News

Jul
1
2021
School of Education Autism Research Team Studies Mechanical Horse Intervention
A team of Baylor School of Education autism researchers is helping evaluate the effectiveness of a Baylor-invented mechanical horse that is designed to treat children with autism. A Baylor interdisciplinary team received a grant of nearly $600,000 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to study the effectiveness of the MiraColt, a mechanical device that simulates the motion of horseback riding.

Dr. Julie Ivey, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, is a co-investigator and is leading an SOE research team that includes one Ph.D. level School Psychology student, Ryan Coleman, and two Ed.S. level School Psychology students, Ashley Allison and Alex Plank.

The team is currently recruiting children ages 6-12 to participate in the project to measure the effects of riding the MiraColt, an invention patented by Baylor mechanical engineering Associate Professor Dr. Brian Garner.
Jun
28
2021
Baylor EdD Student in K12 Leadership Receives National Recognition
Heather Williams, a Baylor doctoral student, was named National Outstanding Assistant Principal (one of only 24) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). She had already received the award for 2021 Arkansas Elementary School Assistant Principal of the Year from the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators. Williams will be recognized in July at the National Principal Conference of NAESP in Chicago.

Williams has been assistant principal for two years at Warren Dupree Elementary in Jacksonville North Pulaski School District, northeast of Little Rock. She is an EdD student in the K12 Educational Leadership program in Baylor School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership. A member of Cohort Four, Williams began the program in 2020.
Jun
16
2021
Spring Impact Newsletter Online
The spring 2021 issue of Baylor Impact newsletter is now online and in the mail to alumni. This issue features the work of faculty, students, and alumni who are making a difference through education and is notable for the number of award-winning faculty and students we are celebrating — people you’ll want to know about!

Read about exciting and impactful new grants helping children with developmental disabilities like autism and their families and teachers, new leaders in K12 education, national professional roles for faculty, and so much more!
Jun
1
2021
PhD Student in GT Education, Receives Research Award
Maryann Hebda, a PhD student in the Department of Educational Psychology focusing on Gifted and Talented Education, received first place in the Non-Doctoral Completed Research Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) at the fall 2020 Research Gala, part of the NAGC annual conference.

Hebda began her PhD program last summer and was encouraged by Dr. Todd Kettler, associate professor of Educational Psychology, to begin research and academic writing prior to starting the program. Her paper, titled Comparing Identification of Gifted and Talented Students in Two States with Different Policy Mandates to Identify, examined public record data to compare populations within gifted and talented programs between two states with different student-identification mandates.
May
17
2021
2021 Outstanding Seniors Honored by Baylor School of Education
Baylor School of Education [SOE] recognized six seniors as outstanding students at the 36th Annual Senior Recognition Banquet April 26. Seniors were recognized for their excellence in academic and fieldwork in education programs and their readiness to impact the world. Baylor SOE senior award recipients (biographies below) for 2021 are:

• Cole Sussman — EDICUT Preservice Educator of the Year Award
• Angela Tallent — Dolores Coker Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Student in Education
• Julia Gates — Lorena B. Stretch Award for Outstanding Student in Elementary Education
• Emily Dickey — Award for Outstanding Student in Middle Grades Education
• Mary Cade — M.L. Goetting Award for Outstanding Student in Secondary Education
• Samantha Schwartz — Award for Outstanding Student in EC-12 Education Programs
May
10
2021
Dr. Laila Sanguras Receives Baylor Outstanding Faculty Award
Dr. Laila Sanguras, a lecturer in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, received the Baylor University Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching / Non-Tenure Track. Sanguras teaches primarily in the EdD Online in Learning and Organizational Change. While carrying a full teaching load, Sanguras also mentors students, directs dissertation projects, and takes the lead in revising course sequences and in developing new initiatives.

