Baylor Arts & Sciences Fall 2016

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Fall 2016

As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial, Baylor is strengthening the partnership that gave Waco a national monument

>>Tiny House Living: Alums Gain by Losing >>Helping First-Generation Students >>Why Do We Still Love Shakespeare?


–– which includes a significant number of courses in the humanities, sciences and social sciences that all Arts & Sciences undergraduates are required to complete. In fact, our undergraduates must complete even more hours in core courses than courses in their respective majors. At the same time, students in all other Baylor academic units must complete the core curriculum requirements mandated by the University, with the large majority of those required core courses offered by the College of Arts & Sciences. Therefore, our 25 Arts & Sciences departments take seriously the responsibilities this calls for –– to inspire and mentor all Baylor students to master core competencies and to provide effective teaching, aided by the cutting edge technology in our classrooms. Just how good is Baylor’s core? We are typically one of about only two dozen educational institutions nationwide to earn an “A” for the quality of our core curriculum from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) –– in part due to the breadth of course offerings we require of our students in the sciences and liberal arts. Since change in our culture and our world is continual, we know that we can’t simply rest on our laurels. We must periodically review our essential academic skillsets and core curriculum, with the goal of assessing what we teach, and why. Such an assessment was overdue in the College of Arts & Sciences, which is why the issue is addressed in our current long-term strategic plan, known as A&Spire (available on the Arts & Sciences website). Theme 1 of this plan, titled “Advancing Liberal Education in the 21st Century,” states that our students will be steeped in four competencies: communication, critical thinking, civic leadership and Christian perspective. An Act of Determination within that theme, “Assessing the Structure and Function of the Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum,” charges us with making sure that happens as we critically examine our core curriculum at length. To carry out this examination, I formed a committee of faculty from across the humanities, sciences and social sciences to develop a vision document for our core and then determine whether our current Arts & Sciences core offerings align with this new Vision. After a yearlong study, the Vision document was approved unanimously by the Arts & Sciences Council of Chairs last spring.

To paraphrase from our new Vision document, the intent of the Arts & Sciences core curriculum is: to provide a shared foundation of knowledge drawn from the rich and diverse liberal arts tradition; to develop various skills necessary for the completion of an academic degree, but also essential for personal and professional life beyond Baylor; and to inspire moral, intellectual and spiritual virtues. The committee offered three key recommendations as a result of their findings: (1) the core curriculum will be implemented throughout the four-year experience for the student to be increasingly challenged as they mature; (2) the core will be such that students will be able to build various degree plans within a four-year period; and (3) there will be flexibility within the core curriculum to allow students multiple ways of satisfying core requirements where appropriate. To take the next steps as we assess the structure and function of the Arts & Sciences core in line with the approved new Vision, I have worked with staff in the Dean’s Office to form a Core Curriculum Review Taskforce. This group of faculty and staff is charged with finding a pathway forward to implement changes to the core consistent with the Vision. The taskforce has two units, a working group and an executive committee. The working group will provide information and recommendations, while the executive committee will make decisions. The executive committee includes faculty members, department chairs, an undergraduate student and an alumnus who is a member of the Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates. This will be an exciting year indeed. Restructuring the core curriculum that has served us well for decades will not be easy, but it is of highest importance to do so as we look to the future. There is much at stake, particularly for our students, because of the important role our faculty will play in the education of the next generation of worldwide leaders, inculcated with the unique Baylor experience. Thank you for your continued support of the College of Arts & Sciences. I hope you enjoy reading this latest issue of our magazine.





Mammoth Opportunity Baylor is playing a big role in expanding teaching and research at Waco’s Mammoth National Monument


News & Notes

Updates on students, faculty, staff and alumni

26 Small Comforts Blake Burleson's handmade tiny house 28 First in Line A new Baylor program equips first-generation

students to make a successful transition to campus life


Shakespeare in the 21st Century

fter four centuries, why are we still celebrating the A work of this English playwright and poet?


First Person

History professor Julie deGraffenried says a liberal education is an invaluable prologue to a lifetime love of learning




Our Back Pages

The historic legacy of the Guittard family

ward-winning author and historian David McCullough A discusses his recent trip to Baylor and the future of history education



Losing to Gain

Alumni Brandon and Kirsten Dickerson moved their family of four into two small trailers –– and life couldn’t be better



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.

Fall 2016

INTERIM PRESIDENT David Garland | PROVOST L. Gregory Jones | DEAN, COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES Lee Nordt ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Kim Kellison | ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR SCIENCES Kenneth T. Wilkins EDITOR Randy Fiedler | CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Julie Carlson, Julie Engebretson, Jeff Hampton PHOTOGRAPHY Matthew Minard, Robert Rogers, Adam King, Kate Zimmerman | ILLUSTRATION Matthew Bromley, Jason Seiler | ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Clayton Thompson DIRECTORS OF DEVELOPMENT David Cortes, Clayton Ellis, Jim Shepelwich One Bear Place #97344 | Waco, TX 76798 | |




Two prominent leaders in the College of Arts & Sciences have been chosen for positions of administrative leadership. Baylor’s interim president, Dr. David Garland, chose Dr. Robyn Driskell, divisional dean for humanities and social sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences, to serve as his executive director and chief of staff beginning in June 2016. In her new role, Driskell is responsible for strategic communications from the President’s Office, collaboration on leadership initiatives, coordination of Board relations and representing the President in a variety of official capacities. “Robyn has had lengthy experience with issues important to faculty and in meeting educational goals from her work as divisional dean in Arts & Sciences,” Garland said. “She has demonstrated strong leadership,

is an excellent administrator and has good relationships with the Regents. She has so many gifts, and I am most grateful that she was willing to accept this new assignment.” Meanwhile, Baylor University executive vice president and provost Dr. L. Gregory Jones appointed Dr. Lori E. Baker as vice provost for strategic initiatives, collaboration and leadership development, effective July 25. Baker is an associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts & Sciences with a specialization in molecular and forensic analysis of skeletal remains. She recently served as Faculty Regent on the University’s Board of Regents and chairs the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity (PACD). In her new role, Baker works on leveraging Baylor’s academic strengths across the campus and building more robust capabilities for Baylor’s faculty and deans to work together and move forward important initiatives, in particular the health sciences.


STILL THE BEST Baylor University has been named a “Best Buy” in the 2017 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Baylor is one of only 47 public and private colleges and universities included on Fiske’s “Best Buy List,” along with three fellow Big 12 universities and three Texas institutions. The authors of the 2017 edition of The Fiske Guide to Colleges selected Baylor as a “Best Buy” based on the quality of the university’s academic programs and campus experience in relation to the cost of attendance. From that data, the Fiske researchers determined Baylor offered one of the best values in higher education.


A select group of students will soon be chosen for a new interdisciplinary major approved for the College of Arts & Sciences, designed to prepare them for high levels of scientific inquiry and research. About 10 students each year, beginning in the fall of 2017, will be chosen for Baylor’s Science Research Fellows major. The students will be placed in research labs by the fall of their sophomore year, where they will continue to conduct research until they finish their Bachelor of Science degree. The Science Research Fellows program will attract an even greater number of high ability students to Baylor, providing them with opportunities to study and collaborate with faculty mentors and produce research and creative work at the highest quality levels.



Remember Baylor theatre arts alumna Allison Tolman (BFA ’04) She won a Critics Choice Award for her role as deputy Molly Solverson in the first season of the TV series “Fargo,” and now she’ll be returning to television to star in a new series on ABC. “Downward Dog” is the story of a struggling millennial (Tolman), told from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog. It’s based on a popular web series.

Recent Baylor graduates Elizabeth Arnold and Ashton Brown were recognized by Arik Hanson of ACH Communications as two of the “PR Rock Stars of the Future.” Each year, Hanson showcases the most impressive public relations students on his website. Arnold was the editorin-chief of the “Bundle,” an online magazine, and was recognized as an outstanding senior by Baylor faculty. Brown was a member of the Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Honor Society and was honored by Baylor faculty with the award for top public relations career portfolio.

Two members of the Baylor College of Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates received special honors recently. Ramsey March (BBA ’00), managing director of Stream Realty Partners, was named to the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” group of young members of the DallasFort Worth business community who are making a difference in the Metroplex. And Dr. Kathryn Tinius (BA ’71), a professor at Amberton University, received the 2016 Women of Distinction Award from the Baylor University Women’s Council of Dallas.

Dr. Linda Schott (BA ’79) left the presidency of the University of Maine at Presque Isle this July to become the new president of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore. RAMSEY MARCH

Although he’s been involved in filmmaking less than three years, Baylor Arts & Sciences alumnus Christopher Charles Scott (BA ’04) has received the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities’ Documentary of the Year Award for a film series he directed titled “The Shape of Shreveport.” Each episode highlights important and interesting moments in the city’s history. For his latest project, Scott is filming a four-episode “What About Waco” series that looks at Waco’s history and culture.



