Baylor Names Faculty-In-Residence For Kokernot, North Village

  • News Photo 4460
    Dr. Laine Scales
  • News Photo 4459
    Dr. Glenn Blalock
  • News Photo 4463
    Professor Steven Pounders
May 1, 2008

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University has announced additional faculty-in-residence for fall 2008 who will further Baylor's commitment to integrating learning in and out of the classroom. The announcement was made by Dr. Randall O'Brien, executive vice president and provost, and Dr. Dub Oliver, vice president for student life.

Dr. Laine Scales, professor of social work and educational administration and associate dean of the Graduate School, and her husband, Dr. Glenn Blalock, assistant professor of English, will serve beginning this fall as the first faculty members-in-residence at Kokernot Hall. They will be joined by their 14-year-old daughter, April.

Steven Pounders, associate professor of theatre arts, will become the first faculty member-in-residence this fall at University House in the North Village Residential Community. Pounders' wife, Hope, and two daughters, Luci, a high school junior, and Robin, a fourth-grader, will be moving to campus as well.

Scales, Blalock and Pounders will join Drs. Doug and Michele Henry (Brooks College), Professor Cindy Fry (Heritage House, North Village), Dr. Julie Sweet and Dr. Tom Riley (Texana House, North Village) and Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray (Honors Residential College, Alexander-Memorial) to comprise a cohort of nine faculty members living in residence at Baylor.

Baylor's faculty-in-residence program encourages and maximizes the quality and quantity of faculty-student interaction, said Dr. Frank Shushok, dean for student learning and engagement at Baylor.

"A special component of the faculty in residence program is that students walk alongside these terrific faculty members for several years. Faculty literally live the Baylor experience with students," Shushok said. "They observe close up the transformation that takes place over these years and in short order, become not only teachers, but mentors and friends. For students, this is an extraordinary opportunity and is just one more way that articulates the special nature of Baylor. The faculty, similarly, can't say enough about how much they learn and grow by living up close, day by day, with students."

Laine Scales, Glenn Blalock

Scales earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983, her master's degree in social work from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1987, and her doctorate in higher education from the University of Kentucky in 1994. She taught as an assistant professor of sociology at Palm Beach Atlantic College from 1993-96, and as an assistant professor in social work at Stephen F. Austin State University from 1996-98.

Scales joined Baylor as a professor of social work in 1999 and served as associate director of Baylor's Center for Family and Community Ministries from 1999-2002. In addition to teaching, Scales is associate dean of graduate studies and professional development in the Graduate School, and also serves as faculty-on-loan to the School of Education, where she teaches master's-level students preparing for careers in student affairs administration.

Blalock earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of North Florida in 1973, his master's degree in English from Stetson University in 1987, and his doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994. He taught as an assistant professor in the department of English and philosophy at Stephen F. Austin State University from 1994-99, before joining the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi faculty in the department of English. From 2000-04, he coordinated the university's first-year writing program and co-directed the university's core curriculum. He joined the Baylor faculty in 2004 as a lecturer in English. In 2006, he was named assistant professor in the English department's professional writing program.

Over the years, Scales and Blalock both have been involved in several collaborative efforts between academic and student life at Baylor, including Engaged Learning Groups, Academy for Teaching and Learning, Academy for Leadership and Civic Engagement and the faculty partners program. They define their professional work as "creating, maintaining and participating" in learning communities.

"In our faculty roles, we begin that work in classrooms, but we regularly engage our students outside the classroom in conversations, team projects or informal gatherings in our home," Scales and Blalock said. "At this point in our careers, we seek opportunities to expand our experiences with community building. Living in community with undergraduate students, graduate student leaders and other staff will provide us with opportunities to interact spontaneously and conveniently with students to create and enhance relationships that will lead to significant learning experiences for students and for us."

Steven Pounders

Pounders earned his bachelor's degree in dramatic art from Abilene Christian University in 1986 and his master of fine arts degree in acting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991. He taught as a graduate instructor at North Carolina from 1988-90, then joined the faculty at ACU, where he was an assistant professor from 1994-2002. In 2002, Pounders came to Baylor as associate professor in theatre arts.

In addition to teaching and directing theatre performances at Baylor, Pounders also is a professional actor (and 18-year member of Actors Equity Association), working with the Off Broadway Resonance Ensemble in New York City and in numerous regional productions with other theatres, including the American Actors Company, Casa Manana, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Horton by the Stream in upstate New York, the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Britain, Theatre Three and the WaterTower Theatre.

This summer, Pounders and several of his colleagues will travel with 18 theatre students to Paris and London as part of a new study abroad program in Baylor's department of theatre arts.

"My work with the theatre arts department already entails many hours of daily interaction with undergraduate students, and my days fill up quickly with rehearsals and workshop sessions, in addition to normal classes and office hours," Pounders said. "I enjoy this engagement with students, and my family has always enjoyed being a part of campus life. We have a particular interest in University House because of its proximity to my department and the opportunities available nearby for learning engagement with theatre and music performances and art exhibitions so close to the North Village."

Faculty apply to serve as faculty-in-residence and are selected by a committee representing both academic and student life at Baylor. Committee members are Dr. Robert Baird (philosophy), Dr. Jaime Diaz-Granados (psychology and neuroscience), Professor Cindy Fry (engineering and computer science), Terri Garrett (Campus Living and Learning), Trey Guinn (Campus Living and Learning), Dr. Michele Henry (music), Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray (Great Texts) and Dr. Tony Talbert (education).

Record-setting campus living

As Baylor moves towards its 2012 goal of creating a truly residential campus, Campus Living and Learning officials also report that more than 1,700 upper-division students already have contracted to live on campus next year, a jump of 26 percent over last year's number of sophomores, juniors and seniors who lived on campus and the fifth straight year that number has increased. Of those 1,700 students, 1,200 are connected to a living-learning community or residential college.

"The 1,700 students contracted to live on campus next year is a number not seen at Baylor in decades," Shushok said. "We greatly appreciate a very committed Campus Living and Learning staff and the many faculty partners who have invested substantially in making Baylor a 'Truly Residential Campus.'"

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