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Meet Baylor's nationally recognized expert on how churches address societal issues

4.1.20—Baylor’s focus on offering a distinctly Christian educational environment includes cultivating thought leaders who can help congregations answer the call of societal challenges. Dr. Stephanie Boddie, an assistant professor of church and community ministries at Baylor, is one of those leading the way.

Boddie is known nationally for her research on congregation-based social services and trends in faith-based initiatives. Over the years, much of that research has been through the lens of the black church, with a focus on the social and entrepreneurial approaches these institutions have used to address disparities in wealth, health and food insecurity in their communities. Read the full post here.


Two GSSW professors recognized this year (2019) with two of the highest faculty awards

5.22.19—It’s official: The academic year has come to a close. Finals grades are in, seniors have walked the stage — and Baylor’s professors of the year have been named. Congratulations to Master Teachers Drs. Gaynor Yancey and Laine Scales. #sicemsocialwork Find the full blog post here.


Meet Baylor’s nationally renowned expert on counseling, social work and elder care

5.8.19—Dr. James Ellor‘s education — a bachelor’s in sociology, master’s degrees in social work and divinity, and both a D.Min. and a Ph.D. in working with the elderly — gives him a unique viewpoint on the intersection of faith and care for the elderly. Since 2004, Ellor has taught in Baylor’s Garland School of Social Work, serving today as the Dorothy Barfield Kronzer Endowed Professor in Family Studies and the doctoral program’s co-director. His research includes work in endosomal therapy, hunger, spiritual assessment, meaning and aging, and the role of the church — especially among the elderly. Read the full post here.


Baylor faculty & students honored for career contributions and promising new research

04.11.19—It’s always impressive when any one Baylor student or professor wins a statewide, national or even international award — but yet again, Bears have been winning so many awards that we can’t write about them fast enough!

Take a moment to check out these six amazing Bears and the work they’re doing in their respective fields:

Check out the full article by clicking here.

Meet 24 Baylor women who have made their marks on the world of education

3.39.19—When Baylor was chartered in 1845, it was one of the first coeducational colleges or universities west of the Mississippi River — about 10 years before any public institution of higher learning would introduce mixed-gender learning, and a full 75 years before American women were guaranteed the right to vote. Since that groundbreaking beginning, countless women have come through the halls of Baylor before going on to do amazing things. Here’s a look at some Baylor Bears who have made big impacts in education — at Baylor and beyond ... Read the full post here.


$2 million gift boosts Baylor’s Global Mission Leadership Program

03.20.19—A generous $2 million gift made by anonymous Baylor parents from California will support Baylor’s nationally renowned Global Mission Leadership (GML) initiative, a unique program that prepares Christian leaders to become catalysts for change in communities all over the world.

The GML program, established in 2009 within within Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, provides students with a master’s degree in social work that prepares them for transformational service in the country they choose. Part of the degree is a concentration in Global Mission Leadership — a credential largely unattainable in many countries, especially those where working in social work is rare.

To read the full article, click here.

50 influential Baylor women you should know

03.07.18—When Baylor was chartered in 1845, it was the first (or one of the first, depending on the source) coeducational college or university west of the Mississippi River — about 10 years before any public institution of higher learning would introduce mixed-gender learning, and a full 75 years before American women were guaranteed the right to vote.

Since that groundbreaking beginning, countless women have come through the halls of Baylor before going on to do amazing things. 

Click here to access full article. 

Dr. Garland

Meet Baylor’s nationally recognized expert on coping with grief and loss

01.17.18—"Dr. Helen Harris has centered her life’s work on a topic that most would prefer to avoid: grief and loss. While no one likes to think about the loss of a loved one, facing grief is unavoidable. Harris’ research on those tough subjects has made her one of the nation’s most-sought after experts on the topics of bereavement, trauma, the role of faith in processing grief, and more.

Before coming to Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, Harris worked in the trenches daily alongside people grappling with these very issues. She was the first director of the Hillcrest Community Hospice in Waco, where she also served as a social worker and bereavement coordinator. Even after coming to Baylor in 1997, she has continued to volunteer with hospice organizations and provide training to hospices throughout the area.

Access full article here. 

Dr. Helen Harris

Baylor partners with Chris Kyle Frog Foundation to support military & first responder marriages

11.3.17—"The images and videos of spouses and families reunited after military members return home from deployment leave most of us glassy-eyed and appreciative of the sacrifices they make. But for most of us, that’s where it ends.