ABOVE AND BEYOND Faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences have received a number of honors from the university for their scholarship and teaching. Dr. Johnny Henderson, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, has been honored as the 2016 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year. The award is presented to a faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor, including teaching, research and service of the highest order. Henderson received a cash award of $20,000 and presented a public lecture this fall. Steven Pounders, professor of theatre arts, is one of two Baylor faculty members selected to receive a 2016 Baylor Centennial Professor Award. Winning professors receive $5,000 for research projects in their fields, and Pounders will use his award to receive certification in Meisner acting, enabling him to create a new Baylor acting course. Six College of Arts & Sciences faculty members have been elected as 2016-2017 Fellows for Teaching Excellence at Baylor: Dr. Tammy Adair (biology), Dr. Joe Coker (religion), Dr. Alex McNair (modern languages and cultures), Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez (journalism, public relations and new media), Dr. Lisa Shaver (English) and Dr. David Smith (history). Finally, three Arts & Sciences faculty members received Outstanding Professor recognition during Spring 2016 Commencement ceremonies. Dr. Julie deGraffenreid (history) and Dr. Bruce Hodson (chemistry and biochemistry) were recognized for teaching, while Dr. Steven Driese (geosciences) was recognized for scholarship.



Dr. John Haldane, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and The J. Newton Rayzor, Sr., Distinguished Professor in Philosophy at Baylor, was selected as one of the world's 50 most influential living philosophers by TheBestSchools. org, a resource for college and online education. The listing features contemporary philosophers who may not be household names, but whose thinking, writing and teaching influence the world today. Haldane joined the Baylor faculty in 2015 following a long career in Britain, where he is also a philosophy professor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and chairman of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. 4 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

Briefs The work of two College of Arts & Sciences associate deans has received special recognition from the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) program in Baylor’s vice provost for research office. Elizabeth Vardaman, associate dean for engaged learning, received the 2016 URSA Mentor of the Year Award, while Dr. Frank Mathis, associate dean for undergraduate studies (sciences) and interim chair of mathemeatics, received the 2016 URSA Award for Leadership in Undergraduate Research.



Dr. Kimberly R. Kellison has joined the Baylor College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office as associate dean for humanities and social sciences. Kellison became a member of the Baylor history faculty in 1998 and served as chair of the history department before coming to the Dean’s Office. She continues to serve as co-chair of Baylor's Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities Committee.


Two professors of film and digital media at Baylor are being honored for their skill and dedication as teachers. Dr. Corey Carbonara is one of three longtime Baylor faculty members designated this fall as a “Master Teacher” –– which is the university’s highest honor granted for sustained excellence in teaching. Carbonara has worked in industry, served on international telecommunication organizations, been honored with national awards for teaching and become a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers. Meanwhile, Dr. Michael F. Korpi is the inaugural recipient of the newest award from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). Korpi has received the Society’s Excellence in Educational Medal Award, which honors outstanding contributions to new or unique educational programs that teach the technologies of motion pictures, television or other imaging sciences. He was cited for “his innovative methods of teaching, especially creating joint (cross-disciplinary) courses at Baylor.”




Dr. Clark Baker, associate professor in journalism, public relations and new media, was honored in Florence, Italy, as his photography was put on display at the Florence University for the Arts. Baker’s work was presented in an exhibit called “Analog Explorations from Texas and the American South,” which presented analog photographs offering a look into quintessential scenes of the American South. Seeking to reveal the personality of the South, Baker included subject matter emphasizing the importance of faith, the qualities of earthiness and simplicity and a region distinctly influenced by its history. “Our culture is fast, noisy, modern, complicated and violent in many ways,” Baker said. “I think I enjoy creating images in opposition to those characteristics.”


Getting the results of your research published in the prestigious international scientific journal Nature is very difficult to do –– so when research done by Baylor anthropologist Dr. Alan Schultz became the journal’s cover story on July 28, 2016, that’s big news. Schultz, assistant professor of anthropology, and his colleagues spent time with a remote Amazonian tribe called the Tsimane to find out whether musical tastes are “hard-wired” in all human brains, or whether our tastes vary depending on what kind of culture we are raised in. They discovered that cultural differences play a significant role in determining whether we like or dislike certain kinds of music.

Baylor coin specialist Dr. Nathan Elkins, assistant professor of art, worked alongside a consortium of universities this summer in Huqoq, Israel, as they excavated an ancient synagogue and discovered mosaics depicting the stories of Noah’s ark and the parting of the Red Sea. The mosaics were found decorating the floor of a synagogue that dates back to the fifth century, and depict an ark and pairs of animals. Also, Elkins has received an award for “extraordinary merit” in the “Best Specialized Book” category of the 2016 Numismatic Literary Guild Writer’s Awards for his book Monuments in Miniature: Architecture on Roman Coinage.

Another Baylor Arts & Sciences professor busy with an excavation in Israel this summer was Dr. Deirdre Fulton, assistant professor of religion. She was part of the discovery and excavation of a Philistine cemetery outside Ashkelon, an ancient city in Israel that was occupied for more than 3,000 years. Fulton said it’s the first Philistine cemetery to have been found, and with more than 200 bodies uncovered the excavation offered researchers a chance to examine Philistine lifestyles and customs.

Dr. Francis Beckwith, an expert on church-state issues and a professor of philosophy at Baylor, was one of the scholars honored at the 2016 American Academy of Religion Book Awards. He received the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: ConstructiveReflective Studies for his 2015 book Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith.


DEBATERS GO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL Baylor’s intercollegiate debate team, known as the Glenn R. Capp Debate Forum, completed its 2015-16 season with a top 20 national ranking. The team also qualified three smaller groups of two members each to compete at the National Debate Tournament –– the first time Baylor has qualified three teams since 1996. This October, meanwhile, Baylor debaters hosted the British National Debate Team. In a public debate, the two teams defended opposing sides of the issue of whether concealed carry handguns should be banned from college campuses. The international debate is a longtime tradition at Baylor.

Spring 2016 Baylor graduate Courtenay Klauber of Issaquah, Wash., a Baylor Interdisciplinary Core student who graduated with a BA in language and linguistics and a minor in religion, was chosen to receive a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to spend a year abroad as an English Teaching Assistant.

BRICKING BAYLOR A Baylor Arts & Sciences student has spent more than two years designing a large, structurally accurate model of Pat Neff Hall using LEGO pieces. Stanton Bain, a junior communication studies major from Waco, got the idea for the project after seeing massive LEGO models in different cities. Designing the model of Baylor’s administration building was a huge undertaking, which involved using time outside of class to study the building, examine aerial shots of different angles and find just the right blocks for accuracy. The resulting 34-by-15-by20-inch masterpiece will require 5,000 LEGO pieces costing about 20 cents each, which Bain hopes one day to have the funds to purchase. “I would love to make this real and have it on display for the university,” he said.

A scientific paper co-authored by a Baylor University graduate student and presented at a national conference has received special honors. Joshua W. Brownlow, a doctoral student in geosciences, was one of four students who received a 2016 Farvolden Award from the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation for his presentation of a paper titled “Influence of Hydraulic Fracturing on Leaky Abandoned Wells.”

Baylor student publications –– including the Lariat newspaper, Focus magazine, Roundup yearbook and the baylorlariat. com website –– have recently won another round of state and national awards. The Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Crown Awards are given for overall excellence in a publication. Of the 1,186 newspapers, magazines, yearbooks and digital publications eligible, Baylor was the only university with publications to earn awards in all three print categories. The 2015-2016 academic year was the second year in a row that Baylor stood alone as the only university to win in all three categories.

Baylor junior Chase Gottlich is spending the 2016-2017 academic year in Tanzania, learning Swahili. Gottlich, a pre-medicine University Scholar from Ormond Beach, Florida, was one of a select group of U.S. college students to receive a prestigious David L. Boren Scholarship to fund language studies abroad. Gottlich said he has always wanted to be a doctor, and he plans to pursue medical school after he returns from Tanzania and graduates from Baylor. He said he wants to use his medical training, time studying Swahili and passion for languages to make a difference in the region. “While the Boren Scholarship is only a year, I envision it being the catalyst for a lifetime of work in the East Africa region,” he said.



