Harmony is a theme that has been woven throughout the life of
Dr. Nancy Halliday. From her early days as a professional classical
musician to her love of biology and teaching, the 1988 graduate of
Southern Nazarene University sees the harmony that is at work around
“One of my favorite things about teaching at SNU was assisting
students in their journey to hold faith and science in harmony,” said Dr.
Halliday. “The topic was brought up almost daily given the apparent
conflicts of biology and faith. At the OU College of Medicine, I continue
to assist students in holding both faith and science in harmony to
realize a more complete understanding of the nature of God.”
It was during her time as a student at SNU that she first began to
see the harmony that exists between a faith in Christ and science
thanks to two science professors she holds in high esteem.
“I compartmentalized my faith from my academics until Drs.
Young and Judd illuminated how these can and should illuminate each
other,” she explained. “With this new understanding, I was able to view
all aspects of my life through the lens of a believer.”
Before coming to SNU, Dr. Halliday was on a much different
career path thanks to her love of music. Even though a gifted biology
teacher in high school piqued her interest in the natural sciences, her
desire going into college was to become a classical musician. She went
on to obtain a Bachelors of Music degree in Horn Performance from the
Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York in 1979.
Her career as a symphony musician brought her to Oklahoma
City. It was during this time that Dr. Halliday’s interest in biology began
to grow once again leading her to pursue a second degree. As she
originally considered a degree that would lead her into the healthcare
field, a physician recommended SNU to her. It was during her initial
visit that she realized SNU was the right school.
“After a visit to the campus and meeting with Dr. Gene Heasley, I
decided to that SNU was a great place for me,” said Dr. Halliday.
While at SNU, Dr. Halliday explained that she shifted her desire
from being a physician to becoming a teacher. This shift occurred as a
result of her being a teacher’s assistant and tutor for the biology
department, as she discovered her love of teaching.
Dr. Halliday went on to receive her B.S. in Biology in 1988 and
later obtained a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Oklahoma
College of Medicine in 1994. After having taught at SNU, Dr. Halliday is
now an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the OU
College of Medicine.
While a student at SNU, Dr. Haillday credited three professors as
being the most influential: Dr. Sharon Young, Dr. Robert Judd, and Dr.
Gene Heasley. She said Dr. Young was incredibly patient, supportive,
and fair. Dr. Halliday also explained that Dr. Young not only
demonstrated her desire for her to succeed academically, she also
invested in her development as a whole person.
“Dr. Robert Judd was also one who demonstrated an interest in
developing whole persons,” she explained. “He held us to high
academic standards – and was also an incredible scholar. His
knowledge in just about any subject (even outside of biology) was
Finally, she said Dr. Heasley stretched her academically to levels
she did not know she was capable. Dr. Halliday explained the growth
she experienced as a result of Dr. Heasley’s teaching and advisement
was way beyond her expectations and prepared her for graduate
Thanks to the investment of these three professors in her life, Dr.
Halliday said her love of teaching goes far beyond instructing students
"I love being part of the academic and personal journeys
students take to reach their dreams,” added Dr. Halliday. “I feel called
to serve by equipping the saints as they prepare to serve God. I find
myself in Christ when I lose myself in the service of others. “
Dr. Halliday’s expertise with higher education is one the driving
factors that fuels her passion for the Campaign For The Sciences. She
said a driving force of a successful program is directly attributed to the
faculty and students within the program.
“SNU hires great faculty, but great faculty can become even
more effective if they have excellent facilities and equipment,” said Dr.
Halliday. “In addition, having up-to-date and state-of-the-art facilities
significantly impacts the ability of SNU to recruit the top students into
the science programs. “
She also urged those who have directly benefitted from the
investment of SNU to get behind and involved in the vision of the
Campaign For The Sciences.
“For science graduates, this campaign is critically important for
that goal of building the future,” she added.
With work already underway on the 25,891-square-foot
laboratory on the SNU campus as part of the Campaign, Dr. Halliday is
excited about future students this new facility will bring to SNU who
will be able to discover for themselves the harmony that exists
between their faith in Christ and science.