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Marla Selvidge

Marla Selvidge

Marla Selvidge, an educator who used her diverse writing, research and teaching skills to help students explore religions and even probe the lives of American icons such as Elvis Presley, retired in 2014 after dedicating approximately 24 years in service to UCM and its students. Selvidge joined UCM in 1990, and climbed the faculty ranks from associate professor to professor and served as director of the Center for Religious Studies. She was honored for her work as an educator in 1999 when she received the Byler Distinguished Faculty Award, the top honor given annually to a UCM faculty member.

Her dedication to the education and success of students led to numerous academic accomplishments, a number of them taking advantage of technology. This includes developing the minor, online minor, and online individualized major in Religious Studies. She developed a total of 22 courses of which 19 are in the online minor and individualized major. Among her proudest accomplishments, the professor emerita of religious studies conducted study tours of China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Alaska; hired six faculty members to teach in Religious Studies; and published 13 books, scores of academic articles and several collections. She made numerous paper presentations to professional organizations over a 30-year period as an educator, and completed a Web Design Certificate in 2014. Selvidge was active in university committee work, serving as chair of the committee which developed the international studies minor and vice chair of the University Curriculum Committee.

She advanced professionally through her participation in organizations such as the American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature, and serving as president, vice president, treasurer, and regional director of the Central States Society of Biblical Literature. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University-Fort Wayne, Ind.; master’s degree from Wheaton Graduate School, Wheaton, Ill., and doctorate from Saint Louis University in Missouri.