Baylor Arts & Sciences Fall 2013

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>> A distinctive approach to prehealth >> Medicine meets the humanities >> William Hillis: Man on a Mission

Pro Futuris, the strategic vision For Baylor University,

states that we will emphasize the health sciences in the coming decades. Just why are the health sciences so important? More than anything, Baylor has a storied history in health science excellence. “Baylor” is the preeminent name in healthcare across the state of Texas. It is reflected in entities that include not only Baylor University in Waco, but the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the Baylor Health Care System in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (both outgrowths of Baylor’s early work in the industry) and now Baylor Scott & White Health. Also, consider that almost one-half of the 1,700 freshmen entering the College of Arts & Sciences each year declare some sort of prehealth career track. Consider further that approximately 150 of our premedical students are accepted into medical schools each year, and add to that the fact that we now have scientists from Baylor departments conducting research important to the future of health sciences, including cancer research and clinical outreach. We as an institution must be able to deliver the level of expertise in teaching and research that our students need to succeed, and that we as an institution achieve the level of excellence synomous with Baylor. To be a leader in the health sciences requires an ability to see the challenges ahead in a highly competitive and ever-changing enterprise.

Consequently, if Baylor is to achieve its Pro Futuris goals, the College of Arts & Sciences must remain vigilant to achieve its goals as a response to Pro Futuris. To do this, we will emphasize during the coming decade the hiring of health science faculty in Arts & Sciences to build strengths in undergraduate and graduate course offerings, to provide greater opportunities for undergraduate research experiences and to produce more scholarly research important to society. In the context of what we aspire to be as articulated in our University’s mission, we want to have a voice at the national table on issues related to the health sciences. To do so will require much work on the part of Baylor and its faculty, staff and students. The importance of this task ahead of us is the reason we have devoted most of the content of this issue of Baylor Arts & Sciences magazine to the health sciences. I hope this publication will give you a better understanding of some of the ways that Baylor University is advancing medical research and training the health care leaders of tomorrow.





The Fine Art of Healing edical humanities M looks at the big picture

Contents 2

Rx for Success

Baylor’s personal approach to prehealth education


A Major Coup

Cancer researcher John Wood comes to Baylor

16 Man on a Mission

Dr. William Hillis inspires student researchers

18 Precocious Diagnosis A student’s research on combat injuries is attracting attention

20 Unexpected Ministry How Baylor Health CEO Joel Allison found his calling

22 First Person

Journalism student Krista Pirtle hits the big time

24 32

News & Notes Our Back Pages

Burleson Hall turns 125



Heart to Heart

Artificial heart surgery pioneer Lyle Joyce

Baylor Arts & Sciences is the magazine 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 26 academic departments dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge across the humanities, social sciences and sciences. 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 2013

PRESIDENT Ken Starr | Provost Elizabeth Davis | DEAN, COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES Lee Nordt DIVISIONAL DEAN FOR HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Robyn Driskell | DIVISIONAL DEAN FOR SCIENCES Kenneth T. Wilkins EDITOR Randy Fiedler | CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Julie Campbell Carlson, Randy Fiedler Photography Matthew Minard, Robert Rogers | ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Clayton Thompson, Chelsea White DirectorS of Development Jim Shepelwich, Rose Youngblood

andy By R



Baylor’s personal approach to health sciences education gives students an edge Ask any group of incoming Baylor freshmen what they will be studying the next few years, and there’s a good chance that some of them –– perhaps many of them –– will tell you they came to the University because they know it’s a great training ground for future healthcare professionals. Despite the current challenges and uncertainty in healthcare nationwide, Baylor’s reputation as one of the best places to prepare for a medical career remains undiminished. “People tell us we’re good,” Dr. Jaime Diaz-Granados, chair and professor of psychology and neuroscience, said. “I would put our best students up against any students in the country.” The secret behind Baylor’s success in prehealth education lies in maintaining traditional strengths and ties while fostering innovations that lead students to greater achievement.

“Our fa

Strong Numbers Prehealth majors have a significant impact on enrollment in both Baylor in general and the College of Arts & Sciences in particular. In fall 2012, more than a third of first-time freshman students enrolled at Baylor were prehealth majors. The large majority of these –– 73 percent –– have come to Baylor on a premedicine track seeking to become physicians. On the other end of the academic arc, Baylor has an excellent track record in getting its students accepted to medical school and other professional training programs.

A Healthy Reputation Dr. Rich Sanker, director of Baylor’s Prehealth Studies Office in the College of Arts & Sciences, believes there are two main reasons why the University’s prehealth program has such a great reputation. One reason is Baylor’s historic commitment to healthcare education, which has been built over more than a century. “There is the perception with the Baylor brand that the University is invested in the world of medicine,” Sanker said. “Prospective students want to be part of that world, and they believe that by coming to Baylor they will be. That’s one reason we diligently maintain connections with independent entities such as Baylor Healthcare and the Baylor College of Medicine –– so there are opportunities for our students to interact with our colleagues in Dallas and Houston.” Sanker said the other main reason the prehealth program has such a high reputation is Baylor’s personal style of instruction. “Our faculty make themselves available to work with students, including undergraduates,” Sanker said. “Students know they’re going to have a relationship with their professors, which is a very rare thing in higher education today.” “At many large universities, if you are taught by one of the core faculty you see them only in class, and office hours are held by graduate students,” Diaz-Granados added. “Oftentimes the classes themselves are taught by graduate students, so undergraduate access to faculty is very limited. Here at Baylor, we’re maintaining student access to faculty.”


thems culty mak e elves a v ailable to wor k w stude nts, in ith clu under gradu ding (that’s a ) a ver tes… y rare thing i n higher educa tion to day.” Dr. Rich Sanker

Attractive Distinctives Other important factors combine to make Baylor’s prehealth education program stand out. Hands-on experience Baylor’s prehealth program puts a major emphasis on giving students hands-on experience. “Other prehealth programs provide advising, but we go well beyond that,” Sanker said. “We’re not just going to tell a student what it’s like to be a physician. We’re going to use our contacts with hospitals, professional colleagues and alumni to allow students to interact in meaningful ways with health professionals and discover whether or not this is their calling.”

Special programming Prehealth students are able to take part in a number of learning opportunities outside of class. “We provide programs and workshops on many different topics,” Sanker said. “Some workshops help students understand the curriculum they need to follow to apply to professional school, and how to succeed in those courses. We’ve also created a study skills course called ‘Making Prehealth

Bearable’ where we discuss how to manage your materials and time, and how to work with faculty to maximize your performance.” Another course offered to undergraduates, “Introduction to the Health Professions,” makes students aware that prehealth doesn’t mean choosing between being a doctor or a nurse. The course introduces students to Baylor’s other options for healthcare study, such as physical and occupational therapy, dentistry, optometry, psychology and neuroscience, communication sciences and disorders, nutrition sciences and other fields.

