Alan Jacobs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in Baylor’s Honors Program, writes about political parties and the complexity of how/whether defending religious liberty should affect foreign intervention.
In this preview story, Lori Baker, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and founder of Reuniting Families Project, discusses the work she and her forensic anthropology students conduct in an effort to identify those who died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Baker and her team work in cemeteries in Brooks County, Texas exhuming remains. Afterwards, they return to Baylor to begin the labor-intensive identification process. “We tell ourselves it only takes one to make it worth our effort,” Baker said. The full story will air at 8 p.m. August 28, 2015, on Al Jazeera America.
People with psychopathic traits are less likely to catch a yawn from the sleepy people around them because they tend to lack empathy, according to a Baylor study by Brian Rundel, an Honors College alum and doctoral student in psychology and neuroscience at Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences. It has long been believed that “contagious yawning” is a deep-seated signal that demonstrates an emotional connection with another person, with yawns shared more easily among family members than strangers.
Baylor University alumna Syd Lewis is one of four Baylor students and recent graduates who have been selected to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Lewis is a University Scholar with a concentration in neuroscience. At Baylor, she was a supplemental instructor for neuroscience, worked in a neuromorphic lab and was a member of Baylor’s Student Foundation. She received the Fulbright award in neuroscience and will spend the 2015-2016 academic year at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, where she will earn her master’s degree in neuropsychology. Baylor Media Communications conducted a Q&A with each of Baylor’s most recent Fulbright recipients, including Lewis.
Article by Dr. Alan Jacobs, a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in the Honors Program at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the author most recently of "The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography."
Julie Nelson, a junior University Scholar in Baylor’s Honors College, spent her summer serving Missouri’s Seventh Congressional District as an intern in Congressman Billy Long’s Washington, D.C., office.
Article by Alan Jacobs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in Baylor's Honors Program, who examines "disciplinary Bulverism" — determining what penalties should be administered to those people whom others believe to be wrong. It is the second stage of Bulverism, the first being the "explanatory stage," in which people believe they already know who is right, so all they need to debate is why people get things wrong.
In a cemetery in Brooks County, Texas, remains of immigrants who died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border have been interred in mass graves and buried in trash bags. In this video, Lori Baker, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, discusses the improper burial techniques that she and her team of forensic scientists and students found while unearthing graves.
Baylor University alumna Jake Surges is one of four Baylor students and recent graduates who have been selected to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Surges is a University Scholar and a Crane Scholar, an arm of the Institute for Faith and Learning. He received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) and will spend the 2015-2016 academic year teaching English in Taiwan.
Ten American undergraduates, including junior University Scholar Tim Campbell of Elizabethtown, PA, have arrived in Scotland for the 2015 Summer Institute, a unique partnership between the University of Dundee, University of Strathclyde and the US-UK Fulbright Commission with support from The Scottish Government and civic partners. The students will spend five weeks taking part in lectures, seminars and study visits on the theme “Scotland: Identity, Culture and Innovation.”
Lori Baker, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and faculty fellow of the Honors Residential College, is interviewed for this radio documentary that takes listeners to the desert ranch lands of Brooks County and the border town of Reynosa, Tamaulipas. Baker’s part of the documentary runs from 12:14-16:53. Baker is the founder of the “Reuniting Families Project,” which helps recover and identify the remains of unnamed individuals who died while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Alan Jacobs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Honors Program in Baylor’s Honors College, reacts to a story in The New York Times about a report indicating that people with more money are generally happy but that happiness should not be confused with contentment, satisfaction or achievement. The report also found that satisfaction rose with wealth, and 85 percent of those with over $5 million reported that they were “highly satisfied” — despite jobs that often entail long hours and high pressure. Asks Jacobs: “What good is that happiness if the millionaires who have it cannot enjoy the freedom the money gives them, the freedom that most people would love to have? . . .My takeaway from reading this article: no one involved, from the investigators to the respondents to the reporter, has any idea what they mean by ‘happy’ or ‘satisfied’ or ‘content’ or ‘free.’”
