25-27 and February 1-3. This dessert theatre production will take place in the newly renovated Brock Hall with doors opening at 7 P.M. each evening.

This classic mystery includes a group of strangers stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, one of whom is a murderer. The suspects include the owners of the boarding house, a spinster, and architect, a retired army major, a strange little man, and a judge. Into their midst comes a policeman, and he no sooner arrives and the judge is killed. Two down and one to go. To get the rationale of the murderer’s pattern, the policeman probes the background of everyone present and rattles a lot of skeletons. Attendees should come expecting a famous Agatha Christie finish!

Reserve Your Ticket Now!

Tickets are available in the Box Office (Rudd 114) Monday-Friday from 11 A.M. to 4:30 P.M..

  • Non-Bryan Students: $8
  • Adults: $11

Call the Box Office with any questions at 423.775.7500.


Online Business Program Places High in Rankings

January 19, 2018 – Bryan College’s online business program geared toward adult learners has recently received the distinction of placing in two national rankings.

The college has placed #6 in The Best Colleges’ “Top 25 Online Associate in Business Administration Programs for 2018” and #23 in Best College Reviews’ “Top 24 Associate’s Degree Programs in Business Online 2017-2018.” Both of these rankings looked at colleges and universities from all over the country, including Indiana Wesleyan University, Belhaven University, Liberty University, and University of Phoenix (among many others). Rankings were based on factors such as tuition, customization options, and graduation rate.

Bryan’s program boasts 6-week accelerated online classes, a Christian worldview, and competitive tuition rates with financial aid available to those who qualify. Graduates of the program complete all general education requirements for the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, which allows for a seamless transition into the bachelor’s degree program later.

According to TheBestColleges.org, “The skills obtained through an online associate degree in business will prepare you for a career in many different industries. Organizational, interpersonal communication, budgeting, and marketing expertise will make you a competitive candidate for jobs as an administrative or executive assistant within corporations, healthcare organizations, and technology firms.”

Daniel Gates, an assistant business professor at Bryan, remarked, “As a professor at Bryan College it is gratifying to hear that our hard work is recognized. We do our best as instructors to bring in our own academic, real world, and Christian worldview into the classroom; I know it is the unique experiences of our faculty that allow Bryan College to deliver a quality education that focuses on a biblical worldview.”

To learn more about Bryan’s Associate of Science in Business online degree program, visit the website here!

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.


Bryan Confers 100 Degrees at December Commencement

December 18, 2017 – On Friday, Dec. 15, new graduates of the School of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) and the School of Arts and Sciences celebrated as Bryan College conferred 100 degrees on them, with 12 candidates for the Master of Business Administration degree; 2 for the Master of Arts degree; 8 for the Master of Education degree; 76 for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees; and 2 for the Associate of Science degree. In addition, 18 August graduates walked that night.

During the service Dr. Vaughn Cardona led the audience and graduates in singing “Joy to the World” and Mrs. Kim Keck sang “May the Road Rise Up.” Afterward, commencement speaker Chief Master Sergeant Mark A. Harris (senior enlisted leader for the Tennessee National Guard) spoke to the graduates. CMSgt Harris shared his testimony, a life story of God’s provision, comfort, and healing. He began, “I’d like to say how much I deeply respect and appreciate Bryan College as an institution of higher learning, for providing our community with a Christian worldview education. The mission statement of educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world sets the tone and expectation and standards – not only for the faculty, but also for the students and community.”

CMSgt Harris went on to applaud the Class of 2017 for their perseverance and their ability to overcome life’s obstacles. “Thank you for keeping the course as you accomplished this degree of higher education! I also would push you to not stop now,” he said. “Never stop trying to produce and develop your professional skill sets, your educational background, and your leadership skills. Never stop.” He then pointed out that believers never “graduate” from serving the Lord, then challenged the graduates to go out with the goal of reaching others for Christ.

Bryan College President Stephen D. Livesay remarked, “The fear of the Lord, the Scripture says, is the beginning of wisdom. My congratulations to you! I pray God’s best for you in the days to come.”

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.


Admissions Announces Winner of Great Commoner Essay Competition

December 14, 2017 – Bryan College’s admissions department has officially announced the winner of the Great Commoner Essay Competition: Laurel McLaughlin.

The Great Commoner Essay Competition is held as part of the invitation-only Bryan College Scholarship Weekend. Prospective students from all over the country convene on Bryan’s Dayton campus to see the college for themselves and to compete for valuable scholarship opportunities. One of these opportunities comes through an essay that interested students are required to write on campus during the weekend. According to the admissions webpage, “Students participating in this competition will receive an essay prompt developed by Bryan College faculty and have two hours to develop and complete their essay response.” The essay topic is kept secret until writing time comes, making this a true test of skill and clear thinking.

And the prize? A full-tuition scholarship to Bryan College.

This year’s winner is Laurel McLaughlin of Little Rock, Ark.. Laurel says that after being notified, her first reaction was disbelief. “I am certainly honored to have been chosen as the winner of this contest,” Laurel reflects. She explains, “I did not expect to win. Once past the initial shock, I just felt extremely grateful for such a generous award from Bryan, for the years of training in writing from my wonderful teachers, and most of all for God’s gracious providence in giving me this amazing opportunity.”

Although Laurel has not yet decided on a major, she is considering English or liberal arts as her field of study when she attends Bryan. She is enthusiastic about studying her interests – such as history, music, and English – in greater depth than she was able to during high school. She says, “I look forward to growing spiritually alongside fellow believers, growing in maturity by taking on new responsibilities, making new friends, and (of course) learning!”

Laurel’s hobbies include reading, knitting, creating art, and playing video games; one of her very favorite pastimes is music – listening, composing, singing, and developing her piano and cello performance skills.