For military families, however — and for the families of first responders like police and firefighters — the demands of the job constantly present a unique set of challenges to relationships.

Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work has teamed with the University of Texas and the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation to develop curriculum and build a program to help military and first responders build stronger, more resilient marriages. The resulting program, “Mastering Your Marriage,” is believed to be the first outcome-based model of military and first responder marriage enrichment training of its kind. This fall, the Baylor team has provided the training to 21 active military and first-responder couples."

Read full article. 

Chris Kyle Frog Foundation Baylor Proud Photo

#BearsOfBaylor — “My whole family is Deaf.”

09.11.17—“My whole family is Deaf. My parents, my twin sister and some extended family members are all Deaf. I grew up in a home where American Sign Language was my first language. I’m a social work major, because I’ve seen oppression on a lot of different levels, and I’ve seen people discount my family just because they couldn’t hear. I’m really into helping people who feel like they don’t have a voice find their voice and make them heard.”

Read full article. 

My whole family is deaf

#BearsOfBaylor — “I tell people I found my calling during Chapel at Baylor…”

08.29.17—“I tell people I found my calling during Chapel at Baylor, which is weird, but true. I’d never thought of anti-human trafficking efforts and things like that before, but the more I was in my major, the more I realized I didn’t want to work in policy about people. I wanted to work specifically with people, and help them with whatever needs they have. The cool thing is that’s exactly what social work is. I really like it.”

Read full article.

Found Calling in Chapel at Baylor

Three triplets, three personalities, one college — Baylor

08.11.17—When starting their college search, one major factor for many high school students is distance from family. Your college years are about meeting new people, growing into your own person, and having your own experiences — independent of your parents and siblings. That’s all the more important when you’ve lived your entire life as a triplet, and it’s exactly what the Bascos — Casey, Thomas and Matthew — had in mind when they began their college search.

Read full article.

Three triplets, three personalities, one college

6 reasons Baylor Law students are recognized for service

07.21.17—Over the years, Baylor Law School has received national recognition countless times — for the quality of its students, the quality of its graduates, and for its value. But if there’s one particular thing for which Baylor Law is best known, it’s service

Read full article. 

6 Reasons Baylor Law Students Recognized for Service

Congratulations, Baylor Class of 2017!

05.15.17—More than 2,500 Bears walked the Ferrell Center stage over the weekend at Commencement to receive their diplomas and officially become Baylor alumni.

Read full article. 

Congratulations, Baylor class of 2017

How Baylor Bears are working to fight human trafficking 

04.13.17—Slavery isn’t just something we read about in history textbooks; sadly, it’s still an issue today, all over the world — including here in the United States. Through force, fraud or coercion, individuals are exploited for sex, physical labor, drug transportation and other acts — treated purely as expendable commodities.

Thankfully, people are standing up to the problem — including many Baylor Bears.

Read full article. 


#BearsOfBaylor—"It's always client-centered work."

08.08.16—“I’m going into my second year of the MSW program. … It’s always client-centered work. We wanna know that, if faith or spirituality is something that’s important to you, how can we incorporate that into your care and make it be something that grows you as a person, or whatever need you’re in.”

Read full article. 


Baylor School of Social Work names new dean 

05.20.16—It’s official: Dr. Jon Singletary, BA ’93, is the new dean of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.

And it won’t take Singletary long to get up to speed; neither the position nor the school is entirely new to Singletary. 

Read full article. 


From sacks to social work, former NFL star Santana Dotson is still making an impact


09.24.15—Santana Dotson, BA ’91, was a true difference maker on the defensive line for Coach Grant Teaff’s Baylor football teams in the early 1990s (and then for a decade in the NFL with Tampa Bay and Green Bay). The 6-foot-5 defensive tackle from Houston earned first-team All-America honors at Baylor and went on to be part of one of the most dominant defensive lines in NFL history, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Packers in 1996.

Two decades later, he’s still a difference-maker, albeit in a different game since retiring from the gridiron.

Read full article.


Waco isn't the only place to earn a Baylor degree

09.23.15—What do aspiring nurses in Dallas have in common with up-and-coming business leaders in Austin? It’s the same thing social workers in Houston share with ambitious professionals in the Metroplex and pastors in the Hill Country. In each of these locations, individuals are pursuing Baylor degrees in places that meets their unique personal needs — places outside of Waco. Please note: Houston is now a Research Center for the GSSW, rather than a campus (as of 2022).

Read full article. 


