Dr. Lorynn DivitaAssistant Professor, Family & Consumer Sciences
A California native, Lorynn Divita came to academics after a 5-year career in the fashion industry, where she worked with Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies. After obtaining her PhD, she decided that it was finally time to combine her knowledge of the fashion industry and her desire to educate young minds.
She had a very specific idea of what she wanted in a university. She wanted a private facility, so that governmental rules would not limit student or faculty resources. She wanted a place that had a strong Christian environment; where she could say, "Merry Christmas," and the student body and governing boards would appreciate it. She wanted a place where personal values were still an important requisite of peers and students. She wanted an academically strong school that competed in a tough athletic conference, and did so successfully. She wanted a place where continuing her research in her field was not just smiled upon, but was greeted with open arms. Most of all, she wanted a place where her Christian beliefs would walk hand in hand with her academic aspirations.
She found everything that she wanted at Baylor. Because of the "exciting challenge" associated with Baylor 2012, Lorynn felt that she had everything that she had been searching for. She feels that Baylor is on a "clear pathway towards a strong sense of identity with ambitious and admirable goals, which would broaden its academic base without compromising its faith."
In just her first two years of teaching, Lorynn is certain that she has found her vocation in life. Thanks to the vision of Baylor 2012 and the programs initiated by it, Lorynn has been able to put herself on a pathway that is not only in-line with her personal and career goals, but allows her to enhance her own faith. She has not had to compromise any of her beliefs as a Christian or as an academic to find the perfect fit for her life.
In the two years that Lorynn has been at Baylor, she has seen her own career grow in ways that she never thought imaginable. In 2003, Lorynn received a Baylor Horizons Grant through the Lilly Endowment. Through this grant, she was able to travel to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend a three-week, one-time seminar focused on Christianity and the Environment. The seminar drew some of the top Christian faculty and staff from around the country. While at the conference, Lorynn found herself constantly being approached by faculty and staff from some of the top Christian and secular educational institutions in the country. The topic of the conversation? Baylor 2012. Word has gotten out about the course that Baylor has charted, and the sentiments are that it is truly an innovative approach to education.
Most recently, Lorynn has had the opportunity to be involved in two unique programs. The Summer Faculty Institute (formerly known as the Summer Teaching Institute), has been around for nearly a decade, but two years ago it brought forth a drastic change in more than just its name. In-line with 2012, the Institute now provides faculty with a five-week course focused on helping them "flourish through striking a balance between researching and teaching." To Lorynn, programs such as these make Baylor unique and attractive to incoming faculty. These programs are aimed at providing the faculty with a means to become published and respected experts in their respective fields.
When Coach Guy Morriss came to Baylor from Kentucky, he announced his intention to bring his popular football clinics for women to the Waco community. The clinics typically included dinner, a fashion show and an evening of instructing the attendees in "Football 101" so that they could more fully enjoy the sport. Lorynn called Coach Morriss immediately to enlist in helping develop a project to meet his needs. The result was the First Annual Baylor Ladies' Football Clinic and Fashion Show. In its inaugural year, over 180 women from the local community attended the show. And even one football player made his way to the catwalk.
Lorynn knows that Baylor 2012 will "show the whole world that faith and academics are not just compatible, but that they go hand in hand. It will provide a positive influence on the academic integrity of many other schools, and will have wonderful effects, serving as role model for institutions that have drifted away from their Christian founding."