Instant Impact

News from the Baylor School of Education

December 12, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Rachelle Rogers Elected to National Board [12/12/2017]


Rachelle Meyer Rogers
, Ed.D., clinical assistant professor in the Baylor University School of Education and university liaison to Midway Middle School Professional Development School (PDS), has been elected to serve on the national board of directors of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).

Voted by the membership nationwide, Rogers will take office in February 2018 and serve for three years. She was the only board member elected this year as a representative of university teacher-preparation programs.

See the full story HERE.

December 5, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Collaborates on Baylor Social Innovation Lab (BAY-SIC) Courses [12/05/2017]

Students experienced the river firsthand on a paddle trip.

The School of Education teamed up to offer a new kind of academic class at Baylor. This fall, Baylor launched a series of new classes to encourage collaboration among departments, faculty and students. Called “social innovation labs,” the classes are part of the wider Baylor Social Innovation Collaborative (BAY-SIC) initiative to develop deeper levels of problem solving through working with others and thinking differently.

The fall SOE offering was an interdisciplinary course called “Healthy River, Healthy Community.” The class encouraged students to investigate water issues around the world and in the Waco community. As faculty for the class, the SOE’s Dr. Sandi Cooper and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith were joined by instructors from Hankamer School of Business, the Department of Religion, College of Arts & Sciences, the Mayborn Museum, Informed Engagement, and the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research. Cooper is professor of math education, and Nesmith is associate professor of science education and associate dean for undergraduate education. Continue Reading →

November 28, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Lessons from Harvey for a First-Year Teacher [11/28/2017]

Creech Elementary School in Katy ISD — where first-year Baylor teacher Lucy Boe, BSEd ’17, was teaching — flooded from Hurricane Harvey a week after school started.

All teachers remember the first classroom they set up on their own — the carefully crafted bulletin boards, the books so lovingly chosen, the shared treasures from their own childhood. That’s exactly the kind of love and care that new Baylor graduate Lucy Boe, BSEd ’17, poured into her first classroom at Creech Elementary in Katy ISD.

“I had been a teacher for seven days when the hurricane hit,” Boe said. “We had no idea — I didn’t take anything home that night; I left everything plugged in.”

First-grade teacher Lucy Boe in her new classroom on the Cinco Ranch campus of the University of Houston.

It was days before she knew that her school had been filled with five feet of water from Hurricane Harvey, and Boe’s only immediate concerns were for her students.

“Even though we had only started school a week before, they were already family,” she said. “I saw my students on TV being taken from their homes in boats. I didn’t think about the school; I just thought about my students. I sent them an email that I was praying for them and asking what I could do to help.”

Over the next few days, every student family was accounted for. Then news about the damage to the school began to spread. A fellow teacher texted her a photo of the outside of the school, and an email came from the principal saying the water was not receding. “Then the school was on CNN,” she said. At some point, it all became a blur. Continue Reading →

November 10, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Gift from Lynda and Robert Copple Will Create Chair in Christian School Leadership [11/10/2017]

Baylor University announced a gift of $2.5 million from Lynda and Robert Copple of Frisco that will create the Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair in Christian School Leadership within Baylor University’s School of Education.

The gift will enable Baylor to attract a visionary Christian leader to lay the academic and intellectual foundations of the Center for Christian Education (CCE) and establish the Center as the preeminent provider of professional development for leaders of Christian schools and for Christian leaders in non-sectarian school settings.

READ MORE . . .

November 6, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Faculty Member Educates through a Settlement House [11/06/2017]


The yellow house on Waco’s Colcord Avenue may seem like any other house on the street, but it isn’t a typical house. This house is actually Good Neighbor Settlement House, a project founded by School of Education professor Dr. Laine Scales, who teaches in the Department of Educational Leadership and also serves Baylor’s Graduate School as associate dean.

A faith-based organization, Good Neighbor is modeled after the settlement houses of the nineteenth century. Good Neighbor believes Christians are called to love our neighbors. But Scales said that, in today’s world, there can be distance and fear even toward those closest to us, like our neighbors. Good Neighbor seeks to address that in its community through several avenues.

