Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

December 10, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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School of Education Graduate Students Encourage Children with Dyslexia [12/10/2018]

Dyslexia TeamNavigating life with a learning disability may bring various challenges. That is why on Thursday, Nov. 29, Baylor University invited 70 students ages 8 to 17 from Goldthwaite Independent School District to campus for a presentation by four Baylor School of Education graduate students about dyslexia and how to thrive despite challenges.

Graduate students Olivia Borba, Stephanie Fritz, Felicity Frost and Ally Yturralde are each working towards an educational specialist degree in school psychology. They are currently working in schools for a practicum, and this event exposed to them to children of all ages with academic struggles.

READ MORE . . .

November 29, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor School of Education Faculty Collaboration with Waco ISD Wins National Award [11/29/2018]

Dr. Suzanne Nesmith (left) and Dr. Sandi Cooper (Photo by Cameron Bocanegra)

The School Science and Mathematics Association has awarded the Baylor University School of Education and Waco ISD collaborators the Award for Excellence in Integrating Science and Mathematics for highlighting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) use in two Waco ISD elementary schools. They received the award at the SSMA convention in October.

Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education, and Suzanne Nesmith, Ph.D., associate dean and associate professor of science education in curriculum and instruction, approached the principals of Mountainview Elementary and Bell’s Hill Elementary with the idea of working with a small group of teachers to learn the importance of STEM for early learners. The schools wanted to take it a step further and include every teacher on both campuses.

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November 12, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Fall 2018 Issue of “Baylor Impact” is now Online [11/12/2018]

The Fall 2018 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs.

In this issue, you’ll meet the FIRST graduate of the SOE’s PhD in Higher Education Studies & Leadership program, learn about the SOE’s FIRST fully online program, read about an alumna with a Fulbright Scholarship and a new program for rural families of children with autism  — plus much, much more!

School of Education graduates should have received a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and did not receive a printed copy, please email BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. Also feel free to email us with any news that the School needs to know!

November 5, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE to Host Chet Edwards Lecture [11/05/2018]

The Honorable Chet Edwards, former U.S. Representative and Baylor’s W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair of Public Service, will present “Education and Education Policy” on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in room 101 (Packard Auditorium) of Marrs McLean Science Building. The event is sponsored by the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

“This is an excellent opportunity for learning and interaction with an expert during a time of many changes and questions around education and education policy in our country,” said Dr. Trena Wilkerson, Baylor mathematics education professor and president-elect of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “This should be an informative event for students, faculty and community members. We are fortunate to have former Congressman Edwards share his insights.”

The department will provide refreshments, and Dr. Tony Talbert, professor and associate dean of the School of Education, will introduce Edwards. Continue Reading →

October 30, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Mission Trip Helps Costa Rican Student Enroll at Baylor [10/30/2018]

Bryan Lizano

Costa Rica freshman Bryan Lizano (second from left) is greeted at the Waco airport by Baylor faculty (l-r) Dr. Randy Wood, Dr. Trena Wilkerson and Dr. Debra Burleson.

Ten years ago, Bryan Lizano was a fifth-grade boy in Costa Rica, carefully watching a group of Baylor School of Education students completing mission work at Santa Elena School. He noticed how different these Baylor students were. It wasn’t just their accents and the slang they used. It was all the knowledge they shared about a university they loved. Lizano, a Nicaraguan refugee, liked the image of Baylor they showed by their service projects — painting the school’s walls, teaching, and developing relationships with the students.

Bryan Lizano

Bryan (back row, third from right) with the Baylor volunteers at Santa Elena School in March 2017.

As the idea of Baylor became more vivid each year the students came back, Lizano realized he wanted to become a Baylor student himself. Through support from Baylor students and professors, a dream became reality for Lizano, a freshman interested in studying computer sciences and the first graduate of his technical high school to attend a university in the U.S., with a full tuition scholarship to Baylor.

“Because we’ve know Bryan so long from the trips, he was always an active part of our activities; when he got here, it felt like he had already been a part of the Baylor family for years,” said Dr. Trena Wilkerson, professor in the School of Education. “Our Costa Rica mission students helped him to understand what Baylor is and what we stand for. They saw what a tremendous young man he is.” Continue Reading →

October 29, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Civics Education Expert Comments on Sandra Day O’Connor’s Legacy, Inspiration [10/29/2018]

Brooke Blevins

Recently, the nation heard from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, that she is officially stepping away from public life due to health reasons.

In her letter to the nation, O’Connor shared about her commitment to civics education and, specifically, the creation of iCivics – free online interactive games and curriculum designed to teach the core principles of civics to middle and high school students.

