SCIENCES

Dr. Joel G. Brant, Associate Professor of Biology

Areas of Expertise: Vertebrate Wildlife, Evolution, Ecology, Environmental Science, Intercollegiate Athletics Administration

Research areas: Community ecology of small mammals, Fauna of the Southern Rolling Plains

Dr. Brant joined the McMurry faculty in 2005 after receiving his Ph.D. in Biology from Texas Tech University. Dr. Brant received his B.S. in Biology from Abilene Christian University in 1998 and his M.S. in Biology from Angelo State University in 2000. Dr. Brant is an active member of the Texas Society of Mammalogists and the Big Country chapter of the Master Naturalists. Since 2009 Dr. Brant has served as the Faculty Athletics Representative for McMurry University.

Dr. Larry Sharp, Associate Professor of Biology, Chief Health Professions Advisor

Areas of Expertise: Anatomy & Physiology, Human Physiology

Research areas: Musculo-skeletal pathology, Therapeutic modalities

Dr. Sharp’s teaching areas are Anatomy & Physiology, Human Physiology, Medical Terminology and PREP Health Professions Seminar. He earned the Doctor of Chiropractic form Parker College of Chiropractic and his B.S. in Mathematics from Tarleton State University.

Dr. Janet McMurray, Assistant professor of Kinesiology

Areas of Expertise: Sports Medicine, Athletic Training, Kinesiology

McMurray has been a member of the McMurry University community in Abilene, Texas since 1997. She served as an assistant athletic trainer until being named the head athletic trainer in 2004, a positon she held until 2016, before moving to the Kinesiology Department as an assistant professor. Janet is a licensed athletic trainer in the State of Texas (LAT) as well as holding national certification (ATC) through the Board of Certification, Inc.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from McMurry University in 1996 and completed a Master's of Education degree with an emphasis on Exercise Science from Hardin Simmons University in 2002. In 2016 Janet completed her Doctorate of Athletic Training at the University of Idaho, Moscow. Currently, Janet teaches the courses required by the State of Texas for students seeking a career in Athletic Training.

Dr. Pug Parris, Professor of Kinesiology

Areas of Expertise: Pedagogy, Physical Activities—particularly rhythms—for children. Has traveled to 26 states and one foreign country to deliver staff development to school teachers.

Research areas:

“Physical Education Basic Instruction in United Methodist Colleges: A Study of Applied Wesleyan Principles”

Teaching methodology and techniques for activity lessons

Dr. Parris has been a member of the McMurry faculty since 1978. She has a B.S from McMurry University, 1973; M.Ed. from Abilene Christian University, 1977; and Ed.D. from Texas A&M University, 1991. She is married to Rickey Parris (McM ’73), and son Brad (McM ’01) is War Hawk head track coach. She is active in the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and served as president in 1991. She is active in the United Methodist Church.

Dr. Paul S Pyenta, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry

Areas of Expertise: chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, fluorescence

Research areas: applications of fluorescent techniques in biochemical systems

PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from Cornell University (Ithaca NY) 2000

Dr. Wayne Keith, Associate Professor of Physics

Areas of Expertise: Astronomy, Space Science, science and faith

Research areas: Magnetospheric physics, Minor planets (asteroids), physics education

A native of Stephenville, TX, Dr. Keith attended Tarleton State University (BS Physics, 1995) and Rice University (MS, PhD Space Physics 1999, 2001). His graduate work was with Earth orbiting satellites studying the interactions of the Solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field (primarily the Astrid-2, Munin, and Cluster-2 missions). He served a two-year postdoctoral study at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, two-year postdoctoral study at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, one year visiting faculty at Angelo State University. He joined the McMurry faculty in 2006.

LIBERAL ARTS

Dr. Ann-Marie Lopez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English

Areas of Expertise: Basic writing, developmental education, first year composition, literacy studies, American literature (American Literary Realism/Naturalism, Southern Gothic), first year experience.

Research areas: Basic writing and student athletes; linguistics, particularly discourse analysis; writing center pedagogy; autobiography, theory and practice, particularly women’s autobiographical practices; new media and composition; film studies. Literary interests include: Modern Southern Gothic (O’Connor, Faulkner), Woolf, Hemingway; Modern Latin American writers (Lispector, Marquéz, Fuentes).

Short Biography: Ann-Marie began teaching at McMurry as an adjunct in 2005, and in 2006 became a full time faculty member in the English Department. She is a graduate of McMurry, as are her parents, and is committed to providing the same positive “McMurry Experience” to her own students that her mentors afforded her. Ann-Marie and her husband, Mike (an RN in the Cath Lab at Hendrick), have four children, the eldest of which is currently a McMurry student. She serves the campus community in many capacities, including being a sponsor for Delta Beta Epsilon, and she and her family are members of and attend Aldersgate United Methodist Church. She earned her B.A. in English/Writing in 2000 from McMurry, her M.A. in English in 2005 from Hardin-Simmons University, and her Ph.D. in English in 2013 from Texas A&M University – Commerce.

