Campus News & Notes
Baylor’s Tidwell Bible Building looks almost as pristine as it did when it first opened in 1954. Over the past two years, the building has undergone the first top-to-bottom renovation in its history, including a new HVAC system, new water lines, a new elevator and new accessible entrances and restrooms. The building now houses three Arts & Sciences departments: history, religion and sociology.
Baylor announced a gift from the estate of the late John and Eula Mae Baugh to create an endowed chair in physics in the College of Arts & Sciences. Thanks once again to the Baugh family for their significant and longtime support of Baylor and the College!
The College of Arts & Sciences is recruiting incoming freshmen for its new Humanities Fellows Program, which begins with the Fall 2022 semester. The Humanities Fellows major encourages focus and flexibility by challenging high-ability students to craft “an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages the big questions of human existence today.” It’s a research-oriented BA degree program led by faculty dedicated to equipping students for cutting-edge research in the humanities.
Dr. Brian Raines, associate dean for research and strategic planning in the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of mathematics in the College Arts & Sciences, began a three-year term as the newest Faculty Regent on the Baylor University Board of Regents. He joins Dr. Sara Dolan, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, as a Faculty Regent from Arts & Sciences.
The redesigned core curriculum in the College of Arts & Sciences began its third year this fall overseen by a new faculty member. Dr. Danielle M. Williams, senior lecturer in English, began serving as the second director of the core this past summer. She succeeded Dr. Lauren Poor, senior lecturer in history, who served as the core’s inaugural director when it was implemented in the fall of 2019.
Faculty/Staff News & Notes
Three Arts & Sciences faculty members were honored last spring for their excellence in teaching. Dr. Paul Zinke, senior lecturer in chemistry, was selected as Baylor’s 2021 Collins Outstanding Professor by the 2021 Senior Class. Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, chair and professor of journalism, public relations and new media, was named Baylor University’s 2021 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year. Dr. Bill Hoy, clinical professor of medical humanities, won the Academic Educator of the Year award from the Association for Death Education and Counseling.
A number of Arts & Sciences faculty members have been honored for their research efforts. Dr. Christie Sayes, associate professor of environmental science, received the 2021 Chemical Research in Toxicology Young Investigator award from the American Chemical Society. Dr. Ronald Angelo Johnson, The Ralph and Bessie Mae Lynn Chair of History, was named the 2021 American Philosophical Society’s Franklin Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Michael-John DePalma, associate professor of English, was one of two faculty members selected to receive 2021 Baylor Centennial Professor Awards for summer research projects. Dr. Sarah Kienle, assistant professor of biology, and David Criscione, a doctoral candidate in history, received 2021 Bryce Brown Research Fellowships from the University’s Mayborn Museum.
Assistant professor Dr. Jameson Graber is the first Baylor mathematics faculty member to win a CAREER grant award from the National Science Foundation.
Winners of the College of Arts & Sciences’ “Betsy” awards — given to Baylor faculty members across the University who excel in mentoring undergraduate students — are: Dr. Annie Ginty (psychology and neuroscience); Dr. Ivy Hamerly (political science); Dr. Marty Harvill (biology); Maxey Parrish (journalism); Dr. Coretta Pittman (English); Wiff Rudd Jr. (music); and Dr. Jason Whitt (Honors College). Dr. Lacy McNamee, associate professor and graduate program director of communication, won the 2021 Elizabeth Vardaman Award for Excellence in Leadership.
Baylor environmental science professors are receiving national recognition. Dr. George Cobb chair and professor, joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Substances Control Act Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals –– which helps the U.S. Government monitor the effects of chemicals on environmental health. Dr. Ryan McManamay , assistant professor, received a Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America.
Two Baylor Arts & Sciences staff members received special recognition. Brett Gibson, the assistant director of College of Arts & Sciences Advisement, won Baylor’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award for 2020-2021. Emily Leavitt, administrative associate for the history department, is one of two 2020 BaylorPLUS Salute winners.
Dr. Julie Sweet, professor of history (center), received one of six national “Women in American History” awards from the Daughters of the American Revolution for her significant contributions to American history.
Two Baylor statistical science faculty members received national recognition for their scholarship. Dr. Rodney Sturdivant, associate professor of statistical science, won the Army Wilks Memorial Award for “his contribution to the advancement of scientific or technical knowledge in Army statistics.” Dr. Michael Gallaugher, assistant professor of statistical science, won the 2021 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Classification Society.
Since our last issue, we said our final goodbyes to three Arts & Sciences faculty members: Dr. Scott James, associate professor of geosciences (May 2); Rick Bradfield, part-time lecturer in journalism, public relations and new media (Sept. 2); and Dr. Donna Walker-Nixon, retired lecturer in English (Sept. 3).
Student News & Notes
Wemimo Bright Jaiyesimi, a graduate student from Nigeria, received Baylor’s inaugural Robert L. Gilbert Scholar in Religion Graduate Fellowship, which is named for the University's first male African American graduate.
Baylor freshmen Sai Sagireddy and Mary Mersereau received first place awards at the 2021 Capital of Texas Research Conference, which creates a collaborative environment among researchers by promoting the importance of undergraduate research.
In virtual competition last spring, students on Baylor’s Model United Nations team won the top delegation award during competition at a New York-based online conference. Also in the spring, members of the Model Organization of American States team represented the countries of Mexico and Belize in an online conference with other students from around the world.
Baylor sculpture students Kirupa Sargunaraja and Ellis Barber had their work accepted into the Rising Eyes of Texas 2021 juried exhibition at the Rockport Center for the Arts in Rockport, Texas, and Ellis’ sculpture was purchased from the exhibition.
Four Baylor photography students from Professor H. Jennings Sheffield’s classes ––Samantha Blackburn, Claire Boston, Alyssa McCarn and Samantha Raleigh — were selected for the Texas Photographic Society’s New Visions 2021 student competition. Shown above is Samantha Raleigh’s photo “Happy Birthday Samantha.”
Alumni News & Notes
Benjamin “Jack” Young (BA ’21) received a fellowship from the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program. Lilly Fellows receive financial aid and academic mentoring on the road to becoming teachers at church-related American universities. Young started on a PhD program in history at Notre Dame this fall.
Two Arts & Sciences alumni were selected to lead American universities. On July 1, Brad Carson (BA ’89), who won a Rhodes Scholarship while at Baylor, began serving as the new president of the University of Tulsa. Meanwhile, Dr. D. Michael Lindsay (BA ’94) is the new president of Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts school located in Upland, Indiana.
The painting “Devil’s Pie” by Arts & Sciences alumnus John Singletary (BFA 2020) was shown on the cover of the June 7/14, 2021, edition of TIME magazine. The painting is owned by artist and writer Akwaeke Emezi, who is also featured on the magazine’s cover. Singletary began graduate studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City this fall.
Arts & Sciences alumnus Charles Guittard (BA ’64) is finishing a trilogy about his grandfather, Dr. Frank Guittard (1867-1950), who was the founding chair of Baylor’s history department. The third book, to be called “I Will Teach History: The Life & Times of Frank Guittard,” will offer a wealth of information about the department in the 20th century.
We want to share our condolences with the family of Dr. Kathryn Stepp Tinius (BA ’70), who died July 13 after a lengthy illness. Dr. Tinius was a member of the Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates and served as the board chair from 2019-2021. A career educator, she was an active member of the Baylor Women’s Council of Dallas. In 2011, she established The Kathryn Stepp Tinius Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor, which supports students pursuing majors in film and digital media.