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FROM DEAN NORDT
As Baylor continues on the path to become a nationally recognized Christian research university,
we have developed expertise in a number of scholarly disciplines within the College of Arts & Sciences. Research expertise has always existed at Baylor, but it was not until the last 15 years or so that there has been a coordinated, institutional effort to advance our research enterprise. As a consequence, we are developing national recognition in most, if not all of our departments. You can look at a few recent articles in this magazine –– including a Spring 2016 cover story on Baylor’s cancer research –– to get a feel for just how far we have come. We have made it a priority to build our research profile without abandoning the emphasis on excellent teaching as an important expectation of our faculty. In fact, teaching and research should
be viewed as one in the same –– one informs the other. We should not only be disseminators of information to our students, but also the creators of new knowledge that we bring into the classroom, and to society as a whole. One way to advance our research standing at Baylor is using a “Grand Challenge” concept for garnering external resources. This concept has many definitions operating at different scales, but the central one identifies global societal issues in need of attention. Solving these types of problems requires academicians from a broad swath of disciplines, typically from the humanities and sciences working collaboratively. We have both the faculty expertise and student passion here at Baylor to help tackle such large problems, often aided by funding through federal grants and supplemented by funds from foundations and other forms of philanthropy. Recently, the College of Arts & Sciences began a process to identify Grand Challenge projects for seed funding in the area of global health, a topic which was selected by a working committee of faculty. “Global” in this context may include projects in our community or abroad that will bring faculty together from across Arts & Sciences, working collaboratively on various aspects of this important societal issue. The Dean’s Office submitted a call for proposals earlier this semester, which will first be vetted among faculty peers, then be formally assessed by a committee
to determine which proposals should receive seed money from Arts & Sciences to allow further development for external submission. At this point we have heard proposals from six project leaders. These global health projects include: the vulnerability and risk relative to climate change; food security for human health; better cross-cultural communication and community health; the effects of urbanization on water security and food safety; and the quality of life for persons with disabilities. We also heard from representatives of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and we received a broader public health perspective from representatives of our own Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. Baylor University should be recognized far and wide as having the kind of intellectual capital among its faculty and students to help solve society’s recalcitrant problems. Doing so will keep Baylor with its unique mission at the national table where important conversations are taking place. It is our duty to do so, as we have been blessed with the kinds of resources to help our world in this important way.
DR. LEE NORDT
DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES
News & Notes
Updates on students, faculty, staff and alumni
28 Standing Tall
More and more Baylor faculty and staff believe it’s healthier to stand while they work
Telling Tomorrow’s Stories Through hands-on experience with varied channels of communication, Baylor journalists learn to master the ever-
iology 2.0 B A Baylor program uses research opportunities to get students excited about science
rts & Sciences Board of Advocates member Jackie A Baugh Moore talks about her family’s devotion to Baylor and Baptist causes
38 First Person Associate Arts & Sciences Dean Elizabeth Vardaman looks back over two decades of helping Baylor students discover their calling
Our Back Pages We check in with former Arts & Sciences Deans John Belew, William Cooper and Wallace Daniel
Alternate Routes An Eye for Currency
Some Arts & Sciences faculty and staff are leaving their cars behind as they walk, ride and bike to campus
When graphic design students were asked to come up with new designs for money, they responded pg. with color and beauty
Baylor Arts & Sciences is a publication of the Baylor College of Arts & Sciences that shares news of interest with the Baylor family. As the University’s oldest and largest academic unit, the College of Arts & Sciences is a community of 25 academic departments dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. It is the foundation upon which all Baylor students’ educational experiences are built.
Baylor Arts & Sciences is produced for the College of Arts & Sciences by Baylor’s Division of Marketing and Communications.
INTERIM PRESIDENT David Garland | PROVOST L. Gregory Jones | DEAN, COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES Lee Nordt | EDITOR Randy Fiedler CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Julie Carlson, Julie Engebretson, Andrea Gaul, Jeff Hampton | PHOTOGRAPHY Matthew Minard, Robert Rogers ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Clayton Thompson, Scott Toby DIRECTORS OF DEVELOPMENT David Cortes, Clayton Ellis, Jim Shepelwich One Bear Place #97344 | Waco, TX 76798 | AS_Magazine@baylor.edu | www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences/
STRENGTHENING RESEARCH Dr. Kevin C. Chambliss, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, began serving in January 2017 as the inaugural associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office. He was selected to fill the new position created to provide leadership and strategic planning for Arts & Sciences research initiatives and graduate education, and to promote interdisciplinary research between Arts & Sciences departments and with other Baylor academic units. Chambliss has been a member of the Baylor faculty since 2001.
UNEARTHING HISTORY IN ISRAEL Baylor in the Galilee, the University’s newest study abroad program, will welcome its first students in the summer of 2017. Students in the program will assist in the excavation of a late Roman/Byzantine synagogue at Huqoq, Israel. Past work done at the site by researchers including Baylor art historian Dr. Nathan Elkins has unearthed high-quality mosaics, including ones depicting Samson, Noah’s Ark and Pharaoh’s army perishing in the Red Sea.
A HEALING LEGACY The family of Dustin Chamberlain, a sophomore pre-med/biology major from Arkansas who died in a home invasion in December 2011, is continuing their son’s Christian mission. The family has established “Dustin’s Dream,” a foundation set up to establish medical clinics in povertystricken areas of Third-World countries such as Guatemala. The foundation also raises money to fund scholarships for students from Baylor and from Dustin’s high school in Arkansas going into the medical field, providing 13 such scholarships in 2016.
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The graphic design program in Baylor’s Department of Art has been named one of the 10 best programs in the Southwest. The rankings were released by Animation Career Review, which looked at academic reputation, admissions selectivity and the quality of each school’s program and faculty.
More Baylor graduates than ever before –– nearly 9 in 10 –– are finding jobs or starting a graduate school program after their undergraduate years at Baylor are complete. In 2016, the University set a new record for its undergraduate placement rate. The new rate of 86.5 percent represents a 20-point increase from this time four years ago, when Baylor’s Pro Futuris strategic vision set a goal of a 90 percent placement rate within five years.
Baylor has received superior reviews in some recent national evaluations. The University earned the 2017 Military Friendly School designation by Victory Media, publisher of military and educational magazines. Baylor also received a No. 6 Military Friendly ranking among large private schools for its “outstanding commitment and programs for the nation’s veterans and their families.” Meanwhile, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has given Baylor the No. 64 spot in its list of the 100 best values among American private universities.
FILM FAVORITES Baylor Film and Digital Media alumni are in the news a lot these days: ► Pinewood Studios in Atlanta is where recent movies such as “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” and “Passengers” were produced. Frank Patterson (BA ’84, MA ’87) is the studio’s new president. ► John Lee Hancock (BA ’79, JD ’82), director of “The Blind Side” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” has won praise for his latest directorial effort, a biopic about McDonalds chairman Ray Kroc called “The Founder,” with Michael Keaton playing Kroc. ► Jason Seagraves (BA ’07) is one of the producers of the Mel Gibson-directed film “Hacksaw Ridge,” which won two Academy Awards and was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards.
Dr. Kenna Lang Archer (BA ’04) was the winner of Baylor’s 2016 Guittard Book Award, given for a distinguished work of scholarship in history by any Baylor history faculty member or history graduate. Archer serves as an instructor of American history at Angelo State University. The book she was honored for, Unruly Waters: A Social and Environmental History of the Brazos River, was a finalist for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America.
Baylor English alumna Candice Millard (MA ’92) has made her name as an author of well-researched, best-selling history books. Her latest work, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill, was named Amazon’s best history book of 2016.
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Following in the footsteps of Joanna Gaines and “Fixer Upper,” another Arts & Sciences alumnus has a national TV show about home design and remodeling. Brent Hull (BA ‘89) hosts the History Channel show “Lone Star Renovation,” which focuses on his work around Texas, from an 1870s barn in DeSoto to a classic red railroad caboose in Rusk. As the show’s website puts it, Hull seeks to “resurrect the lost stories of architecture.”
Baylor theatre arts alumna Elizabeth Davis (BFA ’03), a past nominee for both the Tony and Drama Desk awards, is working on a commercial production of “Indian Joe,” a new theatrical piece that she has created. It’s described as an American musical that takes the audience “from the streets of Waco to the streets of NYC.”
Baylor biology alumnus Dr. Chad Rodgers (BA ’94) of Little Rock, Ark., has been honored for his tireless devotion to children –– as both a successful pediatrician and as an advocate for childhood literacy, early childhood care and other worthy causes. Rodgers is one of two persons who received the 2016 Friends of Children Award from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
JOBS WELL DONE Two Master Teachers in the College of Arts & Sciences will be retiring by the end of the summer. Dr. David Pennington, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Dr. Tom Hanks, professor of English, have taught at Baylor for a combined total of 90 years –– Pennington joining the faculty in 1967, Hanks following in 1976. They are part of a select group of superior Baylor faculty members receiving the designation of Master Teacher.