Scales said education is an important aspect of the mission. “I envisioned Go0d Neighbor House as a way to weave together my commitments to higher education, social work and faith,” she said. Continue Reading →

November 1, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Fall 2017 Issue of “Impact” is Online [11/01/2017]

The Fall 2017 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 find statistics about the School’s outstanding faculty in the “Annual Update” section, leadership news, and important faculty accomplishments.

Don’t miss the cover story on the work of educational psychologists to improve student behavior in a local elementary school. A special web “Extra” provides a video profile of Rachel Vaughn, honored as the Texas Student Teacher of the Year. And if you enjoyed the alumni Q&A in the printed magazine, there are more exciting baseball insights on the website.

Read the issue at baylor.edu/SOE/impact.

School of Education graduates should receive 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.

September 27, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE to Host Science Educators [09/27/2017]

Nesmith and McCall

Baylor SOE science educators Dr. Suzanne Nesmith (left) and Dr. Madelon McCall are co-chairs of the Southwest ASTE conference for science educators in Waco on the Baylor campus.

Baylor School of Education (SOE) will host the regional conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) on Sept. 29-30 at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC). The seven-state Southwest region is composed of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Baylor SOE science educators Dr. Madelon McCall, Clinical Assistant Professor and University Liaison at Midway High School, and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, are co-chairs of the conference bringing science educators to Waco. Continue Reading →

September 26, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Seeks New Faculty Members [09/26/2017]

Baylor School of Education is seeking faculty members to fill eight positions for the fall of 2018, including positions in all three academic departments — Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership and Educational Psychology — and a librarian position.

Baylor University, a faith-based research university, provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students. For the seventh year in a row in 2017, Baylor was named as a “Great College to Work For,” according to the survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Baylor received recognition in six categories: compensation and benefits; facilities, workspace and security; job satisfaction and support; professional/career development programs; supervisor/department chair relationship; and work/life balance.

Baylor’s School of Education, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. With 50 full-time faculty members, the School’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring.

Through exciting new academic initiatives both at home and abroad, the school has entered into a period of significant expansion and of deepened impact through the production of meaningful, high-quality research and the preparation of outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians.

The following faculty searches are underway:

(To view online, go to Faculty Positions) Continue Reading →

September 22, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Collaboration with Institute for Air Science Takes Young Students to New Heights [09/22/2017]

The Aviation Booklet Team (left-right): Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, Rachel Moore, Kylie Terry, Hannah Turney, Courtney Cole, Analise Sandager, Dr. Sandi Cooper

A love of flying starts early. That’s why Baylor’s Institute for Air Science wants to reach out to young students to spark an interest in flying and the science behind aviation.

While the department hosts numerous recruiting events to draw collegians to its bachelor’s degree programs in Aviation Sciences and Aviation Administration, faculty and staff wanted to also host community events and offer educational materials for students as young as elementary age.

Kelley Oliver, the Project Coordinator and Office Manager for the Institute, said that to do that effectively, they needed expertise. So they reached across campus to the School of Education — specifically Associate Dean and Associate Professor Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, a science educator for elementary grades, and Dr. Sandi Cooper, Professor and Coordinator of the Mathematics Education program and mathematics educator for elementary grades.

The pair was teaching a graduate course called STEM Teaching and Learning with Young Children. STEM curricula focus on the idea that students should be taught four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an applied approach. The class focused on building students’ understanding of how to develop and utilize STEM curriculum for young students in creative yet effective ways. Continue Reading →

September 18, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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New Faculty Members Join Baylor School of Education [09/15/2017]


The School of Education welcomed five new full-time faculty members for the 2017-18 academic year, including additions in each academic department. A couple are familiar faces, while others are new to Baylor.

Jessica Akers, PhD, BCBA-D
Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology
Department of Educational Psychology
PhD: Utah State University, Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis
MA: California State University, Fresno, Applied Behavior Analysis
BA: California State University, Fresno, Psychology
Post-doctoral fellowship: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Jessica Akers has worked with children with autism and related disabilities in home-, center-, and school-based programs targeting both skill acquisition and the reduction of challenging behavior.

Her research interests include strategies for promoting appropriate social and play skills and verbal behavior in individuals with autism and related disabilities. She is primarily interested in targeting appropriate play between children with autism and their typically developing peers and siblings. She has published her research in journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior AnalysisLearning and Motivation, and The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. Continue Reading →