Baylor in the News – May 16-22, 2021

May 23, 2021

Media Contact: Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1961
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WACO, Texas (May 23, 2021) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories as they shared their thoughts and expertise on the music of Bob Dylan rooted in Scripture and faith, various issues facing the SBC, climate catastrophes and global religion and the extension of food aid for Texas families during the upcoming school year.

May 16, 2021

Forbes: For Happiness, Less Really Is More: 6 Creative Ways To Actually Subtract
This article about simplicity after COVID as we begin re-engaging in activities, reconnecting with friends and colleagues and reigniting our interests cites a 2014 Baylor study, which found when people were more materialistic, they tended to be less happy and satisfied.

May 17, 2021

Baptist News Global: When did ‘woke’ become a four-letter word?
In this column, Greg Garrett, Ph.D., professor of English at Baylor, writes about public figures employing the word “woke” lately in press conferences and in the media as many states consider public education measures banning the teaching of America’s racist and sexist past.

May 18, 2021

KPFA-FM (Berkeley CA): Letters and Politics: John C. Calhoun: Defender of Racial Slavery & White Democracy
AUDIO: Robert Elder, Ph.D., professor of history at Baylor, is a guest on “Letters and Politics” to discuss his new book, “Calhoun: American Heretic.” Elder’s research focuses on the cultural, intellectual and religious history of the American South in the 19th century.

May 19, 2021

Religion News Service: Meet the Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist encouraging her fellow Christians to get vaccinated
Written in Baylor epidemiologist Emily Smith’s friendly, informational voice, her Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist Facebook page has grown to more than 96,000 followers, about half evangelical Christians, sharing information about COVID-19 and answering questions from precautions to vaccinations.

Baptist Standard: Around the State: Baylor giving campaign tops $1 billion mark
Baylor University’s Give Light Campaign surpassed the $1 billion mark May 13 with a gift from Paula Hurd from Silicon Valley, Calif. The $7 million gift will be recognized through the naming of the Mark and Paula Hurd Floor at the Baylor Basketball Pavilion.

The Washington Post: Russell Moore’s departure from the Southern Baptist Convention’s leadership prompts questions over its future
Barry Hankins, Ph.D., professor and chair of history at Baylor and a writer who focuses on culture and Christianity, is quoted in this article about prominent Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore, who announced he will be leaving the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention where he has been the president of its policy arm since 2013 and joining the staff of Christianity Today.

Get Religion: Bob Dylan turns 80, while Dylanologists keep arguing about signs of faith in his art
As fans, critics, scholars and musicians celebrate Bob Dylan's 80th birthday on May 24, Francis Beckwith, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and church-state studies at Baylor, is publishing online commentaries on what he considers Dylan's 80 most important songs. Dylan's entire canon, he said, includes images and themes rooted in Scripture and faith.

May 20, 2021

The Washington Times: ‘God Bless the USA Bible’ creates ‘toxic mix’ says evangelical man who started petition to cancel it
Elesha Coffman, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Baylor, is quoted in this article about a proposed “God Bless the USA Bible ”that would bind the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance and the lyrics to a decades-old patriotic song along with the Old and New Testaments in a single volume.

Sojourners: In God's Economy, Racial Groups Are Not Competitors
In this essay adapted from a sermon preached at University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, on May 2, 2021, Jonathan Tran, Ph.D., associate professor of theology & ethics and The George W. Baines Chair of Religion at Baylor, speaks about how Americans only think about racial groups in competitive terms and asks how we “broaden our bandwidth for advocating with our African American brothers and sisters while also bringing into view what is happening to Asian Americans in this moment?”

KWKT-TV: FOX44 Special Report: Magnolia Empire’s Legacy in Waco
VIDEO: Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of Institute for Oral History at Baylor, was interviewed for this story about how Magnolia and the Silos have transformed Waco to the thriving tourist destination it is today.

May 21, 2021

Baylor Connections: Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., Baylor University President
AUDIO: A school year like no other has drawn to a conclusion at Baylor and, even amidst the challenges presented by COVID-19, it was a time with much to celebrate. In this Baylor Connections, President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., shares a top 10 list—the top 10 moments of the 2020-21 year (plus a few bonus points) highlighting the Baylor Family’s accomplishments in academics, research, athletics, health, giving and more.

Christianity Today: Southern Baptist Church Planting Up in 2020, But Baptisms Plunge by Half
Barry Hankins, Ph.D., professor and chair of history at Baylor, is quoted in this article about how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated more than a decade of decline in membership and baptism for the Southern Baptist denomination.

Big Think: Climate catastrophes can reshape religion
Phillip Jenkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor, writes that there were at least four major climate catastrophes that reshaped global religion and that it could be happening again.

The Texas Tribune: Texas families with students receiving free or reduced-price lunches could be eligible for up to $1,200 in food aid
Jeremy Everett, executive director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, is quoted in this article about the extension of food aid for the 2021-22 school year to Texas families who relied on the Pandemic EBT card, which previously provided a one-time benefit of $285 for students receiving free and reduced-price meals.

CO (U.S. Chamber of Commerce): The 3 Keys to Success (and Failure) in Family Businesses
Lee Grumbles, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, is quoted in this article about the traits that lead to the success – or demise – of a family-run business.

Healthy Simulation: Making Healthcare Safer with Systems-Focused Simulation
Jeanne Carey, M.Ed., RN, director of simulation at Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, writes about how systems-focused simulation training can help improve the quality and safety of patient care.

May 22, 2021

Waco Tribune-Herald: Mike Copeland: Baylor inks Topgolf Waco deal
Topgolf, the Dallas-based company specializing in climate-controlled driving ranges and grill-to-table dining service, has entered into its first “naming rights agreement” with an education partner: Baylor University.


Baylor's Office of Media and Public Relations (M&PR) supports the University's Illuminate strategic plan as a top Christian research university by focusing on faculty research and expert opinions, innovative teaching, major awards and recognition, and community involvement. Through its media training workshops, the Baylor M&PR team develops faculty experts to effectively communicate the impact of their research or speak as subject-matter experts into national trends and conversations with media outlets, through Hot Topics and on the Baylor Connections podcast. Our faculty expert directory is available on the M&PR website at


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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