“Calling the essay winner has become a highlight of my year!” exclaimed Admissions Director Joshua Hood. “Laurel is a very deserving winner and will no doubt succeed in every academic endeavor. We are excited to welcome her as a Bryan Lion in 2018!”

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.


Bryan College Announces Dean of New Engineering Program

December 12, 2017 – One of the most anticipated new programs to be offered by Bryan College starting in 2018 is one step closer to fruition; the engineering program has officially acquired a program dean.

Dr. Thomas Marshall – who holds a Ph.D. in engineering from Oregon Institute of Science and Technology, a M.S. in engineering from Loyola Marymount University, and a B.S. in engineering from Ohio State University, along with a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – has an impressive range of experience to bring to the table in the new engineering program at Bryan.

According to Academic Vice President Kevin Clauson, “Dr. Marshall has helped two other schools start up engineering programs, at California Baptist University and Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. He has also been a consultant and has been in industry and started his own businesses. He has a passion for ‘missional engineering,’ providing engineering services to peoples and areas in need in the name of Christ, something he wants to instill into Bryan’s program.” Dr. Marshall will lead the engineering program, with specializations in both mechanical and civil engineering, starting in the summer of 2018.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Marshall on board as the engineering dean here at Bryan,” remarked President Stephen D. Livesay. “He is a man of great character and experience and has a wonderful vision for this promising new program.”

Learn more about Dr. Thomas Marshall.

The engineering program will be available starting in the fall of 2018, pending SACSCOC approval.

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.


Dayton Rotary Club Awards Scholarships During Annual Luncheon

December 5, 2017 – On Friday, Dec. 1, the Rotary Club of Dayton awarded scholarships to current Bryan College freshmen Elizabeth Deardurff and Kristopher Lafferty at the annual Rotary luncheon on Bryan’s campus.

The Rotary Scholarship has been in place at Bryan for over 50 years, a span of time Vice President of Advancement Chuck Baker called “extremely remarkable” in his statements at the luncheon. He said, “On behalf of Dr. Livesay and all of us here at Bryan College, I want to express our appreciation for this scholarship gift: Thank you, Dayton Rotary Club, for your generosity!”

After his remarks Baker introduced the two scholarship recipients to the Rotary Club. Elizabeth Deardurff stepped up to the podium first. A freshman from Spring City, Tenn., Elizabeth has come to Bryan as a biology major. Watching her mother in her career as a nurse has fueled the same passion in this young student. She intends to go into nursing and specialize in oncology, especially pediatric oncology. She told the Rotarians, “I want to thank you all so much for this scholarship. It means a lot to me and my mom!”

Kristopher Lafferty also hails from Spring City, although he and his family are originally from Minnesota. He echoed Deardurff’s gratitude in his own statement: “I would like to say what an honor it is to be chosen as the male recipient for this scholarship. It’s really going to help with paying for books, tuition, and all the bills I’m going to have to pay. I came to Bryan to get my master’s in biblical studies, and after four years here, I’m going to St. Louis, Mo., to attend Concordia Seminary, where I’ll be for another four years to become a pastor.”

Lafferty commented on how, even though he originally chose Bryan in part because of the short distance to his family, the college’s faculty and staff have become like a second family. “I love how – especially in a secular world – Bryan remains faithful to its mission with how we’re supposed to live our lives through Christ each and every day,” he said. “I’d like to thank the members of the Rotary Club of Dayton for this honor. May God bless each and every one of you.”

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.


Difference Makers: Zac ’01 and Toks (Olowola) ‘04 Brown

November 17, 2017 – Major: Mathematics: Secondary Education (Zac) and Mathematics: Computer Science (Toks)

Dr. Zac Brown ‘01 and his wife, Toks (Olowola) Brown ’04, are shining examples of Bryan Difference Makers. They met at college, both deeply involved in campus life and ministry, and married in 2004. Their career paths since graduation have been a testimony to the Lord’s provision and direction.

Zac’s career journey reveals his heart for serving students who do not have a strong support system, and his inspiring personality encourages all those he comes in contact with to achieve more than they may have ever deemed possible. After earning a B.S. in mathematics from Bryan, his career in education began with a position as a mathematics teacher and wrestling coach at Rhea County High School. Since then, he has served as principal at East Ridge High School, executive principal at Howard High School, and assistant superintendent of operations for Hamilton County Schools. He earned his Master of Arts in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University and a Master of Arts in mathematics education (5-12) from Western Governors University. In August 2017 Zac earned his Doctor of Education in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.

According to his bio from the Hamilton Country Department of Education, “During his three years at The Howard School, Brown increased the graduation rate, created an English as a Second Language program, increased the enrollment by over 200 students, and transitioned the school to a 1:1 (one student, one device) technology school.” He has also helped to build a mentoring and leadership program between The Howard School and the Lookout Mountain Conservancy, a partnership empowering students to gain leadership, academic, social, and conservation skills and aid them in post-high-school job placement. Zac is currently the director of secondary opportunity schools for Hamilton County Schools.

After her graduation from Bryan in 2004 with a B.S. in mathematics, Toks served as Bryan’s director of human resources while working toward her MBA from the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga. The Lord then led her to a position with the Social Security Administration, where her career has remained ever since – first as a social insurance representative and now as a claims specialist. Here Toks has received yearly awards for her work, which includes settling matters related to retirement, disability, Medicare, and Medicaid. Her heart for others shines through in both her career path and the many ways that she has been involved in volunteer work over the years.

The Browns have been married for over 13 years now and have precious young twin daughters, Isabella and Julianna. They currently reside in Ooltewah, Tenn., and are members at Silverdale Baptist Church.


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