Student organizations More than a dozen organizations are open to prehealth students, including a Baylor chapter of the American Medical Student Association. “AMSA brings in doctors and other speakers, and sponsors seminars on topics such as study skills, research experiences, mentoring relationships and opportunities to shadow healthcare professionals,” Sanker said. Other groups include the Multicultural Association of Prehealth Students, the prehealth honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta and organizations for students in specific health disciplines. There are also groups focused on community service, global health, research and medical ethics.

Service and Leadership Each year, Baylor prehealth students serve in local organizations involved with healthcare such as Mission Waco, hospices and the Family Health Care Center. The University also sponsors medical mission trips each year to countries such as Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador and Ghana. “Service and leadership are parts of a Baylor education,” Sanker said. “Our students are able to demonstrate that fact not by putting out a nice essay about how they like people, but by showing they’ve been serving for many years. Professional schools are looking for exactly that quality of character in their students.” Mentorship Students have come to realize that the best way to get good advice on navigating academic life is sometimes to ask their peers who’ve “been there and done that.” Recently a group of Baylor prehealth students created the Medical Mentors program to offer such assistance. “Upperclassmen are available as mentors for the younger prehealth students who have questions, because these students have taken the classes and done very well in them,” Jaden Schupp, a 2013 graduate and Medical Mentors co-founder, said. On an even larger scale, Baylor faculty continue to uphold a long tradition of mentoring their students. “Helping our undergraduates realize their dreams of becoming medical professionals, while helping them also understand the frustrations, rewards and disappointments that can and will occur, is a great responsibility, honor and privilege,” Hugh H. Riley, senior lecturer in psychology and neuroscience, said. “In addition to mentoring students as scientists, our instructors and academic advisors engage in mentoring them as professionals,” Dr. Erika L. Abel, lecturer and undergraduate program director in biology, said. “We truly care about assisting students in developing and refining their career 6 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

goals and career management skills. My role as an advisor is one of the most personally rewarding duties I have at Baylor.” Research opportunities Baylor students are so interested in scientific research they have started their own organization to help them in their investigations. Taylor Kohn, a University Scholar and 2013 premedicine program graduate, helped start the student organization BURST –– which stands for Baylor Undergraduate Research, Science and Technology. “We found there were a lot of students interested in doing research, but they didn’t know how to get involved,” Kohn said. “A large part of BURST is working with the prehealth office to figure out how to prepare students to work with faculty in research labs.” He added that being involved in research helps students when applying to medical and professional schools. Living-learning center This fall Baylor inaugurated the Science and Health Living Learning Center, composed of the residents of Hallie Earle Hall in the new East Village Residential Community. This 354-bed residential unit allows students from Baylor’s prehealth, nursing and science programs to live together and take part in mutual activities designed to enhance learning. Dr. Rizalia Klausmeyer, associate director of the Prehealth Studies Office, serves also as program director of the new living-learning center. “Students here are helping each other as they live together. It’s easier for them to interact with their classmates to form study groups,” Klausmeyer said. “At the same time, we are able to provide them with special opportunities to volunteer in health-related fields and learn from healthcare professionals we invite to visit. These kinds of things help us to better prepare them to be good candidates for professional schools and graduate programs.”

Bright future Pro Futuris, Baylor’s strategic vision, places much importance on strengthening the University’s commitment to quality health education. “Pro Futuris recognizes that much of Baylor’s brand is related to teaching and research in the health sciences,” Dr. Lee C. Nordt, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “And since Baylor’s success in this area depends in large part on what we do here in the College of Arts & Sciences, we are more committed than ever to making sure that we support our healthcare programs with the resources they need to succeed.” Visit for information about all of Baylor’s prehealth programs.

oring t n e m ion to ientists, t i d d a “In sc s a s t ing n stude ge in mentor .” ga als (we) en s profession them a L. Abel Dr. Erika

there help for Q: IsBaylor premed students who discover it isn’t for them?

answer A: The in a nutshell — yes.

A significant number of students wanting to be doctors eventually realize it’s the wrong fit for them, and Baylor’s prehealth office does its best to assist those students in finding their calling. “We want them to understand that if they get a master’s in global health, for example, they can still do great mission work. You don’t need to be a physician to affect the lives of others,” Dr. Rich Sanker, director of the prehealth science studies office, said. “You can help people equally well as a nurse practitioner or a public health official, and as a chemist or neuroscientist you can contribute to research to understand how the body works. Those things are just as valuable (as medicine).” Sanker advises new prehealth students to take their harder introductory science classes in their freshman year so they can find out early how well they like them. If a change to a major field of study is called for, the sooner the better. “If students can discover they want to do something different their freshman year, it’s not hard to shift curriculum that first or second semester,” Sanker said. “But until the student comes to terms with the fact they no longer want to be a physician, or that a particular curriculum isn’t suited to their abilities, then an advisor can’t find out their real interests and modify their academic plan.”


Baylor medical humanities students are encouraged to see the bigger picture and treat patients as more than just symptoms

By Randy Fiedler

Baylor University’s groundbreaking medical humanities program is training future doctors who will not only be skilled clinicians and researchers, but will have the interpersonal skills and empathy required to treat patients as human beings –– and not just medical cases. “What we try to do in the medical humanities program is equip students with skills to deliver good medical care while not losing the natural empathy they have for people,” said program director, Dr. James A. Marcum. “Those are the kinds of physicians who are going to be able to connect with patients.” To describe Baylor’s medical humanities program accurately, it might be helpful to start by explaining what the program is not –– namely, it is not a less rigorous path to medical school that substitutes easier humanities classes for harder ones in the sciences. “This is not about either getting a medical humanities degree or being educated in the sciences,” Dr. Lauren Barron, associate director of the medical humanities program, said. Barron, a physician who still sees patients on a limited basis, said medical humanities students must pass all science courses required of traditional prehealth students,

in addition to 30 extra hours of medical humanities courses. Those additional courses include surveys of the health profession and the doctor-patient relationship, as well as classes on topics such as medical ethics and research, critical thinking, death and dying, and disability and society. There are also classes that introduce students to the intersections of medicine with philosophy, Christian spirituality and the visual arts. “This gives students a chance to explore other areas they may be interested in that complement what they’re doing in medicine,” Barron said. Estela Rodriguez Alonso, a future geriatrician, is one of a number of medical humanities students who volunteer at a local hospice. She said what she learned in her “Death and Dying” class about terminally ill patients has taught her valuable lessons she’s already put to use. “Knowing how to treat and communicate with (terminally ill people), how to be compassionate and understanding with them, and how to support them emotionally, is important,” Alonso said. Thanks to his time in another course, medical humanities major Tyler Jones discovered his calling.

