Three Baylor Professors Designated Master Teachers

  • Full-Size Image: Master Teachers
    Newly designated Baylor University Master Teachers are Charles A. Weaver III, Ph.D., professor and chair of psychology and neuroscience; Anne-Marie Schultz, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core; and Robert F. Darden III, M.J., professor of journalism, public relations and new media.
  • Full-Size Image: Robert Darden
    Robert F. Darden III, M.J., Master Teacher, professor of journalism, public relations and new media.
  • Full-Size Image: Anne-Marie Schultz
    Anne-Marie Schultz, Ph.D., Master Teacher, professor of philosophy and director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core.
  • Full-Size Image: Charles Weaver
    Charles A. Weaver III, Ph.D., Master Teacher, professor and chair of psychology and neuroscience.
March 31, 2020

Professor Robert Darden, Dr. Anne-Marie Schultz and Dr. Charles Weaver granted University’s highest honor for teaching excellence

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (March 31, 2020) – Baylor University President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., announced today that the designation of Master Teacher – the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members for sustained excellence in teaching – has been conferred on Robert F. Darden III, B.S.Ed. ’76, M.J., professor of journalism, public relations and new media; Anne-Marie Schultz, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core; and Charles A. Weaver III, B.S. ’84, Ph.D., professor and chair of psychology and neuroscience. They are the 27th, 28th and 29th Master Teachers named since 1982.

“It is a distinct honor to confer the lifetime Master Teacher designation upon these three outstanding faculty members,” President Livingstone said. “These newly designated Master Teachers are deservedly among the ranks of some of Baylor’s greatest teachers, who all deeply value undergraduate teaching and graduate learning while engaging their students in the transformative experiences that distinguish a Baylor education. We appreciate their years of dedication, commitment to teaching and service and providing mentorship both within and beyond the classroom.”

The appointments are based on the profound impact of faculty members in the classroom and on students’ lives as judged by the record of the faculty members’ achievements and the observations of the various nominators. Nominations may be made by former students of the nominated faculty member or by current or former staff, faculty or administrators personally familiar with the nominated faculty member’s record of teaching achievements and other contributions to teaching.

Master Teachers represent these qualities:

    1. Knowledge and use of effective and engaging pedagogy.

    2. Advocacy for teaching and learning, as reflected by characteristics such as (a) Passion for teaching and learning, (b) Engagement of students – mentoring undergraduates and/or graduates in research, active learning classes, group work, service learning and/or community-based learning and (c) Impact beyond nominee’s own courses – e.g., curricular development, mentoring of other faculty colleagues, publications, presentations or web resources.

    3. Sustained (minimum 10 years at Baylor University) commitment to teaching excellence.

About Robert F. Darden, Master Teacher, Professor of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media, Founder and Director of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project

Professor Robert (Bob) Darden is an award-winning teacher, researcher, author of more than two dozen books and founder of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor (BGMRP), the world’s largest initiative to identify, acquire, scan, digitize, catalog and make accessible America’s fast-vanishing legacy of vinyl from gospel music’s “Golden Age.”

Darden earned his bachelor of science in education (secondary education) from Baylor in 1976 and a master’s in journalism from the University of North Texas in 1978. He has been on the Baylor faculty since 1988 and has received nearly all of the University’s teaching and research awards including Outstanding Professor (2016, teaching; 2008, research); Cornelia Marschall Smith Award Professor of the Year Award (2011); Baylor University Diversity Award (2010, with the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project); and Baylor University Centennial Professor (2008). In addition, he was named Wacoan of the Year by the Wacoan magazine in 2011 and a Distinguished Alumnus by the Baylor Line Foundation in 2020.

“I’m hard put to explain what this means to me,” Darden said. “As a Baylor grad from the ‘golden age’ of Baylor undergraduate teaching in the early 1970s, so many of the people before me on the Master Teachers list were my heroes – teachers I personally and professionally admired, people I strive to model after every single day. To be in their company makes me feel unworthy somehow, like it’s all been a mistake. I’m so honored that current colleagues feel this way about what I do. And I was incredibly touched when my chair, Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, told me how many unsolicited letters of support she’d received from my former students – a very big folder full!

“It certainly makes me want to live up to the legacies of those who came before me, who mentored me and loved me and forgave me and who stayed in touch with me long after I’d graduated. It makes me even more want to be that kind of person, that kind of teacher to my current students. Every single day,” he said.

Darden’s books include Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume I: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement; Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City; Jesus Laughed: The Redemptive Power of Humor; Reluctant Prophets and Clueless Disciples: Understanding the Bible by Telling Its Stories; and People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music.

Under his direction, Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project is now at more than 14,000 digitized items. The BGMRP also provides the gospel music for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.

Darden has been widely cited, quoted and interviewed on a variety of topics in the international and national media. In recent years, he has been interviewed and featured by the BBC, several NPR programs and in numerous national magazines, newspapers, podcasts and websites. His essays, features, editorials and columns have appeared in The New York Times, The Oxford American, Christianity Today, The Dallas Morning News, The Huffington Post and hundreds of others. He also is a popular speaker, having been featured in hundreds of conferences, seminars and lecture series.

