Excerpts from Letters of Appreciation for Dr. Scales
From a Former Doctoral Student, now an Assistant Professor
Dr. Scales is also unique in that she takes the time and effort mentor graduate students outside of normal classroom time. The semester that I took the EDA 6302 course with Dr. Scales, she took the initiative to plan breakfast or lunch with us individually to discuss our personal struggles and goals. She also invited our small class to have a meal in her home and meet her family. There is something really special about a teacher that isn’t afraid to get to know people on a personal level. That notion has stuck with me to this day when I worry about how my students might view me. Teachers are people too and have much more to their story than what they do in front of a classroom. As evidenced at the May 2014 doctoral dinner that I attended as a Ph.D. graduate, Dr. Scales played the role of mentor to students in all departments at different stages in their lives and with different career goals. What an amazing thing to see so many fellow graduates who I had never met before, who only had 2 minutes to publically thank people for support during their time at Baylor, thank Dr. Scales for her impact in their lives. Although, I may have left Baylor’s campus in Waco, Texas, I know I can always call on Dr. Scales to give me the best advice, encouragement and support, and that is what mark of a truly amazing teacher.
From a Former Masters Student
I would like to open this letter with the words of the English educator and reformer, Charlotte Mason, who wrote: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life” (Towards a Philosophy of Education, 1922). Through her own approach as an educator, Dr. Scales exhibits this holistic commitment to learning.
I interacted with Dr. Scales and observed her skill as a teacher in multiple environments. As a former student in Baylor’s HESA program, I experienced the atmosphere that Dr. Scales creates in the graduate classroom. As her fellow collaborator in a research and writing group, I noted the discipline she applies both to pedagogy and to her own research. As a Baylor alumna living and working overseas, I benefit from her ongoing contact and mentorship. These experiences, taken collectively, demonstrate that for Dr. Scales, education is a way of life extending even beyond the borders of the academy.
From an Undergraduate, Baylor in Oxford
I was fortunate enough to take Dr. Scales’ Introduction to Leadership course while studying abroad in the Baylor in Oxford program in the summer of 2012. As part of the Introduction to Leadership class, Dr. Scales taught me some of the most practical knowledge that I gained during my undergraduate years. Before taking her class, I was not confident in my opinions and did not consider myself a leader; however, Dr. Scales’ sincere concern for her students and the strategies she used to help us discover the leaders within ourselves were immensely successful in transforming the way I view myself. Dr. Scales encouraged us to pursue our opinions on certain social issues by writing about them and delivering a speech to our classmates. She exhibited the passion that I would expect from a professor at Baylor University by expressing interest in our topics and asking questions to further delve into why we cared about those issues. After taking her course, I am now a much more confident individual and I am able to express my opinions and back them up with concrete reasons.
Outside of the classroom, Dr. Scales retains her genuine care for the people she is surrounded by; I experienced this by visiting her house before and after the Baylor in Oxford study abroad trip. She was very welcoming to all the students in attendance and made her way around the house greeting all of us before the trip and asking about what we hoped to accomplish, what we were most excited about, and let us know that she would be available anytime if we needed assistance. After the trip she followed up with each student individually, showed concern about our reflections on the experience, and inquired about what we hoped to accomplish next in our academic careers. I have not had conversations as substantial as those that I had with Dr. Scales with any other professor at Baylor.
From an Undergraduate, Residential Life
Dr. Scales has been very active in participating in the lives of Kokernot residents. She held a monthly event which became very popular in Kokernot known as “Kokernot Kafe.” Whether a resident needed advice about what housing to choose, a class to take, how to deal with a teacher, or just a friend to talk to, we could always find it at Kafe. Dr. Scales was always very nice, welcoming, and helpful during these Kafes. She learned everyone’s names very quickly after meeting them in this setting and connected with all of us. After just the first Kafe she would see us in the lobby or on campus and say, “Hi,” and ask us about our lives or things we mentioned at Kafe. It was very nice knowing someone around campus, and knowing that they cared for us, even though there were so many of us in Kokernot.
From an Undergraduate, Residential Life
On Martin Luther King Day, some fellow students and I of Kokernot went to help serve the Good Neighbor House with Dr. Scales. It was a lot of fun, and it felt good to help serve the Waco community. I would have never had that opportunity if it wasn’t for Dr. Scales, and truly believe she cares about Baylor and its students along with the city of Waco itself.