RELIGION, HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Dr. Donald S. Frazier, Professor of History

Research areas: Texas History, American Civil War, US Military History

Areas of Expertise: History, Heritage Tourism, Museums

Short Biography: Donald S. Frazier is professor of history at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. He is the award-winning author of three books on the Civil War including Blood and Treasure, Cottonclads, and Fire in the Cane Field. His other work includes serving as co-author of Frontier Texas, Historic Abilene, and The Texas You Expect, as well as general editor of The U.S. and Mexico at War.

In addition to his teaching duties, Frazier has been very involved in a variety of heritage and cultural tourism projects, including consulting on the development of three museums; two research centers; a Mexican War battlefield; work on Civil War and frontier heritage trails in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana; and work on historical projects in Europe and Mexico. He also helped Abilene, Texas achieve recognition as a Preserve America city and grant recipient. He is the writer and director for the video Our Home, Our Rights: Texas and Texans in the Civil War, a winner of the Mitchell Wilder Award for Excellence in Publications and Media Design from the Texas Association of Museums.

He is currently serving as President and CEO of the McWhiney Foundation, a Texas-based educational non-profit which, among its various activities, manages and preserves the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, a museum that includes a collection of more than a dozen antique buildings. He has served as a consultant with several communities as they develop their heritage and cultural assets, and has been recognized for his efforts by numerous organizations including the American Association for State and Local History, The Texas Historical Foundation, the Historical Society of New Mexico, and the Louisiana Historical Association. Frazier is also involved in two highly regarded history publishing enterprises, State House Press and McWhiney Foundation Press.

Dr. Frazier has received accolades and honors for his contributions to the historical dialogue in the United States. He was chosen for a military history fellowship at the United States Military Academy at West Point, a fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is in high demand as a thinker, consultant, and speaker. Frazier is also an elected member of the prestigious Philosophical Society of Texas, the oldest learned organization in the state, as well as the Texas Historical Foundation.

Dr. Jerry W. Hollingsworth, Professor of Sociology

Areas of Expertise: Native American culture, Poverty and its effects on children worldwide

Jerry W. Hollingsworth received a BA degree from McMurry, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas in Arlington, and a Doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University in Child and Family Studies. He has spent the past ten years traveling to developing countries researching and observing social problems of children in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He has published two books, as well as numerous articles and studies on social problems of children and their development. Dr. Hollingsworth’s most recent research and emphasis have been on the social problems of Native Americans living on reservations, specifically poverty, unemployment and assimilation in to American culture. Dr. Hollingsworth recently returned from South Dakota where he was working with the Lakota tribe.

Dr. Paul Fabrizio, Professor of Political Science

Areas of Expertise: Local, regional, state, national and international politics

Dr. Paul Fabrizio is professor of political science and pre-law advisor at McMurry University. He joined the McMurry faculty in 1996.

Dr. Fabrizio brings a wealth of experience to McMurry. He was born and raised in Southern California and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California. Subsequently, he spent several years at St. John's Major Seminary in Camarillo, California, as well as working for an automotive market researching company. He also served as an assistant manager with the U.S. Census Bureau in Baltimore, Maryland, for the 1990 census, before returning to academe to get his doctorate from Emory University in Atlanta. Fabrizio also co-hosts an off campus radio talk show, “The Professors,” which addresses the political issues of the day.

Dr. Stephen Hardin, Professor of History

Areas of Expertise: Texas history, military history, The Alamo

Dr. Stephen L. Hardin is a specialist in Texas, military, and social history. His numerous publications range from the award-winning Texian Illiad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution to, most recently, Texian Macabre: The Melancholy Tale of a Hanging in Early Houston, a fascinating study of early Houston society. In addition to his writing and teaching activities, Hardin has also provided specialist commentary on the A&E Network, the History Channel, the Discovery Network, and NBC’s TODAY show.

He was elected a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association in 2009.Hardin attended Southwest Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas, where he received both a BA and MA in History. He would later attend Texas Christian University, in Fort Worth, Texas, where he would receive his PhD specializing in Texas history.

Hardin is considered a leading expert in the world in Texas military and social history. He is widely cited with regards to the Battle of the Alamo. Hardin has also appeared on the History Channel in "The Alamo Documentary: A True Story of Courage." He was also a historic advisor to John Lee Hancock's 2004 movie, The Alamo, starring Billy Bob Thornton.