“The class looked at the physicianpatient relationship and the meaning of suffering,” Jones said. “It was in that class I realized I wanted to be a doctor. It’s where I found the meaning and purpose for what I was doing, and I got really excited about it. It made me want to go out there and do this every single day of my life.” Baylor’s medical humanities program had its beginning in the 1990s, when faculty members from both the humanities and sciences were compelled to offer a class that asked future healthcare professionals to think about the intersection of medicine and the humanities. Dr. William Hillis, Baylor’s Cornelia Marschall Smith Distinguished Professor of Biology, taught that first medical humanities class with English professor Ann Miller and associate philosophy professor Dr. Kay Toombs. “We believed that future doctors should be exposed to the humanities to learn how to be better human beings,” Hillis said. “The complaint from most medical schools was that medical students had all the science they needed, but they weren’t humanly oriented people. They needed to have basic skills in bedside manner and know about ethics.” Interest grew, and a minor in medical humanities was created in 2000. When Baylor began offering a major in 2006, it became the first university in America with an undergraduate degree in medical humanities. Medical humanities students have opportunities outside of classes to expand their knowledge. One of the highlights of each year is the annual medical humanities retreat, where students hear from esteemed physicians and medical experts from across the country. Students can also take part in organizations such as the Baylor Medical Ethics Discussion Society, and this past spring the medical humanities program sponsored its first medical missions trip (see story on following page). As Baylor graduation approaches, students have found that the medical humanities major helps them with one of their most immediate concerns –– getting into medical school. Jaden Schupp, a Rhodes Scholarship finalist who graduated from Baylor with a medical humanities degree in spring 2013, is now enrolled at Baylor College of Medicine. She said her unique background gave her an edge when applying.


“In all my medical school interviews they asked me about the medical humanities program,” Schupp said. “They wanted to know what I had gleaned from my experiences there. I think it was definitely beneficial to my application.” Once someone begins medical school, exposure to the humanities gives that person an additional edge, Marcum said. “What I’ve heard from some medical school administrators is that students who have a medical humanities background perform better, especially during the final two years when they are working with patients in the clinic,” he said. “They have the better people skills and do a lot better applying the science in the clinic. They’re more mature in their ability to address the human condition.” Marcum said a medical humanities background will prove even more valuable beginning in 2015, when the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) adds a section requiring students to answer questions on behavioral and social medicine, ethics and critical thinking –– all subjects taught in Baylor’s program.

“We try to…equip students with skills to deliver good medical care while not losing the natural empathy they have for people.” –Dr. James Marcum

Once medical humanities students finish medical school and begin practicing, Barron believes they will not only be better critical thinkers, but they are better able to go the distance. “I get emails back from my students saying, ‘I’m not burned out on the sciences like a lot of my colleagues are,’” Barron said. “It’s a richer experience for them, and while I can’t prove it, I can’t help but think that their satisfaction is going to be greater. That’s going to translate into patient satisfaction.” The advantages of Baylor’s medical humanities program have not been lost on prospective students, many of whom learn about it before starting at the University. The program’s popularity has meant that it must turn away applicants each year. “We currently have about 200 students enrolled in medical humanities, and we could easily have 300 or 400 if we had the resources,” Marcum said. One great boon to the program’s future has been financial gifts from the DeBakey Medical Foundation. The Foundation has invested $1 million in the DeBakey Endowed Scholarship in Medical Humanities over the past four years, allowing top students to qualify for two-year, $5,000 scholarships. “Medical humanities is a program that is now on the cutting edge; it’s one that other programs across the country are trying to emulate,” Dr. Lee C. Nordt, Baylor College of Arts & Sciences dean, said. “It validates the program to have that type of support from a worldrenowned medical foundation.”

Dr. Lauren Barron with students.

Sh Ba ow in y lo g a h u m r’s S an in er iti au va es gu nt By Ra m ra ’s H nd y iss l m e Fi ed During spring le io ed art r break in March n ic 2013, more than 20 tr a Baylor students and ip l faculty members took part in the first mission trip sponsored by the University’s medical humanities program. The group traveled to the medical school of the Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador, a Christian university in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. “Going to this medical school and interacting with the students and faculty there gave our students a real perspective on what their medical education is going to look like,” Dr. Lauren Barron, associate director of the medical humanities program, said. “It also gave them an appreciation for what a privilege it is to study medicine, and a respect for what physicians in other countries are doing. They learned things from the doctors in El Salvador that they’re not going to be able to learn anywhere else.” The Baylor group interacted with students, faculty and staff at the Universidad Evangélica medical school, spending two days accompanying them on rounds at a public hospital. Dr. Elaine Lambert, a California rheumatologist and Baylor alumnus, accompanied the group on the trip. “We got the chance to see the Salvadoran physicians in their teaching rounds and taking care of patients, and we marveled at their dedication,” Lambert said. “The nurses and doctors are doing their very best to take care of people with very little in the way of equipment or supplies. They’re doing everything they can to try to deliver care in very challenging circumstances, and the compassion and love they show their patients is unbelievable.” Baylor students got to do more than simply watch others work during the trip. They accompanied doctors from the medical school out to a rural village with little access to healthcare, then helped them put on a free medical clinic, treating more than 200 people in five hours. “During the clinic (a Salvadoran doctor) was teaching us how to examine patients and what questions to ask,” medical humanities student Tyler Jones said. “We were examining patients, looking in their throats and ears, and then the doctor would ask us what we thought was happening, and what we needed to do. For me, (the experience) was an affirmation that this is what I was meant to be doing.” The Baylor group also was able to bring donations of much-needed medical supplies with them during the mission trip, which officials hope to make an annual event.


The legacy of artificial heart surgery pioneer Lyle Joyce


During the 1950s and early 1960s, the news that reached American homes about groundbreaking new surgeries being performed on the human heart almost sounded like science fiction. Doctors had discovered how to remove arteries or veins from one part of the body and use them to bypass blocked arteries feeding into the heart. At the same time, pacemakers –– bulky machines used to regulate heartbeat that once had to be placed outside the body –– were now transistorized and tiny, and able to be surgically implanted inside the body. These stories captured the imagination of a scienceloving Nebraska farm boy named Lyle Joyce. He decided that he would become one of these medical pioneers, in the same way some of his friends dreamed of becoming astronauts. But Joyce’s dream would prove to be more than just a boyhood fantasy. He would eventually graduate from Baylor University in 1969 on his way to becoming one of the top thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons in the United States –– as well as a medical pioneer himself in the successful implantation of artificial hearts. On December 2, 1982, Dr. Joyce assisted Dr. William DeVries in performing the first successful implant of an artificial heart, a device known as the Jarvik 7, into the body of 61-year-old Seattle dentist Barney Clark. Doctors had determined that Clark was too sick for a heart transplant, leaving the implant of an artificial heart as his only option. “It was a very exciting night, thrilling and frightening,” Joyce said of the Clark surgery. “I guess what I did not realize was how much interest there would be. We knew it would hit the press and would be a big deal if we got him to survive the operation, but we had no idea that the press would camp out for a month. That was challenging but a thrill.” Clark survived almost four months with the artificial heart, dying on March 23, 1983.

