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Five OBU Faculty Members Earn Senior Faculty Status

March 10, 2020

Five OBU faculty members recently attained senior faculty status. The recommendation was approved by the OBU Board of Trustees during their meeting March 6 on the OBU campus. The group of newly appointed senior faculty members includes Dr. Matthew Arbo; Dr. Alan Noble; Megan Smith; Dr. Lakshmi Viswanath; and Dr. Kellie Young.

Dr. Susan DeWoody, provost, believes this group of faculty exemplifies the high standards of academic excellence present in OBU’s faculty community.

“We are thrilled this week to celebrate the contributions of five of our talented faculty members on Bison Hill,” she said. “More specifically, faculty members earning senior faculty status excel in teaching, scholarship, community engagement, and Christian commitment and service. It is a comprehensive, six-year evaluative process considered very carefully and seriously at OBU. Each of the five faculty granted tenure are most deserving and we are thrilled that they choose to serve at Oklahoma Baptist University.”

Arbo is the Jewell and Joe L. Huitt Professor of Religious Education and assistant professor of biblical and theological studies. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Liberty University. He then earned an MTh. And Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of, “Political Valley: Adam Ferguson on the Moral Tensions of Early Capitalism” and “Walking Through Infertility: Biblical, Theological, and Moral Counsel for Those Who are Struggling.” His essays and articles on wide-ranging moral and political questions have appeared in several edited volumes and top-tier journals, including Political Theology, Studies in Christian Ethics and the Evangelical Review of Society and Politics. Arbo is an appointed Research Fellow in Christian Ethics for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Noble is assistant professor of English and has been teaching composition and literature for more than a decade. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from California State University, Bakersfield. He then earned his Ph.D. from Baylor University. He has contributed scholarship on Cormac McCarthy and has published a book with InterVarsity Press titled, “Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age.” Noble is also the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Christ and Pop Culture; co-founder of the evangelical political organization Public Faith; a member of the leadership council of the AND Campaign; and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Vox, Buzzfeed, First Things, Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition.

Smith is assistant professor of nursing-pediatrics. She earned her BSN at Bob Jones University and her MSN at OBU. She is currently working to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Western Connecticut State University. She has clinical experience in a wide variety of pediatric settings, including both surgical and intensive care units. She has served as a pediatric education specialist, where she helped train new nurses and educate incumbent nursing staff from the pediatric medical, surgical and specialty units, as well as the pediatric intensive care unit. She is a Certified Pediatric Nurse through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Viswanath is assistant professor of chemistry at OBU. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Madras University in Chennai, India. She then earned her master’s degree in applied chemistry from Anna University in Chennai. She went on to earn a second master’s degree in philosophy in chemistry from Maduria Kamaraj University and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University. Viswanath previously served as the senior research officer for Sanmar Specialty Chemicals in Chennai. She has been awarded a gold medal top rank in the master’s program at Anna University, and the gold medal top rank in the bachelor’s program at Madras University.

Young serves as assistant professor of education. She earned a B.S. and M.Ed. at East Central University. She then earned her Ed.D. from Northcentral University. Young joined the OBU faculty in 2014 after spending 14 years in public school education. Before coming to OBU, she spent five years at Moss Public Schools teaching second and fifth grade and nine years at Grove Elementary School teaching kindergarten, second and fourth grades. She holds Oklahoma certification in early childhood education, elementary education, middle school language arts and middle school social studies.