PENNINGTON (CIRCA 1967)
Other Arts & Sciences faculty members retiring this spring or summer include: Dr. Jeter Basden, religion; Dr. Richard Duhrkopf, biology; Sharon Johnson, Spanish; Berry Klingman, art; Dr. Mary Lynn Klingman, English; Dr. D.E. Mungello, history; and Dr. Mary Nichols, political science. Also retiring is Dr. Frank Mathis, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Arts & Sciences and professor and interim chair of mathematics.
HANKS (CIRCA 1976)
It isn’t often that a mother and daughter get to walk the stage together at graduation, but that’s what happened to one Arts & Sciences staffer recently. Tammy Havens, administrative associate in the Department of Communication (at right in the photo), and her daughter, Shandin, received their diplomas for successfully completing business degrees during Baylor’s Fall 2016 commencement in December. “To me, [graduating with my daughter] was one of the most amazing and proud moments in my life,” Tammy said.
A legal dispute concerning acceptable levels of phosphorus in the scenic waterways along the Illinois River has raged for more than three decades between the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. But now, a scientific study done by Dr. Ryan King has helped settle the matter. The three-year study conducted by the Baylor biology professor led to a unanimous recommendation on phosphorus levels by a joint committee studying the problem.
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Yoshiko Fujii Gaines, a full-time lecturer in Japanese at Baylor, was honored by the Texas Foreign Language Association as Japanese Teacher of the Year for 2016. “This award means a great deal to me because I feel that the work we have put into for the promotion of the Japanese program and the world language education at Baylor was recognized,” Gaines said.
“Do veterans tell us their own stories of wartime experiences, or do other people speak for them across the news media landscape?” That’s what the doctoral dissertation completed by Dr. Kayla Rhidenour, lecturer in communication, examined, and she has now won a national award for the quality of her research. Rhidenour was honored with the 2016 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation
Two Baylor psychologists have been recognized for the quality of their research. Dr. Michael Scullin, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, was named a “Rising Star” for 2016 by the Association for Psychological Science. The designation is presented to “outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research careers postPhD.” Dr. Wade Rowatt, professor of psychology and neuroscience, received the Godin Prize for the Scientific Study of Religion from the International Association for the Psychology of Religion. The award is given every four years to a senior scholar who excels in the study of the psychology of religion.
Dr. Susan Bratton, professor of environmental science, has been named one of the 100 most influential people in Great Smoky Mountains National Park history by the Great Smoky Mountains Association. Individuals on the list have made significant contributions to the conservation of the park. Bratton has published multiple ecological studies conducted in the park and helped to expand scientific research facilities and the level of research engagement within the Great Smokies.
FULBRIGHT WINNER Biology major Jade Connor has been selected to receive a prestigious Fulbright study grant. The Lewisville senior, who is one of Baylor's Hillis Scholars in Biomedical Science, will use her award to pursue a master's degree in European public health at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Her eventual goal is to become a doctor who treats patients with dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease. "In my career, I hope to effect change outside of my own practice by creating public health programs for these patients that can be implemented among America's multitude of ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses and cultures,” Connor said. “The year spent in the Netherlands will bring me one step closer to realizing these goals.”
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Students in two of Baylor University’s “model teams,” composed primarily of Arts & Sciences majors, have received high honors this year in competitions that require them to hone their skills in research, communication, negotiation and diplomacy. In November 2016, the Baylor Model United Nations team competed against more than 100 universities at the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago. The Baylor group represented Angola, serving as diplomats in simulated sessions of the United Nations General Assembly committees (GA), the Security Council (SC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Three of Baylor’s 14 team members –– Kate Farley, Megan Rollag and Marc Webb –– were named Outstanding Delegates. In January 2017, the Model UN team earned the Outstanding Delegation Award at the third annual Texas Model United Nations Conference in Austin, and five students –– Grecia Sarda, Kim Andrade, Matt Walker, Caroline Caywood and Kate Farley –– won individual honors. Meanwhile, the Baylor University Model Organization of American States team competed in the 20th annual Eugene Scassa Mock Organization of American States Conference at Texas State University in November. Baylor students made up two teams representing Chile and Brazil, presenting and defending resolutions on issues such as violence against women, access to health care, energy efficiency, juvenile delinquency and civil registration. Both Baylor teams won honors for the quality of their position papers, and six students –– Brendan Smith, Emily Kleinberg, Parker Wooden, Hannah Luce, Maddy Abdallah and Clayton Jelinek –– won individual awards.
FRONT ROW SEAT TO HISTORY A team of seven Baylor journalism students from the College of Arts & Sciences was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20 providing live coverage of the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Five Lariat staff members and two Baylor Round Up editors covered the event for their publications, and the team produced video content that aired in Waco as part of Lariat TV News segments that aired on the WCCC-TV College Channel. To save on costs, the students were given lodgings in the homes of three Baylor journalism alumni living in the area. (See related story on p.17)
BY JULIE ENGEBRETSON
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broadcast a number of award-winning print publications and media programs, including the newly launched Lariat TV News, which won a Lone Star Emmy Award in October 2016. Graduates of JPRNM have gone on to work for an impressive number of publications and media organizations such as CNN, Christianity Today, People, The Huffington Post, U.S.News & World Report, the Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, National Public Radio and the Washington Post. Many pursue law school, teaching or, increasingly, careers in public relations. What role should journalism play in a democratic society? It’s a discussion perhaps as old as democracy itself, recently expanded in scope as the internet and ever-evolving communication platforms have given us a world where information is available at light speed, 24/7. The challenges of mastering and making sense of this new media world are daunting, but Baylor’s award-winning program in journalism, public relations and new media (JPRNM) in the College of Arts & Sciences is successfully positioning students to excel in navigating this ever-changing field. Students leave the University well-equipped for a variety of careers that will require thoughtful and ethical communication skills. Baylor’s JPRNM program offers undergraduates a bachelor of arts degree with emphasis in one of three sequences — public relations (PR), news-editorial or new media communication. All three tracks share similarities, requiring many of the same courses and real-world experience across a variety of media platforms. “Our primary goal is to make sure students can write and that they are strong storytellers,” said Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, associate professor of journalism and director of the JPRNM graduate program. “We have a lot of students come to us who want a journalism degree because they know they’re going to become good writers in another field. We tell them that if they can write and tell a good story, they can do anything.” Students in the program benefit from an average 15:1 student-teacher ratio and a world-class faculty, dedicated to the mentorship and success of their students. Students write, edit, design, produce and
PR’S POPULARITY Dr. Sara Stone, professor of journalism, public relations and new media, has served as the JPRNM department chair for the past five years. She has seen both the undergraduate and graduate programs change and grow with shifts in students’ academic interests and career goals that evolve with rapid advancements in technology. For instance, in recent years student interest in public relations has soared. Of JPRNM’s roughly 375 journalism majors, about 75 percent of them now choose the PR sequence. And it just so happens that Baylor is home to some true PR gurus. “Everyone in our department brings a tremendous amount of professional experience,” Stone said. “And everyone who teaches public relations has their students doing hands-on PR work for Baylor and the surrounding community. As a fulfillment of their coursework, students do pro bono work for nonprofits — organizations that maybe can’t afford to hire a PR firm to create a press kit for them.” Senior lecturer Carol Perry’s upper-division PR class is the stuff of legend among JPRNM alumni. Run like a fully operational PR firm, the class gives students the opportunity to do real-world communications work and put together an admirable portfolio to show future employers. “Oftentimes our clients — various Baylor departments and programs — come to us, and my students get an opportunity to establish a relationship with the client, learn the scope of the project, pitch ideas to the client and then deliver the work,” she said.
DR. SARA STONE
Past Baylor “clients” of Perry’s class have included the Center for Global Engagement, the Center for Autism, Health and Human Performance and the university’s medical humanities program. Before joining the Baylor faculty in 1994, Perry served 21 years as a public information officer, first for the City of Waco and then the Waco Independent School District (WISD). She excelled in the difficult job of being the City of Waco’s liaison to national and international media during the Branch Davidian standoff, and is known as the iconographer behind the Waco “W” on water towers and T-shirts all over town. Her experience has given her expertise in PR strategic planning and evaluation, media relations, print production, crisis management and management of cable television stations. As it happens, Perry was also instrumental in JPRNM colleague Dr. Marlene Neill, assistant professor of journalism, public relations and new media, deciding to make the foray into PR. Central Texans might remember Neill’s on-air reporting for Waco’s KCEN-TV in 12 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES
the mid- to late-1990s — a line of work that would have required her to leave the city in order to move up. “The hours and pay in TV were difficult,” Neill said. “I also met my husband during that time, so I was looking to stay in Waco, but it really was difficult to advance without moving to a different place. I was covering WISD and that is how I met Carol Perry as well as a number of PR practitioners who became mentors for me.” Through membership in the Public Relations Society of America, Neill gained experience writing for PR and landed a job with the YMCA as a membership director, where she did part-time PR and supervised customer service staff. Soon thereafter, Neill took a position as community relations specialist with the City of Waco, where she served for 10 years. During this time, she had the opportunity to mentor approximately 40 Baylor student interns, which piqued her interest in higher education. She earned an online master’s degree through the University of Missouri that allowed her
to begin teaching journalism classes at Baylor on an adjunct basis and try out a career in academia. “I knew I would need a PhD,” Neill said. “So I quit my job with the City of Waco and began a PhD program at the University of Texas while still teaching a couple of courses at Baylor. I just commuted between Austin and Waco for two years.” In addition to teaching, Neill is a prolific researcher currently focused on PR management, ethics and internal communication. “I’ve been fortunate the past two summers to be awarded a summer sabbatical, which has allowed me to work year-round on research,” Neill said. “I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received from Baylor in that area, and the support I’ve received as a junior faculty member through professional development training like the Summer Faculty Institute. It has helped me grow and has really offered me the opportunity to succeed in this new role.”
