Dr. Bryan Sanders: Social Sciences Department chair
February 9, 2012
Dr. Bryan Sanders, a 1982 graduate of Evangel, is chairman of the Department of Social Sciences. He is a man of integrity and passion to see his students succeed. He enjoys promoting new development and vision for his department while continuing to promote the development of his advisees and students as their careers begin to launch. Dr. Sanders says his proudest professional accomplishment is watching a number of his students go on to law school with full-ride scholarships.
What has been the highlight of your career outside of Evangel?
There have been a number of highlights in my career outside of Evangel, mostly centered on my work in biblical conflict resolution. I enjoy helping people in crisis find the biblical answer to conflict. Most recently being invited to speak to the Capitol Hill Executive Service Club in the U.S. Capitol building when Justice Clarence Thomas had spoken just weeks before was very exciting.
How is Evangel the same and/or different than it was when you were a student?
The obvious difference is the improved campus facilities. I still remember Dr. Calvin Holsinger opening windows in the barracks in the middle of winter because the radiators were left on overnight and it was extremely hot in the classroom. The caring professors with a heart for students are still the same.
What are your best memories as a student at Evangel?
Discovering the call God had on my life and the lifelong friendships I made with my peers as well as my professors.
Did you ever imagine that you would come back to teach at Evangel?
That would be a no. Originally, I only came down for a year to fill in for a professor on sabbatical. I’m still on a leave of absence from my position as Vice President and Legal Counsel for my company in Ohio, but I think they have figured out I’m not coming back.
What makes Evangel University’s Social Sciences Department unique?
The close-knit relationships our students have with the professors and each other. Professors absolutely love to spend time with the students in our department and look for opportunities to get together with each other whether with the Prelaw Society “Back to the Books Bash” or The annual hayride on Dr. Lew Hall’s Ranch. In our classes using artifacts and documentation we have the ability to pull events from the past and apply them to the present. I don’t think other departments have a professor who dresses up in Civil War uniforms and shoots muskets and cannons.
What are some of the new things going on in your department?
The newest thing this semester is the Christian Citizenship Week Project that was held September 13-17. The entire department worked with others such as Professor Sharon Wilkins in the Music Department and Professor Melinda Booze in Communication to create an awareness of our responsibilities as Christians and citizens. We are also in a major redesign of the Public Administration program that was a result of work Dr. Dale Garrett did in his Ph.D. program.
What is your favorite thing about working with Evangel University students?
It is my honor to be a mentor to my advisees whether they are undeclared majors or prelaw students. I enjoy when a student comes in my office to chat about God’s call on his or her life, and I have the honor of providing feedback. I have taught at other colleges and universities and believe we have the best students here at Evangel.
What stands out as your proudest professional accomplishment?
Watching a number of my advisees going on to law school with a full-ride scholarship because of the diligence they have shown in their undergraduate preparation. It is fantastic to watch as their careers have unfolded as well.
Do students at Evangel have a chance to be involved in professional internships?
Absolutely. We have a number of opportunities for Social Science majors to intern in governmental, historical and legal internships. Our unique Washington Studies Program allows our students from across campus to intern in the office of a congressman, senator or other governmental office for a week to see what life is like in Washington, D.C.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Come to Evangel for a campus visit that includes some time with a professor in a department of your interest. I tell students to think of their education as a tool belt and each class a tool for their use in a career God has called them to fulfill, so it is good to think long term about what they would like to do.