BJU Public Relations

The official PR blog for Bob Jones University

Richard III Places Third in National American Prize Competition

GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 6, 2017) – Bob Jones University’s 2012 production of Shakespeare’s Richard III, directed and designed by Jeffrey Stegall and featuring Ron Pyle in the title role, recently received third place in the 2016-2017 national American Prize competition in music theater and theater performance.

“We are honored that BJU has been recognized yet again by the prestigious American Prize competition and are proud of the students, faculty and staff who made Richard III an award-winning production,” says Dr. Darren Lawson, dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication.

First and second place in the competition were given for productions performed at Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and Belmont University, respectively.

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels.

Three BJU Graduates Named as Finalists for the 2017-2018 Greenville County Schools Teacher of the Year

GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 5, 2017) – Bob Jones University graduates Jeremy Bowen, Scott Buhr and David Dejesa were recently selected as finalists in the 2017-2018 Greenville County Schools Teacher of the Year program.

“The faculty and I are pleased to see the impact each of these graduates is making on the lives of students in their respective schools,” says Dr. Brian Carruthers, dean of the School of Education at BJU. “Each of these recipients has demonstrated remarkable professional growth, and this accomplishment is a testament to the strong undergraduate preparation each received as a student at BJU.”

Bowen, a resident of Greenville, is a mathematics teacher at J.L. Mann High School and has been teaching for five years. Bowen graduated from BJU in 2012 with a bachelor of science in mathematics education and holds a master’s in education from Anderson University.

Buhr, a resident of Simpsonville, has served as a physics and earth science teacher at Hillcrest High School for four years. Buhr graduated from BJU in 2011 with a bachelor of science in composite science education and in 2013 with a master’s in educational leadership.

Dejesa, a resident of Greenville, serves as a social studies and speech and debate teacher at Riverside High School and has been teaching for 13 years. Dejesa graduated from BJU in 2005 with a bachelor of science in composite social studies education and holds a master’s in history secondary education from Converse College.

The process of selecting the 10 finalists began last fall when schools and centers selected their individual Teacher of the Year. These teachers submitted applications, which included a professional biography, educational history and professional development, community involvement, philosophy of teaching, education issues and trends, the teaching profession, and a personal message to educators and the general public.

The Selection Committee will choose Greenville County’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year after participating in classroom observations and conducting individual interviews with the 10 finalists. The announcement will be made in August.

Noelani Debski Interns for BJU Bruins Sports Information Office

Noelani Debski

GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 5, 2017) – Noelani Debski, a senior journalism and mass communication major at Bob Jones University, serves as an intern this semester for the BJU Bruins sports information office.

Debski, a resident of Mobile, Alabama, assists the sports information director with creating and maintaining social media content.

“This internship is an opportunity to take the lessons I learned in the classroom and apply them to real-life work situations,” says Debski. “I am blessed to have this opportunity and look forward to seeing where I move to in the future as a result of having this experience.”

Bob Jones University To Display Pinwheel Garden

GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 4, 2017) – Bob Jones University will display pinwheel gardens at the Wade Hampton Boulevard entrance during the month of April in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Since 2008, the bright blue pinwheel has served as the national symbol of child abuse prevention as it symbolizes a happy and healthy childhood–something every child deserves. This is the third year BJU has participated in this nationwide event.

“The impact of child abuse is devastating for children, their families, and our entire community,” says Dr. Julie Hartman, teacher education professor and program coordinator for early child care and development and early childhood education programs at BJU. “The pinwheels are meant to bring attention to the problem of abuse and serve as a symbol of community resolve to work together to prevent child abuse of any kind because real solutions can only be offered as we continue working together for the best interests of all children.”

BJU’s early child care and education faculty and students will again host Greenville’s Picnic in the Park event Wednesday, April 5, and will participate in the annual Walk for Prevention Sunday, April 23, which culminates in a community pinwheel garden planting at the Julie Valentine Memorial in Cleveland Park.

On Saturday, April 8, Hartman will facilitate a training session in Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children,” a child sexual abuse awareness and prevention program, for BJU students as well as youth and ministry workers from the local community.

Students from the School of Education and BJU Bruins student athletes will plant the gardens at BJU April 7. The gardens will remain in place until April 24.

Aashish George Interns for BJU Information Technology

Aashish George

GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 3, 2017) – Aashish George, a junior information technology major at Bob Jones University, serves as an intern this semester for BJU Information Technology.

George, a resident of Greenville, works as an IT printer support specialist, in charge of all the printers. His responsibilities include printer installation, print server, Google Cloud Print, mobile printing on campus, and communicating with printer vendors.

“Printers are what we do, but people are our most important commodity,” says George.

Chuck Nicholas Named SC District Communicator of the Year

Chuck Nicholas

GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 31, 2017) – The National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) recently awarded Bob Jones Academy (BJA) professor Chuck Nicholas the District Communicator of the Year Award at the South Carolina District Qualifier tournament held at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to the NSDA, this award showcases individuals who utilize their speech and debate talents in ways that profoundly impact the lives of others in their district or community.

