Congratulations to the 2022-2023 HCU Piper Professor & Nominees

Higher education provides a unique opportunity to shape the knowledge and wisdom of students for the trajectory of their lives. Professors carry out the noble occupation of preparing learners for careers and personal lives filled with purpose and success. Each year, the HCU Colleges and Schools select their Piper Professor Nominee. These individuals represent the very best in teaching and professional development in each college. Nominees are recognized for their effectiveness in the classroom, their work with students in advising and mentoring, their dedication to teaching, admiration and respect from their colleagues, scholarship in their field and contributions to the University. Congratulations to the HCU 2022-2023 Piper Nominees!

Congratulations to HCU’s 2022-2023 Piper Professor

Dr. Sarah Katelynn (Katie) Alaniz, Associate Professor of Education in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences has been named HCU’s 2022-2023 Piper Professor. Dr. Alaniz teaches both graduate and undergraduate degree programs where she works with students seeking to make a positive impact in schools and society. Her course development and teaching experiences include courses in instructional design, educational applications of technology, collegial coaching and theories and applications of systems thinking. Dr. Alaniz also serves as Director of the Center for Learning Innovations and Teaching Excellence (C-LITE), supporting colleagues in their endeavors to meaningfully enhance teaching and learning at HCU. Additionally, she serves as the program coordinator and course developer for the Master of Science in Learning, Technology, and Design program. She also has chaired or served as a committee member on the dissertation committees of nine doctoral students, including members of the first cohort of doctoral graduates from HCU. Dr. Alaniz has designed and delivered more than 150 professional presentations in the United States and abroad, and she has authored and/or co-authored more than 20 publications, including six books in the areas of priority management, instructional design, authentic assessment, collegial coaching in academic settings and educational applications of digital tools and resources. She was also selected as a Fulbright Specialist by the J. William Fulbright Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Additionally, Dr. Alaniz represented her college as the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Nominee in the 2019-2020 academic year. Her calling as an educator has led her to a wide range of professional opportunities, including more than 15 years of service as a teacher in public and private school settings and more than a decade of experience as a digital learning specialist. Additionally, for the past 14 years, Dr. Alaniz and her husband Steven have served thousands of neighbors within the Houston community through a nonprofit outreach program called Apartment Life. Dr. Alaniz holds a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Learning, Design, and Technology from the University of Houston; a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Instructional Technology from Houston Christian University; a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Texas A&M University; and a Certificate in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the Texas Education Agency. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Houston Christian University.

HCU Celebrates the 2022-2023 HCU Piper Professor Nominees

Archie Dunham College of Business

Dr. Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA is a Professor of Accounting at Houston Christian University in the Archie Dunham College of Business where he is now concluding his term as Chair of Accounting. He specializes in analyzing business opportunities and risks with complex factors and highly uncertain outcomes and began his career in the assurance and consulting practices of Deloitte. After serving as a Consulting Partner at BDO, then the sixth-largest global accounting firm in the U.S., he co-founded a series of consulting practices. He maintains specialties in valuation, enterprise risk management, business modeling, decision analysis, forensic analysis, educational gaming and strategic planning. His innovative approach to ESG / Sustainability, as codified in his award-winning case, “Save The Blue Frog,” involves the integration of strategic, operating and financial practices while balancing economic outcomes with social and environmental considerations. He previously taught at Providence College, Sacred Heart University, the Universities of Connecticut and Massachusetts in the U.S. and at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He also has presented his work at Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University and other institutions. He authored and/or co-authored thirty peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Banking and Finance, the CPA Journal and elsewhere. He wrote more than five hundred blog posts and numerous book chapters, newsletters and podcasts for Wiley, Routledge, Henry Stewart, Kaplan and other publishers. He also authored a book on Business Planning and Entrepreneurship for Business Expert Press. Since 2014, the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) has ranked him in the All-Time Top 10% of global researchers. His top-ranked article, entitled “Libor Manipulation,” was published several months before the global banking scandal exploded in the public business press. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the CPA Journal and the Advisory Board of the Center for Professional Accounting Practices at Fordham University. He is about to begin serving as a Board member of the Houston CPA Society, i.e. TXCPA Houston. He earned a PhD in Behavioral Accounting from the University of Connecticut and an MPPM in Public and Private Management from Yale University. He also earned a BBA in Public Accounting from Baruch College, CUNY.

School of Christian Thought

Dr. Phillip Marshall, Associate Professor in Biblical Languages, has been teaching in the School of Christian Thought at HCU since 2008. He began his teaching career in biblical studies/biblical languages at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he taught Hebrew full-time for one year as an instructor before moving to Houston to join the biblical languages faculty. Having engaged in undergraduate studies in Russian language and linguistics at Georgetown University and doctoral studies in Hebrew and Greek linguistics at Southern Seminary, Dr. Marshall loves all things language-related. His teaching focus and passion here at HCU are Classical Biblical Hebrew and Hellenistic Greek; he also enjoys teaching Aramaic, linguistics and the introductory Old Testament courses to new and transfer students.  His areas of research specialization are Hebrew and Greek grammar, the Septuagint, early Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible, textual criticism and biblical exegesis. Dr. Marshall is co-author of “Qoheleth” (Baylor Handbook of the Hebrew Bible) and co-editor and essay contributor to Like Nails Firmly Fixed: Essays in Honor of Peter J. Gentry on the Occasion of His Retirement (Peeters Press). In addition, he is under contract to write commentaries on the book of Haggai (Zondervan Academic), the Hebrew text of Genesis 12–23 (Baylor Press) and the Greek text of LXX-Ecclesiastes (Baylor Press).