Brooke Blevins, Ph.D., serves as associate professor of social studies education and associate chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in Baylor’s School of Education. She and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction, conducted the first independent research study of iCivics effectiveness. Blevins and LeCompte also launched iEngage Summer Civics Institutewhich is supported by a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. The researchers were honored by O’Connor for their research and commitment to iCivics and civics education.

READ DR. BLEVINS’ COMMENTS

October 18, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor TAIR Conference Hosted Almost 900 Teachers [10/18/2018]

Baylor TAIR Conference co-directors Margaret Thomson (left) and Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy

Baylor School of Education hosted educators from dozens of school districts for the annual Baylor TAIR (Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading) Regional Conference on Oct. 1 and 2. Almost 900 educators gathered at the Region 12 Education Service Center for three different grade-level based conferences. Attendees shared knowledge and skills with each other while gaining unique insight from a variety of national speakers.

TAIR President Margaret Thomson, senior lecturer in the School of Education, says her favorite part of being involved with this conference has been getting to know educators from all over the region that have the same interests as she does. “Every year you can get new ideas and get re-energized,” Thomson said. “This conference is for educators all across the board, because I think the best teachers keep getting professional development — they keep updating their skills.” Continue Reading →

October 15, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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EnAbled Grant Renewed by AT&T Foundation [10/16/2018]

AT&T Foundation

Pictured at the presentation of the grant award are student mentors with AT&T Foundation and Baylor representatives. Front L-R: Dr. Tamara Hodges, Becca Waits, Deborah Keel of the AT&T Foundation, Stephanie Fritz, Chris Krause of Baylor Development. Back L-R: Kelsey McCarty, Brenda Davis, Ally Yturralde, Felicity Frost

Baylor School of Education’s EnAbled for College project recently received a $75,000 renewal grant from the AT&T Foundation. The mentoring program increases marginalized high school students’ likeliness of choosing higher education by covering topics ranging from completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to how to talk to a professor.

The program began with graduate students from the Department of Educational Psychology mentoring 52 disabled, at-risk or low socioeconomic status high school students through the process of reaching higher education. Since 2014, the program has served more than 150 students in McLennan County in Central Texas. Of those students, 71 percent were from low socioeconomic homes, 48 percent had a disability, and 74 percent were first generation students. With the help of the EnAbled program, 97 percent of the participants were accepted into college. Continue Reading →

October 2, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dissertation Project Will Immerse Students in a VR Experience [10/02/2018]

School of Education doctoral student Amanda Gardner at Armstrong-Browning Library

Imagine, for just a moment, that you are sitting at the desk of your favorite author, walking through the halls of her home, gazing out of the same windows. You can begin to understand who she was as an individual and the circumstances that made her who she was. That deep level of understanding and appreciation of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning is the goal for Baylor School of Education doctoral student Amanda Gardner’s interactive video dissertation project.

“Location and zeitgeist help us understand what we’re reading and what we’re experiencing,” Gardner said. “I can’t take a class of students to those unique places, but I can bring a 360 experience to them.”

360-degree film creates a final product in which the viewer can see the entire room in 360 degrees. GoPro’s Odyssey was used for this film.

After learning about 360º film technology, known as Cinematic Virtual Reality (CVR) in a Baylor Film and Digital Media course, Gardner became interested in its implications for high school English classroom learning. Dr. Gretchen Schwarz, her dissertation chair and an authority in media literacy, supported Gardner in combining her new interest in CVR technology with her passion for English to study the impact of the new and potentially appealing platform.

“I think Amanda is very creative,” Schwarz said. “What’s amazing is that this is just the beginning of her study, and hopefully it will be an engaging way for students to interact with the author and with the literature.” Continue Reading →

September 24, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE’s Dr. Lakia Scott Receives Diversity Award

Ms. Haynes, Dr. Scott

Dr. Lakia Scott (right) receives the Baylor Diversity Enhancement Award from Eloisa Haynes, chair of the Campus Diversity Committee.

Dr. Lakia Scott, assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, received the 2018 Baylor Diversity Enhancement Award, presented at a reception in the President’s Suite of McLane Stadium on Sept. 6.

In presenting the award, Eloisa Haynes, assistant director of advancement services and chair of the Campus Diversity Committee, said the award “recognizes the efforts of one individual within the Baylor community who actively strengthens and promotes respect for diversity through innovative leadership and service or through practices and programs designed to enhance a climate of understanding and respect throughout the campus community.”

She said the committee singled out Scott for her efforts in promoting the recruitment and retention of first-generation college students; serving as advisor to the multicultural student organization ROOTS; mentoring young women of color; establishing a reputation for being empathetic and supportive of students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds; and focusing her research on multicultural awareness, diversity practices and urban literacy.” Continue Reading →