Barbara Rauls has a mind like a Rolodex -- she can sort through the names stocked in her memory faster than most people can find an entry in their Palm Pilot.
From her desk in Room 337 of the Marrs McLean Science Building, Rauls networks the campus. For every student who comes to her with a need, Rauls produces a person with a solution. Academic struggles? Financial woes? Family issues? No topic is unbroachable, no problem unsolvable.
Ask for examples and Rauls, who's worked at Baylor since 1989, reels off several. One time, she found out that a female student who frequently visited her office could not afford to buy enough food, even though she had an after-class job. Rauls quickly shepherded the young woman to one of Baylor's cafeterias.
"I said to the manager, 'You see this young lady that's with me? You need to feed her. I don't care what it costs. I don't care what we have to do to get it done. If it's money, I don't care. I'll square it away with you. You just make sure we do it,'" Rauls says, with characteristic enthusiasm. And, graciously, the manager obliged.
Rauls, a minister's wife and mother of four, says that she and her husband have made a habit of helping Baylor students in need.
"I make phone calls. I've charged books at the bookstore. My husband and I have paid student fees. You name it -- we've just about done it," she says.
Rauls' love for students is either a result of her passion for her job in the chemistry and biochemistry department or the cause of it -- it's hard to discern which. Regardless, she feels strongly about the positive influence staff members, as well as faculty, can have on the young people who come to Baylor.
"I know staff play a big part ... in whether people want to come here," she says. "So, that is just what we try to do - make them feel at home."