Baylor faculty and staff were instrumental in making Waco’s new Mammoth National Monument a reality, and now they’re helping to increase its public appeal and expand opportunities for teaching and research


Sitting on a clear glass floor at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum, children stare down in wonder at the fossilized bones of giant mammoths that walked the earth tens of thousands of years ago. It’s a sight that transfixes visitors of all ages, and if they feel let down somewhat when the tour guide explains that what they are seeing is a plaster cast, their eyes grow wide when they’re told, “but you can see the real bones and more at the Waco Mammoth National Monument just six miles away.” Six miles is a short distance to go to see a one-of-a-kind wonder of science and natural history, but the story of how the national monument came to be is a long one, almost 40 years in the making. Baylor has been at the center of that story since the beginning and will remain so for years to come, as the mammoths captivate not just children and tourists but students and scientists from Baylor and beyond. The Waco Mammoth National Monument became the 408th unit of the National Park Service on July 10, 2015, when Barack Obama signed Presidential Proclamation No. 9299. It was the first line of the newest chapter of a story that began in 1978, when two young men went looking for arrowheads near the Bosque River and found an unusual bone protruding from an embankment. They took their find to Baylor’s Strecker Museum, forerunner to the Mayborn Museum, where staff members identified it as a femur from a Columbian mammoth. Over the next 24 years, Baylor museum staff, students and volunteers excavated the secluded site near where the Bosque and Brazos rivers meet and found more mammoth bones. As the excavators meticulously worked to preserve, field number and map each bone and the site itself, they discovered this was not just a multi-event mammoth cemetery with bones deposited over many years, such as found in Hot Springs, South Dakota, and at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. This was the scene of a single catastrophic event like none other found in the world, which involved the simultaneous death of at least 16 members of a nursery herd –– a group of adult females and their young –– some 65,000 years ago. Realizing the importance of the find to the future of Waco, landowner Sam Jack McGlasson donated 4.93 acres that included the dig area to the city in 1996. Through gifts and purchases, Baylor acquired another 100-plus acres surrounding the site and deeded it to the city, setting the stage for a unique Baylor-Waco partnership. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SIGNS THE PROCLAMATION CREATING THE WACO MAMMOTH NATIONAL MONUMENT




While every available precaution was taken to protect the mammoth site and its scientific treasures, including raising a large tent over the excavation, it was not enough for Dr. Ellie Caston, who became director of the Mayborn Museum in 2002 as construction was starting on Baylor’s new museum complex. One of her first acts as director was to “lock down” the mammoth site and its exposed treasures. “It was never open completely, but far too many people knew about it,” Caston said. “I just couldn’t sleep at night knowing that there was no security and that it might be vandalized or items stolen.” A joint Baylor-Waco organization –– the Waco Mammoth Foundation –– was formed in 2004 to further protect and develop the site. And with help from U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, a grant was obtained for a Special Resource Study (SRS), which is a required precursor to a site being considered for a National Park Service (NPS) designation. à



Among those dispatched to Waco for the resource study was Dr. Greg McDonald, now a regional paleontologist for the Bureau of Land Management in Utah. He had been to the site previously with a team engaged by the foundation to consult on the scope and costs of building a permanent structure over the excavation. “It was a good partnership doing the best it could with limited resources,” McDonald recalled of the work already done by Baylor and the city. “Having the Mayborn Museum as a repository for the bones has been very critical. They are professional with state-of-the-art processes and facilities. That makes us rest easy.” The SRS was completed in 2008. It recommended a National Park Service designation for the Waco site, but the effort was stalled by political and budget issues. Despite that setback, Rep. Edwards helped secure a grant from the Save America’s Treasures Program and the Waco Mammoth Foundation raised an additional $4.5

million to build a permanent shelter and open the site for research and tourism. “I really think the study jump-started us to think bigger than we had,” Caston said. “The shelter would be so much more than a box. It would be architecturally attractive and functionally sound. That helped us take it to the next level so it would be NPS-worthy.” A checklist for an NPS-worthy building came from Anita Benedict, now the collections manager at the Mayborn Museum. As a graduate student in Baylor’s museum studies master's program, she had visited covered paleo dig sites across the country to write her master's thesis on the best standards and systems required to protect the Waco mammoths. When the Waco Mammoth Foundation sought bids to design and build a permanent structure, Benedict’s thesis was made part of the bid package. Later, she helped review the bids, interview the finalists and watch over construction. à


“We basically instituted rules that the person in charge from the city would enforce with the contractors,” Benedict said. That included protecting the exposed mammoth specimens with heavy wood boxes during construction, keeping the tent in place until the roof was on, and having Benedict be on site during earthwork in case any new mammoth bones were found, which did happen. With the building completed, along with a small visitors center and parking lot, the Waco Mammoth Site opened as a city park in December 2009. Meanwhile, the push for an NPS designation resumed and got a boost in 2012 from the National Parks Conservation Association, an independent nonprofit organization that helps groups like the Waco Mammoth Foundation prepare their pitch. Caston and others went to Washington to make their case for an NPS designation, and the rest is “mystifying,” said Dr. Lee Nordt, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “We didn’t think it was ever going to happen,” Nordt said. “We’d all but given up, and then over a period of about six months we hear about it and it turns into a monument. We were absolutely ecstatic that it finally happened.” 16 / BAYLOR ARTS & & SCIENCES SCIENCES

MAMMOTH STAMPEDE Long before the Waco Mammoth Site was designated a national monument, informed tourists and school groups were coming in large numbers to take a 30-minute guided tour. From the visitors center, they would walk down a long sidewalk through the Central Texas landscape and come around a bend to see the dramatic, angled dig shelter. But the real drama came inside when they stepped onto a catwalk, and found themselves suspended over the real bones of six mammoths and a few other animals. But once it became a national monument, it wasn’t long after that before the National Park Service arrowhead logo was hung from the mammoth site sign on Steinbeck Bend Drive and visitor numbers began to surge. In the first 10 months or so after the NPS designation, 46,300 people visited the mammoth site –– more than double the attendance of 18,700 during the same period the previous year. Raegan King, the monument’s site manager who’s been in charge of directing daily operations since before the NPS designation, said it didn’t hurt that the monument was named in time for the Park Service’s 100th anniversary

celebration in 2016. But there’s more to the tourist boom than that. “I think the reason we have succeeded so greatly in (increasing) visitation is that we came into the Park Service as an operational park,” King said. “We were already open to the public fiveand-a-half years as a city park, as an interpretive center.” The scientific community’s interest is expected to increase over time as well, both for the mammoth site and the Mayborn Museum – where bones that were removed from the site prior to construction of the dig shelter have been kept in climate-controlled storage in anticipation of a new wave of research and discovery. “The treasure trove that’s not at the mammoth site is here,” said Charles Walter, who succeeded Caston as Mayborn Museum director in August 2015. “That means the museum and Baylor will be very active in the research for years to come because we will be the stewards of this collection. And that’s an interesting point – a lot of museums will go out and collect somewhere in the West and take it back East, but it’s very rare to have an entire collection from a very active site in one place.” Nordt, an experienced geologist who serves as professor of geosciences as well as Arts & Sciences dean, said there’s no end in sight for discovery. “It’s exciting, because as much as we know and as much as we think that we know, there’s probably 50 years worth of research here. We’ve hardly scratched the surface,” he said. Nordt said that Baylor’s Department of Geosciences has been the primary user of the collected material and the site for research so far. That has included traditional studies of the stratigraphy –– the layering of deposits that contain the mammoths –– to help answer questions about the environment, such as were the mammoths in a flood plain, were they in the uplands, and where were the rivers at that time? “The other approach,” Nordt said, “is to look specifically at the bones and to perform a series of kinds of analyses, often isotopic, that can tell us what kinds of plants the mammoths were eating, how far they roamed and where they were getting their drinking water.

The Brazos River system has a different water signal in its isotopes than does the Bosque River.” Nordt said biologists may be interested in learning why the mammoths were there and what they were eating from the available vegetation. As well, biologists and geologists who study climate changes, along with anthropologists, archaeologists and biological anthropologists, will be interested in information that the site and the collected materials might hold. “Charles Walter, to his credit, said his number one goal is to build bridges from the Mayborn Museum into the academic side of Baylor and strengthen those ties,” Nordt said, “so that we’re more joined at the hip and we’re using all of their collections, not just those from the mammoth site, to help promote more research collaborations.” To date, research done by scientists and scholars from other institutions has been sporadic, but Nordt said the National Park Service designation will attract more interest. “There will be others now coming in,” he said. “There will be a formal application process through the Park Service to conduct various kinds of research, which is what we want. We want more people doing more research on various aspects of the site.” Beyond the sciences are opportunities for other types of research to be done. “There are sociological impacts to this, there are cultural impacts, cultural studies,” Nordt said. “There’s all sorts of research initiatives that could spring out of this from a research standpoint.”

TEACHING THE TEACHERS One place where the new national monument is already impacting Baylor students is the Department of Museum Studies, which is housed at the Mayborn Museum Complex. “The window for us as a department is not so much the scientific expertise side but the conservation aspect,” said Dr. Kenneth Hafertepe, chair and professor of museum studies. “A lot of our students are very interested in how to bring the subject to life for general audiences. It’s the interpretive aspect of it. We see a great opportunity for

students to get hands-on experience working at a very important site operated by the National Park Service.” One student who has already taken advantage of the national monument is Emily Clark, who wrote an educational program called Art Rocks for fourth and fifth graders. “They’ll get to experiment with rocks and other pigments that they can make into paints in the ways that ancient peoples would have been able to make paint. And then they’ll learn about cave art and rock art,” she said. Clark, who grew up in Joshua, Texas, earned an undergraduate degree in biology at Baylor in 2013 while interning at Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo. “I like to be out doing hands-on stuff,” she said. “So when I interned at the zoo and was able to do a lot of their educational stuff I just fell in love with it.” After completing her undergraduate degree, Clark spent a year with AmeriCorps in Austin where she mentored and tutored third through fifth graders. “That really solidified that I wanted to go work with children all the time, so that led me to Baylor’s museum studies department,” she said. “It’s a small program and that makes it nice because we get a lot of opportunities.” Those opportunities have included Clark’s invaluable firsthand look at how a city park becomes a national monument through the experiences shared with her by Caston, who still teaches courses in museum studies. “We got to hear all about going to Washington D.C. and who Dr. Caston got to talk to there. Getting to hear about that was really helpful because who knows where our careers are going to lead? We might get to do something like that too,” said Clark, who went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in museum studies at Baylor and is now design den coordinator at the Mayborn Museum. Caston tells students that her first trip to Washington with the National Parks Conservation Association was a lesson in politics and people. “That experience was about networking and understanding the people you need to meet to get in the right doors,” she said. Caston’s second trip, made with a Waco delegation that included Mayor

Malcolm Duncan Jr., Waco Mammoth Foundation president Gayle Lacy and Baylor administrator Tommye Lou Davis, was made to meet and thank President Obama and celebrate the signing of the proclamation. “The big takeaway for the second trip was that if you choose to go into the museum profession, it’s really hard work,” Caston said. “The pay isn’t ideal because you’re working for a nonprofit. But at the end of the day you can look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of what you’re doing, because you’re benefiting people in an important way.” And for Caston, whose planned retirement from the Mayborn Museum directorship began three weeks after the signing, the timing was ideal. à





“You couldn’t dream that. It was the perfect bookend for my years as director of the Mayborn,” Caston said. “And being in the Oval Office with President Obama was an extraordinary way to cap off my career in the museum profession.”