“Chuck Nicholas is one of the finest teachers I have ever known,” says Greg Cook, who nominated Nicholas for the award and serves as coach of the Riverside High School debate team. “The Communicator of the Year Award is our highest honor and rewards an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary service and achievement in speech and debate and highlights the efforts of someone who uses communication to change minds for the better. There is no one in South Carolina more worthy of that honor than Chuck Nicholas.”

Nicholas has been awarded several distinguished service awards from the NSDA, has served as South Carolina’s district chairman, and been involved in many debate tournaments across the Carolinas. He and his wife, Gail, have coached national champions in storytelling and commentary, finalists in Congress, eighth place finishers in National Public Forum Debate, National Quarterfinalists in Word Schools Debate, and a host of other regional and national winners.

Nicholas has served as head coach of BJA’s speech and debate team for 31 years and currently teaches speech, debate and drama at BJA.

Classic Paintings Coming to Life at Bob Jones University

GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 30, 2017) — Bob Jones University will present Living Gallery, an Upstate Easter tradition, April 13-15 in Rodeheaver Auditorium. Now in its twentieth year of telling the Gospel story through breath-taking living displays of art, Living Gallery will be presented April 13-15 at 4:30 and 8 p.m. with an additional program April 15 at 2 p.m.

You will be challenged and inspired by the drama, music and the life-size re-creations of masterpieces brought to life with live human models.

This year’s Living Gallery, “The Savior’s Call,” is a boldly unique, dramatic presentation of sacred masterworks of art depicting Christ’s ministry and passion. This presentation features Dr. Dan Forrest’s musical work “Requiem for the Living” and dramatizes Christ’s invitation to his followers: come, eat, drink, and rest.​

“Those who have attended Living Gallery in the past will recognize several new innovations in this year’s production,” says director Paul Radford. “Creative elements in the artwork, music, and script will provide a unique interpretation of what BJU has been doing for two decades.”

Tickets are $14 and may be purchased at the BJU Programs and Production box office from noon to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. They may also be purchased online through or by calling (864) 770-1372 during business hours.

Richard Mattish Chosen for Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program

Richard Mattish

GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 29, 2017) – Richard Mattish, a junior physics major at Bob Jones University, was selected to participate this summer in the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) hosted by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Mattish, a resident of Hollister, California, will be conducting research concerning the characterization and modeling of behavior of metamaterials as shielding against directed energy weapons. The goal of this project is to develop shields capable of protecting planes, ships, etc. from a microwave weapon. The internship will last for ten weeks.

“Second only to my undergraduate degree, this internship will be the most important educational experience I will have received going into graduate school and my future career,” says Mattish. “This internship will give me the opportunity to network with professors in my field and to do real, cutting edge research. I expect to learn a lot this summer about the process of performing physics research as a job and not merely as a class assignment.”

Bob Jones University to Host Annual AACS National Competition

GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 28, 2017) – Bob Jones University will host nearly 2,000 students for the annual American Association of Christian Schools’ (AACS) national competition April 4-6.

“We are honored to host so many talented high school students here on campus for this national competition,” says BJU President Steve Pettit. “The AACS competition provides these students with a great opportunity to compete and interact with other Christian young people while experiencing all that BJU has to offer.”

Students in grades 7-12 from Christian high schools across the nation will compete in a series of competitions in music, Bible, art and design, academic testing, speech and drama.

In addition to competing, students will have the opportunity to visit classes and attend campus events.

Bob Jones University Hosts Human Genetics Symposium

GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 22, 2017) – Bob Jones University will host a human genetics symposium in Stratton Hall Thursday, March 30, from 6-8 p.m. The symposium will focus on the topic of genetic syndromes.

“Our goal is to create a connection point for scholars and researchers, as well as offering an informative opportunity to the general public,” says Dr. Vincenzo Antignani, assistant professor in BJU’s Department of Biology and Division of Natural Sciences.

The symposium will include a discussion with experts on genetic disabilities and will offer attendees the opportunity to connect with professionals in both medical and scientific fields. The featured speakers, all of whom are researchers in the field of genetics, will focus on the Phelan-McDermid syndrome and the Fragile X syndrome.

Speakers include Dr. Curtis Rogers (Senior Clinical Geneticist and Director of the Greenwood Genetics Center – Greenville Campus), who will speak on the topic of “Phelan-McDermid syndrome: historical and clinical aspects;” Dr. Luigi Boccuto (Assistant Research Scientist at the Greenwood Genetics Center – Greenwood Campus), who will cover the topic of “Phelan-McDermid syndrome: molecular aspects and future perspectives in research and treatment;” and Dr. Giovanni Neri (President of the Italian Society of Human Genetics, Rome, Italy), who will address the topic of “Transcriptional Reactivation of the FMR1 Gene. A Possible Approach to the Treatment of the Fragile X Syndrome.”

The symposium is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will follow. Please register for the event here.