Baylor’s 2019-20 Conversation Series will focus on civil discourse, with a variety of speakers and roundtables available to students, faculty and the community to consider this important topic. In this Baylor Connections, Baylor University President Dr. Linda A. Livingstone reflects on the university as a marketplace of ideas, ways to help students grow in the ability to respectfully engage others even in disagreement, and the need for civil discourse more broadly.
Dr. Cole Matson serves as an associate professor of environmental science at Baylor. An environmental toxicologist specializing in the genetic effects of contaminants on wildlife, Dr. Matson’s research was recently featured in the prestigious journal, Science. The study examined a breed of fish, the Gulf killifish, which has rapidly adapted to and survived in the heavily polluted waters of the Houston Ship Channel. Matson identified hybridization with the Atlantic killifish as having provided the necessary genetic tools for survival in this polluted environment, and he explains how and what that potentially means for other species on this Baylor Connections.
Along the U.S.-Mexico border, Lori Baker engages in challenging and important work to repatriate families with lost loved ones. Dr. Baker, professor of anthropology and vice provost for faculty development and diversity at Baylor, founded Reuniting Families in 2003 to assist government agencies with the recovery, identification and repatriation of deceased migrants. Families throughout Latin America have found a friend in Baker and her team, who bring caring and dignity to the lost, and show love to the families faced with unimaginable choices. In this Baylor Connections, she shares the heart behind that work and the examines conditions that shape the border today.
In David Jack’s line of work, there’s zero room for error. The fruit of his expertise can often be found in airplanes and automobiles. Jack, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, is a national leader in the research and development of composite materials. His goal is to create products that are more lightweight, durable, and most importantly, are safer. In this Baylor Connections, Dr. Jack unpacks the field of materials science, a vital and growing realm that is one of the five signature initiatives in Illuminate, and shares how it positions the University for even greater breakthroughs.
Mark Childers came to Baylor in 2014 after 18 years in the United States Secret Service. In his role as Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Security, he oversees the Baylor Department of Public Safety, comprised of four divisions including the Baylor Police Department. In this Baylor Connections, he examines steps to keep the Baylor community safe and shares more about “Sic ‘em for Safety” month events in September.
As one of just 30 American Psychological Association “Citizen Psychologists” in the nation, Sara Dolan has a demonstrated commitment to research that benefits the community. Since coming to Baylor in 2007, Dr. Dolan, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, has blended high-level research with service to others. After the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion in 2013, she provided pro bono crisis intervention to emergency workers and community residents. More recently, she received a $3 million grant to facilitate evidence-based assessments for practitioners working with childhood victims of abuse and trauma. In this Baylor Connections, Dolan shares experiences working with first responders, soldiers and citizens, and examines themes of community, scholarship and resilience.
Hearing, the brain and aging: Dwayne Simmons, The Cornelia Marschall Smith Endowed Professor and Chair in Baylor University’s Department of Biology, has dedicated his internationally-recognized research to studying how sensory cells and neurons in the brain respond to aging. These sensory cells and neurons are connected by wiring that degenerates over time, a common disconnect revealed in many senior adults as hearing loss. On a broader level, he’s pursuing breakthroughs in the auditory system that could impact areas far beyond hearing. Dr. Simmons came to Baylor three years ago from UCLA and has invested time and energy to invigorate research throughout the biology program. In this Baylor Connections, he shares why he came to Baylor and the motivation to uncover discoveries that heal.
It’s the start of a new school year, and Baylor University President Linda Livingstone looks ahead to 2019-20 on this Baylor Connections. President Livingstone shares on topics like university priorities, Baylor’s R1/Tier 1 aspirations, the incoming freshman class, a new athletic season and more.
Earlier this spring, the City of Waco was honored with one of Baylor University’s most distinguished awards, the Founders Medal. Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver, a Baylor Business and Baylor Law graduate, accepted the award, which highlighted the partnership between city and university for the betterment of the community. In this Baylor Connections, Mayor Deaver examines numerous ways the City of Waco and Baylor University work together, looks ahead to future growth for the city and shares more about his family’s Baylor experience.
Last spring, Baylor unveiled “United,” a new visual identity featuring an updated interlocking BU and uniforms, a new logo and more. Shortly thereafter, the university adopted the interlocking BU across all colleges, schools and divisions to bring everyone together under “One Brand. One Baylor.” Learn more about the new look and how these changes enhance the Baylor brand in this Baylor Connections with Jason Cook, Baylor University’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications and Chief Marketing Officer, and Jovan Overshown, Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs.
As Baylor’s Director of Social Media Communications, Jeff Brown oversees one of the nation’s most engaged university social media communities, through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the BaylorProud blog and more. In this Baylor Connections, he examines how to strategically navigate the ever-changing social media landscape, shares how Baylor University utilizes social media to communicate with the Baylor Family and provides tips for social media practitioners in other areas.
