Presidential Perspective - June 17, 2021
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
It didn't take long for summertime to arrive in Waco. With temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s this week, I am longing for the unseasonably cool temperatures and torrential downpours that we experienced in late May and early June (well, maybe not the torrential downpours!). Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen - 100-degree temperatures will arrive before we know it!
A few University updates for the week:
- Speaking of the summer, which officially begins this Sunday, it's an exciting time to be in Waco. After so much uncertainty over the past year, we're celebrating the return of longstanding events, the opening of new businesses and the expansion of local attractions. Our hometown is growing so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with it all. On last week's Baylor Connections podcast, Jeremy Vickers, Ph.D., of Baylor's Office of External Affairs, shared a checklist of things to do this summer in Waco - from the return of fireworks at McLane Stadium July 4 to fun new opportunities like Topgolf (with whom Baylor has a unique partnership that's garnering national attention). In the interview, Dr. Vickers called this season a "Summer of Hope, and we hope to see you enjoying all that Waco has to offer soon. Additionally, you may want to check out BaylorProud, which recently shared its take on "7 things to see and do in Waco."
- Baylor's second summer semester is right around the corner, running from July 8 through Aug. 11. Our Summer of Discovery program, for both current and incoming students, brings a collection of discounted courses offered both in-person and online. The University's summer enrollment is our second-largest ever, trailing only last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more at baylor.edu/discovery.
- This Saturday is the Juneteenth holiday, which celebrates when the message of the United States' abolition of slavery finally reached Texas on June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. I hope you will join me this Saturday at 10 a.m. as our hometown celebrates with the annual Juneteenth Parade, which will begin downtown at Heritage Square and end at the historic Paul Quinn College campus in East Waco. The First Gent and I are excited to represent Baylor in the parade along with Coach Scott Drew, his staff and members of our 2021 national champion men's basketball team; Coach Nicki Collen, her staff and members of our Big 12 champion women's basketball team; and Coach Felecia Mulkey and her staff of our national champion Acrobatics & Tumbling program, as well as with many other members of the Baylor Family.
- I suspect we've all experienced annoying "earworms" - when a song or tune replays over and over in your mind. New research from Michael Scullin, Ph.D., director of Baylor's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory, found that earworms can actually continue at night and disrupt sleep. People who experienced earworms frequently at night are six times as likely to have poor sleep quality than those who rarely experience earworms. The results were surprisingly contrary to the popular recommendation of music as a hypnotic that might help sleep. The study was picked up this week by HealthDay, the world's largest syndicator of health news and a leading independent creator of evidence-based health content. Having earworms frequently? You might think about reducing your music listening and consider these tips from Dr. Scullin.
Stay cool, and we'll touch base again next Thursday.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.