“Dr. Sanguras’s student evaluations are consistently strong,” said Dr. Brooke Blevins, Associate Professor, department chair, and Conwell G. Strickland Endowed Chair. “Students frequently comment on the thorough and meaningful feedback provided by Dr. Sanguras . . . and how genuine and engaging Dr. Sanguras is during live sessions of the course and how she takes the time to get to know each student.” Students also describe her as “firm but fair,” Blevins said. Sanguras’ areas of teaching include educational evaluation and mixed methods research.
May
5
2021
Dr. Stephanie Gerow Receives Baylor Outstanding Research Faculty Award
Dr. Stephanie Gerow, Assistant Professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology, received the Baylor Outstanding Faculty Award for Research / Tenure-Track Faculty. Gerow has earned $1.8 million in competitive grant awards and received the Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Gerow’s research explores interventions for children with autism and other developmental disabilities, addressing problem behaviors and teaching intervention strategies to parents and teachers to improve educational and social outcomes for children. Her external grant awards have funded five PhD students and a post-doctoral fellow. With 30 publications since 2015, she has involved 12 SOE students as co-authors on scholarly publications and presentations.

SOE Dean Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke said Gerow’s professional accomplishments and service exemplify Baylor’s high standards. “Her service and outreach to children with disabilities and their families — particularly those who have limited access or means to support — reflect the intersection of her Christian commitment, her gifts of helping others, and her professional expertise,” Hagan-Burke said.
May
3
2021
Dr. Lakia Scott Receives Outstanding Faculty Award
Dr. Lakia Scott, Assistant Professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, received the Baylor Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching / Tenure-Track Faculty. She began teaching at Baylor in 2014 and is an expert in literacy, urban education, and in the social, cultural, and political influences on educational practices and schooling. She received tenure this spring, so her title will change to Associate Professor this summer, and she also becomes Graduate Program Director for the department in May.

“Her peers and students recognize Dr. Scott’s prowess as an outstanding teacher,” said Dr. Brooke Blevins, Associate Professor, department chair, and Conwell G. Strickland Endowed Chair. “She has a unique ability to capture the interest of her students and push them to think about new possibilities. Dr. Scott has amazing commitment to preparing teachers and educational leaders who will respond to the new reality of education — a reality of diversity, innovation, and rapid global change.”

Scott said she is deeply honored to receive the award, because teaching is one of the noblest professions. Her teaching philosophy is one of inclusiveness and positivity.
Apr
28
2021
Dr. Ryann Shelton Honored with SSMA Dissertation Award
Dr. Ryann Shelton, PhD ’20, was recognized by the School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA) with the SSMA Dissertation Award at the virtual convention this past fall.

Shelton was nominated for the award by her mentor and dissertation chair, Dr. Trena Wilkerson, Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

The purpose of Shelton’s study was to examine the practices of mathematics teacher educators (MTEs) — in this case, university and college instructors who prepare future mathematics teachers, specifically those who will teach in grades 9-12 — and how they design curriculum and plan for teaching content within a secondary mathematics methods course. She examined course content through the lens of the Mathematics Teaching Practices described by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) 2014 publication, Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. The dissertation was titled “An Examination of Designing and Planning for the Teaching of Secondary Mathematics Methods Courses through the Lens of Mathematics Teaching Practices: A Multiple Case Study.”
Apr
15
2021
SOE Celebrating Alumni Week and Giving Day
Baylor School of Education is celebrating Alumni Week and Giving Day this week. The SOE’s “Lunch & Learn” video for Alumni Week is available on demand now at this link:

“The Heart of a Baylor Educator” On Demand Video
“The Heart of a Baylor Educator” On Demand Video

During Giving Day on April 14, the School of Education reached its goal of 100 donors, unlocking a challenge gift from Bobby Nail, 1976 graduate of Baylor School of Education. The challenge gift provides $20,000 in student scholarship funds, in addition to the $5,825 raised from 111 gifts on Giving Day.
Apr
7
2021
PhD Student Earns Honors from CEC and OAR
Baylor School of Education doctoral student Marie Kirkpatrick has received recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) for her research related to autism.

CEC chose Kirkpatrick as an Outstanding Scholar to join the Division for Research Doctoral Student Scholars Cohort 13. Students are selected through an internationally competitive review process based on proposals and nominations. Kirkpatrick was nominated by Dr. Jessica Akers, her mentor and an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis.

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) awarded Kirkpatrick a grant of $1,730 for her doctoral dissertation research. A record number of proposals was reviewed by the OAR Scientific Council, a panel of experts, and awarded based on alignment with OAR’s research priorities, methodological soundness, and relevance for those affected by autism.
Apr
1
2021
Researchers Earn Autism Grant Awards
As National Autism Awareness Month begins in April, two Baylor University School of Education faculty members have received grant awards from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to fund research and training in behavioral intervention practices that improve outcomes for children with autism. The awards provide over $800,000 in funding.