who had a lasting influence on him, including the late Virgil Tweedie, his chemistry professor and premed advisor, and Dr. Thomas Franklin, who instilled in Joyce an interest in chemistry and a desire to conduct research. “Virgil Tweedie was huge in molding my career and was such a mentor to me,” Joyce said. “Ann Miller in the English department also was very influential. She taught me how to write, which has been so critical in publishing research and securing grants. I worked for the Texas Collection, and Dr. and Mrs. Harrison were like grandparents to me.” In 1968, between his junior and senior year at Baylor, Joyce had his first taste of cutting-edge cardiac medicine. He worked in DeBakey’s lab at a time when the doctor was implanting artificial hearts in calves. “My job was to help try to keep the calves alive after the surgery, a task that in those early days was difficult to accomplish.” Joyce said.

Joyce, who now serves as a cardiac and thoracic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and professor of surgery for the Mayo Medical School, followed his work on the Barney Clark case by achieving more milestones in artificial heart surgery. In 1983, Joyce joined the Minneapolis Heart Institute to direct its transplant and artificial heart program. Two years later, he became the first surgeon to implant an artificial heart into a woman, and soon performed the first artificial heart operation on a child. Around this time, the Food and Drug Administration had determined artificial hearts should only be used as a bridge to heart transplants. Much to the FDA’s surprise, Joyce and other cardiac surgeons working with the devices demonstrated that patients actually got healthier on the artificial hearts and then became better candidates for transplants. Joyce had originally thought he would attend college and medical school in Nebraska. But during his junior year in high school, the school superintendent, who knew of Joyce’s ambitions, advised the young man that he should go to a school that was near one of the nation’s premier heart hospitals. The superintendent suggested Joyce study at Baylor University because of its ties to the esteemed Baylor College of Medicine and its well-known stars of cardiac medicine, Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. Denton Cooley. “I thought I would not be able to afford to attend Baylor, but it turned out to be about the same cost as the University of Nebraska once you factored in scholarships and work study,” Joyce said. “I loved Baylor. I was a studious kid, but my roommate was a Noze Brother, so I joined in on some of their activities from time to time.” Joyce also met his wife, the former Tina Farr (BS ’70), while at Baylor, and the two worked together on many Friday Night Missions projects. Joyce remembers several Baylor faculty members 14 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

“Dr. Joyce is a true and significant innovator… Baylor can well be proud of the service he has rendered to mankind.” –Dr. William Hillis After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Joyce entered Baylor College of Medicine and scrubbed in on several surgical cases with DeBakey. He went to the University of Minnesota for his general surgery residency and acquired a PhD. In 1982 he began a cardiac fellowship at the University of Utah, where he first saw the Jarvik 7 artificial heart implanted successfully in animals. For the past four years, Joyce has been at the Mayo Clinic, where he continues to record surgical milestones. In 2012 he performed the first operation in Minnesota to implant a portable artificial heart, which allows cardiac patients to live outside a hospital environment. Dr. William Hillis, professor emeritus of biology at Baylor, believes Joyce’s work places him alongside DeBakey and Cooley in the realm of cardiac medicine. “Dr. Joyce is a true and significant innovator, much in the tradition of Alfred Blalock, the first surgeon to operate on the human heart,” Hillis said. “His breakthrough procedures have yet to see the full impact of his contributions to modern cardiac surgical interventions. Baylor can well be proud of the service he has rendered to mankind.”

Cancer researcher John Wood joins Baylor faculty

John L. Wood, a world-renowned chemist and cancer researcher, joined the Baylor faculty this fall as The Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. His appointment was made possible in part by a $4.2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). “Dr. Wood is an outstanding scientist and educator,” Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Baylor executive vice president and provost, said. “He has an impressive academic research career and a great reputation as a teacher and mentor. Dr. Wood has a passion for chemistry, and his work promises to push forward the frontiers of cancer research.” Wood, who was most recently the Albert I. Meyers Professor of Chemistry at Colorado State University, has relocated his research

team and laboratory to the Baylor Sciences Building. He has joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and will serve as Baylor’s CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research. “Our move to Baylor represents a true opportunity for my research team to become a part of what is clearly a steadfast and continuing commitment to academic excellence, and I am truly excited at the prospect of helping Baylor to become one of our country’s premier research institutions,” Wood said. After receiving a BA in chemistry from the University of Colorado and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Wood moved to Harvard University as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow, then joined the faculty of Yale University. In 2006 he left Yale to join the faculty at Colorado State. Wood’s laboratory work has focused on discovering molecules found in nature that exhibit anticancer properties. “There were a series of compounds that were prepared in the laboratory a number of years ago when I was at Yale that have recently been found to have some interesting activity against skin cancer,” Wood said. “One of the

programs we’ll initiate at Baylor will be following up on those studies and making a new series of molecules that are similar to the ones we made before, to see if they have similar properties and if they’re better or worse.” The CPRIT funding that helped bring Wood to Baylor includes the establishment of a CPRIT Synthesis Facility at the University. This facility will offer rapid automated chemical synthesis that should appeal to new start-up companies and the existing Texas research community. It also will provide a service for researchers from around the state to submit drug candidates for purity validation and to be packaged in a format suitable for biological screenings. “Bringing a scholar of Dr. Wood’s stature is a major coup for Baylor,” Dr. Pat Farmer, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry, said. “His research is famous among synthetic organic chemists for its elegance and originality.”

Longtime professor and administrator William Hillis is a living legend at Baylor. But if it were not for a few instances of divine intervention, this respected science educator might not have made it to the University where he has influenced multiple generations of healthcare professionals.


