Professors Named President-Elect for National Organizations

Dr. Sidney Watson and Dr. Sandra Meyer were honored with the title of president-elect for nationally recognized organizations.

Dr. Sidney Watson, Oklahoma Baptist University associate professor of English, was named vice president/president-elect of Sigma Tau Delta's national board. The International English Honor Society has more than 16,000 student, sponsor and alumni members in 739 chapters nationwide.

Watson previously served as the Southwestern Regent for the organization, facilitating communication between the national and local levels and encouraging growth among the chapters.

"I'm very excited about moving my work with Sigma Tau Delta to this next level," Watson said. "Through my work as sponsor of our local chapter, I've seen the impact Sigma Tau Delta can have on campus and in the community."

Under Watson's leadership, OBU's chapter publishes a literary journal called Scriblerus, organizes a variety of activities each year to celebrate literature, and participates in community service activities.

"I am first and foremost a teacher and so I'm most concerned with what Sigma Tau Delta can add to the learning experience for my students," Watson said. "In addition to the opportunities for national interaction, scholarships and awards, involvement in chapter activities impacts the relationship between student and teacher, allowing me to become more of a mentor to my students."

Each year a group of OBU students presents papers at the national Sigma Tau Delta convention which gives them a chance to interact with students from all over the nation and hear internationally recognized writers.

"As the OBU Sigma Tau Delta adviser, Sid has made our chapter an important part of the English major," said Anne Hammond, OBU's Language and Literature Divisional Chair and associate professor of English. "Under her encouragement, students have been inspired to submit scholarly papers for consideration to the Sigma Tau Delta conference. In recent years, we've had a large number of students reading papers and attending the conference.

"We all admire her enthusiasm, leadership, and genuine interest in helping our students achieve recognition for their abilities."

Sandra Meyer, OBU associate professor of music, was named president-elect of the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA). Meyer has been a member of the association, which is the principal professional organization for private music teachers in Oklahoma, for 33 years.

The president-elect serves a six-year commitment of leadership in the organization: state conference chair for two years, president for two years and immediate past president for two years. Most OMTA members teach piano, and some teach voice, strings, flute, harp and other instruments. Teaching music theory is an emphasis for the organization.

Meyer previously served as local association president, district president and state vice-president for the local and collegiate chapters. She also currently serves on the state theory committee.

She has made presentations to OMTA associations in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Weatherford, Enid, Muskogee, Broken Arrow, McAlester and Shawnee, as well as presentations at district conferences and the state conference. She annually judges many OMTA auditions across the state.

"I attend the state conference annually which allows members to hear from cutting-edge professionals without having to travel a long distance," Meyer said. "OMTA has been extremely significant to me in my development both in teaching and in leadership."

In her new leadership role, Meyer hopes to encourage involvement of all OMTA's members regardless of their age by encouraging and building on the leadership capabilities of the organization's younger members and to honoring those who have taught for many years.

Meyer plans to help all members become more knowledgeable about the profound effects music has been shown to have on the brain in all life stages and conditions. She also hopes to continue with the organization's traditional programs as well as promote new opportunities for professional development for today's music teachers.

"OMTA is an important group of private music teachers throughout the State of Oklahoma, whose membership serves a vital role in producing quality musicians and bringing musical experience to thousands of young people," said Dr. James Vernon, OBU associate professor of music.

"Mrs. Meyer will serve the organization well - her organization skills, personable manner, and knowledge of music teaching and the roles they play in the life of young people will be invaluable," Vernon said. "We are very proud to have one of our own leading this important organization."

The Oklahoma Music Teachers Association has more than 400 members. More than 100 of these are nationally certified through Music Teachers National Association, of which OMTA is a state affiliate.

Two former OBU music faculty members also have served OMTA as president-elect and president: Dr. Ann Gipson, who now teaches at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and is the current MTNA president-elect, and Dr. Ron Lewis, who retired from OBU's music faculty in 2006.