You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden, Matthew 5:14.
If you have been following Baylor's social media you have discovered a recent marketing campaign, #BaylorLights "Where Lights Shine Bright" (https://www.baylor.edu/lights/). This effort is to demonstrate the great work and accomplishments of our students in being lights of the world. Across campus there are 6-feet tall letters that spell Lights or Baylor with one of the letters missing. The students serve as the missing letter, taking selfies and placing them on their social media feeds and they have been going viral (https://www2.baylor.edu/baylorproud/2018/01/just-what-is-baylor-lights-all-about/)…below is an excerpt from the campaign:
If you have a hunger for personal growth and a thirst for knowledge, Baylor is a place where you can truly shine…The faculty feels more like family. The educational experience is nationally ranked and the traditions are locally loved…the oldest continuously operating university in Texas still deeply rooted in Christian values. Step into a place where the best and brightest excel. Baylor University - Where Lights Shine Bright.
It continues to be a great time to be at Baylor and Robbins College continues to be a place where lights shine bright. More students continue to arrive and we have experienced undergraduate growth of 12.5% and graduate growth of 165% since the formation of Robbins in the summer of 2014. Our students and alumni continue to serve others through efforts that are helping those most in need. You would be proud of our students, they are bright, caring and compassionate people who join us many times already with a deep sense of purpose and calling to serve others.
The stories below demonstrate students and an alumnus being lights in the world. Whether serving the homeless, children with disabilities, those in poverty or addressing health needs in a developing country, all stories demonstrate the greatness of their work. I hope you are encouraged and your faith is strengthened as you see the great work being accomplished by Robbins College students and alumni.
Health Fair for Waco's Homeless & Underserved
For the past 9 years, Dr. Beth Lanning and her undergraduate and graduate public health students have partnered with Mission Waco and Church Under the Bridge to plan and implement a health fair for the homeless and underserved community of Waco. The public health students provide health screenings, health information, and basic hygiene products for the participants. The students also work with area health related agencies to provide the participants with addition services such as free haircuts and glucose screening. Dr. Lanning encourages her students to interact with the participants and take the time to listen and learn from them. Students often quip that they learn more from the participants than the participants learn from them.
In addition to her work with Mission Waco, Dr. Lanning often speaks to her students about the impact of human-animal interaction on health and quality of life. Her research with equine assisted interventions and combat veterans, children with Autism, and at-risk youth highlight the health benefits of interacting with animals, specifically horses. She shares her research findings with her student to help them learn about and explore complementary health interventions that prove beneficial for specific populations.
Helping Children through Camp Success
Since summer 2003, Baylor University’s department of communications sciences and disorders (CSD) has partnered with the Waco Scottish Rite Bodies to host Camp Success, a free and dynamic four-week program designed to help children with speech, language and reading challenges. Since it’s inception, Camp Success has helped over 900 participants receive approximately 50 hours of one-on-one therapy which is the equivalent to a full year’s worth of intervention in many school districts.
The Family Health Center was founded nearly 50 years ago to address a shortage of doctors and a lack of primary care access for a vulnerable population. Since then, the clinic has expanded to 16 satellite locations serving the Heart of Texas, and more than half of the family physicians who practice in McLennan County have come through the Center’s residency program. Last year, more than 100 Baylor students served nearly 3,000 hours at the Center, whether volunteering, conducting research or interacting as part of their coursework.
Jimena Tejeda de Valdeavellano came to Baylor from Guatemala in 2012 with the goal of receiving a Masters degree in Nutrition Sciences. She notes that her experiences at Baylor was “one of the very best parts of my life where I was inspired to achieve excellence not only in my career, but also as a person.”
With Guatemala’s prevalence of stunting children under 5 being at 46.5%, (one of the highest in the world, and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean) Jimena knew she wanted to make an effort to change this number.
After graduating from Baylor in 2014. Jimena started working at Texas Women Infants and Children Program (WIC). A year later, she went back to Guatemala and started her own Nutrition Clinic called Healthy Beginnings - its the first clinic in the country that supports nutrition during pregnancy, childhood and promotes breastfeeding. Jimena is convinced that proper nourishment starts in the womb, and the most critical period for a child’s development is the first 1,000 days of life.
In 2015 Jimena was accredited as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). In 2018, she is celebrating the opening of the first lactation clinic in one of the busiest maternity wards in the country. With this, Jimena plans to give babies a healthy start and the opportunity to grow with proper nutritional care and intervention.
The Robbins College invites you to engage and support our efforts in developing tomorrow’s Christian leaders in health and human sciences. There are multiple opportunities to be involved with the College, including attending lecture series or campus events or donating to our continued development of excellence in research, teaching and community engagement.