Dr. William Hillis, professor emeritus of biology, came to Baylor from Fort Worth. He graduated in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry –– earning the Alpha Chi award for the highest senior grade point average in the process. After earning a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, he spent the next 25 years as a scientific researcher, physician and medical school professor. In 1964, during his time as a medical researcher in the U.S. Air Force, Hillis took his family with him to the newly independent African nation known as the Republic of Congo, which had thrown off Belgian colonial rule four years earlier. He went to the country to catch the wild chimpanzees he needed for his research on a vaccine for hepatitis. It wasn’t until after he arrived in the Congo that Hillis discovered he’d come to a country in the middle of a growing revolution. He said he learned that native tribesmen, who blamed their former Belgian rulers for the difficulties the country was then facing, had sworn to kill any Europeans or other white people they came across. Hillis first encountered these natives while driving back alone from the jungle. After being forced to stop at a 16 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

crudely built roadblock, he was soon surrounded by tribesmen wearing headdresses. “The American military advisory group had lent me an Army .45 pistol,” Hillis said. “I had it in the front seat with me, and so when (the rebels) started approaching me I just reached out the window and shot the gun up into the air. That scared them off ––

Photos of William Hillis in the Congo in 1964

“I feel like my role in medicine became to prepare doctors to go out and live meaningful lives.”

they backed away, and I drove through the barrier.” As the violence in the Congo escalated, Hillis’ wife and children were evacuated to the nearby country of Burundi while he stayed behind in Bukavu to provide medical care. Soon, he got word that the rebels were advancing on the city. “I knew the rebels were sworn to kill all the white faces,” Hillis said. “I prayed if there were any way for the Lord to get me out of there safely, I’d forever be in his debt.” Just when it appeared that the rebels would arrive at any time, Hillis was interrupted during his prayer time by a fateful phone call from the American consul general. “He said, ‘Dr. Hillis, I’m totally surprised by this, but a plane has landed here in Bukavu and it’s going back to Bujumbura [where your family is]…I took the liberty to make a reservation for you. It’s the last seat that was available,’” Hillis remembered the consul general telling him. With takeoff only a few minutes away, Hillis hurried to board the plane and was soon reunited with his family. But after his arrival in Bujumbura, Burundi, he received shocking news from the American ambassador there. “He said that one hour after my plane departed, the American ambassadorial staff in Bukaru and all the Europeans there were killed by the rebels. That night I

remembered falling down on my knees and asking God why I had been spared out of all those people,” Hillis said. “I couldn’t understand anything at all about that until finally one day it occurred to me that I’d been saved for a purpose.” One thing Hillis eventually realized was that God had given him a love for teaching and a desire to encourage students to pursue scientific research that could benefit mankind. “So that’s when I came back to Baylor,” he said. He returned to the University in 1981, at the request of new president Herbert H. Reynolds, to chair Baylor’s biology department. Hillis later became Baylor’s executive vice president and then vice president of student life. During his time at Baylor, Hillis also was instrumental in helping introduce the study of medical humanities and ethics on campus. Today he remains active by speaking to student medical associations, mentoring prehealth students with their research and teaching a freshman academic seminar. Helping students navigate their future as healthcare professionals remains one of Hillis’ passions. “I feel like my role in medicine became to prepare doctors to go out and live meaningful lives,” he said. “I’ve tried to teach all of them that unto whom much has been given, much would be required.” To honor Hillis’ dedication to helping students succeed, Baylor is working to create a new scholars program in his name. Funded by gifts from the Baylor family, the program would provide prehealth students with needed financial assistance. “I am extraordinarily humbled by this,” Hillis said. “I want very much for the Hillis Scholars Program to have success because I want our students to have the opportunity to do research while in school. They’ll know how to approach new problems in medicine, and how to solve those problems.”

Normal Blood Flow


Deep Vein Thrombosis


As both an ROTC cadet and an aspiring doctor, Tara Hutchison wanted to learn more about treating combat injuries. Her research now has surgeons around the country taking notice.


Imagine the following scenario: a group of experienced surgeons clusters around a 19-year-old “doctor,” asking her about the research she has just presented at a prestigious medical conference. They are eager to learn more, because the young woman’s findings could affect how they care for injured patients. This might sound like the daydream of any hopeful young medical student –– or maybe a plot from a “Doogie Howser” television episode –– but it really happened. The “doctor” was Baylor Arts & Sciences undergraduate Tara Hutchison, whose original research on the injuries of combat veterans merited an invitation to speak to more than a thousand surgeons attending the Academic Surgical Congress in New Orleans in February 2013.

“I found that among the military population, amputees are more likely to develop a VTE than other combat causalities, and the risk is even higher with multiple amputations or amputations above the knee.”

Hutchison is a senior biology major in Baylor’s premed program, and is also a cadet in Baylor’s Army ROTC program. Those twin interests laid the groundwork for her research on the military population’s likelihood of developing what’s known as a venous thromboembolism (VTE) –– a disease process that causes blood clots in veins and can lead to life-threatening pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis. Hutchison said she knew nothing about this subject before starting her research, but the fact that her study would be the first to look at the incidence of VTEs in the military population appealed to her. Examining 10 years of data, she concluded that wounded military personnel are more likely than members of the general population to develop a VTE. “I conducted a review from 2001-2011 on combat causalities who developed a VTE in order to determine the rate and risk factors in the military population,” Hutchison said. “I mainly focused on pulmonary embolism because that is more likely to kill a patient. I found that among the military population, amputees are more likely to develop a VTE than other combat causalities, and the risk is even higher with multiple amputations or amputations above the knee.” After Hutchison submitted an abstract of her research to the Academic Surgical Congress, she was chosen to present her findings to the group.

“No one knew I was an undergraduate student,” she said. “The other participants kept referring to me as ‘Dr. Hutchison.’ The doctors attending were all receptive and had questions for me. They wanted to know how I see this research affecting treatment, and where to go with this research. I hope my research helps the medical community make decisions on how to treat wounded warriors with amputations.” If attention from a major medical organization isn’t enough, Hutchison’s study also earned recognition from the Texas House of Representatives. House Resolution 844 notes how Hutchison’s research will raise awareness of the life-threatening condition and congratulates her for presenting at such an eminent conference. Hutchison conducted the study through a research fellowship with Lt. Col. Christopher White, M.D., at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in the summer of 2012. “We will be able to get Tara’s work published in a top-tier surgical journal –– not many undergraduates, if any, can say they have a ‘first author’ paper of that caliber on their (record),” White said. “In fact, most of our surgical residents don’t get their first paper published until their fourth or fifth year of residency.” Hutchison, whose goal is to become a trauma surgeon for the U.S. Army, continued her medical research this past summer. She also took part in the Army-funded Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program, which allowed her to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo with other ROTC cadets from across the nation to teach English to members of the Congo military. A native of New Braunfels, Texas, Hutchison is at Baylor on an Army ROTC scholarship, and she enjoys the camaraderie she has found in the unit. “ROTC is a program that has made me step outside my comfort zone, challenged me and allowed me to make friendships that will last a lifetime with the other cadets,” she said. Major Santos Arroyo, the Baylor Army ROTC commanding officer, said Hutchison is a model cadet. “Tara consistently displays an exceptional capacity to pick up on very intricate concepts quickly in a classroom environment, and to apply these concepts,” Arroyo said. “Her ability reflects a level of intellect and maturity that is oftentimes uncommon to young adults her age. There is no doubt in my mind that Tara possesses unlimited potential to succeed in the U.S. Army, and she will be a pacesetter.”


