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The Baylor Impact is published quarterly by the Baylor School of Education.

The Baylor Impact
School of Education
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97304
Waco, TX 76798-7304

(254) 710-3111


In the First Person: Kristal Lowry, EdS, LSSP 2007

While completing my undergraduate work in psychology at Texas A&M University, I began reconsidering my academic future. I knew I would pursue graduate school, but my interests seemed to be fluctuating among several areas. After realizing that my current career goals may not be the best fit for the life I had imagined on both a professional and personal level, I began exploring other areas that had interested me over my lifetime. Immediately, the thought of working with children came to mind.


As a teenager and college student, I volunteered with children who had special needs, and I developed a specific interest in autism through a project during my senior year at Waco High. Shortly thereafter, a family friend mentioned a school psychology program offered in the Department of Educational Psychology at Baylor. The program concluded with an Educational Specialist degree (EdS) and would enable me to sit for the exams to become a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP). This degree would allow me to support children with special needs, as well as those who worked most closely with them, their teachers.

I learned quickly that the program focused on three primary areas of instruction: psycho-educational assessment, academic and behavioral intervention, and professional consultation. Additionally, I realized that not only did this degree course offer traditional classroom instruction, but also many opportunities for application of skills through a practicum component and internship experience. The more I investigated this prospect, the more the school psychology program sounded like both a great professional and personal fit.


Following graduation from A&M, I moved back to Waco and began a new phase in my life. I immediately connected with the six other members of my school psychology cohort, as it was labeled, and I developed strong relationships with my professors. The intimate size of our group made classes so comfortable, complete with open dialogues and opportunities to explore different perspectives and opinions. Within our small group, we encompassed a variety of personal and professional backgrounds and ideas about the future, yet we all yearned to broaden our horizons by looking within and reaching out. In preparation for graduate school, I never dreamed I would form such lasting friendships with both my classmates and professors.

At the start of our internship year, we took many different paths to pursue professional goals and careers. I was fortunate to embark on my final year locally at Midway ISD and to begin working with an outstanding team of professionals within the special education department. Less than a year later, my current position was created, and I was offered the job as district Autism and Behavior Specialist. If someone had asked me five years ago the direction my career would take, I never would have imagined everything could work out so perfectly. Now in my third year at Midway, I reflect upon, with great appreciation, the unique graduate experience offered by the school psychology program at Baylor, which fostered relationships upon which I continue to rely and formed the foundation of my career.

Web Extra:

"Kristal is a remarkably bright, capable, and energetic woman who has become a vital member of our special education team. She truly enjoys working in education and has a bright future in the field. She represents Baylor's school psychology program very well."

-Dr. Mark Pantle, LSSP, School Psychologist, Midway Independent School District

"Kristal was an energetic and bright student during her time here in the school psychology program. She always had a love for learning. In her current position at Midway ISD, I know she is well respected and the children love working with her. She works with children with autism in the district and is still a valuable source for faculty as a practitioner."

-Julie Ivey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology; Director/Founder of the Baylor Autism Center

In This Issue

•  Welcome
•  In the first person: Kristal Lowry, EdS, LSSP 2007
•  New program advances: Baylor's PhD in Curriculum and Teaching
•  Research to help our communities: Primary Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
•  Connecting with students: Back to the Future--Faculty Find Home in Campus Residence Halls
•  Investing in the Future: Rainy Day Fund Sustains Many SOE Opportunities
•  Impact Tomorrow
•  Downloadable pdf version

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