Evangel Profile

Rebecca Rhoades: Associate professor of accounting

July 9, 2011

Rebecca Rhoades, associate professor of accounting, is responsible for teaching and advising Evangel’s accounting majors. Rhoades is a 1974 Evangel graduate with an MBA from Oral Roberts University. In addition to teaching at Evangel, Rhoades and her husband Mark serve as the National Administrative Couple of Assemblies of God Marriage Encounter. They attend Evangel Temple Assembly of God in Springfield, where they also help facilitate a class for parents of young children, “Parental Guidance.” She has three children, John Mark, who is studying Art and French at Evangel; Anne Marie, who works as a legislative assistant in Jefferson City, Missouri; and Katherine, who is a graduate student at the University of Cape Town.

What is your favorite memory as an Evangel student?

So many fun memories, of course.  Dorm life was great.  Cafeteria conversations were fun.  But I LOVED the brain stimulation.  Having intellectuals, who were outstanding Pentecostal Christians as well, as professors and Chapel speakers was a rich experience.  Dr. George Wood was my professor for The Gospel of Mark.  Dr. Cooley lectured in Jan-term “Man and His Culture.”   I had Dr. Ward Williams for Church Leadership.  Dr. Turner Collins challenged me to think “green” in a general biology class.  He was tuned into environmental issues before anybody ever heard of Earth Day.   Listening to such brilliant and wise speakers  was like watching  early day version of TED talks.

What are some of the highlights of your life outside of Evangel?

I have had rich experiences as an advocate for gifted children including working to bring the International Baccalaureate program to Springfield.  I volunteered in significant ways time-wise in bond campaigns that resulted in the fabulous renovation of Central High School and the subsequent updating of Parkview High School. On several occasions, I have advocated for individual highly gifted students who needed special services or resources.

What do you enjoy most about working with EU students?

I enjoy getting to know students so I can watch for internship and career opportunities that match their strengths.  I love seeing a student get the perfect job.

What sets Evangel University’s accounting program apart from other programs?

Our accounting graduates have had outstanding success in their careers.  One accounting alumnus, Phil Rykhoek, is CEO of Denbury, a Fortune 500 corporation.  Four or five accounting graduates have been or are currently chief financial officers of large publicly held corporations.  Cheryl Matejka is CFO of St. John’s Mercy Health Care.  A couple of grads are in the top ranks of BKD, one of the largest CPA firms in the nation.  Other graduates own their own CPA firms or contribute significantly in small- and medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries.

During the more than 30 years I have taught at Evangel, one of the things I’ve appreciated most for its wide impact is the Lilly Endowment grant that we received several years ago.  It resulted in LifeWorks which has provided funding that helped enrich the lives of so many of our students.  It has helped fund study abroad trips, internships, speakers, mentoring experiences, and the strengths emphasis on our campus.  Can’t imagine Evangel without that generous grant.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Take advantage of the variety of opportunities for learning while you are at Evangel. Go to Evangel’s theatre productions.  Buy cheap student rush tickets for great shows at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for Performing Arts.  Take a ceramics class.  Go downtown for First Friday Art Walk.  Listen to guest lecturers.  Volunteer for a political campaign.  Go caving in the fall.  Tour France in the summer.

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