To Baylor Health CEO Joel Allison, administering compassionate care is his calling Even though Baylor Health Care System’s Chief Executive Officer Joel Allison (BA ’70) came to play football for Baylor during some of the program’s toughest days on the gridiron, he remains very grateful for the opportunity the University gave him to discover his mission in life. Allison, who has served as the president and CEO of BHCS since 2000, grew up on a farm in New Bloomfield, Mo. His mother wanted him to become the first in the family to go to college. When Allison was 12, his mother moved the family to Jefferson City to take advantage of a larger school system. While living in Missouri’s capital city he had the opportunity to play all the major sports he loved. The young man dreamed of going to a major private Baptist university, but he knew his family would not be able to afford it. “In high school I had a sense of calling, so I was looking at where I could attend college to prepare me for some type of ministry,” Allison said. “I wasn’t sure if I would go into the pulpit ministry or into Christian journalism, but I felt the call and truly wanted to go to a Baptist university if possible. I 20 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

knew I was not going to be able to afford a place like Baylor.” Unbeknownst to Allison, a member of his church had been watching the young athlete and contacted Dr. WJ Wimpee, Baylor’s chaplain and a former Bears football star. One thing led to another, and Allison was eventually evaluated and offered a full academic athletic scholarship by Baylor football coach John Bridgers. “That was truly a blessing from the Lord,” Allison said. “Having the opportunity to attend Baylor was very special to me and an answer to prayer.” The only downside was that Allison found himself at Baylor when the Bears’ football program was struggling. Coach Bridgers had put together five seasons without a winning record when he vacated the head coaching position at the end of Allison’s sophomore year. Bridgers’ replacement, Bill Beall, fared even worse –– posting a 3-28 record during his three years at Baylor, including a winless 0-10 season Allison’s senior year. “We are living in a very special time right now in football, for those of us who endured some of those

more challenging years,” Allison said. “But overall it was definitely a great four years at Baylor for me, and I always tell people I was blessed at Baylor because I received a great education and met my beautiful wife Diane there.” Allison double-majored in religion and journalism, thinking he’d go into some type of church ministry. But a chance tour of a hospital and clinic in Uvalde with his physician brother-in-law proved to be a turning point. While visiting with the doctors on the tour, Allison learned that the hospital had just hired a chief administrator who had been headed for a career in the church before coming to see providing compassionate healthcare as an equally important ministry. “It was like the lights and bells just went off in my head,” Allison said. “I really had been enamored by the hospital environment because of visiting with my brother-in-law about health and medicine, even though I knew I wasn’t cut out to be a doctor. That set me to thinking and praying.” When Allison got back to Waco he sought counsel from Alton Pearson, then the CEO of Hillcrest Baptist Hospital, who reinforced the belief that healthcare administration could be a fulfilling way to serve both God and man. “It was then that I realized there is a ministry through healthcare, and that many leading hospitals were faith-based hospitals,” Allison said. “The more I thought and prayed about it, it sounded like the ministry the Lord was leading me to pursue.” After Allison graduated from Baylor in 1970 he earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University, and began a

“Healthcare sounded like the ministry the Lord was leading me to pursue.” - JOEL ALLISON­

40-year career in hospital administration. He joined the Baylor Health Care System in 1993 as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer under CEO Boone Powell Jr., then after Powell’s retirement in 2000 he succeeded him as CEO. Allison joined the Baylor Board of Regents in 2012, and was recently asked to chair a Regents committee taking a look at healthcare education –– one of Baylor’s traditional strengths and an important component of the University’s Pro Futuris strategic plan. “Our committee is in its infancy, but we’re beginning to better understand the resources that already exist here at Baylor and explore how to enhance and maximize those resources,” Allison said. “There are tremendous opportunities ahead for Baylor in this area.” Allison has shared his expertise with members of the College of Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates, a group tasked with providing Baylor health sciences programs with more resources and increased public awareness. “We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Joel Allison’s experience and talents helping the College of Arts & Sciences meet the healthcare education goals of Pro Futuris,” Dr. Lee C. Nordt, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “He has provided our board with valuable insights into the future of healthcare and how Baylor must position itself to meet new challenges.”

First Person In this issue of Baylor Arts & Sciences we introduce “First Person,” a feature that gives members of the Baylor family a chance to tell stories in their own words. Our inaugural contributor is Krista Pirtle of Olney, Texas. Krista graduated from Baylor in May 2013 with a BA in journalism, public relations and new media, and served as sports editor for the Baylor Lariat. While a student, she also covered Baylor sports for a little publication known as The New York Times. She is now a sports reporter for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.


When people try to answer the question of why they chose the university they attend, their answers always seem so thought out and well-versed: “I chose Baylor because of its prestigious medical

school. I have dreamed of being a doctor since I got a Playskool stethoscope for Christmas when I was three.” Or, “I chose Baylor because of its academic excellence nationwide. Having Baylor on my resume will be a plus to my future employer.”

My answer to this question has always evoked a “Really?” and a puzzled expression that people don’t even try to mask. After watching Kim Mulkey and the No. 3 seed Baylor Lady Bears win the national championship in 2005, I knew exactly where I wanted to go to school. What I wanted to do with my life, however, was a different story.

I knew what I didn’t want to do –– medicine. I get queasy at the sight of blood. Early on in high school, I debated studying interior design because I wanted to learn all the different mechanics by traveling around Europe. Anyone who knows me well laughs at this statement because there really is no difference between my drawings of a person and a cow.

I entered my freshman year of Baylor with no experience whatsoever in the techniques of journalism. With fewer than 200 people in my high school, there had been no need for a newspaper –– word of mouth was all we needed. After taking the basic reporting class, my advisor suggested I go ahead and take the second level of that same class, writing for The Baylor Lariat.

With a few weeks under my belt writing about tennis and cross country, I loved doing it. So, when a position opened up for the sports desk that spring, I quickly applied. The job was a piece of cake. I enjoyed digging deeper into the stories that hid below the surface of the sport taking place. The courtside seats and free food were an added bonus.

waited until the next day for his response. It turns out that he was inquiring if I would write about the women’s basketball team for The New York Times sports blog, the Quad. Not only did I get to write about the undefeated 40-win national championship season by the Lady Bears, I also got to submit articles about Baylor’s first ever Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III.

As a senior last year, I was promoted to sports editor for the fall 2012 semester before studying “abroad” in New York City the following spring. While in New York, I interned at CBS Sports, managing their Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. Plus, I was able to go to The New York Times and talk with the man who gave me a byline, sports editor Steve Reddicliffe.

I’ve always joked that writing about sports during the RG3 and Brittney Griner era in Waco, Texas, at Baylor University has advanced my career. But it’s true. Covering two of the top athletes in their sport is a blessing that not many journalists are given.

