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Graduate School Staff Directory

Baylor University Graduate School
One Bear Place #97264
Waco, TX 76798-7264
Morrison Hall, Suite 200
254.710.3588 (main office) 254.710.3870 (fax)

Dean LyonJ. Larry Lyon

Vice Provost and Dean of Baylor Graduate School

Dr. Lyon earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Sociology and joined the Baylor Sociology Department in 1975. He began serving as Dean of Baylor's Graduate School in 1998. He is a Vice Provost, a Professor of Sociology, and the Director of the Baylor Center for Community Research and Development. His research interests include community sociology and the sociology of religion.

Beth Allison Barr

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of History

Beth Allison Barr received her B.A. from Baylor University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on women and religion in medieval and early modern England, especially in how they are viewed and portrayed in sermon literature. How the advent of Protestantism affected women’s roles in the church has carried her research beyond medieval Catholicism into the world of early modern Baptists. Beth is the author of The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England, co-editor of The Acts of the Apostles: Four Centuries of Baptist Interpretation, and author of more than a dozen articles (published and forthcoming)She is currently working on her next book, Women in English Sermons, 1350-1700. She is also a regular contributor to The Anxious Bench, a religious history blog on Patheos which has paved the way for her contributions in Christianity Today and The Washington Post. She has been actively sought as an academic speaker, including delivering the 2019 E. Glenn Hinson Lectures at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, they keynote address for the 2019 Canadian Society of Church History, and preaching occasionally. Beth has been very active in service to her discipline—including serving as president of two historical societies (the Texas Medieval Association and the Conference on Faith and History) and serving on the diversity committee and program committee for the American Society of Church History and the sexual harassment ad hoc committee for The Sixteenth Century Society in 2018. Since receiving tenure in the History Department in 2014, Beth has served as Graduate Program Director in History (since 2016), received a Centennial Professor Award (2018), and received appointment (2018) as a Faculty-in-Residence for the LEAD Living & Learning Community in Allen/Dawson Residential Hall. She is also a Baptist pastor’s wife and the mother of two great kids.

Dr. Steve G. DrieseSteve G. Driese

Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Driese joined the Baylor faculty as the Chair of the Geosciences Department in August 2004, serving until 2013. After serving briefly as Graduate Program Director (2013-2016) he was appointed Associate Dean for Research in the Graduate School. Prior to coming to Baylor he taught at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (1982-2004). He obtained his B.S. degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Driese has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and his research areas include reconstructing past landscapes, climates and atmospheric chemistry from fossil soils, which are known as “paleosols”. His research investigations involve both field and laboratory components, and use modern soils as analogs for interpreting paleosols. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is an Honorary Member of SEPM (The Society for Sedimentary Geology).

Dr. Chris Rios Christopher M. Rios

Associate Dean 

Dr. Rios joined the Graduate School in 2011 working in the area of professional development.  In his current role as Associate Dean, he oversees enrollment management and academic technology. He also manages the Graduate School budget and directs the Bernard Ramm Scholars program. 

In addition to his service in the Graduate School, Rios teaches undergraduate courses in the Department of Religion and the College of Arts and Sciences. He also leads the annual Adjunct Teaching Workshop for the Academy for Teaching and Learning. He is a historian of science and religion with publications that include After the Monkey Trial: Evangelical Scientists and a New Creationism (Fordham University Press, 2014).

Amanda Clayton

Amanda Clayton

Admissions and Recruitment Specialist

Amanda received a Bachelor’s degree in Business/Science from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  Before coming to the Baylor Graduate school, she worked in Accounting and Higher Education at the University of Kentucky.  Currently, Amanda is one of the Admissions and Recruitment Specialists for the Graduate School.  She is responsible for planning and executing the Graduate School's communications plan and producing content for the Graduate School's website and recruitment materials.  Additionally, Amanda plays an active role in the day-to-day application processing for our many Graduate Programs and attends recruiting events.

