Baylor Students Honored By The Texas Legislature During Bob Bullock Scholars Day
- (L to R) - Maresa Martin, Claudia Tijerina, Sen. Kip Averitt, Victoria Vickery, Jeff Hay, Dr. James Curry, Lauren Tipton and Elaine Yeung.
- (L to R) - Jeff Hay, Maresa Martin, Dr. Curry, Claudia Tijerina, Lauren Tipton, Victoria Vickery, Elaine Yeung and David Bonem.
- (L to R) - Jessica Gonzales, Rep. Mark Strama, Ryan Franklin, Sen. Florence Shapiro.
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AUSTIN - Eleven Baylor University students were recognized in the Texas Senate on March 26, as part of Bob Bullock Scholars Day in the state capital. The 10 undergraduates and one graduate student are spending the entire spring semester as Bullock Scholars working in the 80th session of the Texas Legislature.
The Bob Bullock Scholars Program at Baylor was established in 2000 with funding from the family and numerous friends of Bullock, a 1955 Baylor law graduate who was hailed as one of the most influential Texas politicians in modern history.
Dr. James A. Curry, The Bob Bullock Professor of Public Policy and Administration in the department of political science at Baylor, has directed the program since the first group of Bullock Scholars was selected in 2001.
"Our program has become well recognized in Austin, and our students are in high demand," Curry said. "Each session, we receive far more requests for a Bullock Scholar than we can provide, and Baylor's reputation certainly plays a large part in that."
A highly competitive selection process, students applying for the Bullock Scholars Program are required to provide samples of written work and undergo interviews with the selection committee. After selections are made, Bullock Scholars are assigned to a member of the Texas Senate or House of Representatives for the entire legislative term. In addition to their legislative work, Bullock Scholars also are enrolled as full-time Baylor students engaged in independent readings and special topics courses. Bullock Scholars also receive a stipend for living expenses while in Austin.
On March 26, the Bullock Scholars Day events began with a breakfast in the Capitol hosted by Sen. Kip Averitt, a longtime supporter of the program. Later, the students were formally recognized on the Senate floor.
The 2007 Bullock Scholars and their offices are: David Bonem of Bellaire (Sen. Kyle Janek); Jenny Casey of Lafayette, Calif. (Rep. Jim Dunnam); Ryan Franklin of Donie (Sen. Florence Shapiro); Jessica Gonzales of New Braunfels (Rep. Mark Strama); Jeff Hay of Waco (Sen. Jeff Wentworth); Jessica Lutrell of San Antonio (Rep. Dan Branch); Maresa Martin of Copperas Cove (Sen. Royce West); Claudia Tijerina (Sen. Judith Zaffirini); Lauren Tipton of Victoria (Sen. Kel Seliger); Victoria Vickery of Buda (Sen. Kip Averitt); and Elaine Yeung of Cypress (Sen. Rodney Ellis).
Born in Hillsboro, Texas, on July 10, 1929, Bob Bullock began his political career in 1956, when he represented Hill County in the Texas House of Representatives while pursuing a law degree at Baylor. His political career went on to include assistant attorney general from 1967-68, aide to Gov. Preston Smith from 1969-71, secretary of state from 1971-72, comptroller of public accounts from 1975-90 and lieutenant governor of Texas from 1991-99. He died June 18, 1999, at his home in Austin.
In 1993, Bullock began depositing his Texas state papers, campaign materials and personal papers in the Baylor Collections of Political Materials. The Bullock Archive at Baylor officially opened in July 2004, and includes approximately 1,100 linear feet of materials that document Bullock's career in Texas state government.