A study by James Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Hankamer School of Business, found that as cellphone capabilities have advanced, so has the possibility of addiction to them. In his most recent study, published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, he found that excessive cellphone use “absolutely poses a potential risk for impairing academic performance . . . We need to identify the activities that push cellphone use from being a helpful tool to one that undermines our well-being and that of others.”
Alan Jacobs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Honors Program at Baylor, talks about the idea of the Benedict Option, which “recommends increase attentiveness to local communities, to the formations of Christians in the traditional practices and habits of the Church,” and how the BenOp relates to conservatism.
Ralph Wood, Ph.D., University Professor of Literature and Theology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and an affiliate faculty in the Great Texts Program, talks about the newest “forever” stamp featuring an image of award-winning American author Flannery O’Connor. Wood is the author of the 2005 book “Flannery O’Connor and the Christ-Haunted South.” “Her inclusion on U.S. postage stamps is a triumph for both American authors and American Catholics,” Wood said. (Corresponding picture of Flannery O'Connor in 1947; stamp image courtesy of the USPS)
Michael Foley, Ph.D., associate professor of patristics in the Honors College, talks about his belief that “a solid scholarly component that involves careful historical and theological research” in the church will lead to a renewal in the liturgy and in the overall life of the church. “This is not to say that a liturgical quality is simply a matter of scholarship, but it is true that bad scholarship has harmed the liturgy, so we’re trying to reverse some of that,” Foley said.
With a few exceptions, the much-anticipated finale of the critically acclaimed television show “Mad Men” was a disappointment, writes Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D., dean of the Baylor Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture, in this review. The ending was “a betrayal of the very dramatic strengths of the series, its sense of how illusory happiness is and its sobering skepticism about the prospects for character change.”
Article by Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D., dean of Baylor’s Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture. He writes that the Thomas Cromwell of BBC’s mini-series “Wolf Hall” has similarities to conflicted characters popular in contemporary cable. Although some critics debate the show’s historical accuracy, it is significant in contributing to the rise of quality TV series from both the BBC and American cable channels, including “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.”
Article on Jonathan Tran, Ph.D., associate professor of religion in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, who recently spoke at a celebration for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. He discussed his experiences as a refugee of the Vietnam War when he and he family moved to the U.S., some of the challenges Asian immigrants face and his faith. Tran serves as faculty-in-residence in Dawson-Allen Hall, assistant director of University Scholars, on the faculty of the Renaissance Scholars Program and teaches undergraduate and graduate religion courses. Beginning Fall 2015, Tran will serve as the faculty-in-residence in the Honors Residential College.
Katie Jo Baumgardner Luningham, B.A. ’11 (University Scholar, Great Texts, Political Science) and third-year law student at Notre Dame Law School, has received the Burton Distinguished Legal Writing Award, one of the highest national awards for student legal writing, for her paper “Resisting Rulemaking: Challenging the Montana Settlement’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Blueprint” that was published last year in the Notre Dame Law Review. While at Baylor, Luningham was an undergraduate assistant to Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr.
Article on Jonathan Tran, Ph.D., associate professor of religion in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, on his experiences as a refugee of the Vietnam War when he and he family moved to the U.S. when he was a toddler. Tran also serves as a faculty member of the Honors College Renaissance Scholar Program and will be Faculty Master of the the Honors Residential College in Fall 2015.
Of all the darts that stabbed Coleridge's heart, the greatest was that conviction of great gifts neglected, enormous talents betrayed. And this verdict has been shared by many since: so many talents, and what to show for them? A handful of great poems; a number of intermittently brilliant lectures on poetry and philosophy and theology; a great many books started and left unfinished.
Since 2000, Jeffrey has been a Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor. His teachings concentrate on medieval literature, the Bible as literature, medieval exegesis, biblical hermeneutics and literary theory, biblical tradition in the arts, art and biblical theology, literature and philosophy and aesthetics.
The 2015 Bill and Roberta Bailey Family Lecture in Christian Ethics, "Christian Moral Courage," will be given by Candace Vogler, the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. The lecture is set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in Powell Chapel (George W. Truett Theological Seminary).