MEDIA ANALYST Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez joined the Baylor faculty in 2001, the same year she earned her MA in journalism from the University. Prior to teaching, she began her career as a general assignment reporter and intern at the Bryan-College Station Eagle, later taking a position as staff writer and columnist for the Waco Tribune-Herald. She also spent time as editor and publisher of Elegant Woman magazine and earned a PhD in journalism from the University of Texas in 2006. At Baylor she teaches courses in PR and media research theory and methods. “The overarching theme in my own research is the representation of women and other underrepresented groups in
the media, and I usually use framing as the theoretical background,” MoodyRamirez said, referring to her focus on the fields of meaning in which events are placed, rather than the events themselves. “Most recently, I’ve started looking at social media platforms and it has been fascinating to look at how citizens actually frame different issues and events.” Recently, Moody-Ramirez has studied a number of well-publicized events that deal with social justice, such as the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and resulting unrest in Ferguson, Mo., the 2015 biker shootout at a Waco Twin Peaks restaurant, the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and how citizens talk about those issues on Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest.
“Previously we had gatekeepers, professional journalists disseminating the news, but now it’s actually citizens who are pushing the news out and may be the first ones to break a story,” Moody-Ramirez said. “This happened with both the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion and the biker shootout. We have found that citizens build on historical narratives that traditional media outlets have used previously. Many of my studies have concluded that where we thought citizens would bring new perspectives to the table, in fact, they mimic the traditional media outlets. We are conditioned by the media even from childhood, and by our upbringing, schooling and socioeconomic status — these factors affect the way we receive and interpret the news.”
“PREVIOUSLY WE HAD GATEKEEPERS, PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS DISSEMINATING THE NEWS.”
(AT RIGHT) DR. MIA MOODY-RAMIREZ
Despite a lengthy list of publications to her name and a queue of work in progress, Moody-Ramirez strives to keep her own research from compromising the quality of her teaching. In April 2016, she was selected as a Baylor Fellow, one of 10 outstanding professors recognized for their excellence in teaching and desire to transform student thinking through innovation. “In the way [this year’s Baylor Fellows] teach, we emphasize what’s called the ‘blended classroom’ and not the ‘sage on a stage’ — where the professor stands up and lectures for an hour in an auditorium. In a blended classroom, there are shorter lectures combined with hands-on projects in class and outside class,” she said. 14 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES
LEARNING ABOUT BORDERS
Another outstanding Baylor journalism teacher is Macarena Hernández, lecturer and The Fred Hartman Distinguished Professor of Journalism. Incoming students may already be familiar with her autobiographical five-part newspaper series “One-Family, Two Homelands,” which explores Mexican migration and is frequently taught in Texas schools. Other essays and columns by Hernández have been anthologized in high school and college textbooks, and she has spoken to both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences at Baylor recruiting events.
Hernández brings a wealth of professional writing and reporting experience to her Baylor classroom. She has spent her career covering U.S.-Latino issues such as immigration and education for the San Antonio Express-News, Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Latina magazine. Her video work has been featured on PBS Frontline and she has appeared on shows such as NBC’s Dateline, CNN Headline News, Fox and Friends and on National Public Radio. The courses Hernández teaches include Magazine & Feature Writing, Reporting & Writing for Media and News Media & American Society.
Her own research and writing focuses broadly on borders, specifically the lines that divide states and entire nations, and the politics that surround them. “I spend at least one month out of the year outside the U.S. exploring the physical lines between countries and documenting what the locals say. It’s remarkable how the conversation on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti sounds very similar to that about the U.S.-Mexican border,” Hernández said. She looks forward to a time that she can take her students with her to visit the jagged borderline that divides the Dominican Republic and Haiti. “The conversation around German, French and Spanish borders is similar to the one between Mexico and the
Callaway has traveled around the world working as a documentary, commercial, editorial, and underwater photographer and cinematographer for clients including Jean-Michel Cousteau Productions, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries/Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, Discovery Channel and Smithsonian. He received a phone call from then-department chair Clark Baker one Wednesday morning in 2009 about teaching at Baylor. “We met for an interview the next day, on Tuesday, and I told him I would be interested in a part-time or full-time position,” Callaway said. “And I was hired the following Monday. The timing was perfect. I had an incredible career in photography and film production
“IT’S INCREDIBLY REWARDING TO SEE STUDENTS GROW CONFIDENT IN THEIR WRITING VOICE, AND AS A RESULT, IN THEMSELVES.” rest of Central America,” she said. “I like to say that everyone has a ‘Mexico.’ By that I mean that one country is always importing cheaper labor from a neighboring country and that creates all kinds of dynamics and fuels many debates.” “I also teach a class called the Writing Coach, through which a group of students and I started a multimedia magazine called thebundlemagazine.com,” Hernández said. “I really enjoy teaching writing at Baylor because this is where I got my start, in this very department. It’s incredibly rewarding to see students grow confident in their writing voice, and as a result, in themselves. Writing is an extremely valuable skill — one you can get better at if you put in the time. As a professional writer, I’ve been part of many workshops and I love bringing that to my classes. So we workshop student writing, which means students get to exchange copy and edit and learn from each other. Hopefully, they learn to embrace criticism as a good thing.”
LEARNING TO SEE If a picture paints a thousand words, then strong storytelling not only requires skilled writing, but also an eye for the image. Baylor photography students in JPRNM study under some of the best practitioners of the craft, including Rod Aydelotte, chief photographer for the Waco Tribune-Herald and adjunct professor of photography at Baylor, Dr. Clark Baker, associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media, who teaches media photography and history of photography, and senior lecturer Curtis Callaway, who came to Baylor following a 26-year freelance career to teach media photography and video journalism.
and it was time to pass it on to the next generation. I love teaching what I am passionate about and I think the students see that.” Photography and videography are areas that have seen rapid evolution in the last decade. The quality of the camera on mobile phones is improving every year, changing the way we record, share and interpret life. “Everything is getting smaller, better and more affordable,” Callaway said. “I wish I’d had access to the equipment students have right now [when I was a student]. When anything newsworthy happens, someone is likely to catch it on their phone and have it posted online within minutes. The quality is impressive and with some of the research and development I’ve seen lately, we are going to see some big changes with cell phone cameras. That being said, DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras and video cameras still have their place in the world and will always be used across the board.”
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STORYTELLERS SHINE Skilled student photography and videography are vital to the success of Baylor’s award-winning student publications, in print, online and, most recently, on television. Baylor Student Publications (BSP), with each publication staffed by paid student workers, includes: the Baylor Lariat, the University’s award-winning student newspaper; BaylorLariat.com, an online version of the newspaper with additional features such as audio and video packages and photo slideshows; the Baylor Roundup, the University’s yearbook; and Focus magazine, published semiannually. The newest addition to the BSP lineup is Lariat TV News (LTVN), which launched on cable in Waco in August 2016. “We added a broadcast component to the Lariat because students working in the news or public relations business today need to be able to write for print, broadcast or the web. They need to be able to shoot and edit video,” Stone said. “We live in a digital world, and our graduates need to be able to write for the ear or the eye or for both. Visual communications is huge today, and
In October 2016, the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) held its annual national conference in Washington D.C. where all four Baylor student publications earned national Top 10 Best of Show awards. These include: • The 2016 Baylor Roundup was named best university yearbook in North America (the previous year’s 2015 Roundup took No. 4 in the nation and received Baylor’s first prestigious Pacemaker Award); • BaylorLariat.com was named the No. 2 college news website of 2016, the Lariat was named the No. 4 daily college newspaper and Focus magazine was named the No. 8 college news and feature magazine; • Four Baylor students won individual awards –– Kate McGuire (2nd for magazine design), Stephanie Miles (3rd for yearbook design), Robby Hirst (8th for multimedia slideshow) and Trey Honeycutt (10th for feature news photo). The Baylor staff won a 4th-place award for a multimedia package; and • The Lariat won its first Emmy for an LTVN sports feature by student Thomas Mott. A group of seven Baylor journalists and broadcasters took advantage of an important opportunity to put their
them into any career they choose. With the additional experience broadcast journalism students receive in camera work, editing and on-air reporting, JPRNM’s venture into broadcast journalism offers students an even wider breadth of writing experience. “Today’s students need to know more than just basic newsgathering and reporting techniques –– they need command of the tools that will allow them to tell stories on multiple platforms, including print, broadcast, tablets and the internet,” Stone said. “Being able to shoot and edit video and get it uploaded adds a skill. Lots of television stations are hiring print reporters to write for their websites –– our students are leaving here with the skills to work across those delivery platforms.” All told, the pool of professional experience and credentials among Baylor JPRNM faculty is fathoms deep. But the strength and integrity of the department is perhaps best underscored by the fact that so many of its faculty members are JPRNM graduates themselves. “We probably have eight or nine faculty members who have a degree in journalism from our department. So, we’re homegrown in many ways,”
“TODAY’S STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW MORE THAN JUST BASIC NEWSGATHERING AND REPORTING TECHNIQUES.” adding the broadcast component was a natural extension for our department.” Since its launch in the summer of 2016 LTVN has produced three newscasts, recorded in the studios of KXXV-TV in Waco. Baylor is still in the process of adding enough equipment to someday record its newscasts in an on-campus studio. Meanwhile, LTVN reporters provide on-scene coverage both on and off campus, and all video editing is done in the Lariat newsroom.
