“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (NIV, Psalm 103:6).
“God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet” (The Message, Psalm 103:6).
Christian Scriptures give great hope for the oppressed and victims of oppression. No matter which translation of the Bible we read, it is clear in Psalm 103:6 that God knows about the oppression and the resulting victimization.
The Bible is full of admonitions to followers of the way of Jesus about our actions toward the oppressed and victimized. We are to treat all people with love, dignity, honor and justice, because we all are made in the image of God.
Our actions should flow naturally from a heart filled with God’s love. Learning to see people as God would have us see them, with loving actions toward and on behalf of all people, comes with a commitment to do this hard work with the Lord. That commitment, I have discovered, is a life-long journey.
One point that often gets lost in the academic debate of teaching versus research is that research, at its best, is teaching. Baylor’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award — presented each year by Baylor Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) — aims to recognize those who exemplify that by mentoring undergraduate students in a research setting.
This year’s honorees? Dr. Stephanie Boddie from the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and Dr. Lorin S. Matthews (BS ’94, PhD ’98) from the Department of Physics.
With unique challenges in 2020 related to COVID-19, the University has acknowledged those hardships for all in the Baylor Family by taking the initiative to focus on mental health throughout October.
Baylor University’s Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW, associate dean for research and faculty development and associate professor in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is an expert on mental health, primarily anxiety and depression, as well as religion and spirituality in clinical practice.
In this Q&A, she shares tips and resources to students, faculty and staff who are facing all of the typical challenges of another mid-term while also navigating a global health crisis.
Dr. Jocelyn McGee, Garland School of Social Work assistant professor, recently answered the call from Rev. Dr. Wismick Jean-Charles, Vicar General of Monfort Ministries for the World, to collaborate on a developing a telepsychology program and training in Haiti for the Center for Spirituality and Mental Health (CESSA) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
WACO, Texas (May 5, 2020) – Twelve Baylor University professors have been honored with Outstanding Faculty Awards for teaching, scholarship and contributions to the academic community for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The Outstanding Faculty Awards recognize the best all-around professors – including non-tenure track, tenured and tenure-track faculty – based on teaching capabilities, research achievement, time spent with students and church and community service.
Baylor’s focus on offering a distinctly Christian educational environment includes cultivating thought leaders who can help congregations answer the call of societal challenges. Dr. Stephanie Boddie, an assistant professor of church and community ministries at Baylor, is one of those leading the way.
Boddie is known nationally for her research on congregation-based social services and trends in faith-based initiatives. Over the years, much of that research has been through the lens of the black church, with a focus on the social and entrepreneurial approaches these institutions have used to address disparities in wealth, health and food insecurity in their communities.
Can you experience grounded, present, awareness? So much is changing around us. How are you handling it?
Higher education has been in flux for many years with financial and technological upheavals changing so much of what we as faculty and staff understand about ourselves in our institutions of teaching and learning. To this, the crisis of Coronavirus is completely overwhelming. Financial burdens are even more significant. Our dependence on technology is all-encompassing. Students struggle with the anxiety of it all and we are hardly prepared to respond given our own anxieties.
WACO, Texas (March 26, 2020) – For the week ending March 21, a record 3.28 million workers applied for unemployment benefits, a result of the sweeping economic consequences of COVID-19, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
In the proverbial “blink of an eye,” many find their neighbors, friends, family – and even themselves – out of jobs that only a few weeks ago seemed safe and secure.
The jobless are grieving. What’s our role? How do we help? How do we engage?
WACO, Texas (March 25, 2020) – In a difficult and ever-changing time of crisis surrounding the spread of coronavirus, the basic needs of health and safety come first. But as these basic physiological needs are met, the more advanced care for spiritual and mental health can remain overlooked or ignored altogether.
Baylor University’s Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW., associate dean for research and faculty development and assistant professor the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is an expert on mental health, primarily anxiety and depression, as well as religion and spirituality in clinical practice.
Danielle E. Parrish, PhD, has been named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE). She takes over from Dr. Joanne Yaffe, whose term ended in December 2019. Parrish will serve a 3-year term, 2020–2022, during which time she also will head the JSWE Editorial Advisory Board and serve as an ex-officio member of the CSWE Council on Publications.
The Spencer Foundation recently awarded Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work (GSSW) a $50,000 grant to study if and how accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) programs incorporate curricula around religion and spirituality (RS) into social work education as well as assessing faculty views around the topic and how universities’ religious affiliations impact MSW education.
Assistant Professor Dr. Edward C. Polson and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development Holly K. Oxhandler are co-principal investigators for the study, entitled “Graduate Social Work Faculty Views on Preparing Students to Ethically Integrate Clients’ Religion/Spirituality in Practice: A National Survey”.
Gaynor I. Yancey, D.S.W., professor of social work, Master Teacher and director of the Center for Church and Community Impact at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, was honored April 12 during the annual Academic Honors Convocation as the 2019 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year.
ChurchWorks, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s (CBF) annual discipleship/spiritual formation conference, recently brought ministers from all across the nation to Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. The focus was on “Congregational Wellbeing,” led by Dr. Jon Singletary, dean of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University.
Dr. Preston Dyer, BA ’60, is an educator, a servant leader who developed Baylor’s social work program nearly a half-century ago, and recognized by peers as the “most influential social worker alive.” However, his most cherished accomplishment is his connection with former students. He appreciates when former Baylor students stop him on the street to tell him they grew from the Marriage and Family class Dyer and his wife of 57 years, Dr. Genie Dyer, BA ’59, taught together for 16 years.
In the last year, the School recognized the importance of bolstering enrollment, career, and alumni services to follow prospective students from the beginning of the process all the way through graduation and beyond. With this in mind, the GSSW welcomed two new staff members in the Office of Enrollment and Alumni Services: Krysta Long and Emily Corntassel.
In March, the Garland School of Social Work announced that Baylor University had granted tenure to our Dr. Helen Harris! The GSSW was even able to surprise her with a celebration just after learning the good news from Dean Singletary.
What a gift it is to move from the beautiful anguish of vocational liminality to a place where I feel confident to lead and to serve. I loved my first year serving as your dean. Having a year prior as interim was a nice launchpad for this opportunity. Having an amazing faculty and staff make the role pure joy. I spend more time planning, budgeting, and organizing, but I am still engaged in some research, looking at spirituality and leadership through the lens of the Enneagram. I am still teaching, this year a Human Behavior course with undergraduates who are just beginning their coursework in the social work major.
We have the pleasure of recently adding several new staff and faculty members to our family here at the GSSW. Dr. Stephanie Boddie joined as an assistant professor of Church and Community Ministries, while we welcomed Cheryl Pooler as a lecturer. Also, Katherine Diehl became our GML program Coordinator, Sarah Dorrel Ritter serves as both a full-time lecturer and the MSW program director, and Luci Hoppe was named the BSW program director. Sic 'em, School of Social Work!