The Elizabeth Vardaman Faculty Awards

The Elizabeth Vardaman Awards annually recognizes Baylor faculty members who go above and beyond in mentoring undergraduate students. The “Betsy” awards, as these have been nicknamed, honor Professor Elizabeth Vardaman for her 38 years of mentoring Baylor students as they seek to maximize their education through learning beyond the classroom. 

There are two categories of "Betsy" awards: Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduates and Excellence in Leadership, both of which include a $1,000 cash prize and trophy.

The Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduates award  is presented annually to seven faculty members—from any of Baylor's colleges and schools—who go beyond the call of duty in their mentorship of undergraduates, demonstrating excellence in, and sustained commitment to, helping these students excel through engaged learning activities.  This includes, but is not limited to, mentorship in activities such as: 

  • guided research, scholarship, and creative expression; 
  • internships, employment, or professional development; 
  • academically informed civic and community engagement; 
  • study abroad and other off-campus learning; 
  • pursuit of fellowships and awards; 
  • and leadership development.   

The Excellence in Leadership award recognizes individuals, programs, or organizations that best demonstrate leadership, imagination, and persistence in developing research opportunities for undergraduate students. 

Call for Nominations 

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Elizabeth Vardaman Awards. Students may nominate their professors, and faculty members may nominate their colleagues. 

To nominate for the Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring award, please fill out the nomination form below, which includes a brief statement (100-300 words) articulating why the nominee is deserving of the award. Nominees should be full-time faculty members.


To nominate for the Excellence in Leadership award, please fill out the nomination form below, which includes short statements about the nominee's long-term commitments to research mentoring, the quality of research produced, concern for student welfare, student presentations or publications, and leadership in creating research opportunities.

Submit Nominations for the Excellence in Leadership Award

Recent Winners of the "Betsy" Award

Dr. Susan Bratton, Professor of Environmental Science

Dr. David Bridge, Associate Professor of Political Science
Prof. John Cunningham, Senior Lecturer of Communication Studies
Dr. Rebecca Flavin, Senior Lecturer of Political Science 
Dr. Kevin Pinney, Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Pedro Reyes, Associate Professor of Management
Dr. Michael Scullin, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Dr. Michael Trakselis, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Office of Engaged Learning

One Bear Place #97344
Draper 244
Waco, TX 76798

(254) 710-3231