2020 Homecoming Speaker — Krissy Guidi (’00)

Each year the BIC invites one of our outstanding alumni to return for Homecoming and share a lecture with our students, faculty, and alumni. This year we are thrilled to have Kristina “Krissy” Doerner Guidi (’00), a Baylor Regent and attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as our distinguished guest. We recently interviewed Ms. Guidi to learn more about her journey since graduating from Baylor. We hope you enjoy the interview, and we hope you will join us for her Zoom lecture on October 16 at 2:45 pm. Ms. Guidi will speak on the topic “Living the Examined Life at Baylor and Beyond.” Learn more.

What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?

I graduated in 2000. I was a University Scholar and a pre-law student. I was and continue to be interested in law and government and took several political science classes.

Tell us some about your career and journey since graduating from Baylor.

After graduating from Baylor, I attended Harvard Law School. I joined a law firm after graduation and spent a little over twelve years practicing in Biglaw. My practice focused on securities enforcement and litigation matters. I transitioned to the government about five years ago and am currently an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. I am married to my Baylor sweetheart, and we have three young boys. I am active in my local church and am enjoying serving as a Baylor Regent.

How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor? Do you have any favorite memories from your time in BIC?

My favorite BIC memories are from my World Cultures classes, particularly the classes taught by Dr. Tom Hanks. I gained confidence in expressing my opinions and having those opinions challenged, which prepared me for law school and my legal career.

Do you have any advice for current BIC students?

My advice would to be embrace your BIC community. You are on this journey together and are forming lifelong relationships.

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Faculty Updates- Fall 2020

Candi Cann: Hello everyone! I hope this finds you staying safe during these strange pandemic times. Last year found me busy with a research leave, which allowed me to attend a couple of conferences and give two invited lectures at Rutgers University and Columbia University. Maia went with me on the last two trips, and we got to check out Independence Hall, catch up with family, and see New York City in its Christmas splendor. Good thing too—since we haven’t travelled at all since the pandemic started in March. I have published a few articles on African American deathways, and most recently, I collaborated with about eighty other scholars in the field to put together this paper and website on Death, Grief and Funerals in the COVID era: https://www.covidpaper.org/. Additionally, I’m working on a couple of cool projects—one is a study with a cremation diamond company on grief attachment in material objects, and the other is developing some software with a Virtual Reality company to help people process loss. Meanwhile, Maia and Milo (our doodle) help keep me grounded, and I’m enjoying all the extra time we get to spend together. Stay safe, and know that you are in our prayers.

Paul Carron: Well it’s been a year! I coordinated a (once again!) revamped Social World I. We added a fair amount of moral and social psychology, and Nietzsche on Thucydides and Socrates. The students really get a kick out of Nietzsche’s merciless mockery of Socrates! In the spring I taught a special section of Social World II for pre-health students. Unfortunately, that was not fully realized as we went online for the second half of the semester. Meeting over Zoom wasn’t quite the same, but most of my students were diligent with their assignments and it was great that we could stay connected and continue to have class in the virtual world! The summer was especially busy, as I taught two summer courses for the first time (both online – also for the first time!). One of those summer courses was a brand-new philosophy course on isolation, alienation, and community. We examined the ways that technology has led to an increasingly fragmented and alienated form of life since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and what we can do to build community and live more authentic lives. I had seven rising high school seniors (hopefully future Bears!) and they handled the weighty material admirably. In the world of research, Dr. McDaniel and I had an article on teaching in the BIC published: “Fostering Inclusivity through Social Justice Education: An Interdisciplinary Approach,” and with a little luck I will have another article on Aristotle and moral habituation out by the end of the year. The next major project is a book on Kierkegaard’s social psychology. The biggest professional news of my year was receiving notification of tenure. I will now be in the BIC for many years to come! My children are back in school, and its hard to know who is more excited about that. Ellie just started middle school, and Bennett, Mikaela, and Nora are still in elementary school.

Mark Long: My wife Lisa finished her MBA in healthcare administration in December and is now on the Covid-impeded job market. I ran the virtual Austin American Statesman Capitol 10K in April, 40 years after running it the first time with 25,000 others.  This year, I was the sole finisher (but only entrant) in a course that began at Fountain Mall, went to Jacob’s Ladder in Cameron Park, and ended without the roar of crowd back at the starting line.  There was no crowd, actually, but our youngest granddaughter, Miss Pippa, was there to share in the moment.  The bib is that from the race 40 years ago when I was, ah, well, 40 years younger.  And thinner. I completed research on an article comparing the jihadist narrative with that of the Christchurch shooter, and I am now writing. We still build pyramids.  And can you believe it?  They actually pay me to teach and write and build pyramids with the most incredible people.