It didn’t hit me until my junior year of high school that I knew what I wanted to do.

The bell rang for lunchtime and my basketball coach and I were waiting in her room after class for my mom to get done teaching so we could go grab lunch.

We were talking about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and I had just finished reading a Sports Illustrated. Without any precaution, my coach picked the magazine up off my desk, rolled it up and whacked me on the top of my head. “You love sports and you love to write,” she said. “Why not do both?”


With a solid year of writing for The Lariat under my belt as I began my junior year, I planned on riding it out all the way through college. Never in a million years would I have guessed what would happen in November 2011. I was sitting in my apartment one afternoon when I got an email from someone I had never talked with. His address had in it. My first thought was, “I haven’t plagiarized anything!” The email read that he was looking to contact me about something. I responded that he had the right person and

Furthermore, writing for an award-winning student newspaper is icing on the cake. Too few people know it, but The Lariat is considered one of the best college newspapers in the State of Texas. So instead of using a Lariat only as a free umbrella when it rains, pick up a dry copy and check it out. I had plans for how my four years at Baylor University would go. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m so glad that things did not happen as I had planned. These truly have been the best four years of my life. Man will make plans, but only God’s plans will prevail.





Fulbright scholars Four recent Baylor graduates, most from the College of Arts & Sciences, received prestigious Fulbright Scholarships in 2013. 1 Randall Fowler of Abilene, Texas, who graduated in 2012 with a BA in religion and communication, received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and is spending the 2013-2014 academic year teaching English in Jordan. 2 Leigh Ann Ganzar of Littleton, Colo., a 2011 graduate with a BS in biology who is a master’s candidate in community health education, also received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and is spending the 20132014 academic year in Brazil teaching English to university students.

Rotary scholars Two recent Baylor graduates have won highly competitive Rotary Global Grant Scholarships to pursue graduate studies abroad. Stephanie Allen of Lake Jackson, Texas, graduated from Baylor in May 2013 with a BA degree in medical humanities. She is now studying for a master’s degree at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine prior to attending medical school.

Austin Cook-Lindsay of San Angelo, Texas, received a BA in environmental science in 2011 and is now working on a master’s degree at Baylor. He hopes to pursue further studies in environmental or public health at a university in South Africa.


3 Taylor P. Kohn of Wichita, Kan., a May 2013 University Scholar graduate, received a Fulbright Scholarship and is now pursuing a master’s of philosophy in instrumentation at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. 4 Brent Salter of Bulverde, Texas, graduated in May 2013 with a BA in international studies and journalism. He received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and is spending the 2013-2014 academic year teaching English at a university in Moldova.

These recent awards have increased the number of Baylor students and/or graduates who have received Fulbright Scholarships since 2001 to 36.

Briefs Baylor’s Model United Nations Team, under the direction of advisor Rebecca Flavin, has once again excelled in intercollegiate competition. At the Howard Payne University Model UN Security Council simulation the team earned a number of honors, including an “Outstanding Delegation” award for Laurabeth Hooper and Ryan Hebert in their representation of the Russian Federation. Later in the spring, team members Mariam Erkin, Laurabeth Hooper, Sharita Khaira and Tyler Kopas were recognized as “Outstanding Delegates” among the 5,000 college students from around the world who attended a Model UN conference in New York City. Meanwhile, Baylor’s Model Organization of American States Team, under the direction of Dr. Joan Supplee, did well in competition with teams from the U.S. and South America at an MOAS event in Washington, D.C. Baylor students occupied four of the six top officer positions, and head delegate Will Gregory was elected president for next year’s event.

What is Baylor Pride? If you’re a fan of television game shows, you might have caught two Baylor Arts & Sciences students competing recently. Taylor Roth, a senior University Scholar who will graduate with a BS in psychology in May 2014, achieved a lifelong dream by appearing on “Jeopardy.” Roth’s feat was all the more noteworthy because she is fighting a slow-growth brain tumor diagnosed during her first year at Baylor. Meanwhile, Shawn Sutherland, a doctoral student in Baylor’s mathematics program, did well in competition on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.”

Teaching excellence

High achievers

College of Arts & Sciences professors received a number of Baylor’s top faculty awards during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Faculty and students of the College of Arts & Sciences excelled at the 2013 Baylor Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement Awards.

Dr. William H. Bellinger Jr., chair and professor of religion, received the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award, while Dr. Gregory T. Garrett, professor of English, received the Baylor Centennial Professor Award. In addition, three Arts & Sciences faculty members were among those recognized at spring commencement as Baylor’s Outstanding Professors for 2012-2013. They include: Dr. Ann McGlashan, associate professor of German and division director of German and Russian, recognized for teaching.

Dr. Joyce E. Nuner, associate professor of family and consumer sciences, recognized for teaching. Dr. Alexander R. Pruss, professor and graduate program director of philosophy, recognized for scholarship.

Dr. Joyce E. Nuner, with the children at the Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development. The center, which is NAEYC accredited, serves as a laboratory for current students and offers an active curriculum that supports children’s inquiry. 26 / BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE AWARD Arts & Sciences honorees included two recipients of the Exceptional Service Award: Elizabeth Vardaman, associate dean for special academic programs, and May 2013 University Scholar graduate Taylor Kohn.

MENTOR OF THE YEAR The 2013 Mentor of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Steven G. Driese, professor of geology, and Dr. Frieda H. Blackwell, associate dean for humanities and professor of Spanish.

Stellar service This past spring a number of longtime Baylor faculty and staff observed special anniversaries of their service to the University. Some of the longest-serving honorees are from the College of Arts & Sciences, and include Dr. Robert M. Baird, professor of philosophy and Master Teacher, Dr. Jayna H. Martin, associate professor of German and Russian, Dr. David Pennington, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and Master Teacher, and Dr. Robert H. Ray, professor of English –– all with 45 years of service to Baylor. The lengthiest anniversary recognized this year is that of Dr. Rufus B. Spain, emeritus professor of history, who has served 55 years at Baylor.

Dr. Rufus Spain, Emeritus Professor of History

Briefs College of Arts & Sciences personnel hold this year’s top leadership positions in elective organizations that represent the concerns of Baylor faculty and staff. Dr. Jim H. Patton, professor of psychology and neuroscience, is chair of the 2013-2014 Baylor Faculty Senate while Sue Koehler, budget coordinator in theatre arts, chairs the current Baylor Staff Council. Dr. Raymond J. Cannon Jr., professor of mathematics, retired this past spring after 34 years at Baylor. He joined the Baylor faculty in 1978, having earned his AB degree from College of the Holy Cross and a PhD from Tulane University. Math chair Dr. Lance Littlejohn says the department will miss Dr. Cannon’s “exemplary teaching, service and scholarship to Baylor.” Dr. Jaime Diaz-Granados, chair of Baylor’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, has been named the chair of a prestigious national organization known as the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology. Jenice Langston of the College of Arts & Sciences was named one of Baylor’s Outstanding Staff Award winners for 2013. Jenice, who has been at Baylor 12 years, serves as office manager in the Department of Political Science.

