OC proud to add seven accomplished scholars and teachers

Oklahoma Christian University’s newest professors offer students a wealth of academic and professional experience along with a passion for faith and service. From nursing, music and education, to English, computer science and biology, OC’s students will be benefit from excellent scholars and teachers.

According Scott LaMascus, OC’s vice president for academic affairs, these new faculty were selected because of their academic credentials and commitment to OC’s distinctive Christian mission.

“Each of these accomplished faculty stood out among their fellow applicants, and their passion for Christian education strongly impressed the interview committees,” LaMascus said. “We are thrilled to add their talents and servant hearts to what I believe is the best, Christian faculty in the country.”

Six of the seven new professors are OC alumni. They were thrilled by the opportunity to come back home to their alma mater.

“I am living the dream to be back home teaching at OC,” said Elayne Weger Bowman. 

Bowman has almost 40 years of experience teaching math and developing system-wide curriculum in public schools. She also taught as a visiting lecturer in the mathematics department at the University of Oklahoma. In addition, Bowman spent a year as a master teacher-in-residence in OU’s School of Education, where she earned her doctorate. Bowman serves OC as a visiting assistant professor of education.

Likewise, alumna Jennifer Gray comes to OC after spending more than three decades as a professor and administrator at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she built an internationally respected reputation for developing doctoral nursing students in the U.S. and Uganda. She was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2013. Gray serves OC as a professor of nursing and Associate Dean for the College of Natural and Health Sciences. She earned her doctorate from Texas Woman’s University after starting her undergraduate studies at OC. Gray also brings years of experience leading medical mission trips to Africa.

Similarly, Mike Knedler comes to OC after more than 30 years as a professor and administrator at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He served as director of bands and then as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. In his time at NWOSU, Knedler helped raise nearly $3 million in grants and donations for university projects. In addition, he has extensive experience with community and professional orchestras. Knedler serves OC as a distinguished visiting professor of honors. He earned his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.

Alumna Dana McMichael has also returned home to OC as a visiting professor of language and literature. She taught at Abilene Christian University since 2000, and she earned her doctorate from Oklahoma State University. McMichael’s husband, B.J., serves as the family minister at the Stillwater church of Christ. OC’s Department of Language and Literature gave her the distinguished alumni award in 2012.

Sara Alcon is yet another alumna glad to call OC home again. She was an honors student who graduated summa cum laude in 2007. Alcon earned her doctorate in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Cell Biology and Physiology from the University of New Mexico. She also brings to OC years of teaching experience at Albuquerque Christian School and as a UNM teaching assistant. She serves OC as a visiting assistant professor of biology.

Alumnus Travis Montgomery returns to OC from Fort Hays State University, where he was an assistant professor of English. He has more than 25 publications and presentations and received multiple honors during his doctoral studies at the University of Mississippi. OC’s Department of Language and Literature gave him the distinguished alumni award in 2013. He serves OC as an assistant professor of language and literature.

Finally, alumnus Robert Nix returns to OC after teaching computer science at Lipscomb University. Nix earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas. He received the Best Paper Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2010, and he was named the Becky J. Tellon Teacher of the Year for Lipscomb’s School of Computing and Informatics in 2014. Nix has also spent more than 10 years performing in gospel quartets. He serves OC as an assistant professor of computer science.