News Briefs

July 1, 2013

BU Law tops in bar exam once again

The results of the February 2013 Texas Bar exam were released in May, and Baylor Law was again No. 1 with a 95.56 percent pass rate. Texas has nine law schools, and since 2001 Baylor Law has been No. 1 on 17 of 24 bar exams given.

"As always, the credit goes to our bright students who work so hard, to our dedicated faculty and staff colleagues, and to our wonderfully supportive University leadership," said Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben, JD '77.

Toben added that Baylor Law's success also arises from its diligence in ensuring that the Law School is always keeping attuned to the needs and expectations of the profession; adhering to the highest standards in all it does and undertakes; being invested fully in its mission and in its students; and being good and wise stewards of all that is within the Law School's charge and responsibility.

Professor named chair of national organization

Dr. Jim Diaz-Granados, chair of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences, has been named chair of the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP).

Comprised of nearly 300 of the nation's graduate psychology programs, the council represents the voice of academic psychologists regarding research and practice to a variety of relevant national organizations.

Diaz-Granados also serves as a commissioner on the 32-member Commission on Accreditation, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation as the national accrediting authority for education and training in psychology.

Diaz-Granados is a professor of psychology, neuroscience and biomedical studies. He joined the Baylor faculty as an assistant professor in 1996 and became chair in 2006. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. He has been a member of COGDOP since 2006 and was elected to the board in 2010. He just finished his first year as a commissioner on the APA Commission on Accreditation.

Texas Hunger Initiative Receives $3.5 Million Contract from Texas Health and Human Services

The Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) at Baylor University has received a $3.5 million Community Partnership Program contract from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) that will allow THI to develop an innovative statewide public-private partnership to expand access to food and health care for low-income Texas families through community-based research and programmatic activities. The contract is renewable for up to five years.

The contract will provide resources for the Texas Hunger Initiative to open 12 regional offices. THI will recruit and train more than 1,100 community-based organizations on, a new online tool created by HHSC to help Texans apply for and manage their state benefits.

The Texas Hunger Initiative -- based in the Baylor University School of Social Work -- also will lead a coalition of community partners that includes the Texas Impact, the state's oldest and largest interfaith social justice network, which will conduct congregational outreach.

The partnership model is intended to be replicable for any other poverty-related issue and to work in any other state in the country. Learn more at

Cherry Award finalists announced

Three preeminent scholar/teachers from U.S. universities have been selected as finalists for Baylor University's 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, a national award with the single largest monetary reward presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching. The winning professor will be announced in spring 2014.

The finalists are:

  • Dr. Meera Chandrasekhar, Curator's Teaching Professor of Physics, University of Missouri;
  • Dr. Joan Breton Connelly, Professor of Classics and Art History, New York University; and
  • Dr. Michael K. Salemi, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As Cherry Award finalists, each professor will receive $15,000, as well as $10,000 for their home departments to foster the development of teaching skills.

The winner will receive $250,000 and an additional $25,000 for his/her home department and will teach in residence at Baylor during fall 2014 or spring 2015.

Entrepreneurship Program ranked third in nation

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has ranked the entrepreneurship program at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business No. 3 in the country. The ranking is based on student responses to questions asking them to rank their program's entrepreneurship program.

"This ranking recognizes the high value our students place on their Baylor education and the dedication of our faculty, staff and alumni," said Dr. Terry S. Maness, BA '71, MS '72, dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "Our students are gaining valuable experience in the classroom and in business leadership roles as they create and manage start-ups."

The Baylor entrepreneurship program is one of the oldest and most respected in the nation and continues to break new ground. The most recent Princeton Review ranking done for Entrepreneurship magazine listed Baylor's program No. 2 nationally.

Senior a Rhodes Scholar finalist

Baylor's own Jaden Schupp, BS '13, of Evergreen, Colo., was among 212 Rhodes Scholar finalists interviewed by the Rhodes Trust. Only 32 Rhodes Scholars were selected to receive full financial support to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The recent graduate was Baylor's lone Rhodes finalist this year. At Baylor, Schupp majored in biochemistry and minored in mathematics, religion and medical humanities. She was also a four-year member of Baylor's NCAA equestrian team. Her ultimate goal is to go to medical school and become a doctor.

Baylor has had five students become Rhodes Scholars. The last was Brad Carson, BA '89, who won the Rhodes in 1989 and is now Office of the U.S. Army general counsel.

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