Fall 2022 News & Notes

October 13, 2022
Fall 2022 Weaver & Gorgas
Dr. Charles Weaver III and Rachel Gorgas

A few well-earned retirements prompted some changes in the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office over the summer. Dr. Charles Weaver III, Master Teacher and the former chair of psychology and neuroscience, became associate dean for the sciences, succeeding Dr. Ken Wilkins, who retired after 39 years at Baylor. In addition, Rachel Gorgas (BA ’13), a former Arts & Sciences staffer who became coordinator of the Baylor President’s Office, has rejoined the Dean’s Office as executive assistant to the dean. She succeeds Lynnette Geary, who retired after 44 years at Baylor. Also retiring over the summer was Dr. Viola Osborn (BA ’77), director of information analysis and planning, who completed 25 years at Baylor. 

Dr. Emily Hunt-Hinojosa

A new position within the Office of Engaged Learning in the College of Arts & Sciences will help expand Baylor student formation and learning opportunities outside the classroom. Dr. Emily Hunt-Hinojosa began in August 2022 as the inaugural director of academic excellence initiatives, working across all areas of the Office. She also serves as clinical assistant professor of social innovation and civic formation.

Fall 2022 Moon Man Walk

When the compelling drama “Moon Man Walk” was performed six times in April 2022 at the Mabee Theater, it became Baylor Theatre’s first main stage production with an all-Black cast. It was directed by Black faculty member Sam Henderson (BFA ’05), assistant professor of theatre, film and digital media.

Fall 2022 Kind World

The Japanese language rap video “Kind World,” written and performed by Baylor Modern Languages and Cultures students, received an Award of Excellence in the Japanese Rap Competition. Dr. Yuko Prefume (BA ‘04), a senior lecturer in Japanese who acted as coordinator for the project, said the video was shot on the Baylor campus for extra credit and included students with varying levels of language proficiency.

Faculty/Staff News & Notes

Fall 2022 Faculty/Staff News & Notes - Muehlenbein, Bryan, and Flavin
Dr. Michael Muehlenbein, Dr. Tommy Bryan, Dr. Patrick Flavin

Three College of Arts & Sciences faculty members won Outstanding Faculty Awards from Baylor this year: Dr. Michael Muehlenbein, anthropology (Significant Contributions to the Academic Community); Dr. Patrick Flavin, political science (Scholarship, tenure track); and Dr. Tommy Bryan (MS ‘88), mathematics (Scholarship, tenured).



Fall 2022 F&S Dr. Ryan Sharp

Dr. Ryan Sharp, assistant professor of English, was named one of 28 Career Enhancement Fellows for the 2022–2023 academic year by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. The Fellows are committed to research and service that increases diversity and inclusion on campus.


Fall 2022 Dr. Mojgan Parizi-Robinson

Dr. Mojgan Parizi-Robinson, senior lecturer in biology, received the 2022 Collins Outstanding Professor Award from Baylor. It recognizes and honors outstanding teachers, and winners are elected by the current Senior Class.


Fall 2022 Dr. Kay Toombs

The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy is awarding a new annual essay/paper prize named in honor of Dr. Kay Toombs (BS ‘82, MA ‘84), associate professor emeritus of philosophy. The S. Kay Toombs Prize will be given to junior scholars or graduate students for the best paper dealing with “disability, ableism, research in philosophy of disability, and/or research in critical disability studies.”

Fall 2022 - Julie King, Dr. David Bridge, Dr. Allyson L. Irom, Dr. Jerolyn E. Morrison
Fall 2022 - Julie King, Dr. David Bridge, Dr. Allyson L. Irom, Dr. Jerolyn E. Morrison

The Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences has honored four faculty members as the inaugural recipients of the Core Curriculum Virtues Award. The new award is given to faculty members who have taught courses in the core curriculum in ways that have exemplified the Core Vision to “inspire moral, intellectual and spiritual virtues.” The four winners for 2021-2022 are: Dr. Allyson L. Irom (Modern Languages and Cultures, cited for the core virtue of compassion); Julie King (Environmental Science, cited for the core virtue of courage); Dr. Jerolyn E. Morrison (BFA ‘85) (Art and Art History, cited for the core virtue of humility); and Dr. David Bridge (Political Science, cited for the core virtue of respect).