Baylor grads minister to impoverished Miami-area communities 

07.21.15—The neighborhood of Overtown, Fla., isn’t what most people picture when they think about Miami. Located just across Biscayne Bay from the glamour of Miami Beach, Overtown is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, and its residents daily face the difficult issues that come from living in poverty.

Overtown is also the home base for Touching Miami With Love, a nonprofit organization led by Baylor graduates that ministers to neighborhood families by providing resources to help them overcome the negative influences in the area.

Read full article. 


School of Social Work named for outgoing dean Diana Garland 

04.28.15—The names “Baylor social work” and “Diana Garland” have been virtually intertwined since Garland took leadership of the program in 2001. From now on, the names will be officially connected.

Baylor’s School of Social Work is now the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, the university announced Friday night to a group of students, faculty/staff, alumni and friends gathered to celebrate the school’s 10th anniversary. And there couldn’t be a more fitting name.

Read article here. 


Baylor prof named the most influential social worker alive today 

11.13.14—If you’re among the countless students who have benefitted from Dr. Preston Dyer’s teaching at Baylor over the past 45 years, you’re likely not surprised to hear that a recent ranking of the most influential social workers alive put Dyer at No. 1.

Read article here. 


Interdisciplinary Baylor partnership to study best ways of reaching and serving hungry children

09.09.13—We covered Baylor’s Texas Hunger Initiative in depth back in the spring, describing how the program (begun in Baylor’s School of Social Work in 2009) is working to develop a reproducible model that significantly reduces hunger by maximizing efficiency in current state programs.

Thanks to a $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, THI staffers will now be aided by a team of researchers from Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business as they seek ways of making summer and afterschool meal plans more efficient so that more children can be served.

Read article here. 

Interdisciplinary Baylor serving hungry children

Social work’s Global Mission Leadership to move ahead thanks to generous gift

12.01.11—A $3.6 million gift from Carl and Martha Lindner will allow Baylor to continue a unique program that prepares Christian leaders to become catalysts for change in communities all over the world.

Launched in 2008, the Global Mission Leadership Initiative brings to Baylor’s School of Social Work international graduate students who have demonstrated servant leadership and strategic thinking while working in their home cultures.

Read more here. 


To better serve Waco, School of Social Work moves into new home downtown

01.07.11—Perhaps no other school at Baylor is more involved with the local community than the School of Social Work, and that involvement is at the heart of the school’s move over Christmas break into a new home in downtown Waco — right in the middle of the people the school and its students aim to serve.

Read full article. 


Daughter’s fight for health leaves former Lady Bear facing staggering bill

09.30.09—Lady Bear fans from a decade ago will remember Michelle Neely, who transferred to Baylor from Grayson County College and played in 46 games from 1999-2001 during head coach Sonja Hogg’s final season and head coach Kim Mulkey’s first year at Baylor. Neely graduated from Baylor with a degree in social work in 2002, and three years later, she and her husband were blessed with a child, Ashlyn.

At the age of 13 months, however, an unknown virus caused significant damage to Ashlyn’s brain, leaving her unable to move the right side of her body and with sensory and feeding issues.

Read more here. 

Lady bear

Truett Seminary, School of Social Work share a family bond

07.24.08—A growing number of Baylor graduate students are pursuing a pair of master’s degrees that work uncommonly well together. In addition to earning their master of divinity degree from Truett Seminary, they also are earning a master’s degree from the School of Social Work, combining both the theoretical and the practical sides of ministry. 

“What does the Gospel look like?” recent graduate Tihara Vargas asked rhetorically in Baylor Magazine article last year. ” That’s where social work comes in. Truett is one of the only (seminaries) I’m aware of that integrates the two.”

After seeing how well the two programs work together, it probably wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that the deans of Truett and the School of Social Work are a husband-wife team.

Read full article. 

Drs. Garland

School of Social Work teaching service, from Waco to Moldova

06.20.08—Baylor’s School of Social Work is perhaps the University’s fastest growing program; 86 students graduated from the program last month, double the previous year’s class. To put that in perspective, the three-year-old program graduated more students than Truett Seminary, Baylor Law School and the Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

Baylor social work students from Waco to Washington, D.C., worked with churches and charities this past year that received large grants from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Locally, graduate student Kelly Baker (pictured) worked with University Baptist Church to plan out a mentoring program between neighborhood children and college students, after-school tutoring, parenting classes, and English as a Second Language classes.

Read full article.

SSW Teaching Service Waco to Moldova