Baylor responds to the West tragedy

When an ammonium nitrate tank at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, exploded on April 17 of this year, the enormous blast killed 15 people, injured at least 160 more and did millions of dollars worth of damage to homes, schools and businesses. Members of the Baylor family know and love the town of West. It’s just 15 minutes up Interstate 35 from campus, and it’s a popular place to stop and buy delicious kolaches or to attend Westfest every Labor Day weekend. So when word of the tragedy in West hit campus, Baylor faculty, staff and students immediately began working to help in any way possible. Baylor Diadeloso celebrations the next day, April 18, were soon referred to as DiaDelWest and became a way for the University community to respond. Two Carter BloodCare donation buses came to campus and received many donations. A trailer was filled with donations of food and supplies to be distributed in West, and that night’s Diadeloso concert featuring Five for Fighting was moved to the Ferrell Center and transformed into a public concert to benefit relief efforts. By day’s end on April 18, a West relief fund set up at Baylor had gathered about $15,000 in donations. On April 25, Baylor’s Ferrell Center was the site of a memorial service honoring the 12 fallen first responders of the West explosion. President Barack Obama and Governor Rick Perry were among the invited guests. Besides participating in these larger relief efforts, certain faculty, staff and students from the College of Arts & Sciences were involved in activities following the blast. 28 /BAYLOR ARTS & SCIENCES

Three Baylor nursing students who were members of the Baylor Air Force ROTC program –– May 2013 graduates Quianna Samuels and Alison Nordlander, with senior Ashlyn McNeely –– were in West on a trip when the explosion took place. They went toward the blast area and began administering first aid to survivors and helping emergency personnel with triage efforts. All three received awards from the Air Force for their efforts. “I am humbled by the entire experience,” McNeely said. “I was reminded how fragile life is, and I am incredibly grateful I was there and able to help the people I did.” Nearly 40 Baylor Air Force ROTC representatives assisted with the April 25 memorial service in Waco ––– taking part in the procession and ceremony, guarding caskets and seating guests. Because hearing damage is often a byproduct of loud explosions such as the one in West, faculty in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders sent out 1,500 forms to parents of West schoolchildren, offering free screenings for any child who might have been affected. Soon afterward, CSD faculty and graduate students went to West and performed hearing screenings on more than 150 children. In addition, Dr. Lauren Barron, associate director of Baylor’s medical humanities program, made a home visit to an injured victim soon after the explosion and was able to check her wounds, change her dressings and call in additional medication.

Briefs The quality of Baylor’s apparel design and product development program led to the University being listed second in the Southwest and 24th in the nation in a list of top U.S. fashion schools by Baylor’s strong internship programs and study abroad opportunities were singled out for special praise.

The newest residential facility at Baylor –– the $70 million East Village Residential Community –– opened its doors to student residents for the first time this August. East Village includes the 347-bed Hallie Earle Hall, which houses the new Science and Health Living Learning Community. The complex also contains the 354-bed Gordon Teal Residential College, which houses engineering and computer science students, as well as a large dining commons building.

One of the world’s foremost poets, 1995 Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, who died August 30, spoke at Baylor March 4 as part of the 19th annual Beall Poetry Festival. The Irish poet read selections of his work to a packed house and composed a special poem for the occasion, “On the Gift of a Fountain Pen.” Heaney allowed the poetry festival to sell signed, limited edition broadsides of the poem prior to the reading.


Baylor’s Mayborn Museum Complex recorded a significant milestone on May 8 when they welcomed their one millionth visitor. Who pushed through that historic turnstile? Instead of recognizing a single individual, museum officials bestowed the honor on a visiting class of second grade students from Rosebud-Lott ISD. The kids were given Baylor goodie bags, a banner signed by President and Mrs. Starr and special commemorative T-shirts that read, “I’m one in a million at the Mayborn Museum.”

Baylor Arts & Sciences alumnus Melissa Rogers (BA ‘88), a Baptist church-state specialist who formerly worked at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, now serves as special assistant to President Obama and director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Suzli Paynter (BA ’72) was unanimously elected as the third executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, succeeding Daniel Vestal. She previously served as director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and director of the Advocacy Care Center of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.




A Dallas-area man was working in his garden this past spring when he unearthed a gold Baylor University class ring that apparently belonged to a former owner of the property. He was able to find out from Baylor officials that the ring belonged to Arts & Sciences alumnus Stephen C. Skidmore (BA ’70), now the director of a library in Oregon. “I thought I’d lost it at work,” Skidmore said after learning his lost ring was being returned to him.

PHOTO U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Alexis Siekert

Girl POWER Lieutenant Clancy Morrical completed Baylor’s Air Force ROTC program in 2010, graduating with an education degree from the University. She went on to learn how to fly F-16 fighter jets for the Air Force, and now she is the only female fighter pilot in a squadron stationed at a U.S. air base in South Korea. “Combat is a reality for fighter pilots,” she says.


Anne Ferguson (BA ‘06) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work and psychology. She’s now the director of communications for Family Legacy, a ministry founded by a Baylor graduate with the goal of serving needy children in Zambia. She is shown with three young residents of a special village sponsored by Family Legacy called the Tree of Life, where more than 300 Zambian children are fed, educated and cared for year-round in safe surroundings. Shown in the photo are (L to R) Simon, Joyce, Anne and Memory.

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The administrative offices of the Baylor College of Arts & Sciences are located in Burleson Hall, and we thought you should know that the building has been celebrating a very special anniversary this year. The second permanent structure on Baylor’s Waco campus, Georgia Burleson Hall was home to the University’s first female dormitory and opened 125 years ago in 1888. The three-story building was named in honor of Baylor president Rufus C. Burleson’s wife, who served as the dormitory’s first matron. The distinctive spires atop both Burleson Hall and Old Main were damaged in the

1953 Waco tornado and later removed. They would not be replaced until a renovation of both buildings was completed in the mid-1970s. Burleson Hall served as a female residence hall until the fall of 1958, when it began housing male students. Two years later the building was repurposed to house administrative offices. The important legacy of Burleson Hall was recognized when the Texas Historical Commission dedicated a state historical marker outside the building during a ceremony at Baylor Homecoming in 2009. Happy birthday to you, Burleson Hall!

Burleson Hall turns


Sculpture students use welding to express themselves. COLLABORATIVE COLOR WHEEL / INTERIOR DESIGN