School of Fine Arts

Dr. Matthew Boyleston, professor of English and Writing in the College of Arts and Humanities, has taught at HCU since 2008. He is the author of the book of poetry “Viewed from the Keel of a Canoe.” His poems and essays have appeared in over 50 literary journals and anthologies such as “Open-Eyed and Full-Throated: An Anthology of Irish/American Poets,” “Blackwell’s Companion to Creative Writing,” “Puerto del Sol” and The Madison Review. He is an executive board member for the Houston nonprofit, Catholic Literary Arts, where he organizes a summer creative writing camp for elementary and high school students and coordinates the development of creative writing curriculum for teachers and homeschool families. Dr. Boyleston directs the annual HCU Writers Conference and, with his colleagues, administers twice-yearly writing retreats for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and the Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting. Dr. Boyleston has held many administrative positions at HCU including Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, Director of the Master of Liberal Arts and Associate Provost for Academic Technology. Dr. Boyleston was the founding Dean of the School of Fine Arts where, with his colleagues, he launched the Cinematic Arts Program and the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Dr. Boyleston is the chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan Implementation Committee: Mission Metacognition. This multi-year, university-wide project focuses on ways to improve student learning through the adoption of metacognitive practices in teaching. Dr. Boyleston teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Creative Writing and English and is a member of the Honors College. Dr. Boyleston received his PhD in Creative Writing in Literature from the University of Houston, his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of South Carolina and his MBA from Houston Christian University.

School of Humanities

Dr. Emily Stelzer, Associate Professor of Literature in the College of Arts and Humanities has taught in the English program  at HCU since 2011 and has served as chair of her department since 2019. She has taught 34 unique courses at HCU, serving the English and English Ed programs, the Liberal Arts core curriculum, the Honors College, the Academy, the Master of Liberal Arts program and Freshman Year seminars. She designed and created two online English courses for HCU, and in the residential classroom is committed to pedagogical innovations that support student learning and emphasize the integration of faith and learning within the discipline of English literature. She specializes in early modern literature, the work of John Milton in particular. Her book “Gluttony and Gratitude” (Penn State UP, 2018) examines ancient and medieval philosophical influences on Milton’s depiction of the fall of humankind in “Paradise Lost.” She has published journal articles and book chapters on Milton, Shakespeare, and classical Christian education, and she writes reviews for The Year’s Work in English Studies, an Oxford University Press journal. Her public and campus lectures have covered such authors and topics as Phillis Wheatley, Augustine, Milton, Virgil, emblems of Friendship, AI writing tools, writing across the curriculum, providing useful feedback to students and encountering Christianity through the study of poetry.     

College of Science and Engineering 

Dr. Curtis Henderson, Professor and Chair of the HCU Biology Department in the College of Science and Engineering, is finishing his 20th year of teaching at Houston Christian University. While his teaching experience has been focused on undergraduate students, he also will participate in curriculum development and teaching in the new Master of Professional Science degree program – one of the first offered by HCU in STEM fields. Dr. Henderson earned his PhD from Texas Tech University in 2001 after completing his dissertation research in molecular virology. He has highly varied teaching interests as indicated by the wide variety of courses taught during his time at Houston Christian University. He has taught a variety of standard courses including Anatomy and Physiology, Introductory Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Virology and Molecular Biology, but is also interested in course development to meet the demands of a changing landscape in biology education. He has planned, developed and delivered several courses including RNA Biology, Global Health, Molecular Genetics, and most recently, a Cell and Molecular Biology laboratory course. This course is designed to provide an authentic research experience for early STEM students, offering the opportunity to engage in exploratory research and develop student identity as young scientists. Dr. Henderson is interested in employing authentic research as a critical tool in the learning process as well as providing opportunities for students to develop curiosity and a desire to learn more about God’s physical creation.

School of Nursing and Allied Health

Dr. Mark Gaus, Professor of Kinesiology in College of Nursing and Allied Health joined the faculty in the Spring of 2016. He has taught an extensive list of courses that includes Tests and Measurements, Creating a Wellness Lifestyle, Coaching, Motor Learning, Sports Sociology, Sport and Fitness Activities, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Nutrition, Sports Facility and Event Management, Sports Law, physical education teacher courses, Foundations of Kinesiology, supervision of physical education pre-service teachers and Graduate Internship. His research interests include the inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education and other academic settings, obesity in school populations, and cross-curricular strategies involving physical education. Dr. Gaus has thirteen referred publications and has presented over twenty-five national/international, regional and state presentations.  Dr. Gaus currently serves as the interim department chair for the Department of Allied Health where he supports other faculty in advancing the mission of the University.  Dr. Gaus also serves on various university and college committees including the Athletic Advisory Council, the Admission Progression and Graduation Chair for Nursing and the President’s Award Committee. Prior to his arrival at Houston Christian, Dr. Gaus served at other universities as well as was a teacher/coach in Texas public schools and holds certifications in physical education, health, speech and special education. His fondest memory of his time in public schools was serving as the head baseball coach at his high school alma mater with his father, his former high school coach, serving as his assistant coach. Dr. Gaus obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lamar University and his doctoral degree from the University of Houston.