Presidential Perspective - May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Congratulations to the Baylor Class of 2018! The end of the spring semester is always an exciting time, especially for the nearly 3,000 graduates who will participate in our three Commencement ceremonies at the Ferrell Center on Friday and Saturday. A complete schedule, including online streaming information, is posted on the Commencement website. As our graduates embark on the next chapter of their lives as Baylor Alumni, remember Matthew 5:14-16, which says:

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Here are a few noteworthy items to share for this week:

  • Earlier today, I provided an overview of Illuminate, our academic strategic plan, to the Board of Regents as part of its quarterly meetings on campus. Our conversations with the various Board committees and the Regents overall have been extremely positive as we are all working together to move Baylor forward in a strategic and purposeful manner. We will provide a summary news release to the entire Baylor Family following the Board meeting tomorrow afternoon.
  • As our students embark on their summer plans, I hope you will join me in praying for their wellbeing and safe return to us in the fall. Approximately 700 of our students will be studying abroad through 32 of our partner programs. Baylor Missions is sending a record 19 teams of 294 Baylor students, faculty, staff and alumni to serve in 11 different countries. Almost 700 students will serve in summer camps around the country and hundreds more will complete valuable internships during the break. Through these and other activities, Baylor students will use all they've learned to shine their lights in the world.
  • An update on one of our faculty members: Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies and director of the environmental health science program, recently led the Global Horizon Scanning Project (GHSP) that will help scientists address pressing environmental and health challenges in Latin America. Brooks was among a multidisciplinary group of researchers from academia, business and government agencies who outlined their innovative initiative to achieve more sustainable environmental quality around the world in the journal of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management.
  • We continue to get good news on students who have pursued prestigious scholarships, fellowships, internships and research experiences at the national and international levels. We have added two seniors, who will graduate this weekend, to our growing list of students who have received Fulbright awards from the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government:
    • Alexa Larsen, a senior neuroscience major from Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to the United Kingdom in global health; and
    • Rebecca Voth, a senior University Scholar from Rowlett, Texas, studying political science, international studies, philosophy and Spanish, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Mexico.

    Alexa and Rebecca are among five Fulbright recipients at Baylor this spring and the University's 55th and 56th Fulbright recipients since 2001. For more information about national and international scholarship opportunities, contact Baylor's Office of Scholarship Programs, Awards, Research, Knowledge (SPARK).

  • The Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation continues to receive recognition from architectural organizations around the world for unparalleled design combined with environmental stewardship. Last week, the facility earned a 2018 "Green Good Design" award for architecture from the European Architecture Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum International Museum. San Antonio-based Overland Partners architecture firm designed the facility, which features a highly corporate and sustainable business environment that inspires and challenges students in a truly distinctive and collaborative learning experience.

Note that I plan to continue sending my Presidential Perspective each Thursday during the summer months to keep everyone informed of significant Baylor happenings. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer, and be sure to fling your green and gold, especially on Fridays!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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