SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The 2017 inductees into the Evangel University Communication Department’s Wall of Fame prove the variety of careers available to graduates, as well as their ongoing ties to Evangel and Christian education.
Each year, the department chooses alumni to honor during a Homecoming ceremony attended by students, professors, alumni, family and friends of the honorees.
Lisa Swain ’86 of Los Angeles, California; Barry Copeland ’78 of Carlinville, Illinois; and Paul K. Logsdon ’77 of Springfield, Missouri, were honored Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
“We are excited to have our alumni on campus and have the privilege of recognizing their contributions to communication,” says Dr. Cameron Pace, chair of the Communication Department and professor of film and television.
To be eligible for Evangel’s Wall of Fame, the alumni must be 40 years or older, have a successful career in the communication field, and continue to be a person of faith. Each awardee was nominated by other alumni and voted on by Communication Department faculty.
LISA SWAIN — A career in the entertainment industry
Lisa Swain, now associate professor of Cinema and Media Arts at Biola University, worked as a Hollywood production supervisor for more than 15 years.
Her work on film projects ranged in budget from $15 million to $150 million, including commercially successful movies such as Big Fish, Anger Management, America’s Sweethearts, Face-Off, Varsity Blues and Mars Attacks, among others.
During her entertainment career, she worked with award-winning producers such as Richard Zanuck, Barrie Osborne, Bruce Cohen and David Permut, and directors Tim Burton and Gore Verbinsky. Swain also worked in television as the production coordinator on Amblin Entertainment’s SeaQuest and in the sitcom world on the Family Channel’s Big Brother Jake.
In 2005, Swain joined the faculty at Biola University in the Cinema and Media Arts department, where she teaches classes in Production Management and Media Literacy. At the time of her inclusion in the Wall of Fame she was pursuing a Ph.D. in media psychology at Fielding University.
She recalls, “Most of my extracurricular time was spent with theater and the Activities Board. I participated in a play pretty much every semester.”
Swain also remembers the impact of her education saying, “What changed me the most during my time at Evangel were a few classes that got me started on a quest for understanding that lasted a lifetime.”
She credits her professors, adding that they, “allowed me to hold on to my faith through the many paradoxes I later encountered. I owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.”
BARRY COPELAND — Taking Christian radio to new levels
Barry Copeland spent the majority of his career in communications, with marketing, fundraising and management being the focus.
He graduated from Evangel in 1978 and became the sports editor for the daily newspaper in Lebanon, Missouri. From there, he went to Floydada, Texas, where he managed a Christian radio station in the early days of Contemporary Christian Music.
He returned to Springfield and earned a degree at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, followed by 14 years of working with various ministries at the Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield.
For the past 14 years, Copeland has been in Illinois as the network director of New Life Media, a network of contemporary Christian radio stations — WBGL and WCIC, with 20 facilities covering most of Illinois, as well as parts of Missouri, Indiana and Iowa. As technology has progressed, he has led New Life’s expansion to the internet, social networking and other emerging technologies.
Copeland and his team also work outside the studio, participating in mission trips, helping single moms and leading seminars on subjects such as healthy marriage or financial accountability.
“Our growth is due to our team being dedicated to our mission — seeing lives impacted,” said Copeland. “We are not about radio. Our mission is to help people connect with God. We use media as our primary means to reach that goal.”
Evangel professor Nancy Pace-Miller says, “I have known Barry for over 30 years. His talent in this field is extraordinary. He not only is a strong communicator in many areas of the discipline, but he is a communicator for Christ. That’s his best feature. Barry Copeland is well deserving of this award.”
Copeland is married to Evangel alumna Gina (Dauphinoise ’80) Copeland and they have twin adult sons.
PAUL K. LOGSDON — Serving Evangel for 30 years
The third 2017 honoree is Paul K. Logsdon, a 1977 Communications graduate who spent his early career as a pioneer in the emerging world of Christian rock / Contemporary Christian Music. He served as talent agent for groups such as GLAD and Morgan Cryar, and he concurrently worked in Christian radio, eventually becoming Station Manager at WJTL in Lancaster, Pennsylvania—still one of the top Christian radio stations in the nation.
