Meet the Tutors
Hello, there! My name is Sophia and I am the UWC Director. I am also a faculty member who has taught these very exciting courses: English for Academics, Composition I, Advanced Writing and Research, and Survey of Chican@ Literature II. I am fascinated by language – I like to take it apart, play with it, and try to understand how it works. I love following the rules of language and I love breaking the rules of language. I also enjoy reading anything and everything, and next to the Bible, I am spellbound by the dictionary. I have been a part of BUA since 2011, and the best part about working here is that I see students empowering themselves by learning how to navigate the complexities of language, writing, and critical thinking. Any given Friday night, I can be found in my kitchen, dancing with my nine-year-old doggie and cooking for my family.Sophia Botello
Prof. Bird wrote and illustrated his first book in the fifth grade. Sadly, almost 60 years later, he still hasn’t found a publisher. He still has the only written-and-drawn-in-pencil manuscript, in some box somewhere. But as a high school freshman, he did sell his first article to a magazine and in the 11th grade was paid by the Houston Chronicle to cover his high school JV football team. He got his Associate of Arts degree from San Jacinto College (where he was editor of the student newspaper) and a Bachelor of Journalism from UT-Austin (where he was associate news editor, investigative reporter and sports editor of the Daily Texas). By the time he earned his MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University, he had worked on newspapers in Oklahoma and Texas (the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is the only one you may know). The apex of his journalism career was a decade (1985-96) as the Africa correspondent for the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission board. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Bird wrote and photographed news and feature stories in 26 different African countries. Over those decades he received more than 60 national, regional and state awards in news and feature writing, photography, headline writing, and design from: Religious Public Relations Association, Baptist Press Association, Southwestern Journalism Congress, South Texas Press Association, Gulf Coast Press Association, Corpus Christi Press Club, Texas Sportswriters Association, and Texas Junior College Press Association.
During his second career as a college professor, he has helped produce four books as editor, writer, or photographer (including a NY Times business best seller) and currently is editing two more. His hobbies include reading quizzes for his classes, preaching, thinking up reasons not to grade papers, reading 3-5 books per month and—best of all—hanging out with his beautiful and brave wife, Melissa, and helping her spoil five grandchildren.Craig Bird
Hello! I’m Linda Cross, an adjunct faculty member and Writing Center volunteer. I moved to San Antonio in 2010 as a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) missionary to serve in cross-cultural leadership development. I first visited BUA around 2002 while I was working with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). I was looking for professors to write curricula for lay theological education courses, similar to BBI courses, in both Spanish and English.
I’m a graduate of Baylor University, with a BA in Radio-Television-Film and Religion, as well as an MA in Theological Ethics. For twenty years I was in advertising, marketing and public relations. For fifteen years, as an Accredited Public Relations consultant, I owned my own PR firm. But I have a short attention span and I never wanted to earn a 25-year pin for anything. After short stints at Neiman-Marcus as a bridal consultant and sales associate, I worked in the retirement industry for very upscale independent retirement living organizations.
The opportunities first with the BGCT and then with CBF to work in theological leadership development allowed me to work in the area of my first love – Bible studies. I began teaching online with Introduction to the New Testament last fall, 2016. This fall I am teaching Introduction to the Bible both on campus and online.
I am a professional writer and communications consultant. After a career of editing, ghost-writing and producing everything from prayers to cookbooks and industrial video scripts, I am finally writing under my own name, Linda Francis Cross. My last major project, written with two co-writers, is Radical Excellence: Implementing Sequential Radical Positive Change for Personal and Organizational Excellence (San Antonio: World Class Quest, 2015).
In addition to my courses at BUA I am currently writing the curriculum for a Wayland Baptist University Certificate of Christian Ministry course, Working with Volunteers. I am an ordained Baptist minister, deacon and almost life-long Adult Sunday School teacher. For fun I sing in the BUA Choir and tend my container-plant garden.Linda Cross
I’m Val Martinez, and I will be one of the writing center tutors this year. This will be my second year serving there. I will also be working in the LRC as a volunteer. I have been writing poetry and music since I was in middle school. I have been a laborer, a gas station attendant (in the old days where I would fill your tank with gas and check the oil), I have been a soldier, and finally I worked as an ESL teacher in middle schools, high schools, and even at BUA when it transitioned from Hispanic Theological School to BUA. After BUA I taught at Brandeis High School where I worked with resettlement ESL students from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and even Mexico among other Latin American countries, and provided an after-school guitar workshop for them the last three years until I retired in 2014. I am now learning the art of classical music composition and arranging. I am a full-time student at YouTube on the internet since I am a self-taught guitarist. (Funny, but there is so much information out there that if know what you want to learn you have an unlimited wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.). I have been married to my best friend, Teresa (and your librarian) since 1982. We are blessed with a son, Samuel, daughter-in-law Vanessa, and a beautiful daughter, Nora.Val Martinez
Hello there! My name is Oluwatofunmi Odulate, an international student from Nigeria. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Business Studies. I am currently pursuing double degrees in Human Behavior and Theological Studies. I have been interested in reading and writing since I was about 6 years old. It amused me how words coming together could shed light on unclear matters. I was a very shy child and would hardly talk to even members of my family. This opened the door for me to begin writing. I am an introvert and reserved but writing is my voice and represents me well. I haven’t stopped writing since. I believe that if you can think it, you can write it. I love to listen to music, dance when no one is looking, cook (as I love food a lot) and watch movies. I also enjoy a new monthly read to expand my vocabulary and just for the fun of it. I speak three languages and I am currently learning Spanish. I also am at a beginner stage in learning how to play the piano as I write songs occasionally. Because I’m away from home, long calls to my family on Saturdays are always precious moments.Oluwatufunmi Odulate
Hello, my name is Luisa Maria Angel Salazar. I am from Cali, Colombia. In my country, I completed professional studies in Business Administration and I am currently studying Business and Theology. My passion is missions. I love serving Christ and proclaiming His gospel in places of difficult access. I rejoiced because I share this call with my husband, Amin; our motto is “May our life together be a missionary journey that lasts a lifetime.” I thank God that he has allowed me to be part of the Writing Center team and to put my administrative skills to use. I encourage students to acquire knowledge through reading and writing since it is the only thing that no one can steal. Reading and writing allows us to feel the freedom to express our feelings and thoughts of daily life.Luisa Angel