Sandra B. HarmanSandra B. Harman

Dissertation & Thesis Coordinator

Mrs. Harman came to Baylor in 1987 and has worked with graduate education most of that time. Review of dissertations and theses is one of her primary roles in the Graduate School, along with the administration of the Graduate School Travel Awards program.

Anna HendersonAnna E. Henderson

Administrative Manager, Office of the Dean

Anna has been with the Graduate School since 2007. She began working at Baylor as an undergrad and has experience in Baylor's Office of Institutional Effectiveness/SACS, University Development, and the University Libraries. Anna is the manager for the tuition and stipend authorization system (TSA). She also administers stipend enhancements and the Presidential Scholars fund, organizes Graduate Council meetings, oversees the PhD assessment process, and manages the degree proposal process. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor in 1991.

Tosha HendricksonTosha A. Hendrickson

Admissions Director/Assistant to Associate Dean

Tosha Hendrickson earned her B.A. in Communications in 2016 from Texas Tech University; upon graduation, she joined the Graduate School. In her role directing the operations of the Graduate Admissions office, Tosha acts as an administrator for access to the Graduate School's admissions database, prepares and updates the online listing of Graduate Faculty, and works to keep the online Graduate application updated. She also aids the Associate Dean with enrollment management, as well as recruiting funds for the graduate school.

Alanna MartinezAlanna D. Martinez

Assistant for Graduate Studies and Professional Development

Alanna joined the Graduate School in June 2014 and provides oversight for Teachers of Record including administering benefits, the outstanding graduate student awards, and SET. She assists with Graduate Student Orientation, New Graduate Program Director Orientation, and Women in the Academy. Alanna helps manage the website and supports the Graduate Student Association cabinet members. In addition, Alanna works with our Baptist College & University Scholars, Conyers Scholars and Presidential Scholars. She is the contact for SIC’EM grants and the TeaCHE capstone course. She performs other various duties for graduate housing communities and coordinates the professional development programs for graduate students.

Candice S. ProseCandice S. Prose

Assistant to the Vice Provost and Dean

Candice has worked at Baylor since 2012. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from The University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the Graduate School, she was a Customer Service Representative and Recruitment Coordinator for the Human Resources office. As the Assistant to the Vice Provost and Dean, Candice is responsible for coordinating the Dean's calendar, administering graduate student benefits, gathering doctoral student publication data and planning the Doctoral Dinner each semester.

Alana A. Schaeper

Admissions and Recruitment Specialist

Alana received a Bachelor of Arts degree in University Studies, with concentrations in Communication Studies, Sociology, and Human Development & Family Studies from Texas Tech University. Before coming to Baylor, she worked as an Administrative Assistant for Texas Tech University at Waco. Currently, Alana is one of the Admissions and Recruitment Specialists for the Graduate School. She is responsible for managing and executing tasks associated with graduate enrollment management. She also attends recruitment events and plays an active role in communicating with prospective graduate students.

Laura SepanskiLaura Sepanski

Administrative Associate

Laura joined the Graduate School in September 2018 as an Administrative Associate.  She answers inquiries regarding the graduate admissions process, welcomes visitors, and assists with general office operations.  In recent years, Laura assisted with the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), tutored in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, and worked with various church ministries.   She received a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in 1994.

Sherry G. SimsSherry G. Sims

Director of the Graduate School Office

Sherry has been part of the Baylor family since 1979 when she started in Academic Records as Assistant Director. She transferred to the Graduate School as the Admissions Coordinator in 1981. She eventually moved into the role of Director of Admissions and Records and now uses her knowledge of the campus functions to oversee the operation of the Graduate School office and perform many administrative duties for the Graduate Dean. Sherry serves as the degree planner for all graduate programs. It is her responsibility to certify students for graduation. She also serves as the Secretary and Coordinator of the Graduate Curriculum Committee and works closely with the administration to implement changes to existing curriculum, policy changes, new degree programs, and new courses. She is also responsible for the Graduate Catalog and making sure all policies and degree plans are included and current. Sherry received her B.S.Ed. from Baylor in 1982.