Logsdon also served a couple of terms as national director of the Fellowship of Contemporary Christian Ministries and as a member of the board of directors of the Creation Festival, the largest Christian music festival in the world. His pioneer status was confirmed when he was included in the retrospective 25th Anniversary issue of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine (July 2003).
As a student, Logsdon worked through all four years at KECC, including two years as Station Manager. He also worked off campus as an announcer at KTXR, and he learned event promotions by coordinating the school’s Artist Series his senior year.
Starting in January 1988, Logsdon became the Director of Public Relations and spokesperson for Evangel University, a position he has held for nearly 30 years. He has served under two presidents, three University Advancement Vice Presidents, and with a host of dedicated fellow employees and outstanding students.
Logsdon also says he appreciates being part of a team that raised more than $60 million for Evangel’s campus transformation. In a 12-year span, from the mid-1990s to 2008, nine major construction projects were completed.
“His positive attitude, writing skills and ability to build relationships with newspaper, radio and television people in Springfield helped establish a greater awareness of Evangel locally, regionally and nationally,” said Dr. Robert H. Spence, Evangel’s president from 1974-2014. “His wise counsel and advice when I was preparing for media interviews proved invaluable. Blessed with an ‘eye’ and an ‘ear’ for the right story about Evangel and its mission has meant long hours but reflects his dedication to the mission of the university.”
In addition to his Evangel work, Logsdon has been active in many community efforts, he is a graduate of class IX of Leadership Springfield, and he was named one of Springfield Business Journal’s “Men of the Year” for 2014.
Several Springfield area communications professionals sent commendations for Logsdon, which were read at the Homecoming event. A sampling includes:
- “Paul Logsdon is an amazing example of a consummate Communications professional. As a journalist, I could always depend on Paul to provide access to stories and people at the university. As a Communications colleague, I look to Paul for advice. He is a solid Christian man who loves his university and Communication family as much as his own family.” — Angela Eden. Senior Communication Specialist for the MoDOT’s Southwest District
- “Paul is an exceptional public relations professional who has a passion for telling Evangel’s story and engaging students in the art of communications. He is a highly respected mentor and friend to many throughout the region.” — Stacy Burks, Executive Director of the Southern Missouri American Red Cross
- “Paul Logsdon embodies the best qualities of a high-level communications professional. Throughout the longevity of his career, Paul has adapted to changing technologies and embraced trends. He has been a role model for other senior professionals to serve as mentors to undergraduate and graduate students and new professionals. Paul conducts business and represents Evangel University with professionalism and ethics infused with the Christian foundation of the school. In the broader field of communications professionals in this region, Paul is a leader from whom we can each learn.” — Melinda Arnold, Owner, Fusion Link Communications
Logsdon holds a B.A. in Communication from Evangel and an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication from Drury University.
He is married to Evangel graduate Kay (Compton ’77) Logsdon a 2014 inductee to the Wall of Fame, and together they have a grown daughter and son, both Evangel graduates, and two granddaughters, just five-months apart in age. Update: add twins to that, a boy and a girl, born in 2018!
SIDEBAR: Members of the Wall of Fame
2014 — Evangel launched the Communication Department’s Wall of Fame in 2014 with five inductees, all with Springfield ties:
- “Aunt Norma” Champion, pioneer broadcaster and former State Senator;
- Shirley Shedd, retired chair of the department;
- Steve Grant, KY3 News anchor;
- Kay Logsdon, vice president of The Food Channel/Noble Communication; and
- Brandon Beck, KY3 News meteorologist.
2015 — Members of the second honored group were (READ FULL STORY):
- Dave Davis, Hillcrest High School media teacher;
- Krista Sederwall Casey, a managing producer for CBN; and
- Dr. Norm Mintle, dean of the school of Communication and Creative Arts at Liberty University.
2016 — Members of the third group of honorees were (READ FULL STORY):
- Steven Yake, Dove award-winner and Nashville-based film producer/director;
- Dr. Tamara Tarpley Welter, chair of the Media, Journalism & Public Relations Department at Biola University; and,
- Matt Wilkie, field team director for international service organization Convoy of Hope.