MEETING EXPECTATIONS Thanks to the work of Caston and Walter and their counterparts at the City of Waco and the Waco Mammoth Foundation, the bonds between Baylor, Waco and the National Park Service in operating the national monument will remain strong by design. “Waco is termed as the new model for the future of National Park sites because partnership was called for in the proclamation creating the site,” said Russ Whitlock, superintendent of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park who now oversees the mammoth site. While the NPS owns the five-acre monument, the City of Waco will provide services to the monument and maintain and develop the 100-plus acres around it, and Baylor will continue to manage the fossil collection and archival material. A “foundation document” that sets strategic goals for the new monument was drafted earlier in 2016 during three days of meetings at the Mayborn Museum. The final draft, expected to be approved by the end of 2016, addresses some of the monument’s immediate needs. “The numbers

are impressive, and already the park has outgrown capacity,” Whitlock said. “I believe the public numbers and desire for opportunities to learn will drive further development in the park with a (new) visitor center, a paleontology lab (and) a children’s discovery area.” Whitlock said he hopes to receive permanent funds during fiscal 2017 to allow him to hire a journeyman-level park interpreter, a paleontologist/ curator and a paleontologist/bone preparer. Already, the NPS has added four interpretive staff/rangers to the Waco site, and Mayborn Museum staff has built a platform inside the dig shelter where researchers and interns will work on some of the bones that have been in storage at the museum. Nobody is ready for the platform and the other improvements at the site more than Raegan King. “The number one question asked is, ‘Are you all digging? Why don’t we see people down there working?’” she said. “The platform will help guests see what they expect. They want to see something going on in the dig pit.” As for active excavation, it will resume as staffing, collection space and other resources allow. To date, the site has yielded 24 mammoths, possibly two camels, a tooth from a juvenile saber-toothed cat, a giant tortoise, and other animals. “We already know that there’s more bones (to be found) just inside this building,” King said. Six miles away at the Mayborn Museum, Walter and his staff are excited about a future tied to the national monument. “For us it opens up the Park Service bag of tricks, which is substantial. They’re masters at what they do,” he said. Already there’s been a workshop held with Baylor educators, museum staff and NPS staff on interpretation, and Walter foresees similar programs on topics such as land management and assessment. Meanwhile, the Mayborn’s own interpretive mammoth exhibit, including the plaster casts under glass, is now 12 years old. Walter said part of the master plan for the museum’s natural science wing is to update the exhibit to complement what’s happening at the national monument. “The most obvious thing we can do is say, ‘If you like this, go to the mammoth site,’” Walter said. “That’s reality –– it’s still there.” n


By giving up modern city life and its trappings, Baylor alumni Brandon and Kirsten Dickerson and their family are learning how living with less can recharge creativity and refresh the soul ďƒ



IN THE SMALL TOWN OF ELGIN, TEXAS, about 27 miles east of Austin and marked only by an aluminum mailbox on a winding farm-to-market road, Green Acres ATX exists as a unique retreat space for artists, families and anyone looking to “unplug” and escape the distractions of modern city life. It is also home to Baylor alumni Brandon and Kirsten Dickerson and their two children, Mason, 16, and Mei Li, 12.




But while the Dickersons may own 12.5 acres in the scenic Texas Hill Country, their family of four moved onto the land from a 1,500-squarefoot house to live in a space measuring only 350 square feet — specifically, in a restored 1955 Spartan Mansion trailer, complete with a full galley kitchen and tiled bathroom. The property name, Green Acres ATX (using a popular abbreviation for Austin, Texas), is of course a nod to the late-1960s TV series Green Acres, in which a moneyed, Manhattan lawyer drags his glamorous wife out to the country to live on a ramshackle farm. This is something like the Dickersons’ story, “except with us, it’s the other way around,” Brandon said. “Kirsten may have had a lifelong dream, but this couldn’t have been further from my radar. Growing up in California, only the rich own land and the poor live in trailers. I love the juxtaposition."


SEEKING RETREAT Brandon and Kirsten graduated from Baylor in 1994 and 1995 respectively, Brandon earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and Kirsten a Bachelor of Science in Education. They married in 1997 and lived in Berkeley, Calif., followed by Los Angeles — first in the Silver Lake area, and then near the famous intersection of Sunset and Vine (Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street). “We lived in the heart of Hollywood,” said Brandon, a filmmaker whose first feature, Sironia (2011), was shot almost entirely in Waco. “In that season, though, it became part of our rhythm to find retreat spaces. I would go almost once a month to, say, a Benedictine monastery or some formal retreat center. We’d explore those places as a family. But, when Kirsten’s mom passed and we moved to Austin five years ago, we couldn’t find that kind of space.” In 2012, a bizarre family vacation planted the seed that would eventually become Green Acres ATX two years later.

“We went to the Serengeti Ranch in Bourne, Texas,” said Kirsten, the founder and CEO of Raven + Lily, a socially conscious clothing and lifestyle brand. “It was a bed-and-breakfast, but there were giraffes, zebras, camels, ostriches. It’s not there anymore. But, we spent an evening talking to the owner and it made us realize you can do that. You can own land and do things with it.” In November of that same year, the Dickersons cracked a fresh journal and began filling its pages with ideas for their own theoretical retreat space, even including specific details about film screenings and concerts. “We began dreaming and praying about selling our home and buying land –– and if we did, what would we do with it? And I think we all loved this idea of creating a space where we would all live, but also a space we would share — a place of peace and restoration,” Kirsten said. They wanted lots of opportunity to spend time in nature, and they wanted animals — well, Kirsten did. à






“But I was the one who was always interested in vintage trailers,” Brandon said. “Kirsten wasn’t so much. But then we saw the Spartan, and she said, ‘Oh, I like this — the style of it. I’d live in one of these if we had land.’” It was done. They bought and restored the vintage trailer as closely as possible to its original, mid-century glory. “It’s our favorite design era, so the majority of the furnishings are mid-century or mid-century style,” Kirsten said. “To the extent possible, everything inside is vintage, reclaimed or artist-made.” Living on top of one another (the children literally slept in bunk beds at first), one would assume the primary challenge of this whole endeavor would be the close quarters; but according to Brandon, this aspect has been the least of their worries. “The closeness hasn’t been a struggle at all,” he said. “Downsizing to the Spartan was in part an aspect



of the greater project, in keeping with sustainability and simplicity and those ideas that we’re living out; but it was also financially driven.” Eventually, the Dickersons obtained a second trailer –– a 1965 Airstream they found on Craigslist –– and moved teenager Mason in. “He has his own space now in the Airstream,” Kirsten said. “He wouldn’t want to move into a house now. Mason in his Airstream is happy forever.”

A GLAMPING WE WILL GO While they may admit to vague, “someday” plans regarding building a house, moving out of the trailer is not a priority at this point. Upon discovering Elgin in 2013, the couple immediately fell in love with this particular piece of land and wanted to quickly transform it into the retreat destination they had envisioned. “Sure, we’d like to build a house, but

we also wanted to start sharing the land with others. And we weren’t in a place to do it all,” Kirsten said. “So we found a quick and affordable answer.” The Dickersons now share Green Acres ATX with overnight guests interested in “glamping” (‘glam’our + ‘camping’) — a concept perfect for the camping-averse. The glampers enjoy all the comforts of home inside a spacious and sturdy round tent known as a yurt. A washroom reserved for guests and fully stocked with towels and ecofriendly toiletries stands just a few feet away, and a restored barn features a communal kitchen with a refrigerator, stove and utensils. The couple also hosts “movie nights” and concerts on their land, advertising these events using the event website Glampers are required to book a minimum two-night stay, which they do through the online site serving the international bed and breakfast industry.