skills in the field to the test on Jan. 20, when they provided live coverage of the inauguration of President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. In addition to covering the event for the Lariat newspaper and the Round Up yearbook, the students produced video content that aired locally in Waco on LTVN. All JPRNM students are taught how to write well, giving them a marketable skill they can take with
Stone said. “It’s interesting that when push came to shove, when we did national searches for these faculty positions, the very best applicants — and the ones we selected — were those who came from Baylor to begin with.”
alternate routes BY JEFF HAMPTON
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There was an interesting little story on the front page of Baylor University’s student newspaper in October. It announced that the dean of the School of Music had begun riding a new bicycle three miles to campus every day. The article didn’t say why the dean took to two wheels –– maybe for fitness, perhaps just for fun. Or, it might have been simply that not everyone in America owned a car on the eve of World War II. Yes, the article was published in the Oct. 24, 1941, edition of The Daily Lariat, and the dean was Roxy Grove, a popular presence on campus for 26 years whose name now adorns a music performance hall. While much has changed at Baylor since her time, a group of modern-day faculty members are following her example by making their way to campus on roads less traveled by those all alone in their automobiles.
Like Roxy Grove in her day, Dr. Alden Smith is a two-wheel road warrior. The professor and chair of classics and associate dean of the Honors College has cycled to Baylor almost every day since he arrived in 1994. His commute from the “lake” streets near Bosque Boulevard and Lake Air Drive is about 6.5 miles, with much of the ride on busy Austin Avenue. “Coming to campus is mostly downhill and going home is uphill, so it’s 25 minutes in and a half hour home. It’s quicker than driving by the time I find a parking space,” Smith said. When he wants a workout at the end of the day, he’ll ride southeast from campus toward Highway 6, angle down to New Road and loop around toward home –– a distance of 14 miles. Smith alternates between two bikes –– a Specialized street bike and a Bianchi mountain bike, the latter mostly for bad weather. “Light rain’s not going to bother me too much,” he said. “It’s when there’s a crack of lighting. That’s too dangerous, especially here in Texas.” Smith started riding when he was five years old –– “I loved my bike” –– and has been pedaling ever since. He logs up to 3,500 miles a year, and that’s mostly commuting. His family doesn’t ride
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together, and aside from one triathlon, he doesn’t compete. “I think a lot of it has to do with not wanting to pollute unnecessarily,” he said. “Part of it has been cost saving, too –– we have seven children, which is kind of expensive. Plus, I need the exercise.” While Smith doesn’t burn gas or time looking for a parking space, the bike racks are still challenging. “The real deans –– I’m just a deanlette –– get reserved spots to park. It’d be great if there was a little sign on the bike rack that said, ‘Reserved for the Associate Dean of the Honors College,’” he said. All bicycle riders face the threat of theft. While Smith hasn’t had a bike stolen (as he did while teaching at Rutgers), he has lost parts. “I bought a brand new light bar for the bike and somebody liked it and stole it. It happens,” he said. Accidents are another risk. In his 20-plus years of bike commuting, Smith has been hit by a car just once –– when an elderly man didn’t see him and the side mirror caught Smith’s handlebars. “I didn’t get hurt, thank God. I did take a little bit of a tumble. I was a bit dazed so they called an ambulance,” he said. Of course a big question to ask a university professor cycling in a
DR. ALDEN SMITH
land of heat and humidity is: What about hygiene? “I have a sink in the office. I just lock the door and wash, and then I change, and then I’m coolish. I don’t think I smell too badly, do I?” Smith asked several students sitting nearby. “You never smell like you bike to work,” said Joseph Lloyd, a University Scholar from Houston, who added, “Not a lot of people have the energy in the morning and after a long day to get on a bike and ride miles back to their house.” For Smith, cycling is more than a physical exercise. “It’s a chance to clear your mind, say your prayers, think about what’s coming up in the day. Talking it out with God helps me to clarify what I need to do or need not to do,” he said. Asked if his bike commute relates to the courses he teaches, Smith thought a moment while Cindy Liu, a University Scholar from Vicksburg, Virginia, answered with one word: “Pilgrimage.” Smith smiled and explained that he and his students are developing a course about pilgrimages –– spiritual, intellectual and physical. “Yes, I think that’s a pretty good analogy,” he said.
riverside carpool Dr. Mary Nichols’ Baylor commute is a far cry from her years driving to Fordham University in the Bronx. That involved regular crossings of the George Washington Bridge, the Cross Bronx Expressway, Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. “I could take an hour and a half in the afternoon rush hour to get home,” Nichols said. “Often I would miss dinner with my family. And there was no way I could go back for anything in the evening.” Today the professor of political science has a seven-mile, 15-minute drive to the Baylor campus. What’s more, she shares the ride most days with her husband, Dr. David Nichols, associate professor of political science. They drive from their home in the Hillcrest/Lake Air Drive area down Herring Avenue to Cameron Park and University Parks Drive. “It’s just so beautiful. We find it very relaxing to come to school with a vision of the Brazos River for a large part of that drive,” she said. The Nichols traded the Hudson River for the Brazos in 2004 when Mary accepted the challenge of helping to establish Baylor’s PhD program in political science. She had experience as graduate director at Fordham while David was directing the honors program at Montclair State University in New Jersey. “It was an opportunity to come to Baylor and try to accomplish something for the department and the University that was very special,” Mary said.
“The other attraction was that my husband and I could work together.” And ride together. The Nichols’ carpool schedule varies from semester to semester depending on classes, office hours and committee meetings, but it’s usually three times a week. And they share the driving. “I drove in this morning,” Mary said. “I usually get up a little ahead of him so I eat breakfast before coming in.” David sometimes eats breakfast while she drives, but he takes the wheel after dark because she has issues with night vision. “If we stay for a Lady Bears game at night, I’ll drive home so she doesn’t have to deal with heavy traffic coming out of the games, which is ironic after her driving in New York,” David said. Working in the same department allows the Nichols to compare notes during their commute. “We have a chance to talk, to prepare for the day,” Mary said. “Or to go over things that have happened, to tell each other experiences and conversations we’ve had with students.” David said they have few problems parking behind the Bobo Spiritual Life Center or next to Waco Hall. “Believe me, parking here at Baylor is much better than parking on any campus on the East Coast,” he said. “We do have to remember if we’ve come in two cars or one car, though.”
focusing on the experience Great photography takes skill and practice, and Dr. Clark Baker brings that same focus to his daily commute. The associate professor in journalism, public relations and new media, who teaches a variety of photography and mass communication courses, rides to Baylor most days on one of his three motorcycles. “I’ve been riding for over 30 years and I very much enjoy it,” Baker said. “I imagine I save a little on gas, but that’s really neither here nor there. For me it’s a time of decompression, particularly coming home from work. It’s invigorating –– physically and mentally as well. Driving just doesn’t do that for me.” Baker’s motorcycle commute from his home near Sanger Avenue and 28th Street takes about 10 minutes. Most of his ride is along Austin Avenue, but sometimes he takes a side trip home. “Cameron Park is an easy choice,” he said. “Sometimes I head out the China
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Spring highway towards Valley Mills. That’s a nice ride with curves plus it’s a little bit on the hilly side.” Baker tries to ride three times a week. “I ride now more than I did when I chaired the department. There were more meetings and other things going on then. It’s a lot easier now just hopping on the bike,” he said. If it’s raining in the morning, he’ll jump in his truck. “If rain is in the forecast for later that doesn’t bother me. I’ve got rain gear.” Baker started riding motorcycles with friends in Perth, Australia, where his father worked in the oil industry. Later, father and son rode together in Indonesia. “When you’re overseas you’ll do things you don’t necessarily think of doing at home,” he said. “For my father it was motorcycles. He had a motorcycle and we borrowed one and we rode through the villages.”