Sarah Schnitker, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, joined the Baylor faculty last year, compelled by the Illuminate vision of a preeminent Christian research university. Earlier this year, she was awarded a $2.6 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to galvanize widespread development of virtue interventions for adolescents. In this Baylor Connections, she shares what that looks like and examines how individuals can better develop virtues like patience in their own lives.
Many churches and services are, in part, identified and defined by the style of music they play. Dr. Monique Ingalls, ethnomusicologist and Assistant Professor of Music at Baylor University, is a worship music expert and the author of the book “Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community.” In this Baylor Connections, she shares how musical styles, technology and parishioners’ expectations shape the communities in which they worship.
Kenneth Hafertepe takes listeners on a tour of Waco’s historic homes and architecture in this Baylor Connections. Dr. Hafertepe, department chair and professor in Baylor’s Department of Museum Studies, is the author of the recently-released book, “Historic Homes of Waco, Texas.” On the program, he paints a picture of the community through the eyes of a material culture and decorative arts expert and explains how the buildings people inhabit tell a story of the city’s history.
Storytelling, from the movies people watch to the ads they consume, can have a powerful impact. Dr. Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing, shares insights gleaned from her time in entertainment and education about empowered storytelling, consumer behavior and the significance of word of mouth on the decisions people make in this Baylor Connections.
Movie studios often save films with broad appeal for summer release. What makes a great summer movie? Chris Hansen, filmmaker and chair of Baylor Film & Digital Media, breaks down summer movies and names a few of his favorites on this Baylor Connections, in addition to sharing personal insights on filmmaking and working with Baylor students on his seven feature films.
Dr. David Smith—historian, author and Senior Lecturer of History at Baylor—invites listeners to consider the meaning of Independence Day and the cost of freedom through the lens of one of the most pivotal days in world history. D-Day took place just over 75 years ago and, in this Baylor Connections, Smith paints a picture of the heroism shown that day, and examines how we can honor the sacrifice of those who serve.
Jane Damron, Senior Lecturer in Baylor University’s Department of Communication, is the recipient of the 2019 Collins Outstanding Professor Award. In this Baylor Connections, she shares what it means to practice intentional communication—in relationships with others, in the classroom, on social media and more.
Dr. Tamar Carter and Dr. Jason Pitts are Baylor biologists with unique insights into mosquitoes. In this Baylor Connections, they share information about these ubiquitous and unwelcome guests, both close to home and abroad. Learn tips to diminish the impact of mosquitoes on summer plans and discover how, more broadly, mosquito research can help stop the spread of disease in impoverished communities around the world.
On May 1, 2019, Baylor University welcomed Dr. Nancy Brickhouse back to campus as Provost. On this Baylor Connections, Dr. Brickhouse recalls how her days as a Baylor chemistry major shaped her view of a life’s calling, shares how past experiences as a professor and leader prepared her, and explains why the vision of a Tier One Christian Research University brought her back to Texas.
Dr. Horace Maxile, Associate Professor of Music Theory in the Baylor School of Music, is a leading expert on the contributions of African-American composers in classical and concert music. In this Baylor Connections, he shares how his work fills a void in scholarly attention focused on African-American composers and offers seminal pieces for listeners to discover.
As a child growing up in El Salvador, Carlos Colon saw war firsthand before his family left their home country and eventually settled in the United States. Today, Colon composes music and serves as Assistant Director of Worship and Chapel in Baylor Spiritual Life. In this Baylor Connections, Colon shares how his experiences as a refugee inform his music and his calling.
Baylor University recently celebrated the announcement of a historic $100-million gift—the largest current gift ever received by the University. In this Baylor Connections, President Linda Livingstone shares the excitement of this transformative moment, answers questions about its impact and explains how the gift will support the aspirations of Illuminate and Give Light in two major areas—endowed faculty positions and a new Baylor Basketball Pavilion.
Dr. Kevin Dougherty’s religion research has shaped national understanding on topics like religious affiliation, diversity, church attendance, social life and more. In this Baylor Connections, Dr. Dougherty, Associate Professor of Sociology at Baylor, examines the rise of multiracial churches and dives deep into the trends, highlights and meaning behind the numbers of diversity in congregational life.
Baylor’s Academy of Teaching and Learning supports Baylor faculty through a variety of programs designed to provide development, resources and enrichment. Dr. Lenore Wright, Director of the Academy of Teaching and Learning and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, shares how the academy supports professors and the students they teach in this Baylor Connections.
Joel Allison, Chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, shares insights from a meaningful two-year period in the life of the University. In this Baylor Connections, he explains Board of Regent reforms, examines steps taken to serve the Baylor Family and enhance the Baylor Mission, and reflects on two years of leadership with President Linda Livingstone.
