Palacios Appointed Dean for Student Development

Aug. 1, 2006
News Photo 3660Dr. Elizabeth D. Palacios

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

Dr. Elizabeth D. Palacios, a Baylor University alumnus from Waco and full-time lecturer in the department of educational psychology in the Baylor School of Education, has been appointed dean for student development, effective Aug. 7.

The appointment was announced by Dr. Dub Oliver, vice president for student life.

"I am pleased that Liz Palacios has agreed to join the leadership team in student life as we seek to enrich the educational experience at Baylor," Oliver said. "Liz is well known on campus as a person committed to student learning and development. I am confident that her character and work will help us as we move forward to realize all of the imperatives of Baylor 2012."

In her position as dean for student development, Palacios will provide leadership for the area that includes campus recreation, multicultural activities and student activities. Student development is designed to deepen the Baylor experience through life-changing programs and services resulting in an integrated education known for the total development of students.

"My passion for students, especially non-traditional students, continues to grow," Palacios said. "I was one of the students at risk of academic failure due to poverty, gender and ethnicity, but many caring individuals invested their time and energy to make sure I succeeded not only in high school, but in college and in my professional endeavors. Although my background, experiences and academic/professional training are quite diverse, they all lead back to 'the student,' and I am passionate about facilitating learning, growth and transformation for all students."

Palacios earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from Baylor in 1980; a master's degree in education from Baylor in 1991, in which she completed educational psychology, student personnel services in higher education and licensed professional counselor programs; and her doctorate in educational psychology through the school psychology program at the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and a licensed specialist in school psychology (LSSP).

Palacios has been involved with Baylor either as a student, a staff member and a faculty member for more than 25 years. She has served as an instructor in civic education at Baylor since 1991, a part-time lecturer in the department of educational psychology in the School of Education from 1995-2002, and as a full-time lecturer in educational psychology since 2002. She has taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in law and ethics, multicultural issues, counseling, psychopathology and assessment. Her research interests include counseling and interventions for at-risk children and their families, multicultural issues, multicultural counseling, school-based interventions, reading disabilities, juvenile delinquency and ADHD.

Palacios has written for such publications as the Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology and the Journal of Applied Neuropsychology. She has been an invited presenter for numerous groups, including the National Association of School Psychologists, Council for Exceptional Children, National Latino Psychological Association, Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading, Conference of the National Coalition for At-Risk Children and Youth, International Society for the Student of Behavior Development, and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Minority Conference.

From 1981-91, Palacios served as assistant to the dean of the Graduate School, as well as coordinator of graduate minority recruitment, the first effort of its kind at Baylor. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Palacios and a colleague actively recruited minority students for all programs through travel, programs, scholarships and correspondence.

From 1991-95, Palacios served as Baylor's coordinator of community service. While directing such established Baylor programs as Steppin' Out and Adopt-A-School, Palacios also helped start College Connection, in which students from non-traditional backgrounds visited the Baylor campus, attended classes and interacted with students, staff and faculty for a day; Santa's Workshop, in which underprivileged children from area daycares enjoyed a holiday lunch at Baylor and gifts from student groups, staff and faculty; and Baylor Buddies, a mentoring program between local school children and Baylor students.

Dr. Martha Lou Scott, associate vice president for student life and chair of the search committee, said the committee was drawn to Palacios because of her demonstrated passion of working with Baylor students.

"Regardless of the division or her work responsibilities, Dr. Palacios has always followed her calling, facilitating student development," Scott said.

Palacios is a member of the American Psychological Association, National Latina/o Psychological Association, National Association of School Psychologists, Phi Lambda Theta international education honor society, Council for Exceptional Children, and the Texas Higher Education Collaborative at the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts, College of Education, University of Texas. She also is listed among the 2005 Empire Who's Who.

Palacios serves as a faculty adviser for several Baylor student organizations, including the Hispanic Student Association, D.A.R.E. Bears, Sigma Iota Alpha sorority, Ballet Folklorico Ocetlotl and Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society. She actively serves on various campus committees, lectures at special events and meetings, and assists in recruiting activities, multicultural events such as the Latina Women's Conferences and other campus-wide efforts.

Also active in the Waco community, Palacios is currently a member of the McLennan County Youth Collaboration board, AVANCE Waco board of directors, Community Race Relations Coalition and the Mayborn Museum advisory board. She has been the recipient of many awards for her professional and personal achievements, including 1992 YWCA Pathfinders Award for outstanding contributions in the field of education by women, 1993 Outstanding Volunteer-WISD Partners in Education Award, 1994 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outstanding Volunteer, 1994 Adopt-A-School Golden Apple Award for School Partnership, 1994 Adopt-A-School Outstanding Business Coordinator, 1995 Baylor Outstanding Staff Award, 1996 Bluebonnet Girl Scout Council Woman of Distinction Award and 1996 Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award for Outstanding Achievement and Service to the Greater Waco Community. Palacios also is a member of the Leadership Waco Class of 1989 and was selected for the 10th Annual John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Forum in Austin in 1994.

Palacios's husband, Robert, also is a Baylor graduate (BS Ed '82 and MS Ed '92), as are their sons, Rene (BS in chemistry '05) and Aaron (BS in electrical engineering '06). Their daughter, Michelle, is a junior education major at Baylor.

"I thank God for all His love and guidance as well as my family for their continuous support," Palacios said. "My husband, Robert, sons, Rene and Aaron, and my daughter, Michelle, continue to be my pride and joy."

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