While Baker enjoys riding now with his wife and son, he doesn’t take part in motorcycle rallies or festivals. “Riding for me is more often a solitary activity,” he said. Baker parks in a designated motorcycle area at the Dutton Avenue Office and Parking Facility. “In the old days you could park just about anywhere you wanted. You could pull right up to the Castellaw Communications Center. But it’s much more structured now and I think that’s a good thing,” he said. Baker hasn’t had any serious mishaps while riding, but he is deliberate about safety –– from being alert in traffic to knowing the nuances of his three bikes. “It takes practice. You have to be serious about it. I have gone out in the rain just to keep my skills up,” he said. “It’s like photography. Even if I’m not shooting an assignment, I’ll go out and photograph just to stay sharp.”
DR. CLARK BAKER
natural walker If Dr. Susan Bratton had it her way, she would still be walking to work. The professor of environmental science did that for years when she lived in the “Fort Faculty” housing area adjoining campus off Speight Avenue, which was repurposed to allow for recent campus expansion. “I purposely bought the house in Fort Faculty so that I could walk and have good access on foot and on bike,” she said. When Bratton and other faculty and staff members started moving from Fort Faculty in 2011, she didn’t find a house nearby and eventually chose to relocate to a neighborhood behind beautiful Cameron Park. “I can just walk out my door and go to the park trails and roam along the river,” she said. While Bratton drives a car to Baylor now, she parks it at the Baylor Sciences Building and then hoofs it just about everywhere else. “I hardly ever drive to get places unless I’m carrying stuff like brochures or field equipment,” she said. “I try to keep my gas mileage down by consolidating my activities.” Bratton came to Baylor in 2001 and chaired the environmental science department for 10 years. She teaches forest ecology and ecosystem management, and walking is part of the curriculum. “My students and I walk to get to our study sites,” she said. “We use Cameron Park, and we’re going to the Big Thicket. It’s probably only a
DR. SUSAN BRATTON
walk of three miles at the max but the students get out on trails as part of their study.” Bratton has made numerous hikes on the Appalachian Trail over the years and wrote a book addressing the spiritual dimensions of hiking the AT, The Spirit of the Appalachian Trail: Community, Environment, and Belief (2012). After her work is done back on campus, Bratton will walk to the Ferrell Center to attend basketball games and logs many miles on the Bear Trail and the Brazos Riverwalk, where she sees scissortailed flycatchers, herons, egrets, nighthawks, turtles and snakes. “It’s just nice out there, especially early evening when it’s a little cooler,” she said. “It’s very pretty in the morning too with the mist rising off the Brazos. It gives you a different perspective on the campus.” Bratton also is an avid reader and taught herself as a teen to read
while walking. If you happen to see her walking around Waco these days, there’s a chance she’ll have an open book or her cell phone with a book app in front of her. “I don’t usually do it when I’m going places on campus, but I do when I’m out for exercise or on a longer trip. I just finished two novels mostly walking,” she said. “Remember, old-time Methodist circuit riders used to read their Bibles when they walked or when they rode, so it’s kind of a 19th century habit. But almost anybody should be able to learn to do it. It’s just a suggestion for something pleasant to do while walking.”
An Eye for Currency
Who wouldn’t like the chance to let their imagination run wild and give the bills in our wallets a modern makeover –– with bold images and lots of new colors? That’s exactly what the Design Methods class taught by Virginia Green, associate professor of art in the College of Arts & Sciences, was assigned to do this past fall. A sampling of the students’ creative ideas for new U.S. currency are featured in the following pages. Someone familiar with the idea of redesigning American currency is former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios. She played a major role in the decision to add a woman to the $20 bill in 2020. That’s when abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman replaces Andrew Jackson as designs of the new $20 bill are released. When Rios came to Baylor on Oct. 19, 2016, to deliver a lecture on her life and career, she took time to meet with Green’s Design Methods class and view the students’ currency redesign concepts. 22 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES 24
Students in Virginia Greenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Design Methods class showed their concepts for currency redesign to former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios during her visit to Baylor in October 2016.
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A GUIDE TO THE STUDENT DESIGNERS J
Mary Louise Randolph
Illustration by Angus McIntyre and Mattthew (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
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Standing Tall BY JULIE CARLSON
Seeking better health, more Baylor faculty and staff are standing up while they work What if you could improve your health and physical fitness and become more productive at work –– all without joining a gym, taking up yoga, altering your diet or attending a single self-help seminar? It sounds too good to be true, but a growing number of Baylor University faculty and staff, including several in the College of Arts & Sciences, believe they are on the way to reaping those benefits after trading in their traditional sitdown desks for new desks designed to be used while standing. For a number of years, newspapers and magazines have been full of study results and pronouncements from health experts that claim excessive sitting poses significant health risks. For example, research has shown that the death rate for men who sit for more than six hours a day is about 20 percent higher than it is for men who sit three hours a day or less –– and about 40 percent higher for women in the same circumstances. Excessive sitting has also been linked with increased risks of obesity, heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, while a study has shown that reducing excessive sitting could increase life expectancy by two years. Studies have also shown that standing during significant parts of the day has the potential to reduce many of the health risks associated with excessive sitting while burning an extra 30,000 calories per year. To accommodate those who wish to stand while they work, a number of companies have come up with ways to modify existing sit-down desks or add an adjustable standing desk that can be placed on top of just about any flat surface.
“I was dubious at first, but it has been remarkable. I can sit for much longer periods now,” Nordt said. “I adjusted to it quickly, and I stand for hours now and hardly notice.” Standing desks used for writing or reading while standing up have been around a while, becoming popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. While modern studies on the health benefits of standing desks do not all agree on whether using one can actually better one’s health, Arts & Sciences faculty and staff members who are using standing desks are convinced their health has been improved by them, and are ready to provide enthusiastic testimonials for potential converts. Mark Anderson, chair and professor of art, has used a standing desk for around 10 months. “I got one after my office manager and administrative assistant got theirs. I knew I wanted one, and needed one for health reasons,” Anderson said. “Sitting at the computer all day is not good, and I needed exercise and a way to burn calories.”
Satisfied Converts One of the first persons in Arts & Sciences to switch from a sitting to a standing desk was Dr. Lee C. Nordt, dean of the College, who tried a standing desk after sitting became increasingly uncomfortable for him, possibly due to a bout of sciatica that caused pain in his lower back. He now owns a high-tech desk that allows him to change the height with the touch of a button.
DR. LEE NORDT
DR. PAUL MARTENS
“I usually use it in the mornings,”Anderson said. “I also have an exercise ball I sit on in the afternoon. That has strengthened my core muscles.” Dr. Elizabeth Willingham, associate professor of Spanish, concurs. She uses a standing desk both in her office and at home. In fact, she had a home office standing desk long before she tried one in her Baylor office. “I have a podium in my Baylor office that rolls and also holds some course materials and supplies for the classroom. I have had that about a year,” Willingham said. “In my home office, I have a computer presentation desk that raises and lowers. I’ve used that for two or three years. Standing for some of my work time is better for my back and probably better for concentration and circulation. It probably has a good effect on my mind and my work and well as on my body.”
Studying the Trend Researchers in Baylor’s Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences are investigating these very issues. They have recruited faculty and staff in Arts & Sciences and other areas of the University to use standing desks in order to learn more about the health profiles, energy
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expenditure and productivity levels of people who stand at work. Margaret Kramer, administrative assistant in journalism, public relations and new media, is one of those in Arts & Sciences taking part in the Baylor study. “I had read several research articles about the negative effects on our bodies due to being sedentary for long periods of time,” Kramer said. “I have been a licensed massage therapist for many years and I’ve treated many clients who have pain issues caused by sitting for long periods of time or not being aware of what is ergonomically correct. I knew several colleagues who expressed pros and cons about the use of the desks, and I wanted to find out for myself and hopefully become healthier.” Kramer has been using her standing desk since November 2015. She has no set schedule for when she makes use of it, because sometimes a work project necessitates sitting. “I have become more accustomed to standing and working. I now find myself getting restless when my body perceives it’s been sitting too long without a break,” she said. Dr. Sara Stone, chair and professor of journalism, public relations and new media, learned about the Baylor research study from Kramer and decided to sign on. She’s used a standing desk since January 2016.
“Two years ago I spent hours sitting at my desk for several months working on a self-study for our department in advance of a site visit for reaccreditation,” Stone said. “That project, coupled with all the report writing that is attached to the chair job, meant I was sedentary for hours at a time every day. I knew that was very bad for your health.” Both Stone and Kramer use a popular adjustable desk sold under the name VARIDESK, which can be easily lowered to sitting height. In the beginning Stone would lower the desk for a couple of hours a day, but she hasn’t had to do that for more than nine months. “I stand to do all my computer work. I have a table and chairs in my office and can sit if I need to handle handwritten correspondence or if I need to have a student conference,” she said.
