Academic Liaison Newsletter FEBRUARY 2017

In the February newsletter of 2017 we have the opportunity to gain updates and advancements from the following schools and departments:

  • School of Communication & Creative Arts
  • Helms School of Government
  • School of Engineering and Computational Sciences
  • School of Music
  • Jerry Falwell Library
  • College of Arts of Sciences
  • Rawlings School of Divinity
  • School of Aeronautics
  • School of Nursing
School of Communication & Creative Arts

The School of Communication & Creative Arts is delighted to celebrate the successes of its artists this month! An episode of the original radio drama, “The Encounter” was just awarded "Best in Competition: Long-Form Production: Faculty Audio Competition" by the Broadcast Education Association. This production involves over a hundred students, from concept to completion, involving many from the Department of Digital Media & Communication Arts and the Department of Theatre Arts.

The Department of Studio & Digital Arts celebrates the work of professors C. Phillips and K. Phillips in the exhibit, “Prism: The Nature of Transparency” in the Liberty University Art Gallery. The gallery launched “Art Art Art: An Exhibit of Limited Edition Prints by Dr. Seuss" on February 16th, in conjunction with the opening weekend of the Department of Theatre Arts’ production of Seussical: The Musical. The Department of Cinematic Arts continues its production work on this semester’s feature works.

Helms School of Government

Helms School students had the opportunity to hear from political luminaries Matt Bevin, governor of Kentucky, and Ed Gillespie, a current Virginia gubernatorial candidate, on February 9th. Governor Bevin shared about some of the reforms he has begun implementing since his election in 2015. Gillespie spoke of the need to reduce regulations, which he said tended to stifle new business development. Gillespie praised Liberty for its dynamic leadership.

School of Engineering and Computational Sciences

Liberty University announced plans to purchase the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) building in Bedford County. The building and 28-acre lot will become the new home of Liberty’s School of Engineering & Computational Sciences. The goal is for the university to work with companies in the energy sector, establishing a research-focused campus within the park that will lead to new technologies and create new business opportunities. With a focus on all forms of energy generation, storage, transmission and control, the vision is for students, educators, and industry leaders to work side by side in state of the art laboratories.

School of Music

2017 marks the beginning of an exciting year for the School of Music (SOM)! This year, the Center for Music and the Worship Arts will complete their brand new concert hall, and the state-of-the-art recording studio will be fully installed and operational. The SOM is thrilled to welcome Chris Piorkowski who will be heavily involved in one of the Department of Commercial Music’s fastest-growing degrees, Film Scoring. LU Praise was honored to sing at the National Prayer Service for the 58th Presidential Inaugural. The 28 member team had the privilege of singing for President Trump, Vice-President Pence, and a host of notable leaders including Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. David Jeremiah, and Dr. Jack Graham. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these students who were able to serve their country and glorify the name of Jesus through their presentation.

LU Praise will be traveling to the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Conference in March to perform in several special events. Over 300 choirs auditioned for 28 performing slots at the conference. LU Praise was selected to participate in the first ever “Unity Concert,” featuring the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, National Honors Choir, and LU Praise. The ACDA is the largest gathering of choir directors and choirs in the world

Jerry Falwell Library

The Jerry Falwell Library (JFL) has as variety of upcoming spring events and activities scheduled:

On February 21st, The Jerry Falwell Library will host Faculty Author Series with Professor Ron Miller, Associate Dean of the Helms School of Government, on the topic of “Race Relations in the Post-Obama Era”

Beginning in March, the Jerry Falwell Library will host the 3rd Annual Creative Upcycling Contest: Art Made from Books Display. Entries will be on display in the Library from March 22-April 5.

College of Arts of Sciences

English Department

On February 3rd, Professor Nick Olson presented “The (He)art of Personal Narrative: An Essay on Where We Find Ourselves”, to an audience of students and faculty.

Recent Publications

Dr. Michael Jones (Philosophy). “Racism at Home and Abroad: Thoughts from a Christian Ethicist” (Public Reason, 2016).

History Department

On January 20th, history professor Dr. Samuel Smith led a group of approximately 50 students to the 2017 presidential inauguration. History students showed up early at 5:00 am to make the trip to Washington, D.C. and experienced history in the making. The History Department shares exciting, hands-on opportunities for history majors via its Public History at Liberty University Facebook page. According to the page, the department currently offers two public history classes, both of which center around the historical Mead’s Tavern.

Liberty’s chapter of the National History Honor Society Phi Alpha Theta participated in two events in December and January. On December 9th, history graduate students traveled with a group of Phi Alpha Theta members to the D-Day Memorial to help set out luminaries for each of the 4,413 men who died on D-Day.

Mathematics Department

On January 4th-7th, Dr. James Cook and two math students had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta, Georgia to present at the 2017 Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM). Hosted by The Mathematical Association of America and The American Mathematical Society, the JMM is known as “the largest mathematics meeting in the world.”


The Interdisciplinary Studies program has seen tremendous growth in the last year, surpassing 300 residential students and over 4,500 online students pursing an A.A., B.A., or B.S. degree. In addition to the options to pursue multiple interests, the Interdisciplinary Studies department has joined with the Center for Digital Wellness under Dr. Sylvia Frejd to offer convocations on Emotional Intelligence (E.Q) and Likeability Quotient (L.Q.).

Rawlings School of Divinity

The Pastoral Leadership program will be hosting the annual Pastoral Leadership Advisory Board on February 28th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The advisory board serves as a "brain trust" of innovative pastors to speak into course curriculum and train the next generation of pastors. Additionally, the meeting serves as an opportunity to recruit, train, place, and network pastoral leaders globally. This year, the theme is "Equipping the Next Generation of Pastors in Church Assimilation."

School of Aeronautics

In the Fall 2016 semester, LUSOA partnered with Freedom Aviation (FA) at the Lynchburg Regional Airport during the inaugural AVIA 312 Safety Programs course; part of a new B.S. Aviation Administration curriculum. The visit to FA included the practice and refinement of safety auditing and inspection skills learned in the classroom. The students personally briefed the FA General Manager on the results of their findings in a simulated safety committee forum.

Professor Aaron Wilson took several of his AVIA 360 Corporate and Business Aviation students to the Virginia Aviation Business Association (VABA) Annual Legislative Reception in Richmond, Virginia. Students were also able to visit displays from multiple organizations including NASA-Langley Research Center, NASA-Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia Department of Aviation, and the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority.

School of Nursing

The annual report from the Virginia Board of Nursing showed that our program had a 91% pass rate on the licensure exam (NCLEX) for all first time test takers during the 2016 calendar year.

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