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Spillman Appointed Assistant Director of Honors Program

June 19, 2020

Dr. Daniel Spillman, associate professor of history, has been appointed as the assistant director of the Honors Program. He joins Dr. Lindsey Panxhi, director of the Honors Program and assistant professor of English, in leading the program into the coming academic year.

Spillman joined the faculty in 2017. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. He then earned a Master of Arts in history from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Spillman later earned a Doctor of Philosophy in history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He spent eight years as an assistant professor of history at Williams Baptist College before coming to Bison Hill.

His research interests include American political, intellectual and religious history in the 20th century. He serves on both faculty council and the honors committee. He volunteers as a panel judge for Oklahoma’s National History Day Competition and at regional Phi Alpha Theta National History Honors Society conferences. He has been actively involved in OBU's Honors Program through teaching colloquia and helping develop the new honors curriculum.

He will co-teach the new honors course on “The Classical World” in Spring 2021 alongside Dr. Benjamin Myers, Crouch-Mathis Professor of Literature and professor of literature and English, and Dr. David Gambo, Reverend A.E. and Dora Hughes Chair of Christian Ministry and assistant professor of Christian ministry.

Spillman follows Dr. Tawa Anderson, associate professor of philosophy, who served as assistant director for the past year and served as director from fall 2014 to spring 2019. Anderson’s leadership made a significant impact on the Honors Program during his time at the helm, leading to its substantial growth over the last six years. One of his most significant accomplishments was leading an effort to expand the honors curriculum from four to eight honors core courses.

The most innovative feature of the new curriculum is that each class will be team-taught by three honors professors from fields such as philosophy, literature, history, fine arts and theology, creating a dynamic, discussion-based learning environment based on the Great Books Tradition. In Fall 2020, Anderson will co-teach the new honors course on “The Ancient World” alongside Dr. Jonathan Callis, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Warren McWilliams, retired professor of Bible.

Panxhi is excited to have Spillman join her as assistant director to help lead the program, and is likewise grateful for Anderson’s leadership and mentorship.

“I am so thankful to both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Spillman for their service to the Honors Program. I appreciate their commitment to providing our honors students with a transformative educational experience. They model a pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful in their lives and their teaching.

“The Honors Program will benefit greatly from Dr. Spillman's diligent work ethic, his enthusiasm for intellectual inquiry, and his welcoming spirit, as he takes on this role of assistant director.”

Panxhi noted that the revised honors curriculum is designed to fit smoothly within each student’s four years of study at OBU. She likewise noted that many honors students graduate with either a major and one or two minors, or with a double major, and still do so in four years.