SOE News Briefs: Spring 2015

April 23, 2015

BU Grad Named as Dean

Spr-15-McLendonDr. Michael K. McLendon, a 1991 Baylor graduate in political science, will become the next dean of Baylor’s School of Education on July 1, succeeding Dr. Jon Engelhardt, who is retiring after eight years leading the SOE.
McLendon currently holds the Harold and Annette Simmons Centennial Chair in Higher Education Policy and Leadership at Southern Methodist University, where he is a full professor and associate dean of SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Before that, McLendon served 13 years as a professor of public policy and higher education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was executive associate dean and chief of staff at the Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

New EdD Launched

Baylor School of Education (SOE) announced a new Doctor of Education (EdD) Degree in K-12 Educational Leadership this spring. For more program information, visit
“The curriculum in the Baylor program is designed for practitioners wanting to learn skills to address the complex problems of practice in K-12 schools and districts,” said Dr. John E. Wilson, program director and clinical professor in the Department of Educational Administration, which houses the new degree.

Superintendent of the Year

Spr-15-McFarlandDr. Michael McFarland, BBA ’93, EdD ’05, superintendent of Lancaster ISD since 2010, is the 2015 Texas Superintendent of the Year, chosen by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). He earned an EdD in Educational Administration from Baylor SOE. He holds a master’s degree and superintendent’s certificate from Stephen F. Austin University.
According to the TASA website, “McFarland’s commitment to student success is evident by the significant gains made in student achievement, the increasing number of students taking more rigorous courses, and increases in the graduation rate.”

ATE Clinical Fellows

Two clinical assistant professors in Curriculum & Instruction — Dr. Leanne Howell and Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy — were chosen as clinical fellows by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE). As two of only 40 fellows selected nationwide, the duo attended the ATE Clinical Fellows Symposium in February, along with a Clinical Practice Partner from a local school that each chose.
“It’s an honor to have the privilege of collaborating at a symposium designed especially for clinical practitioners,” Howell stated.

U.S. News Ranks SOE

In the latest U.S. News report on graduate schools, Baylor SOE advanced to No. 83 among 357 schools granting doctoral degrees, up nine places from its last ranking in 2014. Baylor SOE is the only Texas private school in the top 100 on the education list.
“While this ranking does not address all the matters we believe are important for a 21st Century School of Education, it does demonstrate progress on a variety of factors,” said dean Dr. Jon Engelhardt. “We are pleased for the national recognition, especially by our peers.”

Staff Honors

Spr-15-KatyKaty Wiswall, BBA ’92, MACC ’11, financial and grants manager for the School of Education, was named an outstanding staff member of Baylor University. A Baylor employee for 15 years, Wiswall played a key role in the 2013 move of the SOE to Marrs McLean Science Building and was instrumental in the transition of one of the SOE’s departments to the new College of Health and Human Sciences. The award citation noted Wiswall’s positive attitude and habit of going above and beyond what is expected through these and other challenges.

EDP Paper Honors

The Department of Educational Psychology garnered two prestigious paper awards this spring. Doctoral candidate Rachel Scalzo received the James L. Kopp Memorial Scholarship for her dissertation, “The Analysis of Behavioral Indicators as a Measure of Satiation.” The first Baylor recipient of this award, Scalzo will present her research at the Applied Behavior Analysis International Conference.
Dr. Grant Morgan, assistant professor in Educational Psychology, is a recipient of the Bruce Thompson Outstanding Paper Award from the Southwest Educational Research Association (SERA). Morgan and Dr. Kara M. Styck of the University of Texas at San Antonio co-authored “Behavioral Outcomes of Early Exposure to Violence,” and presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual convention, after their SERA presentation. (See page 3 for more on Dr. Morgan.)
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