December 18, 2012

Psychology professor honored with lifetime achievement award

Dr. Helen E. Benedict, a professor and director of clinical training in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, has been named the recipient of the annual Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Psychological Association.
Benedict's contributions to the field of child psychology are significant, said Dr. Jim Diaz-Granados, chair of the department of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences.
"Her early work in child language has been cited as a critical concept in cognitive development," he said. "She is also a highly sought-after expert in play therapy and issues of attachment, giving talks and leading workshops all over the world. Her passion for and devotion to the betterment of children's lives is probably best exemplified by her work in early intervention for at-risk children at the Talitha Koum Institute. At Baylor, over the last 30 years, Helen has played a key role in the success of the clinical psychology doctoral program and has been a beloved mentor to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students.
"Helen's career is indelibly marked by her dedication to the profession, her students, the community and her colleagues," Diaz-Granados said.
Benedict completed her B.A. at Connecticut College and earned a Ph.D. in developmental and child clinical psychology at Yale University, where she was twice named the recipient of the Psi Chi Award for Excellence in Teaching. She began her career as an assistant professor at Michigan State University. She came to Baylor in 1981 and is a former chair of the department of psychology and neuroscience.

Regents approve new church music, joint divinity and business degree programs

At its November meeting, the Baylor University Board of Regents approved two new doctoral programs in the School of Music and a joint master's degree in divinity and business administration from George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Hankamer School of Business.
Baylor's Ph.D. in church music -- which will be only the second such Ph.D. program offered in the nation -- is designed to foster in students the highest levels of knowledge and skill in the practice of church music and research, while the doctor of musical arts (DMA) degree will include the added component of strong performance skills. With Baylor already widely recognized as a national leader in church music, providing a DMA and Ph.D. will allow the university to respond to the significant needs of the growing and diverse field of church music. The doctoral degree programs in church music are expected to begin in fall 2014.
The joint MDiv/MBA will link the faculties, resources and education of Baylor's internationally recognized business school and seminary, offering to students an education that prepares them well for a multitude of leadership opportunities. As religious institutions continue to morph into complex organizations and nonprofits continue to proliferate, the constituencies of such institutions are seeking qualified, competent and well-educated individuals to lead them. The MDiv/MBA degree program is expected to begin in fall 2013.

Technology training for teachers

The Baylor School of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction, with grant funding from Texas Instruments, hosted T3: Teachers Teaching with Technology Regional Conference in October. More than 260 teachers learned how to use emerging and existing technology in the classroom to aid in science and math education.
The conference focused on some of the most important areas in education: the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Some of the sessions included utilizing augmented reality, teaching children to blog, the ins and outs of using a portable planetarium, using iPad apps to teach primary students, and how to use YouTube and the entertainment industry to teach math.

Nursing School Gala to be held March 1

Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing will host its annual Going for the Gold Gala on March 1, 2013, at Eddie Deen's Ranch in Dallas. The event will feature a dinner and both live and silent auctions benefiting endowed scholarships for deserving Baylor nursing students, as well as line dancing, celebrity photos, Texas BBQ and country and western music.
With the help of last year's special guests, Kim Mulkey and Troy Aikman, the 2012 Going for the Gold Gala raised more than half a million dollars to benefit nursing endowed scholarships. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, auction donations and advanced event reservations for the 2013 Gala, please visit or contact Kara Sikes at (214) 820-4144 or

Truett Seminary graduates 1,000th student

When Jamie McCallum, the 1,000th graduate of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, received her diploma Dec. 14, it marked a milestone for an institution that began 18 years ago with small classes that met in an education wing of First Baptist Church of Waco. From its low-profile beginning and an initial class of 51 students, Truett has grown to an enrollment of 356 students housed in a three-story building on Baylor's campus.
Today, Truett Seminary aggressively is striving to meet contemporary challenges faced by pastors in their demanding calling. It offers a variety of programs, including areas of emphasis in sports chaplaincy to a new joint degree -- master of divinity and master of business administration -- that will help pastors not only serve as spiritual guides, but also leaders in the business aspects of ministry.
"Truett has come a long way," said Dr. Brian Brewer, BA '93, MDiv '96, the first student to complete his theological education at Truett, a former pastor of two churches and now an assistant professor at Truett. "It's great to see where we've all gone and spread across the nation and the world. But even though Truett is now much more of an institution, it has maintained the spirit it had in the beginning."

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