BCU Alumni

Katie HalbeslebenKatie Arnhart graduated in 2015 with her PhD in Sociology from Baylor University. She moved to a position as a senior research analyst at a non-profit organization and as a temporary lecturer at her local university. She enjoys applying statistical analyses to help people make informed decisions and explain everyday life. In the classroom, Katie's vision for teaching is to lead students by example through modeling key sociological ideas and demonstrating the importance of seminal texts. 

Headshot of Cara Cliburn Allen Cara Cliburn Allen graduated with her PhD in Higher Education Studies & Leadership at Baylor University. During her time at Baylor, Cliburn co-led institutional data gathering and responding to food insecurity at Baylor, serving as the chair of the Food insecurity working group. From Baylor she moved to a research analyst position with the Baylor Collaboration on Hunger and Poverty where she is exploring strategies to reduce poverty and increase food security.

Headshot of Kim Bodenhamer Kim Bodenhamer earned a BA in Biblical Studies and a minor in Biblical Languages from Hardin-Simmons University. She was selected for the Logsdon School of Theology Award and spent a semester abroad at Oxford University studying Greek and the Synoptic Gospels. Alongside her studies, Kim worked in the Missions Department of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church and served as a Worship Pastor for Crosspoint Fellowship. Kim went on to earn her Masters of Theological Studies from Duke University. In July 2017, Kim defended her dissertation; YHWH, Remember!: Memory, Place, and Ritual in Psalms 120-137 and graduated August 2017. Beginning Fall 2017, she was appointed an Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, primarily teaching courses in Hebrew Bible. 

Jared BrandtJared Brandt graduated from Southwest Baptist University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Religion/Philosophy and Chemistry. While at SBU, Jared participated in the University Honors program and served as President of Theta Alpha Kappa. He also received the 2012 Outstanding Theology Graduate award and Summa Cum Laude honors. At Baylor, Jared was the 2016 Schmeltekopf Fellow with the BCU Scholars program. Jared's philosophical interests include Ethics, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, and Kierkegaard.  He graduated in May 2018 with his PhD in Philosophy and took a position as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Dallas Baptist University.

Russ Browder BCU ScholarRuss Browder graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. He also received a Master of Divinity in global missions from Baylor’s Truett Seminary and an International MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain as a Fulbright scholar. He received his PhD in entrepreneurship from Baylor University in 2020, and his academic interests include commercialization of innovation and technology start-ups in emerging markets. During his 16 years of industry experience prior to pursuing a PhD, Russ served as a global marketing leader in health IT for GE Healthcare, in medical devices for St. Jude Medical (now Abbott), and in development with an international medical missions agency.

Joao ChavesJoao Chaves is a 2013 PhD graduate of the Religion Department of Baylor University. A native of Recife, Brazil, Joao came to Texas in order to pursue his academic interests in religious history and theology. Joao has a B.Th. from the Baptist Center for Education, Service, and Research (Brazil), a BA from the Baptist University of the Americas, and a MTS from George W. Truett Seminary of Baylor University. He has served in a number of positions in Portuguese-speaking, Spanish-speaking, and English-speaking churches. Joao took a position as adjunct professor at the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas.

Peter CooganPeter Coogan earned a BS in Mathematics at North Greenville University. While at NGU, Peter completed the University Honors program and coordinated the math lab. He received the Outstanding Senior Project Award for his honors project on complexity and the graph problem.  In 2021, he graduated Baylor University with a Master of Science in Mathematics.   His interests include implementing mathematics on computers, computational complexity, and explaining mathematics to students in small groups. He desires to facilitate others' enjoyment of mathematics.

Nick HoenshellNicholas Hoenshell comes to Baylor University from Houston Texas, where he previously worked with the Alley Theatre as a Scenic Artist. Nicholas is a 2009 graduate of East Texas Baptist University, where he received a bachelor's degree in theatre arts. In May 2016, Nicholas graduated with a MFA degree in Directing from Baylor.

David McClung BCU 2015David McClung graduated from Wayland Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Baylor University with a Masters in Social Work and Master of Divinity, and received his PhD in Social Work at Baylor University. David has also been a part of youth engagement efforts across the state. His research interests include natural support systems and the role of congregations in youth mental health.

Chris Moore Chris Moore is a native of Mount Olive, North Carolina. He earned his BA and MDiv from Campbell University, and later a ThM from Duke Divinity School. While at Campbell, Christopher received the B. Donald Keyser Award for outstanding achievement in Church History. Christopher has also taught religion courses for Baylor University, Campbell University, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Sampson Community College (Clinton, NC). In May 2016, he graduated from Baylor with a PhD in Religion (Historical Studies) and accepted a position as an instructor of History and Religion at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. Christopher’s research interests include religion during the American Civil War and Reconstruction, as well as Baptist history.