Tonya Davis, Ph.D., BS ’02, MS ’04, professor of educational psychology and director of the special education program in the Baylor School of Education, was awarded a $474,843 grant to provide intervention training to teachers who serve students with autism in kindergarten through 12th grade. Stephanie Gerow, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, was awarded a $369,699 grant to provide intervention training to parents.
Mar
4
2021
Baylor SOE Researcher Dr. Stephanie Gerow Earns $493,000 Grant
Stephanie Gerow, Ph.D., assistant professor of educational psychology in the Baylor University School of Education, has earned a coveted grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund research that will provide early childhood professionals with behavioral intervention training for children with developmental disabilities.

The award—an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Early Career Development and Mentoring Award from the U.S. Department of Education — provides $493,412 in research funding and is the first of its kind awarded to a Baylor faculty member.

Gerow’s grant is designed to help early-childhood professionals at community agencies and families learn to implement evidence-based interventions for problem behavior in young children with developmental disabilities.
Feb
2
2021
Baylor School of Education’s Center Updates Name
Baylor School of Education’s Center for Christian Education has changed its name to the Baylor Center for School Leadership (BCSL) to better reflect its mission to serve school leaders.

Dr. Matt Thomas, Executive Director of the Center for School Leadership, said the name change does not reflect any change in the Center’s mission. “Be assured our mission and aim will not change, nor will the centrality of the Christian faith be diminished in any way,” he said. “In fact, this name change will enhance our ability to serve Christian schools and Christian leaders.”
Jan
25
2021
Baylor SOE Doctoral Student Wins National Award
Baylor doctoral student Lori Leibowitz took on a new job just two years ago, and in that time she has totally redesigned the gifted education program in her Connecticut school district. Recently she received national recognition for her efforts, which have resulted in inclusion of more students in gifted education programs, beyond those who do well on traditional academic measures.

A student in Baylor School of Education’s EdD Online in Learning and Organizational Change (EDD-LOC) and District Coordinator for the Gifted and Talented Program in Norwalk (Connecticut) Public Schools, Leibowitz received the 2020 Gifted Coordinator of the Year Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Leibowitz holds an MA in education from Sacred heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, and a BA in history from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. To her current job she brought more than 20 years of classroom and administrative experience in Connecticut elementary and middle-grades schools, including a seven-year stint teaching advanced learning programs.
Dec
2
2020
School Psychology Doc Student Named Tops in Texas
Brandon Parker, a third-year PhD student in School Psychology, was awarded the 2020 Texas Association of School Psychology (TASP) Outstanding Graduate Doctoral Student Award.

Parker was nominated by his current practicum supervisor, Lindsay Shockley, BA ’06 (psychology), EdS ’09 (School Psychology), a school psychologist for Lorena ISD, south of Waco. At Lorena ISD, Parker provides individual counseling services to students placed in special education.

“I help students work on increasing positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors,” Parker said. “I help them with social skills and study skills, and I help them with emotional regulation and anger management.”
Nov
23
2020
Fall 2020 IMPACT now Online
The fall 2020 issue of Baylor Impact newsletter is now online. This issue is online only, and alumni should have received an email with the newsletter today. If you did not receive an email with the newsletter, please let us know by emailing BaylorImpact@baylor.edu.

The Fall Impact issue features the work of faculty, students, and alumni who are making a difference through education. Read about exciting new academic programs, how our faculty are serving educators, and how student teachers are succeeding in the midst of a global pandemic.
Oct
14
2020
Guest Blog: How teachers can “warm up a cold, virtual space”
It seems likely that one could begin a narrative with “That summer when…” and launch into a description of high temps, high anxiety and trips canceled, with images of teachers pivoting, prepping and re-prepping, and anyone who lived through it will nod knowingly and say: “That had to be Summer 2020.”

For me, Summer 2020 was that summer when I taught ESL Methodology, Spanish as a modern language, and ESOL courses for international students in China. Start to finish, it was a summer of immersion in online second language acquisition and pedagogy.

