Professors of the year represent sciences and literature

Each spring, Baylor honors professors with three major awards based on teaching, research and scholarship.

Dr. Devan Jonklaas, a senior lecturer in Baylor's department of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of the 2015 Collins Outstanding Professor Award, which is an honor awarded by a vote of Baylor's senior class each year. The award is provided by the Carr P. Collins Foundation to recognize and honor outstanding teachers at Baylor. Jonklaas, who is the ninth Baylor graduate to win the award in the last 12 years, received his PhD from Baylor in 2003 and his BA from Taylor University in 1995.

Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities in Baylor's Honors College since 2000, is the 12th Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year. Jeffrey’s areas of expertise include medieval literature, biblical hermeneutics and literary theory, and literature and philosophy. The award is given to faculty nominated on the basis of being "a superlative contributor to the learning environment at Baylor, including teaching, research and "building the character of intellectual community at Baylor." He donated the cash award that comes with this prize to an Honors College scholarship fund.

Dr. Kevin J. Gutzwiller, professor of biology, and Dr. Jay Pulliam, The W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geophysics, both in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, are the 2015 Baylor Centennial Professors. Funded by the Centennial Class of 1945, the award provides tenured professors with money for research projects that will facilitate more in-depth study in his or her field. Gutzwiller will study the decline of the White Pine bark in the northern Rocky Mountains and its effects on animals that depend on it for food (including the grizzly bear), while Pulliam will join a delegation to Cuba that will work with local seismologists to improve understanding of earthquake hazards in the region.

Baylor named among nation's top 10 schools on both Facebook and Twitter

A recent study named the top 50 American colleges and universities on Facebook and Twitter. Baylor was one of only four schools in the top 10 on both platforms. The others were Florida, Wisconsin and Texas A&M.

Engagement Labs performed the evaluation, which placed Baylor at No. 4 in the nation on Facebook and No. 8 nationally on Twitter based on how engaged a school's followers are and how responsive a university is to those followers.

Baylor's top-10 status on both platforms puts the University alongside some much larger universities. For context, USC and Wake Forest were the only other private schools in the top 25 in both categories. The other schools in the top 10 average almost 34,000 students--more than twice Baylor's size.

Baylor has 153,000-plus followers on Facebook, 45,000-plus on Twitter, 52,000-plus on Instagram and 7,000-plus on Pinterest. Part of that can be attributed to Baylor posting interesting, useful information, photos and videos on a regular basis across each platform.

Credit is shared with Baylor Nation for wanting to follow, like, share, comment and otherwise remain engaged with Baylor via social media. Some are prospective students considering Baylor for college; others are current students and alumni; many more are parents, faculty, staff and other friends of the University. All share one thing in common: a love for Baylor and the Baylor family.

Baylor Bound agreements reached with Alamo Colleges and Temple College

In April and May, Baylor University penned formal Baylor Bound transfer agreements with Alamo Colleges and Temple College that will help students transfer more easily between the two institutions and Baylor.

As one of its goals under the Pro Futuris strategic initiative, Baylor intends to create 10 Baylor Bound partnerships during the next five years. The Baylor-Alamo agreement is the sixth partnership, along with McLennan Community College in Waco, Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Blinn College in Brenham, Collin College in McKinney and Temple College in Temple.

The Baylor Bound program serves highly motivated students from Baylor Bound partner colleges who, upon meeting the program's criteria, will transfer to Baylor to complete their baccalaureate degrees.

"The remarkably popular Baylor Bound program represents an affordable alternative for many community college students who wish to complete their degree studies at Baylor University. We are grateful to Temple College and Alamo Colleges for entering into this collaborative partnership, which will expand educational access for students in Texas," Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr said.

Students may declare their intent to transfer to Baylor by submitting the Baylor Bound application prior to enrolling at Baylor Bound partner institutions, or while enrolled there as full-time students. Admission to the program will be determined by Baylor's Office of Admission Services.

Students who become part of the Baylor Bound program can choose a plan from 66 majors. More information about these majors and course transfer equivalency is available at Advisers from both institutions will help students select courses that satisfy program requirements to allow for a successful transition to full-time status at Baylor.