Courtney Parker Courtney Bailey Parker completed her MA (2012) and her PhD (2016) in Baylor University's Department of English. Originally from Newnan, Georgia, Courtney graduated from Mercer University in 2010. Her primary research interests include the literature of the English Renaissance (including Shakespeare) as well as Modern Drama. Courtney was the 2014-15 Schmeltekopf Fellow for Educational Leadership. Courtney accepted an appointment as an Assistant Professor of English in Greenville College’s Center for Visual Culture and Media Studies (Greenville, Illinois).

Headshot of BJ Parker B.J. Parker graduated Baylor University with a PhD in Religion. Prior to beginning his PhD, he completed an MA in Religion at Baylor, his MDiv at the McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University, and his BA in Biblical Studies with minors in Christian Education and Biblical Languages at Atlanta Christian College. After leaving Baylor, he accepted a adjunct faculty position at Greenville College.

Headshot of Joshua PittmanJoshua Pittman Josh graduated with a BA in English and history from Campbell University and with an MA in English from East Carolina University. He received his PhD at Baylor in 2020 studying medieval literature. His dissertation uses the phenomenology of Jean-Luc Marion to explain why violence and peace are interdependent in the Middle English Brut. His work on the Pearl manuscript appears in the winter 2019 issue of Renascence. Less professionally, he is involved in translation projects (including St. Athanasius' On the Incarnation) for churches in non-English-speaking countries. He and his wife Krysta have a son, Elijah.

Rebecca Poe Hays BCU 2015Rebecca Poe Hays completed her PhD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Baylor University in 2018. She received the Schmeltekopf Fellowship for Educational Leadership in 2017–2018. Before coming to Baylor, she earned her BA in English Literature and Biblical Languages from Union University and her MDiv from Samford University.   Rebecca’s primary research interests involve Old Testament parables, the rhetorical function of story in the Hebrew Psalter, and garden imagery in the book of Isaiah. Rebecca has served in churches and non-profits in Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas and as the Associate Editor of the journal Perspectives in Religious Studies. After graduation, she worked with Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning as the Project Coordinator for Soundings (part of the Lilly Endowment’s Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative) and taught Hebrew at George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

Nick Pruitt Nicholas T. Pruitt earned a BA in History from Wayland Baptist University in 2007. Nicholas then completed a MA in Church-State Studies from Baylor University in 2009. Upon receiving his Masters, he returned to Wayland where he taught for two years as a history adjunct. Nicholas graduated with a PhD in History at Baylor University in 2017. His historical interests involve twentieth-century American religion and its relationship to social, cultural, and political trends. His dissertation focused on the missional and political responses of white Protestants to immigration and refugees between 1924-1965. His publications include an article on organized religion in the novels of Eudora Welty in the Southern Quarterly, three encyclopedia entries, and multiple book reviews. He served as the Assistant Book Review Editor for the Journal of Church and State from 2014 to 2016 before moving to Eastern Nazarene College as a Visiting Assistant Professor in History.

Scott Ryan Scott Ryan majored in Religious Studies at Gardner-Webb University and received the Greek Award and the Christian Service Award. He also holds Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Duke University Divinity School, where he received the Excellence in Bible Award. Scott graduated in 2017 from Baylor University with a Doctor of Philosophy in Religion with a concentration in Biblical Studies/New Testament and stayed on as Lecturer and Wabash Fellow in Religion in the Department of Religion. In the 2016–17 academic year, Scott was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award at Baylor. Scott has published his research in journals such as New Testament Studies, Perspectives in Religious Studies, and Baptist History & Heritage, and presented a number of times at professional conferences. He was selected as a Young Scholar in the Baptist Academy in 2015 and received the Schmeltekopf Fellowship for Educational Leadership in 2013-–14. Scott's broad training and research interests have prepared him to teach courses in Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, New Testament, the Greco-Roman context, and Christian apocryphal literature. His primary research interests include the Pauline Epistles, the Gospel of Mark, Israel’s Scripture in the New Testament, Archaeology/Material World (Pompeii and Herculaneum), Second Temple Judaism(s), Literary and Rhetorical Criticism, and Reception History.

Headshot of Taylor Thompson Poe Taylor Thompson Poe earned a BS in Mathematics and a minor in Ministry from Mississippi College. In 2021, she graduated from Baylor University with a MS and PhD in Mathematics, and moved to an Assistant Professor position in the Mathematics department at her alma mater, Mississippi College.

Ryan Womack BCU 2015Ryan Womack Ryan grew up in Moore, Oklahoma, and completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with a BA in English and minors in history and biology. He received his PhD in Baylor’s English program with a concentration in Religion and Literature in 2018.  While a student, he served as the Vice President and President of the English Graduate Student Association and received Baylor’s Excellence in Student Involvement Award. His awards include the Lumen Christi summer study in Oxford, a Free Society seminar in Slovakia, a fellowship to the National Institute for Newman Studies, and a finalist nomination for Baylor’s Outstanding Graduate Instructor. His main research interests include religion, ethics, and technology, and how we envision the human person in recent American literature. 

Collin ZahlerCollin Zahler earned a BS in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. In 2021, he graduated from Baylor University with a PhD in Chemistry and took a scientist II position at Entegris.

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