About Anne-Marie Schultz, Ph.D., Master Teacher, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core

Anne-Marie Schultz, Ph.D., started her Baylor teaching career as an assistant professor of philosophy in 1993, the year she was privileged to watch her department chair and mentor, Robert Baird, Ph.D., receive the distinction of Master Teacher at the first University faculty meeting she attended.

“From the beginning, it was clear to me that there was a high bar for what it meant to be a great teacher at Baylor,” Schultz said. “The institutional commitment to classroom excellence inspired me to become the absolutely best teacher I could be. I am so honored to be named a Master Teacher. Baylor is a unique community of teachers and learners. I am proud it is my academic home. I am particularly proud of all the wonderful things my former students are doing out in the world to transform our culture: they serve as ministers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, reporters, human rights activists, investment bankers and small business entrepreneurs.”

Schultz is a 1988 Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Trinity University, where she doubled majored in English and philosophy. She had many excellent teachers at Trinity, among them Larry Kimmel, Chuck Salman, Victoria Aarons and Willis Salomon. They kindled in her a deep love of learning and sparked a desire to be the kind of person for others that they were for her: a model teacher and mentor. She completed graduate work in philosophy at The Pennsylvania State University, where she encountered several other masterful teachers: Stanley Rosen, David Lachterman and Baylor’s own product and later Distinguished Professor Carl G. Vaught, Ph.D.

In 1999, Schultz became the first female faculty member to receive tenure in the department of philosophy at Baylor. In 2013, she became the first woman in Baylor’s history to receive promotion to full professor of philosophy. She has served the University as graduate program director of philosophy (2005-2008) and director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC) program (2008 to the present). She also has served as co-director of the Summer Faculty Institute (SFI) for many years, working alongside a number of award-winning teachers, including Master Teacher Tom Hanks, Ph.D., emeritus professor of English. Schultz also has served on numerous committees over the years. Her service on the Faculty Senate, University Tenure Committee, The Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) Advisory Council and the Better Together Advisory Council are particularly meaningful to her.

She has previously received recognition for her work with the Centennial Professor Award (2000), The Outstanding Tenured Faculty Teaching Award for the College of Arts & Sciences (2004), The Mortar Board Circle of Achievement Award (2006) and appointment as a Baylor Fellow (2013).

Schultz is a distinguished Plato scholar who has published two books and dozens of peer-reviewed articles and given numerous professional presentations. Her second book, Plato’s Socrates on Socrates: Socratic Self-Disclosure and the Public Practice of Philosophy, was recently released by Lexington Press. One reviewer describes it as a “bold and powerful book.” Another calls it a “moving, revelatory book that makes a radical intervention in Plato studies.” A third commentator claims that “what emerges from her insightful reinterpretation of Plato’s texts is a Socrates who can inspire transformative practices today.” Her dedication to transformation lies at the heart of her commitment to classroom excellence and her love of Baylor University.

“It is a challenging time to be an educator,” Schultz said. “I taught my first online class the day after I received word of my Master Teacher designation. I am determined to continue to shine brightly and teach masterfully amid these trying circumstances. Now more than ever the world needs transformational education.”

Charles A. Weaver III, Ph.D., Master Teacher, Professor and Chair of Psychology and Neuroscience

Charles A. Weaver III, Ph.D., who has been at Baylor University since 1989, serves as professor and chair of the department of psychology and neuroscience. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Baylor, receiving his Bachelor in Science degree in psychology in 1984. He earned his master’s and doctorate in psychology from The University of Colorado in 1986 and 1988, respectively.

Weaver has published dozens of scientific articles and two books and delivered more than 200 professional and scientific presentations. He has published in the areas of memory and language, the relationship between confidence and memory, flashbulb memory (“where were you on 9/11?”) and eyewitness identification. He has served as a forensic expert in civil and criminal cases in more than 30 states.

Weaver has served on the editorial boards of five journals, including the Journal of Educational Psychology, and served as associate editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. He also served on grant review panels for the U.S. Department of Education for more than a decade, serving as chair of two panels. He was recognized as a Fellow by both the Association for Psychological Science and the Psychonomic Society. In 2012, he was named a Baylor Fellow, a program within Baylor’s Academy of Teaching and Learning that recognizes professors across the disciplinary spectrum who exemplify excellence in teaching and are committed to pedagogical innovation, inspirational teaching and the cultivation of these among Baylor faculty.

“To be designated Master Teacher is the highlight of my Baylor career,” Weaver said. “I consider it an honor simply to be mentioned along with those who are my academic heroes, many of whom were legends before I joined the Baylor faculty: Ann Miller, Bob Baird, Roger Kirk, Tom Hanks, Jim Vardaman, Ray Wilson, Gerald Powell, among so many others. They defined Baylor’s commitment to teaching excellence, and it is a privilege to receive such an honor. I am incredibly grateful to my colleagues in psychology and neuroscience, who continue to model excellent teaching every day. They provide a striking example of what is possible when we combine research excellence with an unwavering commitment to teaching. I am, perhaps, most grateful to my students. I tell each class on the very first day that being able to teach them is the best part of my job. I mean it every time.”

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 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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