Rev. Bill Libby, Associate Professor of History and Religion

Areas of Expertise: Military chaplaincy, Christian history, Middle Eastern culture and politics, archeological digs, and as a speaker about the Holocaust and its remembrance.

Rev. Libby has taught Old Testament and is especially interested in its relevance and application in the modern world. After graduation from Texas A&M and Drew Theological School, Libby was Ordained in the United Methodist Church and served as a Chaplain in the US Army. His service included assignments in Europe, Asia, and the United States. During those years he also completed a degree in American Diplomatic History (Kansas State) and was admitted to the doctoral program in American Studies at the University of Maryland. Later he completed the US Army’s program in Organizational Behavior and the Executive Program in Human Resources Management at Columbia University. He concluded his military service by serving on the faculty of the National Defense University.

Rev. Libby has been at McMurry University since 1996. He began and coached the cross-country teams (1996-2003) and currently co-hosts the KWKC Talk Radio program “The Professors.” When he’s not in the classroom or on the radio, he’s involved in ongoing summer archaeological work in Jordan.

Dr. Joel Olufowote, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Areas of Expertise: Democracy in the developing world; African politics; Sport & politics

Dr. Olufowote joined the McMurry faculty in 2013. Prior to his arrival, he spent a year on a Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University at Albany, SUNY. Dr. Olufowote teaches courses centered on global politics, democratic governance, and the intersection of sport and politics. Originally from Nigeria, Dr. Olufowote’s teaching and scholarly activity stem from his love of sport and experiences growing up in multiple West African countries. His most current research examine the ways sport can illustrate key concepts in politics and on how political protest is experienced through sporting activity. Dr. Olufowote earned his B.S. in economics/finance from the University of Indianapolis in 2005, his M.A. in political science from Southern Illinois University in 2008, and his Ph.D. in political science in 2013, also from Southern Illinois University.”

FINE ARTS

Charlie Hukill, Professor of Theatre, Division Chair of Fine Arts

Areas of Expertise: Theatre directing, acting, scene design, light design, playwriting, scenery construction, voice and diction; Fine Arts (in particular: painting; art history with concentrations in Japan, Islam, Pre-Columbian Latin America, 1860-1960 Europe and America; architecture; cultural history in general); 3-D photography; UIL One Act Play competition from the viewpoint of a Contest Manager and a Critic Judge

Research areas: Theatre in general; Playwriting; Art and Architecture History; 3-D film photography

Charlie Hukill holds a BFA in Theatre from Stephen F. Austin State University, an MFA in Design and Playwriting from Trinity University, via the Dallas Theater Center, and has completed an additional 60 hours of post graduate study in Fine Arts, with concentrations in Playwriting, Acting, Directing, and the Fine Arts, from Texas Tech University.

Since 1979, he has designed sets for more than 100 productions, designed lights for over 90 productions, directed over 60 productions and performed roles in 39 plays, mostly in Texas, but also in Minnesota, Iowa, and Louisiana. He has had two original scripts produced, Southbound, at Simpson College, in Iowa, for which he also designed the scenery, and Occupational Hazards, at Texas Tech and McMurry.

Charlie is an active member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association. In addition to serving a term as Vice President for the College/University section of TETA, he has also been very involved in the Texas Theatre Adjudicator’s Organization of TETA. For the TTAO, he has served on the Standards and Practices Committee, the Administrative Committee, and was Chair of that organization for two years. He has been an approved Critic Judge for UIL one-act play competitions since 1980 and has judged at all levels, zone to state, A-AAAAA all across the state. In 2001, Charlie was selected as the Educator of the Year for Colleges and Universities by the TETA.

Recognitions at McMurry include the Outstanding Faculty of the Year (2000), the Graduates’ Faculty Award (2001), the Gordon R. and Lola J. Bennett Award (2002), and the E.E. Hall Memorial Scholarship Award (2005).

David Robinson, Director of Bands

Expertise/Research areas: music, music education, marching bands, concert bands, music in the Catholic Church

David Robinson is the Director of Bands at McMurry University, where he serves as director of the War Hawk Marching Band and Wind Ensemble, and teaches classes in conducting, music education, and orchestration. Mr. Robinson is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas and holds the Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting from the University of Missouri and the Bachelor of Music Education degree in instrumental music from Arkansas State University. His teaching experience includes positions with bands in the Wynne and Jonesboro public schools of Arkansas. Mr. Robinson is also active as a composer, performer, and author. His saxophone quartet, Fantasy on St. James, was commissioned for and premiered by the Marion (AR) High School Saxophone Quartet at the 2005 American School Band Directors Association’s national convention. He is a contributing author to Volumes 7, 8, and 9 of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and served as recording editor for Teaching Music Through Performance in and: Solos with Wind and Accompaniment. Mr. Robinson is also a parishioner at Holy Family Catholic Church, where he serves as choir director and organist.