“All kinds of people come. We’ve had lots of dads bringing their kids out for camping; we had four moms come out for a long weekend recently,” Kirsten said. “I’d say roughly 25 percent of guests are celebrating an anniversary. We’ve had guests from New York, New Orleans, and we’ve had people from as far away as Finland come.” The Dickersons will even rent out their Spartan trailer by the week. “Anyway, it’s not like we have a blueprint for our dream house,” Brandon said. “It’s more like a ‘maybe someday’ thing. Right now, we’re just trying to focus on contentment with what we have. Being present and being content is part of what we’re trying to accomplish.” More concrete, near-term plans include creating a half-acre organic farm which will provide produce for them and the guests who stay at Green Acres ATX. Visitors will have the opportunity to volunteer or simply tour the farm and learn more about the crops and cultivating the land. Brandon and Kirsten also plan to have bees and chickens on the farm, providing lodgers with fresh honey and eggs.

Of the four Dickersons, 16-year-old Mason keeps the most technology inside his Airstream, “but we’re talking about an Atari, a record player and some vintage cameras,” Kirsten said. Aside from some very practical lessons learned, the Dickersons have also received a spiritual, even Scriptural education in their brief time as landowners –– both in moments of serenity and in times of struggle. “We’ve learned patience and just a posture of surrender,” Brandon said. “I’ve learned a lot from the land. I’ve learned how to be quiet and listen.” Kirsten isn’t sure her business, Raven + Lily, would have survived without this project and this place to relax and know God’s peace. “I needed a place to process, to quiet my heart and my mind, and I think God has met me here,” she said. “The seasons affect us so differently out here. It’s amazing how much they correlate

with Scripture and Scriptural truths. I would sincerely say that I get Scripture in a better way now.” Brandon maintains a blog, (the Dickersons own two miniature donkeys, in addition to two alpacas, chickens and 10 beehives) in which he candidly shares his “field notes” collected throughout his family’s endeavor. “The largest struggle about this transition has actually been me,” Brandon said. “I brought with me the efficiencies of a city, but the land wins. It’s raw land and things happen. You’re out here and the plumbing goes out, and we have no water, so I have to watch an entire YouTube video about how to fix the plumbing. But, you just can’t get it all done. I have to choose to say, ‘I will do what I can on this day.’” n

The tiny house movement embraced by the Dickersons is growing nationwide, attracting the eco- and budgetconscious away from the traditional, heavily mortgaged 2,500-square-foot home and into one- or two-room, efficiency-style living. But how? Can a family of four be happy squeezing into such a small space? “You have to be very creative with your resources,” Kirsten said. “And we got rid of 80 percent of our belongings. We sold the majority of our furniture, clothes, a lot of our kids’ things. But we don’t miss anything. It’s an interesting thing as an American to realize you don’t need nearly as much as you think you need on all levels.” Learning to live with less, Mason and Mei Li stand to inherit values that are difficult for many parents to instill, surrounded by a culture that worships “stuff.” “With our kids, a big benefit is letting go of consumerism,” Brandon said. “What I’ve seen for them is that their appetite for stuff has decreased substantially. And we love that.”






The historic Castle Heights section of Waco’s Austin Avenue is known for its grand, multi-level homes and impressive price tags and occasional appearances on HGTV’s Fixer Upper. But there is one notably humble domicile in the area that stands apart, and not because of any help from Chip and Joanna Gaines. Dr. Blake Burleson, associate dean for undergraduate studies, strategic and enrollment initiatives in the College of Arts & Sciences, worked on Saturdays and University holidays for two years to complete his 160-square-foot, fully operational tiny house. Nestled in a heavily wooded section of his backyard in Castle Heights, he now uses the space as a study that Walden’s Henry David Thoreau would love. “I call it a hermitage,” said Burleson, who in addition to his administrative role is a senior lecturer of religion. “I’m there every morning at 7 o’clock, working on books, articles and research. Whatever it is I’m working on, I’m doing it there in the house.” The tiny house — complete with a kitchen, bathroom and small overhead loft space for a bed — was built mainly with used materials purchased from Waco’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store selling new and used furniture, appliances, building materials and other items. Proceeds from these sales help build homes and related infrastructure for communities in need all over the world. “The foundation is actually a double-axle trailer, so it’s on four wheels,” Burleson said. “It’s very sturdy. That was the biggest expense really. But, yeah, you can just pull the whole house out with a truck.” When he began construction, word spread quickly about Burleson’s tiny project and several faculty and other co-workers began asking questions. “People were curious about what I was doing,” Burleson said. “So, I sort of shared my progress along with way on Facebook. And then when I was finished, I hosted an open house so people could come and see.” Burleson’s initial plan was to pull the house all the way to Colorado to occupy a piece of property he owns there. But he didn’t anticipate just how much he would enjoy the daily retreat to his own backyard. “It’s in an area on the lot that’s wooded, so when you look outside, it’s like you’re in the country,” he said. “Even though I live in town, the area has a lot of trees and I just let it grow. Maybe at some point, I’ll build another tiny house and take that to Colorado.” n

Baylor is equipping its first-generation students to make a successful transition to campus life BY JULIE CARLSON

Imagine if you were told you’d soon be making an extended stay in a faraway country you’d never visited before. But what could be an exciting new adventure is tempered by the fact that you don’t speak the native language, you have no idea of the country’s traditions or customs, and no one you know –– neither friends nor family –– can help you prepare because they’ve never been there, either. Substitute the words “college” or “university” for “country,” and you’ll begin to see some of the challenges faced by first-generation students at American colleges and universities –– those who are about to become the first member of their families to attend an institution of higher education. à



Cade Cowart is one such student. When he decided to forgo a relaxing summer after high school graduation and instead move across country to jump into college life, his friends thought he was crazy. But Cowart is just one of a growing number of first-generation students benefiting from a new Baylor University program designed to help them get a head start on university living –– and he said it was the best decision he’s ever made. Cowart, a sophomore preneuroscience major from Florida, took advantage of Baylor’s First in Line Summer Advantage program in 2015. First in Line, now in its third year on the Waco campus, provides resources and support to first-generation college students. “We define first-generation students as those whose mom or dad did not earn a bachelor’s degree. Other universities define first-generation students as those whose parents have not attended any college, whether community college or technical school, but we intentionally made our definition broad so that we can serve a broad population of students,” said Michelle Cohenour, the assistant director of student success who directs Baylor’s First in Line program. According to Cohenour, about one out of every eight Baylor students qualifies as a first-generation student. These students often need help in navigating the higher education landscape, learning 30 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

everything from terminology and how to meet with academic advisors to gaining an understanding of financial aid and campus office hours. Kelli Boyd, a sophomore political science major from Oregon, joined Cowart as a member of the summer 2015 First in Line program. “First in Line was extremely helpful because we students got the chance to adjust to college life with the help of faculty and staff members who knew we were first-generation students and understood some of the difficulties we might face,” Boyd said. “We weren’t thrown into a sea of thousands of students the minute we arrived on campus. The relationships we were able to build with faculty and staff members as well as our fellow firstgeneration students were probably the best things that we could have gotten out of the program.” As veterans of Baylor’s inaugural First in Line Summer Advantage, Boyd and Cowart came back in 2016 to serve as peer leaders in the program. Summer Advantage allows new first-gen students to complete two classes (out of a possible 15 that are offered) during the second summer school session while receiving academic mentoring, tutoring, weekly success seminars and team building activities. For a flat fee of $3,000 they are not only enrolled in the two classes, but receive meals and lodging in a campus residence hall and are eligible

“First in Line was extremely helpful because we students got the chance to adjust to college life with the help of faculty and staff." for all program activities. The summer 2015 program had 30 participants, while the 2016 version had 31. “During the summer program we had classes during the morning and studying and tutoring during the evenings,” Cowart said. “On Tuesday and Thursday, guest speakers were brought in to give us some really good advice on surviving our first year at Baylor. On Saturdays we had various activities, from the high ropes team building course to community service projects and the Great Baylor Amazing Race. We would go to church on Sunday, and even when we weren’t doing something organized we were still doing something with the group. The peer leaders often took us for ice cream or showed us local attractions around Waco. It was all very helpful.” The summer program focuses on integrating First in Line students into the Baylor culture, and the 2016 First in Line added more programming for parents, both during the Summer Advantage program and during orientation. “This past summer, we did a parent send-off in which parents were able to talk through their hopes and fears about their child’s college journey, and they learned how our staff can support them,” Cohenour said. “During orientation we had a first generation parent sit on our parent panel during the parent dinner, and we will have ongoing communication with parents. Parents have a lot to offer and their knowledge

