OBU is pleased to announce the addition of three new faculty and staff members to the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts. New faculty and staff include Skyler Thomas, instructor of animation and motion graphics; Rebecca Ballinger, assistant professor of music; and Mark Johnson, music recruiting coordinator.
Thomas earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Gaming and Animation from Oklahoma Christian University. He has served as a creative services intern at KOCO News 5 in Oklahoma City, a lead designer with sign innovations and as an adjunct professor in gaming and animation at Oklahoma Christian University. He has also served as an associate motion graphic artist at PDC Productions.
Dr. Jeffrey Wells, chair of the Division of Communication Arts and associate professor of theatre, is excited to welcome Thomas to the faculty. "Along with both professional experience and excellent training in animation, Skyler promises to be a great OBU mission fit. Both co-workers and supervisors alike cannot say enough good things about him as a professional and as a person."
Ballinger earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Wayland Baptist University and her Master of Music with tracks in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Kansas State University. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. of Fine Arts in Music, with tracks in Administration and Music, from Texas Tech University. She previously served as a teaching assistant in voice at Kansas State, a private voice instructor, a teaching assistant in music theatre and opera at Texas Tech, and a graduate part-time instructor in voice at Texas Tech. She has also worked in live event planning and logistical coordination for musical production with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Lubbock Chorale and the Lubbock Moonlight Musical Dinner Theatre.
Dr. Randolph Johnson, chair of the Division of Music and assistant professor of music theory, looks forward to Ballinger's addition to the music faculty. "I am delighted that Rebecca Ballinger has joined the Division of Music faculty," he said. "OBU students will benefit greatly from her exceptional teaching ability and her music performance career experience and accomplishments, including awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing and a one year residency in the Wichita Grand Opera Young Artist program."
Mark Johnson joins the staff of the Division of Music as music recruiting coordinator. He earned a Bachelor of Music from OBU and a Master of Music from the University of Oklahoma. He has served in numerous and diverse professional roles, including as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University; associate minister of music at FBC of Carrollton, Texas; consultant and editor-in-chief at LifeWay Christian Resources; a conductor and musical director of multiple youth orchestras; vice president of Veritas Marketing in Franklin, Tennessee; and vice president of marketing logistics at CML Entertainment in Franklin, Tennessee.
Dr. Randolph Johnson is excited to add the music recruiting position and to bring Mark's expertise to the music staff. "Music recruiting coordinator is a new position, and I'm grateful and humbled that the Division of Music has this opportunity for a staff member in this area," he said. "Mark is a great fit for this position for many reasons, including his service as an OBU alumni representative for the Southeastern U.S. region; his work in the music and film production industry in Nashville; his skills in music marketing and project management; and his experience as a music educator and director in youth orchestras, churches, secondary education and higher education."