Presidential Perspective - June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Here at Baylor University, we place great importance on the safety and security of our campus, not only through our professional Department of Public Safety, but also through our physical infrastructure, such as security cameras and other emergency and safety systems, training and education for all students, faculty and staff, and clear policies and procedures that together help provide a safe environment for all members of the University community.

On June 1 on the steps of Pat Neff Hall, we swore in a new Chief of our nationally accredited Baylor University Police Department, although he is no stranger to our campus or our city. Chief John Kolinek joined BUPD in 2015 as a captain and later as our assistant chief after a 25-year career with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office. During his time at BUPD, Chief Kolinek has been at the forefront of progressive changes at our police department, including accreditation from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), the highly prized recognition of campus public safety professional excellence. As we look forward to Chief Kolinek’s leadership of BUPD and its mission to serve our campus with professionalism, fairness and absolute integrity, I want to extend our appreciation to all of BUPD and our Department of Public Safety, and specifically to former Chief Brad Wigtil, a Christ-centered leader who retired May 31 after serving our University with great honor for nearly a decade.

Some additional information for this week:

  • Earlier this week we officially welcomed seven new members to the Baylor Board of Regents – Jay A. Brown, Tyler C. Cooper, D. Diane Dillard, Michael P. Heiskell, Don R. Willett, Brian Raines (faculty) and Ally Perkins (student). These new Regents bring a diverse set of experiences, talents and perspectives to the Board, which has the fiduciary responsibility for Baylor’s governance, Christian mission and financial integrity. I look forward to working alongside our 33-member Board in the months ahead as we provide a transformational educational experience and continue Baylor’s bold ambitions to become the preeminent Christian research university.
  • A newly published study in Science Advances, led by Baylor’s Bryan Shaw, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and biochemistry, offers some exciting findings for making STEM more accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired. The breakthrough study used millimeter-scale gelatin models — like gummy bears — as well as nonedible models to provide visualization of complex 3D structures via the mouth. Surprisingly, the oral visualization turned out to be as accurate as eyesight. The smaller, more practical tactile models of 3D protein structures offer a unique addition to the multisensory learning tools available to students. The research has already earned quite a bit of attention and has been covered so far by Smithsonian Magazine, Chemical & Engineering News, Inside Science, Inverse, Science News and more. Our faculty continue to pave new paths and prove that Baylor is a powerful leader in research that makes an impact.
  • Baylor researchers also are developing a technology that has drawn the interest of NASA, leading cinema organizations and a variety of media outlets, thanks to its potential to dramatically enhance the richness and vibrance of colors displayed on screens. Corey Carbonara, Ph.D., and Michael Korpi, Ph.D., professors of film and digital media, and Gary Mandle, senior research scientist at Baylor, have advanced a technology called 6P. The system enables screens to show more colors, as well as the subtle variations between colors, by expanding the limits of what traditionally could be displayed on televisions, cellphones, tablets and more. Baylor’s Lab to Market Collaborative has helped raise more than $2.5 million in research funding to grow the technology and form the Collaborative’s first company, 6P Color Inc. 6P was introduced today at the BRIC, during an event in partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. It’s another example of Baylor researchers advancing their inventions to positively impact their industries and the world, and we look forward to the growth of 6P in the years ahead.
  • Our incredibly talented Department of Art and Art History also shared some exciting news about a recent graduate and his connection to the cover of the latest TIME magazine. The June 7-14, 2021 cover – spotlighting artist and writer Akwaeke Emezi – also features as an accent piece Devil’s Pie, a painting Emezi owns that was created by John Singletary, BFA ’20, during his advanced painting classes under Assistant Professor Winter Rusiloski. John is represented by Atlanta-based Black Art in America and recently was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for emerging artists. He will begin graduate studies this fall at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. We are thrilled to see our graduates thriving and sharing their talents and perspective worldwide.
  • For faculty and staff: a reminder that the deadline to complete your annual mandatory Title IX training – Building a Supportive Community – is coming up next Friday, June 11. The course’s principles are important as we ascribe to be a caring, Christian community and comply with federal and state guidelines. This annual training also is an important part of the 105 recommendations that were implemented in response to past incidents of sexual and interpersonal violence within Baylor’s campus community several years ago.

The First Gent, Shelby and I have been enjoying all that Waco has to offer – while dodging the rain – as the summer pace sets in for us. While the restaurant lines are shorter and traffic is a little lighter, we still miss our Baylor students. Fall will be here before we know it!

Until next week,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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