matters. We want to be receptive to their needs and find ways to expand to include them more.” During the fall and spring semesters, events for First in Line student continue with monthly workshops, a welcomeback barbecue, faculty dinners and more. Students are welcome at such events throughout their Baylor journey, but Cohenour has found that most of the intervention is needed during the students’ first year at Baylor. “Our goal is that students won’t need us as much once they get settled in. They will find a home within their academic disciplines and in the many student organizations Baylor offers,” she said. Cohenour feels fortunate that she has great staff members in place to help with the program. Two members of AmeriCorps VISTA, a national and community service program, help enroll students in First in Line, take part in Baylor admission events and visit high schools to talk about college readiness and college access. “We promote higher education in general and help spread the word that higher education is attainable,” said Jorge Vielledent, a VISTA member and Baylor alumnus who earned a BA in psychology. “I often spend my days calling admitted students to tell them about the program and its benefits. I have enjoyed working with students so much that I hope to work with Baylor admissions after my time with First in Line is over.” Vielledent has been impressed with the number of Baylor faculty who are interested in the program. “Everybody wants to find a way to help us out. I have professors email me almost every day and many of them were first-generation themselves,” he said. One such Baylor faculty member who was the first in his family to attend a university is Dr. Todd Buras, associate professor of philosophy. He served on a Baylor task force that examined ways to improve Baylor’s support for firstgeneration college students, taught during Summer Advantage 2016 and took part in its extracurricular activities. “I know firsthand what it is like to be a first-generation college student, and I know how valuable it is to make contact with a faculty member who takes your

interests to heart,” Buras said. “First generation college students are typically incredibly smart, driven and ambitious. They come to college on a mission to improve their lives and the lives of those they love. They usually have their whole family cheering for them. But they have few in their immediate family who have been down the road they are traveling, and therefore have few people who can help them navigate the maze of the modern university.” Buras said programs such as First in Line can make an impact on students. “The transition to college is not easy for anyone, but it is especially challenging for these students. A little effort at the beginning to make sure they know the ropes pays huge dividends for these students and for the university,” he said. “I am proud to be part of Baylor’s effort to throw our doors wide open to firstgeneration students.” Cowart said interaction with faculty members such as Buras has been a highlight of the program. “I have seen many of the faculty and staff around campus and I like to stop and chat with them,” he said. “I never expected to connect with my professors or even go have coffee with them like I did. They are all so welcoming and love to hear how my semesters are going.” Boyd agrees. She said several professors who taught throughout the Summer Advantage program attended one or more of the weekly group dinners to speak with first-generation students and got to know them better. Students

also got the chance to meet with faculty members on a closer level within their small groups and even have dinner at a professor’s home. “The most helpful part of First in Line was learning whom to ask when I needed help, as well as getting to know that I wasn’t alone and that someone was there for me no matter what I needed,” Boyd said. “I love what First in Line stands for and how much everyone cares. I would absolutely recommend it as a great way to get involved and get connected with other students that you have something in common with. Choosing to be a part of First in Line is one of the best decisions that I’ve made so far in my life.”n

“I never expected to connect with my professors or even go have coffee with them like I did. They are all so welcoming and love to hear how my semesters are going.” CADE COWART AND KELLI BOYD


William Shakespeare’s pen has made a mark on the world in countless ways. But after four centuries, why are we still celebrating his work?



On April 23 of this year, the literary world observed the 400th anniversary of the death of English poet, playwright, and actor William Shakespeare. Commonly regarded as the greatest dramatist of all time, his impact on art, culture and everyday language cannot be overstated. “Renaissance scholars like to claim that Shakespeare’s language imagines how humans would sound if they were somehow greater than they are,” said Courtney Bailey Parker, who earned her PhD in English from Baylor in August 2016. “I think that’s beautiful, and I believe that reading Shakespeare and internalizing the power of his language can encourage us to live more intensely.” At the very least, the Bard did coin a number of now common words and phrases, such as “wild-goose chase,” “dead as a doornail,” “assassination,” “eyeballs” and “the game’s afoot” — often attributed to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who didn’t invent Sherlock Holmes until nearly three centuries later. Most Baylor undergraduates will study at least one of Shakespeare’s major plays as well as the better-known sonnets in a sophomore-level British literature survey, and English majors have the opportunity to delve further into his works in upper-division British literature surveys. But the deepest dive, by far, takes place in the Baylor course titled “Shakespeare: Selected Plays,” a representative survey of the playwright’s comedies, tragedies and histories, as well as the sonnets. “If there were one advanced literature course that ought to be required of English majors, it should be Shakespeare,” said Dr. Kevin Gardner, chair and professor of English. “There is something for everyone in Shakespeare — that is to say, all those who trouble to listen to him.” The “Selected Plays” course is perennially taught by renowned Shakespeare scholar Dr. Maurice Hunt, research professor of English. “I think there are seven, eight, maybe nine plays that an educated person might be at least familiar with,” Hunt said. “And what’s the value in that? It


helps you make choices about what you want in life. Shakespeare’s still important because we still need to know who we are. It takes a lifetime or more to fully discover all the parts of our human being. And, really, that’s what all of literature is good for.” Carina Zuniga, who graduated from Baylor in May 2016 with a BA in English, said she enjoyed both the entertainment and enlightenment which came by her exposure to Shakespeare. “He doesn’t shy away from the dark side of humanity, but captures it in his characters alongside the beauties of life,” she said.

RENAISSANCE MAN While no record of birth exists for William Shakespeare, he was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-uponAvon on April 26, 1564. Since it was the custom to baptize children three days following their birth, scholars believe he was born on April 23. The third of six children, he was the son of a leather merchant, John Shakespeare, and a land heiress, Mary Arden. Little information about his childhood or education exists, though it is quite possible he attended the King’s New School in Stratford where he would have learned to write and read classics. In 1582 the 18-year-old Shakespeare married a woman from Shottery, the village just a mile west of Stratford. Her name was Anne Hathaway. She was 26 and, as it happened, pregnant. “Susanna Shakespeare was born only six months after their wedding, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was this eyebrow-raising event,” Hunt said. “There was something called a ‘hand fast’ at the time, where a couple could hold hands, cold and fast, and proclaim to witnesses that they intended to be man and wife; and the Anglican church recognized that as a marriage if it was solemnized in a church later.” Susanna was Shakespeare’s first child, and two years later in 1585 twins Judith and Hamnet were born, making Shakespeare a father of three by the age of 21.

Evidence suggests that by the early 1590s Shakespeare was earning a living as an actor and playwright in London, a four-day ride on horseback from his home in Stratford. He had become a managing partner in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an acting company who later called themselves The King’s Men, following the coronation of King James I. Amid the establishment of his career in London and his reputation as a playwright, Shakespeare experienced unexpected tragedy, losing his only son –– Judith’s twin, Hamnet –– in 1596 due to unknown causes. Hamnet was only 11 years old when he died. It’s impossible to know whether and to what extent this loss, the loss of his father in 1601, or the burden of an unhappy marriage to Anne Hathaway (Shakespeare’s sonnets, Hunt said, present a lurid story of an affair with a dark-complected woman) influenced Shakespeare’s work. It is tempting to speculate about young Hamnet, many years after his birth, inspiring the name of the most ambivalent Dane in all of literature, or about the catharsis in the reunion at the end of "Twelfth Night" between Viola and her twin, Sebastian, whom she believes to be dead from the opening scene. “Beyond speculation, it’s impossible to know whether Shakespeare’s ‘dark period’ coincides with dark circumstances in his life,” Hunt said. “He wrote a number of dark comedies — his last comedies — and then with the great tragedies, there is a kind of darker period it seems. So when he comes to comedy such as "Measure for Measure" or "All’s Well that Ends Well" in 1604 to 1606, they have a dark quality and a relative lack of closure in them. There’s dissonance. Then he stops writing comedy per se — comedy that has the conventions and the closure. It’s as though he has kind of exhausted his thoughts or the genre.” He wrote far less after 1610, his final plays including "The Winter’s Tale," "Cymbeline" and "The Tempest," and at least two collaborations likely with his successor to “house playwright” of the

King’s Men. No plays at all are attributed to Shakespeare after 1613. “Shakespeare’s handwriting is shaky on his will, as though he may have had something wrong with him earlier on,” Hunt said. “But no one knows.” This document, in which Shakespeare describes himself to be in perfect health, was signed within a month of his death. He died on April 23, 1616. “We know he died on his birthday, but we don’t know much about the cause of death,” Hunt said. “One report indicates that fellow poets Ben Jonson, Michael Drayton and Shakespeare were together drinking and Shakespeare got an ague (a feverish illness) or something afterwards and died.” Shakespeare left most of his estate, which was by that time considerable, to his eldest, Susanna, for the purpose of passing it on to a male grandchild. The only mention of his wife, Anne Hathaway Shakespeare, in his will was to leave her his “second best bed.” He was buried in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford — the same church where he was baptized.