Walking While Working Dr. Paul Martens, associate professor of religion, has taken the standing-while-working practice to another level. In his office the past two years, Martens has used a LifeSpan Fitness treadmill desk –– which allows him to walk on a treadmill as he works on the attached standing desk. Although he first explored getting a standing desk, in the process of looking at standing workstations he discovered treadmill desks. “I realized that if standing at work is good, then walking is probably better. Since I have a hard time sitting still anyway, it’s kind of a natural fit for me,” Martens said. Martens’ desk has a variable speed option, but he usually sets the treadmill to allow him to walk at a pace of 1-2 m.p.h. Whether he makes use of the treadmill function depends on a number of factors, especially the temperature of his office, whether he is in the middle of an intense writing project, and whether he is meeting with someone else in his office. Some kinds of tasks, such as reading, answering emails and making phone calls, can be accomplished while walking, but other tasks require a level of concentration that makes doing them while walking on a treadmill somewhat risky. “In terms of maintaining fitness, I prefer to run or ride a bike outside,” Martens said. “That said, I take the desk to be a complement that keeps my body awake when I’m in the office for longer periods of time. I mean, walking a mile or two while in the office is always a good thing, especially in winter when time outside is more limited.” Willingham agrees. “If one exercises and therefore has muscle tone in the lower body and can comfortably stand with the heels set about a foot apart and the feet turned slightly outward for 15–20 minutes at a time, the use of a standing desk should be a success,” she said. “Using the standing desk should be a reasonably easy habit for fit people to start. If they can alternate positions and dedicate certain tasks to the standing desk, they should be able to use one without discomfort.”
Everyone surveyed for this article has encouraged colleagues to try a standing desk. For those interested in making the switch, Baylor Human Resources has standing desk options listed on a dedicated webpage as well as tips for working at a standing desk. The University also encourages faculty and staff to hold standing or walking meetings. In fact, research shows that standing meetings are more productive while being shorter. “I would encourage them to try one,” Kramer said. “There are several people on campus now who have a standing desk and would be willing to let someone come by and ‘test drive’ it. The desk I have is so easily adjustable that it takes very little effort to raise or lower it to a comfortable position. The VARIDESK that I have sits on top of my existing desk so I still have access to desk drawers with the files I need.” Anderson’s VARIDESK is one of the company’s larger models, measuring 48 inches wide and including two tiers. He can get his extra monitor, laptop, phone, keyboard, speakers, hand lotion and a pile of paper on it. “This model is handy as such because of all the stuff I can put on it that I have easy access to,” he said. “If someone sits at a desk all day or has developed aches in their stomach, back or legs, then they should go ahead and get one.”
BY ANDREA GAUL
A Baylor program is using research opportunities to ignite studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; passions for science
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Just about any incoming freshman who has tacked “pre-med” or “prehealth” onto his or her major has likely braced themselves for the challenging introductory biology classes and labs they will face at the start of their college career. These demanding classes can be tedious, and are sometimes known as “weed-outs,” which end up separating students into two groups –– those who excel and will likely continue pursuing a prehealth degree plan, and those who struggle with the material and eventually seek new majors. “There’s been some data that show that students, especially in introductory sciences classes, get bored out of the major because they are not experiencing the true process of science,” said Dr. Tamarah Adair, senior lecturer in biology. In an effort to nip this apprehension among students in the bud, Baylor University has implemented a new kind of introductory biology lab that has proven successful in keeping
Image: Ami Images / Science Source
students excited and engaged through hands-on research. à
DR. TAMARAH ADAIR WITH SENIOR BIOLOGY MAJOR JADE CONNOR AND JUNIOR BIOCHEMISTRY MAJOR LATHAN LUCAS
Engaged and Retained The biology lab program is called Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science, or SEAPHAGES, and Adair serves as its director at Baylor. It’s an initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and to help the program get started here in the fall of 2010, the Institute provided lab materials for the first three years and made it possible for two Baylor faculty members to attend week-long training workshops. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has continued their support of the Baylor program by facilitating DNA sequencing for students and giving two students each year the opportunity to attend the SEAPHAGES Symposium at Janelia Farms Research Campus in Ashburn, Va. 34 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES
“The traditional route for freshmen entering as science majors is to take BIO 1305 with a lab and BIO 1306 with a lab,” Adair said. “These labs are very traditional. They don’t require inquiry or research skills, and have known outcomes. With the SEAPHAGES program, we get students involved in research during their very first semester.” In SEA-PHAGES, freshmen selected for the program spend their first two semesters of biology completing hands-on research, which begins by digging in the soil to discover and isolate bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria). The ownership of their research helps keep students engaged. “So far, national studies have shown that retention is higher and the fouryear graduation rate is much higher in these types of classes than in the traditional biology classes,” Adair said. “If you engage students in research, they’re either going to be
really excited to be science majors, or have realistic evidence to help them decide if a career in science is for them.” At the present time, the Baylor program is limited to 24 students each year. All incoming freshmen that have indicated an interest in pursuing a science-related major are sent an application prior to entering the University and given a chance to be selected.
Getting Students Excited Jade Connor, a senior biology major from Lewisville interested in pre-med, was among the 24 applicants selected before her freshman year. “In high school, I wanted to be a journalist. I took AP Biology during my senior year because I wanted to get science out of the way,” Connor
said. She explained that after watching a documentary in that same biology class about cracking your personal genetic code, she was shocked and inspired –– forever changing her career path. “I had always perceived medicine and science as very systematic, but with research, there is a lot of room to grow and be creative,” Connor said. “The ability to make a difference that initially attracted me to journalism was what eventually attracted me to biology.” In the SEA-PHAGES program, Connor’s interest in research was given space to blossom. She now serves as president of Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science & Technology (BURST), an organization for students interested in scientific research. Lathan Lucas, a junior biochemistry major from Dallas, is another student chosen to participate in SEA-PHAGES. “I had some minor lab experience from high school and was eager to apply for the program,” Lucas said. “During the summer before attending Baylor, I was informed that I secured a spot in the lab.” Under the instruction of Dr. Adair, Lucas fell in love with the program and wanted to continue his involvement in the lab, particularly through independent projects. He now serves as one of two teaching assistants for the SEA-PHAGES program. In addition, Lucas was one of the two students chosen to attend the Janelia Farms Research Campus in Virginia for the SEA-PHAGES national symposium in 2016.
Searching for Viruses Though exceptional students such as Connor and Lucas help illustrate the success of SEA-PHAGES, Adair said every participant is able to boast of one achievement in common –– working to isolate their own bacteriophage virus. When asked about this signature component of the program, Adair can produce more than six pages of bacteriophages isolated by Baylor students. She said observing students going through the somewhat tedious isolation process is extremely rewarding for her. “A lot of times science students think they should always have an answer, and they’re just frustrated
when they don’t,” Adair said. “I like seeing that change from novice to confident expert when they’re able to give a presentation at a scientific meeting, for example. Students are becoming scientists as they learn to deal with negative results and uncertainty.” For Jade Connor, isolating her bacteriophage was one of her favorite memories of the program. Due to the substantial diversity of the bacteriophages that infect the soil bacteria that the students investigate, some students isolate their bacteriophage in a few months, while some might not ever be able to isolate one, and will then “adopt” one from another student. After two months of searching through more than 10 soil samples, Connor finally “found her phage.” “I named it Kenneth,” she said. “It was such a cool moment, because it is all very abstract and you hope something is there, but then you finally get to see it by using the electron microscope.”
Practical Benefits Connor has found incredible value in her participation in SEA-PHAGES. “I would definitely recommend it to freshmen because this course really allowed me to connect the dots,” Connor said. “In other classes, the lecture doesn’t always correlate directly with the lab, so it’s harder to see the big picture.” In her SEA-PHAGES lab, Connor was able practice what she learned in the lecture in a very helpful and practical way. “It makes learning more fun because you actually have an incentive –– because it’s actually your own and you want it to work. You want to learn as much as you can in the lecture because it aids you in lab and helps you succeed,” she said. Connor said her hard work in SEA-PHAGES has paid off. After she graduates in May 2017, she plans to attend one of her many options for medical school. “The course helped me on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), because all of the test questions are formatted as research articles,” Connor said. “The very first passage I read on the MCAT was about a protein
I actually worked on in the lab –– that helped me calm down a little.” Because Connor felt so prepared from her experience with the SEA-PHAGES lab, she felt ready to take the MCAT the summer before her junior year, which is earlier than usual. Adair hopes to one day be able to follow the lead of SEA-PHAGES and incorporate research into all traditional introductory biology labs at Baylor. “Because of this experience –– this model of inquiry-based labs –– we are confident that we can put the model into all of our freshman biology labs,” Adair said. “It might take three or four years, but that’s the great outcome of this grant. It has transformed the way in which we are developing new curriculum for our lab courses. Our goal is to eventually offer all students the chance to gain invaluable research experience during their freshman year.”
Q&A: Jackie Q&A Baugh Moore JACKIE BAUGH MOORE (BSED ’86) serves on the Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates. She is the granddaughter of Eula Mae and John Baugh, whose legacy as friends and benefactors of Baylor includes providing critical support for the creation of the George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship in the Hankamer School of Business. Moore and her sister, Julie Baugh Cloud, assist their mother, Babs Baugh, in running the Baugh Foundation, which provides funding and other support for numerous Baptist institutions. In this installment of Q&A, Randy Fiedler talks with Moore about her family’s Baylor heritage and the importance of making sure that future generations of students have affordable access to education and engaged learning opportunities.