Robbie Barber, Associate Professor of Art in Sculpture and 3D Design, is a professional sculptor with a portfolio of work displayed across the country. In this Baylor Connections, Barber shares the themes that motivate his work, examines the craft of sculpting and previews an upcoming sculpture that will be displayed at the entrance to Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo.
How does sleep impact creativity? Two Baylor professors sought to answer that question in interdisciplinary studies which provide insight into the role of sleep, sleep consistency and more on attention, creativity and academic performance. Dr. Michael Scullin, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory, and Elise King, Assistant Professor of Interior Design in Family and Consumer Sciences, share more in this Baylor Connections.
A group of Baylor students has proudly earned the distinction this school year of becoming the University’s inaugural class of McNair Scholars. The McNair Scholars Program provides opportunities for underrepresented and first-generation college students at more than 150 schools nationally. Steven Fernandez, Program Director, shares how McNair Scholars are prepared for graduate school, enjoy purposeful faculty mentorship and participate in research in this Baylor Connections.
Dr. Jason Whitt is an ordained minister whose calling has led him to the intersection of faith and learning. As a Senior Lecturer in the Honors Program, Dr. Whitt teaches aspiring medical practitioners in Baylor’s one-of-a-kind Medical Humanities program. In January, Whitt and his family accepted the role of Faculty-in-Residence in Alexander and Memorial Halls as well. He shares more about what it means to teach and live among Baylor students in this Baylor Connections.
Dr. Martha Lou Scott joined the Baylor University staff five months before her graduation in 1971. Now Baylor’s Associate Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Scott has impacted generations of students over 48 years of service. In this Baylor Connections, she shares the joys and responsibilities of serving the students she’s cared for, counseled, disciplined, mentored and inspired.
Dr. Chloe Honum, a Baylor English professor and poet, was recently awarded the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship—New Zealand’s most prestigious writing fellowship. In this Baylor Connections, she shares her love of poetry, teaching and the craft of writing before closing with a reading of an original poem.
Baylor University Libraries are more than just repositories for books--they’re centers for the creation of learning. John Wilson serves as University Libraries Interim Dean. In this Baylor Connections, he shares how University Libraries are growing to support the research aspirations of Illuminate, and takes us deep inside Baylor’s beautiful library facilities and fascinating collections.
Baylor’s intramural program is the envy of institutions across the nation, with more than 5300 students participating. In this Baylor Connections, Dominque Hill, Assistant Director for Intramural Sports, shares how the Baylor mission influences the intramural experience, the impact of character and leadership and how participation leads to deeper student engagement.
As Student Body President, Hannah Causey works with Baylor students and leadership during a time of exciting opportunities in the life of the University. In this Baylor Connections, she discusses that role and shares the importance of maintaining Baylor's distinct, unambiguously Christian role in higher education.
Few coaches have impacted their sport as deeply as Felecia Mulkey. Beyond playing a key role in the creation of Acrobatics & Tumbling, Mulkey has won eight straight national titles, including four consecutive championships since coming to Baylor. In addition to coaching Baylor’s Acrobatics & Tumbling team, Mulkey serves as Baylor Athletics’ Senior Woman Administrator. She discusses what it means to prepare champions for life through those roles in this Baylor Connections.
As Dean of Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Lee Nordt leads a diverse academic division housing 25 departments and seven academic centers ranging from science, the humanities, fine arts and more. In this Baylor Connections, he shares how Illuminate, Baylor’s academic strategic plan, will enhance Baylor’s academic influence and engage every department on campus.
On December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, the brave actions of Waco native and Navy messman Doris Miller made him a United States hero and left a lasting impact on the civil rights movement. In this Baylor Connections, Dr. T. Michael Parrish, the Linden G. Bowers Professor of American History and author of “Doris Miller, Pearl Harbor and the Birth of the Civil Rights Movement” shares how Miller’s heroism remains felt to this day.
From physical performance to mental health, Baylor Athletics provides resources to support student-athletes on and off the field. As Baylor’s Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Health and Wellness, Kenny Boyd oversees areas of athletics performance, applied performance, athletic medicine, physical therapy, sports nutrition and mental health. He shares how these units holistically serve student-athletes in this Baylor Connections.
Baylor’s unique role as a leading Christian research university attracts students from across the country. In a field with so many choices, how does the University reach potential students and advance the Baylor brand? Baylor University Vice President for Marketing & Communications and Chief Marketing Officer Jason Cook shares in this Baylor Connections.
Colleges don’t maintain an unambiguously Christian educational environment by accident. Baylor University President Linda Livingstone shares the ways Baylor nurtures that mission through purposeful programs, classes and practices, both historic and present-day, in this Baylor Connections.
Baylor’s accreditation was officially reaffirmed last month by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for the next decade. What factors into a successful accreditation effort, and what does it mean for the university? Dr. Wes Null, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Institutional Effectiveness, explains on this Baylor Connections.