FOR ALL PEOPLES AND TIMES A preface to the 1623 published collection of 36 Shakespeare plays known as the First Folio contains a tribute to Shakespeare written by Ben Jonson. In the poem, Jonson describes his late friend with seeming clairvoyance: “He was not of an age but for all time!” Indeed there is no escaping Shakespeare’s abiding influence, which is by no means limited to the English-speaking world. After all, his plays have been translated into nearly every spoken language. Before joining the faculty at Baylor, Dr. Luke Taylor, assistant professor of English, taught in China and made use of Shakespeare’s work. “We performed a version of 'Romeo and Juliet' with ‘Chinese characteristics,’” said Taylor, whose research interests include Renaissance and 17th century literature. “Where Shakespeare leaves the star-crossed lovers dead, my students adapted a well-known Chinese

story to have them resurrected as butterflies. In my second year in China, teaching at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a colleague produced a complete Chinese translation of Shakespeare’s sonnets. My guess is that ‘Sha-shi-biya,’ Shakespeare’s Chinese name, will continue to thrive in China.” A native of Scotland, Taylor completed his undergraduate studies at Cambridge and can attest to the enduring enthusiasm for Shakespeare throughout Britain. “It’s actually very strong in both Britain and the United States,” he said. “In Britain, of course, visitors can see Shakespeare’s birthplace and retirement home in Stratford-upon-Avon, and experience a reconstructed version of Shakespeare’s own Globe Theatre in London. But I’ve seen some amazing Shakespeare productions in America, and, anecdotally, more enthusiasm for local, amateur Shakespeare groups.” Beyond the classroom and the stage, there are more than 500 movies either based on Shakespeare’s scripts or credited to the playwright in some way, and some of the most critically acclaimed dramas on television feature Shakespeare’s original plots and conventions. His genius lives on not only in our speech and entertainment, but

indeed physically: 233 original copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio are believed to have survived, of which 82 belong to the Folger Shakespeare Library. Throughout 2016, the Folger has hosted "First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare," a tour of the First Folio to all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The exhibition is expected to draw at least 750,000 visitors, some of whom will drive for hours and cross state lines just to glimpse this vestige of literary history, the volume opened to the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy from "Hamlet." But why? Why after four centuries are we still so in love with Will? “Because after 400 years, we’re still human,” Hunt said. “Better than any author I know, Shakespeare explores what it is to be human. Even as we enter a post-human age, or this struggle to control technology so that it doesn’t become smarter than us, we’re still every bit as human as we were while listening to Homeric poems recited so long ago. We’re every bit as human in terms of our need to be loved, to love others, our fears, jealousies, torments, pleasures –– we’re still the same. Human nature hasn’t changed, and Shakespeare is the consummate one who is curious and uses his plays to explore.” n

First Person

Focusing on the Future An Appreciation of the Liberal Arts

BY JULIE DEGRAFFENRIED Dr. Julie deGraffenried, associate professor of history, is a member of Baylor University’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest scholastic honor society.

When I was asked to deliver the charge to Baylor University’s Spring 2016 Phi Beta Kappa initiates, perhaps unsurprisingly, I thought about history: the history of Phi Beta Kappa, the history of this particular PBK chapter at Baylor, my own history, those who taught me history. à


All of these histories are bound together by love and appreciation for the liberal arts and sciences –– for a liberal education that prepares one to deal with an ever-changing, increasingly diverse world, that exposes one to the sciences, to cultures, languages and societies; that develops a sense of social responsibility by tackling the hard questions; that asks one to apply knowledge to real problems; that challenges one to grow personally and intellectually; that ensures that one think, write and communicate clearly, powerfully and creatively. This is precisely the kind of education Baylor provides its students, an education that embodies the PBK motto, “Love of learning is the guide of life.” Liberal education is under fire these days. It has been called irrelevant, elitist, anachronistic. We read that it isn’t costeffective or marketable. It won’t get you a job, which seems to be the be-all and end-all of higher ed today. We hear, “In times like these…in an economy like this…what are you going to do with a liberal arts and sciences major?” Let's think back to 1776, when Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the College of William and Mary. Wouldn’t you think that young adults might have bigger things on their minds than “love of learning?” How about a Declaration of Independence? A war with the (much more powerful) British? Grave decisions about loyalty and rebellion? Call-ups? Runaway inflation and a collapsing state economy? Occupation by British troops? After all, the College of William and Mary was on the edge of Williamsburg, Virginia –– the capital of the Virginian Commonwealth until 1780. Yet, in the midst of uncertainty, PBK founders John Heath, Thomas Smith, Richard Booker, Armistead Smith and John Jones determined that a society based on free debate of ideas and excellence in liberal education made perfect sense. Why? Because they focused on the future, not just the present. They saw the peace and grandeur of any United States of America as inextricably tied to the fates of “lovers of scholarly merit.” With the war far from over, the decision to extend PBK chapters to Connecticut and Massachusetts in 1779 was a hopeful gesture, a move toward forming “the Foundation of Continental Happiness and Union.”

Fast-forward nearly two centuries and some 1,500 miles to the southwest, to the early 1950s at Baylor University. Dr. Henry L. Robinson had come to Baylor to chair the French and Italian department in 1948. Those who knew Robinson remember a short, articulate, formal person with great style, as well as a man with a great love for the symphony and a trademark brown suit. Robinson spearheaded a 25-year crusade to bring a PBK charter to Baylor, giving nearly everything he had to the laborious process of preparing the 100-plus-page application. PBK only accepts a few new chapters every three years. Robinson and the Baylor committee tried five times –– in 1952, 1964, 1967, 1970 and 1973 –– before finally succeeding the sixth time in 1976. Such an effort on Baylor’s behalf required great perseverance, and Robinson had it –– in abundance. Why? Because he focused on the future, not just the present. All the work that Robinson put in was for the benefits a chapter could provide Baylor’s students. He saw our commitment to liberal education as worthy of acknowledgment by PBK and Baylor’s membership in the oldest and most prestigious honor society’s network as part of its path to national repute. Former Baylor professor and Arts & Sciences dean Wallace Daniel, who served on Robinson’s committee in the 1970s, notes that all Baylor PBK members “live in his shadow…he is one of Baylor’s truly unforgettable people.” When Robinson passed away in 1980, his family insisted on a generous gift to Baylor’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter that continues to fund the eponymous Robinson Scholarship. My own experience at Baylor in the early 1990s affirms Dr. Robinson’s deeply held beliefs in our university. My professors in the Department of History taught me by action and example what it means to love learning. Dr. James Vardaman showed me the importance of belonging to a community of learners. He and his wife, Dean Elizabeth Vardaman, invited us into their home to share a meal and conversation. Professor Robert Reid captivated me with the power of a great story, Dr. Paul Armitstead helped me appreciate how the bizarre enlivened the story of the past and Dr. David

Longfellow demonstrated the importance of reading widely. Dr. James SoRelle, with his love for baseball and social justice, made clear that scholars have both life and responsibility beyond academe. Dr. Daniel, who served as my advisor, taught me to ask good questions and embrace history’s complexities. All of my professors embodied a delight in the ongoing and everyday process of scholarship. Why? Because they focused on the future, not just the present. Although it might sound strange to say that of historians, it’s the truth. My professors’ investment in me, and in all of their students, showcased the riches of a liberal education, from an appreciation for beautiful language to the enjoyment of witty, humane conversation, from an admiration for other cultures to finding immense pleasure in a good book. The values that underlie a liberal education are translatable, far beyond an English classroom in Carroll Science or a lab in the Baylor Sciences Building. The life of the mind is not a dead end, but a gateway. Returning to the question: what can you do with a liberal arts and sciences major? I ask, what can’t you do with a liberal arts and sciences major? Nothing is more suited to “bringing the mind to the fullness of its capacities” or preparing students for a complex world. Take a look at the “who’s who” of PBK nationally: 17 past U.S. presidents, seven of our eight current Supreme Court justices and hundreds of Nobel Prize winners, not to mention actors, investment bankers, artists, writers, athletes, teachers, doctors and internet executives. The point is not the jobs they hold, but an attitude they embrace and an education that allowed them to pursue their goals in a variety of ways. Jobs are good (I love mine!) but let a job be a means to an end, not an end in itself. In "The Tempest," Shakespeare writes, “What is past is prologue.” An undergraduate liberal education in the College of Arts & Sciences is an invaluable part of a student’s prologue for a lifetime love of learning. So my hope would be that all of us –– no matter what job we hold –– would keep on learning, and would consider the diploma received here not as an end of education, but as an invitation to seek more of it. n

Q&A David McCullough

Historian and Pulitzer Prizewinning author David McCullough visited Baylor University on Sept. 26 to deliver the 2016 BeallRussell Lecture in the Humanities. McCullough has written numerous New York Times best sellers, including Truman, John Adams and his latest book, The Wright Brothers. He’s also served as host or narrator of historical documentaries and television series such as “American Experience” and “Smithsonian World.” Prior to his appearance on campus, Randy Fiedler spoke with McCullough to find out what projects he’s working on and what thoughts he has about the teaching and enjoyment of history in the United States.


You grew up in Pennsylvania, but do you have any memories of Texas? Since the time I was 16 I have been coming to Texas and I love it…I love the exaggerations. It used to be more evident than it is now. When Texans get talking they know any story worth telling is worth exaggerating. I always got a kick out of that. It just seems to be so American, so human. What project now is taking up most of your time? I’m busy with a number of ideas for my next book. I’m not ready to say what it is yet because I haven’t decided, but I’m exploring two research interviews and so forth. Several different ideas, each of which I am confident would make a very good book, but something has to click and I suddenly realize “this is the one,” and that hasn’t happened yet.