And I learned three things in an immersive online teaching summer.
Oct
5
2020
Dr. Kelly Johnston Receives Laska Award for Doctoral Research
Dr. Kelly Johnston, Assistant Professor in the Baylor School of Education, won the 2020 John Laska Distinguished Dissertation Award in Teaching from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC) for her recent dissertation research. Johnston joined the Baylor SOE faculty in 2018 and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

Johnston’s dissertation, (Re)Imagining Possibilities for Youth in Schools: A Rhizomatic Exploration of Youths’ Affective Engagement with Literacy, focuses on youths’ different forms of literacy engagement in the classroom and how these understandings can be used to rethink literacy teaching and learning in and out of schools. Johnston’s dissertation was part of her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching, which she earned in 2018 at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She previously earned her M.Ed. in Reading Education from Texas State University in 2011 and her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Baylor in 2004.
Sep
17
2020
Dr. Rachelle Rogers Elected for National Leadership Position at ATE
Baylor University education professor Rachelle Meyer Rogers, Ed.D., is on a fast track to the top post in the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), a national organization of school and university faculty who provide professional preparation for teacher candidates. ATE promotes quality teacher education through both exemplary clinical practice and research.

Rogers, clinical associate professor in Baylor School of Education, was elected this spring by members in a nationwide ballot as second vice president for 2020-21. That role will transition into first vice president for 2021-22, and Rogers will serve as president of the organization in 2022-23.
Aug
19
2020
Lessons in Online Teaching and Learning from the Pros
Baylor School of Education’s EdD Online in Learning and Organizational Change (EDD-LOC), launched in 2018, has quickly become the university’s largest online program and also the university’s largest doctoral program. In light of education's new normal, we reached out to Cece Lively, assistant program director for the EDD-LOC, for some insight about virtual learning. She works closely with professors in the program to create the most enriching student experiences. Lively is also a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, which houses the EDD-LOC, and her dissertation research explores learning communities in online programs.
Aug
11
2020
First Year Teacher Reflections — How Did Baylor SOE Grads Do in the Year of COVID?
COVID-19 wreaked havoc this spring for teachers at all levels -- but imagine being a first-year teacher dealing with it all. Some of our 2019 graduates look back on an eventful first year in their own classrooms — or wherever they were this spring, reaching their remote students in creative ways! Some are teaching just down the road, and some have moved to the other side of the planet!
Jul
29
2020
Trevor Taylor, BSEd ’17, Takes Leadership Role in San Antonio Protests
Until this summer, Trevor Taylor’s “activism” was confined to a ninth-grade English classroom at San Antonio’s Wagner High School, where he teaches. But the 2017 Baylor University School of Education graduate said that when protests started in San Antonio over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, he stepped out of his comfort zone to become part of something bigger than himself.

“I guess I’m an activist in the classroom,” he said. But protesting in the street was something new. “In my classroom, I talk about these things, and I encourage my students to use their voices and to share their stories, because they have power. But it’s a different thing to show them as well.”
Jul
27
2020
SOE's Ryan Erck Named Baylor’s “Student Advocate of the Year”
Ryan Erck, Program Director of the Impact Living-Learning Center (LLC), received the Student Advocate of the Year Award from the Baylor Division of Student Life. Impact LLC is a residential learning community located in South Russell Hall and founded by the School of Education in 2015 in partnership with Campus Living and Learning. As a Baylor SOE staff member collaborating with Campus Living and Learning, Erck is responsible for the recruitment, marketing, admissions, and programming for Impact LLC.

According to the 2020 Baylor Student Life Staff Awards virtual ceremony, the Student Advocate Award recognizes “a staff or faculty member who works outside the Division of Student Life but who helps us significantly accomplish our work in students’ lives.” Erck received the award after his first year in Impact LLC.
Jul
23
2020
Dr. Rishi Sriram Elected to Azusa Pacific Board
Dr. Rishi Sriram Elected to Azusa Pacific Board [07/22/2020]
Dr. Rishi Sriram, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in Baylor School of Education, was elected unanimously as a member of the Board of Trustees of Azusa Pacific University. Considered one of the top Christian colleges in the country, Azusa is a private, evangelical Christian university in Azusa, California. As an alumnus of the university, having earned his Ph.D. in higher education from Azusa in 2010, Sriram kept in contact with the university post-graduation, serving as a guest speaker at several events and even as a visiting professor for higher education classes.

Sriram said he was honored by the fact that he was even considered for the position, let alone appointed. His appointment began May 29.

“It’s not a role I ever thought I’d be considered for,” said Sriram. “The reason they approached me is because they wanted someone who believed in their mission and was also an expert in higher education.”
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