Fall 2022 Dr. Matthew Andersson

Dr. Matthew Andersson, assistant professor of sociology, was a finalist for the 2022 Rosabeth Moss Kanter International Award for Research Excellence in Work and Family.


Fall 2022 Dr. Sebastian Langdell

Dr. Sebastian Langdell, assistant professor of English, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete a book that collects the shorter works of notable medieval English poet Thomas Hoccleve.


Fall 2022 Dr. Lori Baker

Dr. Lori Baker (BA ’93,  MA ’94), former vice provost for faculty development and diversity and professor of anthropology, is the faculty honoree of the 2022 Champions of Change, given in recognition of the recipients’ commitment to embracing and advancing racial equity on the Baylor campus and in the Waco community.


Fall 2022 Dr. Ashley Barrett

Dr. Ashley Barrett (BA ’07,  MA ’09), assistant professor of communication, received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award — grants made in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through research and education.


Fall 2022 Dr. Marlene Neill

Dr. Marlene Neill, associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media, has received the 2022 Outstanding Educator Award from the Public Relations Society of America. The award recognizes educators who have “made a significant contribution to the advancement of public relations education through college or university teaching.”

In Memoriam

Since our last issue, we have said our final goodbyes to three Arts & Sciences faculty members: Dr. Bruce Cresson, emeritus professor of religion (May 12); Dr. Marion Castleberry, emeritus professor of theater arts (June 25); and Dr. Bob Patterson (BA ’52, MA ’57), emeritus professor of religion (July 17).

Student News & Notes

Baylor Arts & Sciences students helped the University set new records in winning prestigious national and international scholarships and awards during the 2021-2022 academic year. A record number of 14 Baylor students received Fulbright Scholarships — doubling the University’s previous record high of seven recipients in 2019. The seven Arts & Sciences recipients included: Tashi Flagg (BA ’19); Courtney HaubertPreston IhaRaquel NunezNathan RowanGloria Smith; and Alexandra Tyra. In addition, two students — José Arráiz-Rada and Madeline French, both Arts & Sciences majors — were chosen by the National Security Education Program for the prestigious David L. Boren Scholarship, which assists American graduate and undergraduate students study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Fall 2022 Jessica Conforti

Jessica Conforti, a doctoral student in analytical chemistry, received an honorable mention award from the National Science Foundation in its latest Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP “helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States” by identifying and supporting outstanding American graduate students in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).


Fall 2022 Shelby Dye

Shelby Dye, a senior environmental science major, was selected by the American Chemical Society to serve as a delegate to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The annual conference “advances the global climate talks, mobilizes action and can provide a significant opportunity to look at the impacts of climate change as well as innovation and solutions in Africa.” Dye is one of a number of Baylor students chosen during the past decade to attend.


Fall 2022 Hannah Smith

As her final project completing a graduate degree in journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor, Hannah Smith combined the classic photos of Fred Gildersleeve with her own photos and research to create an online resource highlighting Waco history. Working in collaboration with The Texas Collection at Baylor, Smith created “Waco Through the Lens of Time,” which is documented on Instagram as @the_waco_project.

Alumni News & Notes

Fall 2022 Dr. John Cheng

Dr. John Cheng (BA ’91, at center in the school-days photo above), a sports physician in Southern California, lost his life saving others when a gunman opened fire at a church service in Laguna, California, May 15, 2022. During a lunch banquet at the Taiwanese church, a gunman opened fire at the elderly churchgoers. Cheng, who was attending with his recently widowed mother, charged at the gunman and was fatally shot in the attempt. Cheng’s actions enabled others to subdue the man. He was the only one who died, while five others were wounded. To honor Cheng, who was a member of Kappa Omega Tau fraternity while at Baylor, his friends and KOT alumni have established the John Cheng Endowed Scholarship to benefit students who are pursuing Baylor’s pre-med program.


Fall 2022 Sharon Grigsby

Sharon Grigsby (BA ’78), a 1978 journalism and government graduate who’s now a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, won a Silver Award in the Storytelling Category in the Headliners Foundation 2021 Showcase Awards for “Parkland’s long COVID struggle,” a series highlighting the experiences of healthcare workers and patients at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. (Photo courtesy Dallas Morning News)