With your family background, did you have any doubts you would one day attend Baylor? No. I think I applied to maybe two other places, but I knew I was coming here. My mom said something like, “You can visit anywhere, but I will pay for Baylor.” Growing up, we always came to Homecoming, we came to a lot of football games, and with my grandparents’ and mother’s connections to Baylor it wasn’t much of a decision. I always thought I was coming here. As a student at Baylor, what kind of things where you involved in?
I was a Tri Delta, serving as assistant rush chairman one year and president my senior year. That was a lot of fun. I was in the founding group of Sentinel, which was the female counterpart to the men’s 36 ARTS & SCIENCES 36 //BAYLOR BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES
group New Guard. It served as a student liaison to the board of trustees, and the trustees eventually decided that this function should not be limited to men, so they picked six of us to start Sentinel. We would attend trustee meetings so that they could meet and talk with students. I was also in ODK, which is a national leadership honor society. When you started at Baylor, did you know what you wanted to do with your life, or was that something that you discovered while you were in college? I always thought I wanted to teach, which is why I was in the School of Education. But in retrospect, while I did end up teaching I wish I had thought about other career options. I felt like I didn’t think it through as much as kids do nowadays. I was 17
when I came to Baylor because I had graduated high school early, and to me it’s a lot to ask someone at that age what they want to do the rest of their life. Did you have any favorite professors while you were here? Yes, I did. Anita Baker, who taught education, was one. Glenn Hilburn was my religion professor, and I adored him. I decided I wanted to make an “A” just to prove to him what a great professor he was. I was a child development minor, and there was a lady named Sadie Jo Black who taught in what we used to call “Home Ec.” I had to take flat pattern or sewing from her, and if you’ve never done something like that and you’re in class with all of these girls who are fashion design majors and know what they are doing, it’s horrible. Out of the kindness of her heart, Professor Black said, “I’m going to give you a ‘B’ because you
tried so hard, and I hope you take another class.” I just said, “Oh, sure,” though I thought I’m never doing this again. But she was fabulous to me. You’re a member of the College of Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates. One of the initiatives the board is helping with now is finding ways to expand opportunities for more students to take part in engaged learning –– such as internships and study abroad trips. What do you think about that effort? I’m very excited. I mean, isn’t that what going to college all about? It’s a great idea. Internships are invaluable, and study abroad is a huge milestone for the kids that do it –– talk about growing up! My oldest two children have done that, and I feel that they left as kids and came back from study abroad as adults. You’re a multi-generational Baylorite, with your children the latest generation of your family with Baylor ties. At the same time, because of your family’s generosity, the Baugh name is all over campus. What is it that has kept your family so loyal to Baylor over the decades? My great-grandfather (Eula Mae’s father Ralph Tharp) and his wife Edna both graduated from Baylor. Also, my grandfather, John Baugh, grew up in Waco where his mother was church hostess at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. My grandfather lost his father when he was about seven years old and worked for A&P grocery chain in Waco hoping to one day attend Baylor. My grandparents both loved the idea of education in a Christian environment –– but education that was always open, where you were free to ask any question. They loved the idea of education where all people are valued and Christian ideals thrive in a highly intellectual context. I guess that’s what most everybody who attends loves about Baylor. Is it true that your grandfather wanted to study at Baylor, but had to change his plans? Yes. He came to Baylor and was a student for a couple of days during the Depression. But he soon had to leave because A&P shut down a number of its stores and moved
those employees to Waco, leaving my grandfather without a job to pay for his schooling. He was able to get a job at an A&P in Houston, so he hitchhiked there and studied at the University of Houston, but never graduated. He met my grandmother in night school at U of H when he was working at A&P. You had the opportunity to watch your grandfather doing a lot of things with Baylor and the other organizations and causes he supported before his death in 2007. Do you take with you any lessons you learned from him? Everything about him we take with us, because he was really an amazing, unusual and gifted man and the most kindhearted person. I’m totally biased, but there’s nobody else that will ever be like him. He was a church lay leader, so lay leadership was very important to him and he felt completely committed to supporting not only the local church but his local pastor. He was always close to his pastors. I think that’s something that we’ve definitely taken from him –– and his belief that education is vital. Even though he didn’t get to graduate from college, he felt that was a dream he needed to help others achieve. You and your sister Julie and your mother, Babs Baugh, are closely involved with running the Baugh Foundation, which supports a number of Baptist groups and causes throughout the United States. You mother has served for many years as the Foundation’s president. Can you talk about your involvement with this important organization? My grandparents started the Baugh Foundation in 1994, but it really didn’t grow until my grandmother’s death. That’s when my grandparents’ entire estate went into the foundation. I think there are probably more than 100 different organizations we’ve partnered with through the years, and one of the first big ones we supported was Truett Seminary at Baylor. My grandfather started the foundation and set the criteria after consulting with Dr. Herbert Reynolds, Baylor’s president at the time, and my mom was very involved in that as well because she’s an only child
and she and her father were very close. My mom has kind of been the caretaker of their idea and their legacy and vision, which includes being interested in first amendment freedoms such as separation of church and state and freedom of the press, as well as supporting education at Baptist universities and seminaries. Seminary scholarships are especially important, because you know that graduates will probably not make a large salary every year unless they’re at a very large church. We really need to help these students or we are not going to get the best and brightest going to seminary because they can’t afford to retire the debt they would have to assume to attend. You work very closely with your mother. What are her interests in education? Her experience at Baylor was so good, like mine was, that she wants other people to get to have the same kind of opportunity to learn, whatever they choose to study. She especially loves teenagers. She is very involved in music and youth being in music, and that’s why she has been interested in the School of Music, which was her major at Baylor. She’s also interested in Truett Seminary because the local church is a priority for her. What things about your mother do you admire most? My mom has a magnetic personality. She believes that in the end, it’s all going to be okay and everybody can be helped. She always believes the best in people, almost to a fault, and she is one of the most positive people that you’ll ever meet. She’s kind, and she’s really, really smart and accomplished in her own right. Growing up as the only child of John Baugh cannot have been the easiest thing to do. Even though my mom has Parkinson’s disease, she leads a group of 120 men and women that go and sing at two nursing homes a week, and she is still very active in her church choir. She’s a big proponent of the local church and always wants to be supportive of her pastor. Like my grandfather, she has made lay leadership in the church a priority in her life.
On Any Given Day at Baylor BY ELIZABETH VARDAMAN
“Everything I know I learned at Baylor.” I’ve said that for effect more than a few times, and it is mostly true. Any vestiges of knowledge I have gleaned come from “he who knows all things,” my husband. A Baylor Master Teacher in history, Dr. James Vardaman may — even while I brew my tea on any given morning — riff on issues great and small from British history. Thus, I learn quite a lot about Churchill, Stalin and Hitler on one end of time and about the Magna Carta on the other, often before breakfast. Additionally, since being invited to join the Dean’s Office staff in the College of Arts & Sciences in the mid-1990s, I have had a 20-year, privileged view of the inner workings of the unit that remains the still point in the turning world of Baylor. This past year, however, as allegations and revelations of tragic wrongdoing have surfaced, we have all been stunned by the headlines in the papers and the realization that there were countless concerns to be addressed, asked forgiveness for, and rectified. These
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revelations boggled our minds and tarnished the idea of Baylor. They also airbrushed out of existence the beautiful and poignant stories that don’t necessarily seem newsworthy but “walk in our blood.” Those stories are vital components of the vibrant day-to-day life our academic programs, staff, students and faculty experience as we just go about the business of being Baylor –– that is to say, being points of light one for another. I use that term intentionally, for this is a place full of enlightenment and discovery, where students “find themselves.” (Welcome Week T-shirts here a few years ago proclaimed, “I Found Myself at Baylor.” I loved those shirts!) Andrew Delbanco, a noted public intellectual, would surely approve of that sentiment, too. He says college should be “an aid to reflection, a place and process whereby young people take stock of their talents and passions and begin to sort out their lives in a way that is true to themselves and responsible to others.” He also reminds us
Elizabeth Vardaman is associate dean for engaged learning in the College of Arts & Sciences. In this First Person essay, she looks back over two decades of helping Baylor students discover their calling and be the best they can be.
that college should serve to show students “how to think and how to choose.” We do those things, every day, at this school. Taking pains to pay attention to our undergraduates’ questions and callings is the mission under the mission here and is as important as air to the culture on this campus. Indeed, it is part of our own calling to do so. Faculty may or may not choose to speak explicitly in their classrooms about this life mentorship or indeed about their Christian faith, but they are anchored in these things. Make no mistake –– the love and commitment binding our work that was alive and well here in the past remains a felt presence among us. In fact, it may be even more intense now in important ways because so many here are focused on intentionally giving their expertise and their best efforts to our students in the midst of the University upheavals. We feel keenly responsible to support our University and those entrusted to its care. And on any given day, a conversation,
a research discovery, a laboratory “aha” moment, or an encounter with a text — shared between a student and a mentor — elevates them both and reaffirms this place yet again as one where caring, giving, and receiving combine to create a treasured way of life. Maybe the pursuit of knowledge, the quality of students, and their interaction with the scholars who teach them is standard fare at countless universities. Maybe. But I am tempted to respond by paraphrasing Bum Phillips’ famous retort regarding another situation entirely: yes, there may be some other schools in Baylor’s league, but “it probably don’t take long to call the roll.” Otherwise, why would there be such an outpouring of concern for our school this year? We note the looks of endearment in the eyes of alums who return to Burleson Quadrangle and give tributes to other special touchstones and memories of their professors and their time here. They may not articulate in words what this school has meant to them, but something about Baylor reverberates for them in the deep heart’s core. As a dean, I’ve had too many privileged moments to count with students. In fact, I imagine almost all of us here have had such interactions that adhere to our souls, too, as students think, pray, wrestle, meditate, contemplate, push again, deny failures, weep, startle to attention with epiphanies, embrace success and jump with joy. They make us feel younger than we have a right to feel, and when student faces morph into something new, or bright lights seem to be going on and off in their heads, they reaffirm for us why we went into teaching. As they have interior, perhaps life-altering, conversations with themselves guided by their faith, sometimes we have the honor of being in the room, or on Skype, when it happens. Many of us could list hundreds of such moments. Here are just a few: Luke, who had struggled to discern his best path forward — should it be philosophy or Russian — called from St. Petersburg to say, “This is the place. This is the thing I am supposed to be doing.” We both shouted jubilations.