How much research do you typically do before you start writing a book? This may sound odd. I used to not say it aloud to anyone, particularly to my academic friends, but I never undertake a subject I know much about. If I knew all about it I wouldn’t want to write the book. For me the research and the writing of the book is the joy, the adventure, the travels to a continent I’ve never set foot on. I spend several months, maybe as many as six months, researching the first part of the book and then I get going, because if you spend too much time on research at the start you’re going to wind up going down a lot of roads you don’t need to bother with. Which of your books surprised you the most, where it turned out in a way you weren’t expecting? They have all surprised me, and in no case have I failed to find something that’s new, something hasn’t been written about before.

Do you think there is more of an interest in history these days among the general public? I think there’s much more interest, in good part because of the attention the television medium and film are giving it. I think some of it is superb, and I admire tremendously many of the producers and directors that are doing it…I think there is a need for this in general everywhere, because the attention given to history in our educational system has been declining steadily and we’ve been raising several generations now of young Americans who are by and large historically illiterate…As a consequence, people get to be in their 30s or 40s and realize how much they don’t know about Theodore Roosevelt or the Great Depression, whatever it might be. So when they hear that there is going to be a good documentary on television or a new movie out, they will go to it. You mentioned the decline in the attention given to history in schools. Has history been pushed to the side in the curriculum? I think the humanities are being pushed aside. It’s not just history –– it’s the use of the English language.

Something like half of the business schools or nearly half in the country now require their incoming freshmen (to) take a basic writing course because they can’t write a presentable letter or report or proposal…I think it’s nearly 80 percent of all the colleges and universities in the country today no longer require any history at all in order to graduate. Now, I’m a firm believer that history (and) English should be required, not only because I do think it’s necessary that we know these things, but I think it’s also important to convey to young people that in life some things are required. Are you worried about the country? Oh, very worried, yes. I’m talking about it up and down the land and I’ve become kind of a crusader or evangelical on the subject…I lecture constantly at universities and colleges so I know how much they don’t know –– these present day students. I’ll give you an example. I was teaching a lecture at a university in Missouri a while back. Afterwards this young woman, a very bright looking sophomore, came up and said she was so glad she came to hear my talk because until she heard what I had to say she never realized that the original 13 colonies were all on the east coast! What makes a good history teacher? The whole energy, the whole magic of a great teacher is that he or she loves what they are teaching and conveys that enthusiasm, that eagerness to learn and know more to their students. I think our teachers are the most important people in our society and they should be respected, honored and supported by all of us for that very reason. They are the ones who are going to shape how these young people are going to turn out. Do you anticipate a day when you’ll set your pen down and retire from research and writing? Oh, sure I do –– but I don’t think I will, because I “retired” 50 years ago when I set out to write my first book. I’ve

been doing exactly what I love to do most. There is nothing I could do in retirement that I would enjoy as much as I do working. What is your writing method? I work on the old standard Royal office typewriter that I bought 50 years ago secondhand when it was 25 years old at the time. I bought it in order to write my first book, and I’ve written everything I’ve ever written on it. It’s 75 years old and there is nothing wrong. I have to change the ribbons every now and then. People say to me, don’t you realize how much faster you could go if you used a word processor? Of course I know –– I don’t want to go faster. If anything, I’d probably do better if I went slower. Is there anything else about your life that you want to mention? I think that reading is essential to not just education but to a good life, and I read a lot. I have to read so much history and biography as part of my work, but when I’m reading for pleasure I read fiction and reread fiction that I’ve read 20 or 30 years ago, and I find I don’t necessarily react to it as I did then…And I love to paint. I feel that anybody who wants to write, wants to become a writer, should take courses in drawing and painting because it requires that you see things in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise. What do you paint? I do landscapes and I love to do architecture, paint buildings. Have you ever displayed your works or collected them in book form? No, not yet. I’m thinking about it. People are encouraging me to do it. I’m tempted to write a book with my own illustrations. I think it’s good for the spirit. As you know, you don’t think about anything else when you’re (painting). And you don’t have to use any words. It’s a real vacation. People say, “I’m not very good,” (but) you don’t have to be good to enjoy it. n

A Historic Family Legacy BY RANDY FIEDLER




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For more than a century, three generations of the Guittard family have both shaped Baylor University’s Department of History and supported its continuing goal of educating students and launching the careers of future historians. In 1902, a young historian by the name of Francis Gevrier Guittard arrived in Waco to accept a job teaching in the Baylor Academy –– where students quite not yet ready for university-level work were drilled in basic subjects. Guittard was a native of Ohio who had come to Texas in 1886 and taught in a number of small public schools to earn money for college. By 1890, Guittard had saved up enough money to allow him enroll at Baylor, but was forced to leave after a few years of study to earn more money for college by selling books door-todoor, then by teaching school again. He finally completed his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Chicago in 1901 and added a master’s degree from the same school before accepting the offer to teach at Baylor.

SERVING BAYLOR Guittard’s intellect and teaching abilities helped him rise quickly at Baylor. Two years after starting in the Baylor Academy he was promoted to the main university as instructor of history and political science. In 1910, when history and political science became separate departments at Baylor, Guittard organized the history department and became its first chair, a position he would hold for almost 40 years. During his time at Baylor it’s estimated that Guittard taught about 12,000 students. An article in a 1933 issue of the Lariat remarked upon his grasp of the details that make history a fascinating subject of study: “Does [Guittard] know his history? He can tell his classes about George Washington’s plum-colored satin pants and Frederic Barbarossa’s red beard.” But history was not all Guittard imparted to his students. A tribute published after his death noted, “He attempted to show the students who came to him from various parts of the country that there is a cultural life every bit as important for happiness and good

living as the materialistic life which they already knew.” Another tribute noted, “His intellectual integrity and his simple dignity commended the respect of his students. His patience, his fine courtesy, his ready sympathy and his occasional flashes of humor won their lasting affection.” Guittard also served Baylor outside the classroom. He was the chief marshal for commencement ceremonies for 46 years, and was one of a small group of campus leaders President Samuel Palmer Brooks called on to organize the university’s first Homecoming celebration in 1909. During the first Homecoming parade, which he called a “pageant,” Guittard served as assistant marshal. And when distinguished guests such as President Harry Truman and Vice President John Nance Garner were invited to the Baylor campus to speak, Guittard would often be the man who helped present them with honorary degrees. When he wasn’t working, Guittard could be found indulging his passion for golf, which he played almost every day when the weather was good enough (and he found that almost every day was good enough for golf). He also played the cornet and took part in the school band at the University of Chicago and later in a faculty orchestra at Baylor. At the age of 65 Guittard earned a PhD degree from Stanford University. He retired 19 years later as history chair in 1949, and was still teaching when he died on April 28, 1950. At the time, he was Baylor’s oldest active faculty member at age 83.

ENDURING LEGACY The impact of the Guittard family on the study of history at Baylor might have begun with F.G. Guittard, but it didn’t end there. Upon wife Josephine’s death in 1958, F.G. and Josephine Guittard in their will established a permanent endowment for scholarships awarded to graduate students in history at Baylor. The first two Guittard History Fellowships were awarded during the 1959-1960 academic year, and since then about 75 graduate students have received them. Almost a half-century later in 2007, Guittard’s grandchildren Charles Guittard (BA ’64), John Guittard and Mary Guittard Voegtle added to the

Fellowship, making it possible for Baylor to establish a PhD program in history in 2009. These contributions were made possible by a gift fund, for which grandson John Guittard was the legal architect, established by the estates of the Honorable Clarence A. Guittard, son of F.G. Guittard, and wife Mary Lou Kee Guittard. Philip Guittard (BA ’61), another grandson, also contributed to the Fellowship Fund several years later. “I think it’s nice to add to something that someone else has already created because you can build on what they’ve done and make a bigger and better thing out of it,” Charles Guittard said. In 2014 the Baylor history department, in recognition of F.G. Guittard’s service to the department and in appreciation of the Guittard family’s support, established the Guittard Book Award, presented each year for a distinguished work of original scholarship in history by a Baylor faculty member or history graduate. Now, the descendants of Dr. F.G. Guittard are poised once again to expand the Guittard legacy of service to Baylor. This fall, his grandchildren have established a new history scholarship that provides financial assistance to undergraduate history majors –– the Guittard-Verlander-Voegtle Endowed Scholarship Fund in History. Support for Baylor runs throughout the Guittard family. Mary Guittard Voegtle and Hank Voegtle, while not Baylor graduates, are passionate students of history and have held numerous positions of leadership between them in organizations devoted to history and scholarship. John Guittard has made important contributions to the Guittard History Fellowship, while Patricia Verlander Guittard, the wife of Charles Guittard, has been an enthusiastic supporter of Guittard scholarships. Dr. Kim Kellison, associate dean of humanities and social sciences, says the new fund is just the latest example of the Guittards’ continuing dedication. “The Guittard family has made an remarkable impact on the Baylor department of history, and our students and our faculty have benefitted immensely from their generosity,” Kellison said. “We are extremely grateful for their support.” n

One Bear Place #97344 Waco, TX 76798-7344


Each year, Baylor students do important research alongside faculty members at the Lake Waco Wetlands, a habitat teeming with native animals and plants that covers more than 180 acres. This past summer, Baylor hosted environmental science students from Hong Kong Baptist University on a wetlands excursion.