New Honors Program Director Appointed
Monday, February 2, 2009
Posted by: Katy Watson
Dr. Scott LaMascus has agreed to serve as Director of Oklahoma Christian University’s Honors Program starting with the 2009-10 academic year. Dr. LaMascus, an OC graduate himself, has taught in the Department of Language and Literature for the past ten years. During that time, he chaired the department during a phase of growth from 37 majors to 117. In addition to a focus on strategic planning and academic excellence, he championed the establishment of the McBride Center for Faith and Literature, which brings to campus high-profile speakers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. Marilynne Robinson and former U.S. Poet Laureate Dr. Robert Pinsky.
Dr. Allison Garrett, Vice President for Academic Affairs noted that, “Along with other faculty in the Language and Literature Department, Dr. LaMascus has worked closely with OC students to bring national prominence to the department through the presentation of papers at national conferences and the recent recognition of OC’s student literary journal as the top journal of its type in the nation. He will bring tremendous experience, as well as a great love for OC and its students to this new role.” During his tenure as chair, the department also redesigned its facilities, built a model assessment and planning process, established the Community Literacy service project, and expanded the OC Writing Center.
As an active teacher in the OC Honors Program while it has been under the direction of Dr. Bailey McBride, LaMascus repeatedly taught in the Western Thought and Expression courses. “I always have enjoyed the Honors students and one of the highlights of my career has been the chance to co-teach with colleauges such as Dr. Cami Agan, Dr. John Maple, and Dr. McBride,” LaMascus said. “I am looking forward to getting opportunities to champion the program and to work with these amazing students who come to study at OC.”
During the 2009-2010 academic year, Dr. LaMascus also served on a special committee chaired by Dr. Don Drew to conduct a review of the structure of OC’s Honors Program. Dr. Drew and Dr. LaMascus also attended the National Collegiate Honors Council annual conference earlier this year. “Don has an amazing background which has prepared him to study existing programs and create a stronger basis for planning, development, and operations of those programs,” LaMascus said. “His study and leadership give OC Honors a wonderful platform for moving forward with renewed energy, stronger focus, and increased potential to help our students grow.”
As a faculty member at Georgia Southwestern State University, Dr. LaMascus was appointed to the Honors advisory committee and attended the NCHC; he taught composition for the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma while a graduate student there.
OC’s Honors Program has been blessed by the strong leadership of Dr. Bailey McBride since 1996. During this time, the program has grown both in numbers of students and in quality. Since inception, many OC students have gone through OC’s Honors Program and had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. McBride. He has had tremendous influence on generations of OC’s students – including many National Merit Scholars and other highly-prepared students in the Honors program. Dr. McBride will work closely with Dr. LaMascus during the transition period and will remain involved in teaching Honors and Language & Literature courses.
Dr. McBride expressed his enthusiasm for Dr. LaMascus, noting that “The Honors Program is a significant step toward preparing the best students from all departments for leadership and scholarship. Dr. LaMascus has a record of success in developing significant projects from planning to implementation. He will be sensitive to the development of all students.”