Anna searched and searched and finally figured out a way to love mathematics but also love “complexity science” that can address social issues —through analyzing cell phone data to see how contagion or epidemics move or solar power works. One student found herself through writing a grant proposal to explain why she needed to read Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles in manuscript form in Dorset, England — and she ultimately won the grant and the trip to England. Jalen bid for a public health degree because his brother was turned down for health care when they were children, and he never wants anyone who comes to his medical clinic to be turned away again. Marissa wants to start a nonprofit organization in Waco to provide children’s books to after school programs. She realized not long ago that this interest has turned into a passion and into a lifetime plan. Many other Baylor students have bid for national and international scholarship opportunities, knowing that all the work they invest might still leave them outside the winners’ circle. Still, they go hammer and tong at the challenge –– and sometimes they prevail! They send us postcards from around the world. Last week, one of our students at Oxford sent me a text and invited me for tea! We jubilate with them at the moment, and then through the mind’s eye, for years afterward. (If you would like to see some of their stories online, they can be found on the SPARK website at baylor.edu/scholarships). Finally, I am still watching Jared. He is interested in international development and agriculture, but also has an abiding love for the French language, and for Africa, and for theatre. Will he become a professor? A farmer? An ambassador? A teacher in Rwanda? Or all of the above? I hope he someday returns to be a professor here at Baylor. All this is to say, across the campus, every day, our faculty encounter students who are seeking
their own defining passions for their careers and lives. We help them figure out who they are, their callings, their talents, their purpose. Faculty, staff and administrators meet the terms of their contracts in dynamic classrooms, in research, and serving on committees here and within the larger Waco community, but they also spend other hours helping students take first steps toward aligning their skills, interests, aptitudes, values –– and joys. As an institution, we have always been famous for that. We always will be. Why am I so sure? Well, among other things, I’ve read countless well-crafted recommendation letters during my tenure here. They are astonishing. The men and women who pen those missives make me cry, on any given day, because their devotion to their students is smart, energized and unwavering. So on we go, sometimes against the current. After our students find themselves through the rigorous courses and the mentorship available here, we hope they then learn to lose themselves into complex things that are larger than their selfhood, yea, perhaps even transcendent. The years when students are undergraduates here should give them a sense of the complexities of the real world and the ways in which they, as thinkers, leaders in their profession, and committed citizens, can contribute themselves and their resources to it. We are not perfect. Indeed, we are all standing in the need of prayer. But as Leonard Cohen sang to us, “There is a crack in everything — that’s how the light gets in.” So as the world needs our graduates, their alma mater forever needs them, too. Stay the course with us. Archibald MacLeish concludes in his play J.B., with lines that seem right for us now: “Blow on the coal of the heart And we’ll see by and by….”
Our Back Pages
Checking In Three former deans of Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences are alive and quite active today. In this installment of Our Back Pages, we check in with John Belew, William Cooper and Wallace Daniel to find out what projects and interests they are now pursuing. BY JULIE CARLSON AND RANDY FIEDLER
John S. Belew Associate Dean, 1973-1974; Dean, 1974-1979
It’s almost impossible to find a time in the past 60 years when Dr. John Belew has not been involved with Baylor University. Belew comes from a family that has sent four generations of students to the University. He earned a BS in chemistry from Baylor in 1941, then came back to join the chemistry faculty in 1956. After a short stint as associate dean, Belew became Arts & Sciences dean in 1974 and later served as provost, vice president of academic affairs and the Jo Murphy Chair in International Education. Belew’s wife Ruth, who died in 2014, spent 25 years as a lecturer in the Baylor theatre arts department before her retirement. Now 96 years old, Belew has the energy of a much younger man. He stays busy maintaining his farm west of Waco
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in McGregor, and many weeks he can be found enjoying the lunch buffet with friends at McGregor’s Coffee Shop Café. He stays up with current events, follows Baylor athletics and keeps in touch with his former colleagues as much as possible. In retirement, Belew is able to devote more time to his passion for reading. “I continue to take the Chronicle of Higher Education and my chemistry professional journals, and I do a lot of reading of things I didn’t have time to read before –– world literature in translation and the classics I never found the opportunity to read. I’ve tried to catch up on those things,” he said. Having spent many years as a University administrator, Belew maintains a close watch on developments in education around the globe. “I have a compelling interest in the quality of American higher education, which is high,” he said. “The world acknowledges we have an excellent educational system, but I am interested in whether our universities are maintaining a leadership role –– not for the sake of being number one, but for the sake of continuing to give our students a quality experience.” Belew also makes time for his hobbies, which include photography, gardening and book collecting. But does he ever miss teaching? “I still wonder whether it was a mistake to leave the classroom,” Belew said.
“I have a feeling that administrators should possibly retain some teaching obligations in order to stay abreast of the nature of students because students change over the years. But I do miss teaching.”
William F. Cooper Dean, 1987-1996
Dr. William Cooper might be listed as a retired faculty member, but you would never guess it. He serves on various Baylor committees and has maintained a rigorous teaching schedule. Each spring, Cooper alternates teaching either East Asian philosophy or Latin American philosophy at Baylor. He also teaches a Biblical heritage course and a Capstone course for the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, as
well as a course on literary and philosophical implications on the practice of medicine for the medical humanities program. He also shares his experience and expertise with the College of Arts & Sciences as a member of both the Core Curriculum Committee and the Board of Advocates. “Every 10 years, the university studies the core curriculum and looks at changes that should be made,” Cooper said. “This dovetails nicely with the Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates, which is a sounding board with alumni. We ask for their perspective on what students should know when they graduate. The world has changed so much, especially in terms of technology and a global dimension, and our courses need to reflect that.” Cooper indulges his love of learning when he and his wife, Thelma, who taught in Baylor’s School of Music, spend nine weeks each summer in New York at Chautauqua. It’s a community experience that offers artistic and educational opportunities to participants. “We leave Waco in early June and stay until September. It is just delightful. They have a pottery studio and I work with clay, making bowls and plates. I also have taken up woodworking and took a workshop on chair making. I have made eight chairs,” Cooper said. “When we are in Waco, we also take
time to attend the various lectures and concerts that Baylor offers. All these ongoing activities greatly enhance the quality of life.”
Wallace L. Daniel Dean, 1996-2005
Dr. Wallace Daniel, who served as chair of Baylor’s history department before becoming Arts & Sciences dean, continues his scholarly research on the people and events of a country very much in the news –– Russia. Daniel, who became provost of Mercer University in 2005 and is now the Distinguished University Professor of History, recently authored Russia’s Uncommon Prophet: Father Aleksandr Men and His Times. To research the subject, Daniel made 10 trips to Russia, gathering materials and interviewing people who knew Men, a brilliant Russian
Orthodox priest. He also interviewed Men’s brother and son, the latter who serves in the Russian government. “In my writing, I try to bring forth people and events that have often gone overlooked, but deserve broader recognition for the light they shine on current issues of importance. It is the commitment to these stories that led me to Aleksandr Men, possibly Russia’s most outstanding religious figure in the second half of the 20th century,” Daniel said. “Men’s parish became a magnet for the Russian intelligentsia. He was a prolific writer whose books were never published officially during his lifetime in the former Soviet Union, but they still came to be widely known. He was killed in September 1990 at the height of his popularity –– and that murder has never been solved. Men’s teachings and writings offer an unusual perspective on Russia and also on problems we presently face.” The research intrigued Daniel so much that he now is working on a related project –– the translation of the memoirs of two remarkable women, Aleksandr Men’s “aunt” and mother, both of whom belonged to the “catacomb church” during the darkest years of the former Soviet Union. “Their memoirs offer an intimate picture of family life, religious commitment, and society during Stalinist time,” Daniel said.
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Two Master Teachers in the College of Arts & Sciences will be retiring by the end of the summer. Dr. David Pennington (left), professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Dr. Tom Hanks (right), professor of English, have taught at Baylor for a combined total of 90 years.