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

Jesse Potter, Coordinator of Counseling Services and Disability Coordinator

Areas of Expertise: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC)

Undergraduate (Bachelor’s Behavioral Sciences) and Master’s Degree (Masters of Education in Counseling and Human Development) from Hardin-Simmons University; graduated with Master’s Degree in December 2010; Began working as a residential counselor at Serenity House in Abilene, Texas in January 2011; obtained intern hours for state licensure in August 2014; began working at McMurry in October 2014

Keith Waddle, Reference Librarian

Areas of Expertise: Library and Information Science

M.S. in Library Science, University of North Texas; Ph.D. in English, Pennsylvania State University

Lisa L. Williams, Vice President for Financial Affairs

Areas of Expertise: Financial, budget, audit, employee benefits

Lisa Love Williams serves as Vice President for Financial Affairs at McMurry University, Abilene, Texas. As Vice President for Financial Affairs her responsibilities include the management of all business and financial functions of the University. She is a member of the President’s Cabinet and assists the President and Cabinet in strategic planning for the University.

Her educational degree and certificates are as follows: BBA in Accounting from Abilene Christian University, May 1982; certified by the Texas Board of Public Accountancy, May 1987.

She has worked in the accounting profession for more than 28 years learning in several capacities; Senior Staff Accountant; Contract Accountant; Owner of Public Accounting Practice; Business Manager; Controller and Vice President.

Ms. Williams assumed the position as Controller at McMurry University in September 2001 and was promoted to Vice President for Financial Affairs in February 2005.

She supervises the Financial Affairs division including Accounting & Finance, Payroll & Benefits, Human Resources, and Student Accounts. Responsibilities also include oversight of the annual financial audit, development of the overall financial budget for the University, execution of all University contracts and strategic planning.

Ms. Williams is involved in Professional Affiliations which include Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Abilene Regional Airport Finance Committee.

BUSINESS

Dr. Patricia A. Lapoint, Ph.D., Professor of Management

Areas of Expertise: Quality Management, Human Resources Management, Strategic Management

Research Interests: Strategic and operational issues related to wind energy.

B.S., Production Operations Management, Miami University, Ohio

M.B.A. Decision Sciences (Business Analysis), Miami University, Ohio

Ph.D. Higher Education Administration, University of North Texas

Corporate Management Experience:

  • Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Hewlett Packard Company, Cincinnati Ohio
  • Consultant in Quality Management and Human Resources Management

Dr. Paul M. Mason, Dean, and Professor of Economics, Johnson School of Business

Areas of expertise. Macroeconomics, public finance, monetary economics, industrial organizations economics

Dr. Paul M. Mason became the Dean and Professor of Economics for the Walter F. and Virginia Johnson School of Business at McMurry University in July 2016. Prior to that he was the Richard de Raismes Kip Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Geography at the University of North Florida. From December 11, 2014 to June 15, 2015 he was the Acting Dean of the Coggin College of Business after having been the Chairman of his department from May 2002 until June 2011. Dr. Mason completed his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Texas in 1984 while teaching economics at Southwest Texas State University for four years; and he taught finance at Clemson University for one year before he began his employment at the University of North Florida in 1985. Dr. Mason progressed through the academic ranks and became a full professor in 1994 and an endowed professor in 2009. Dr. Mason is a coauthor of the book The Economic Consequences of State Lotteries, and over 40 articles regarding numerous topics in economics including lotteries, casino gaming, banking structure, economics education, the economics profession, gasoline pricing, discount rates, and publication delays. Dr. Mason was the initiator and faculty director of the LEIP (Local Economic Indicator Project) that continues to provide a local CPI, an index of leading indicators, a stock price index, and seasonality adjustments to local unemployment rates. Dr. Mason was also very active in the Jacksonville community in consulting involving statistics, economics, and as an expert witness in litigation involving economic damages. Dr. Mason’s civic activities have included memberships on local boards including the DuPont YMCA, the North Corridor Citizen’s Task Force on Public Transportation, the Convention Center Task Force, the JCCI Study on Recession, Recovery, and Beyond, the River City Softball Association, and the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Workforce Taskforce.

Education: B.A. Math and Economics, University of Delaware (first two years at Villanova University), M.A. Economics, University of Delaware, Ph.D., Economics, University of Texas

Positions: Currently as above, previously Richard de Raismes Kip Professor of Economics, University of North Florida (31 years), Assistant Professor of Finance, Clemson University, Instructor/Assistant Professor of Economics, Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State).