Chuck McDaniel: As with everyone else, COVID has impacted the McDaniel household in myriad ways this year. My wife Diane and I were scheduled to join the World Cultures II faculty and friends’ trip to France in May but, sadly, that event was cancelled. Dr. Tatum and others crafted a highly educational and undoubtedly enjoyable agenda and we are hopeful it can be rescheduled at some time in the future. For a family vacation, we attempted Plan B, which was a brief getaway to Ruidoso, New Mexico; however, the governor there declared a quarantine for all visitors a few days before we were to arrive, and that trip had to be cancelled as well. Thus, the “year without vacation” left a little more time for research on a book I am writing that looks at American conservatism and its possible response to what is being called the new “consumer” eugenics. The book will observe challenges to traditional understandings of the human person that are emerging in markets for human genetic services and will show how American conservatism, having granted substantial “moral” authority to market outcomes, is poorly positioned to defend traditional conceptions of the person. I hope to have a publisher secured by the end of 2020 and have the book in print (and/or pixels) by the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.

Back on the home front, our youngest son Austin has taken a sabbatical from teaching in the public school system to get accredited in “wildland firefighting” and is working on a crew fighting the Dolan Fire in Big Sur, California. He’s also worked fires in Oregon and is actually stationed with his outfit in Eugene where, in those brief periods when he’s not working 12-14 hour shifts on a mountain somewhere, he lives a  largely homeless existence, using his 24-hour Anytime Fitness membership to escape detection by the local police (please don’t rat him out). As you can imagine, the work is both physically and emotionally demanding. The crews work 14 days straight for every 2 days off. As of yesterday, his crew was attempting to save a small mountain town in California that has been evacuated for several days already. They work tirelessly in building fire breaks and taking other preventive measures to save these places, and they only find out after moving on to escape the fire themselves whether they have been successful or not. He sends back pictures and videos regularly that cause a few heart palpitations for his parents, but we are very proud of what he is doing. Diane and I are keeping his dog, Rafa, while he’s away. Here’s a pic from many months ago of Rafa posing next to the firepit at our little “country place” in Aquilla, Texas. He’s much larger now but just as “cute,” though he prefers to be called “handsome.”

Ivo Novakovic: Dr. Novakovic continues to teach across multiple BIC courses throughout the year. He is currently teaching World Cultures I, World Cultures III, and Biblical Heritage. In the spring he also taught Social World II and World Cultures II.

Sam Perry: In the last year, my book Rhetoric, Race, and Religion on the Christian Right: Barack Obama and the War on Terror was released. An article on the news coverage of the killing of Eric Garner and a book chapter on the Charleston Church shooting were also published. This year I am starting a new book that builds on the examination of conspiracy theories in the previous book and continuing work on several article collaborations with folks. Dr. Walden and I are continuing to work with our graduate students in the BIC’s Graduate Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Rhetorical Studies. This year I am teaching World of Rhetoric, a graduate course in Communication, and will be team teaching a capstone in the Spring with Dr. Zori, on outlaws, rogues, and villains.

Mary, Louisa, and I are spending more time than ever with our dogs Seamus and Remy, as we continue to socially distance during the pandemic. Mary continues to write and bake amazing macarons for the business she started last year, Violette Bakery. We are ready to be able to travel again and go in search of great meals, art, music, and of Louisa’s favorite thing- dessert.

Anne-Marie Schultz: Even leaving aside the global pandemic,  the life of  Anne has been quite eventful of late.  Not long after the initial shelter in place orders, I found out that I received the designation of Master Teacher, the highest teaching honor at Baylor.  Here is a link to the press release.

I am particularly honored to join the ranks of other legendary BIC professors such as Robert Baird and Tom Hanks.  Not long after that,  my second book,  Plato’s Socrates on Socrates, came out with Lexington Press.

I am also thrilled to be a part of the edited collection,  Called to Teach. A couple years ago, the Academy for  Teaching and Learning  held a conference honoring its tenth year in existence.  As you may know,  Dr. Lenore Wright is the  Director of the Academy of  Teaching and Learning and she co-edited the volume along with  World I  BIC professor  Christopher Richmann.   Any graduate of Baylor would really enjoy reading this collection of essays about teaching at Baylor.  Many BIC current and former  professors are represented: myself,  Candi Cann,  Robert  Baird,  Tom Hanks, and   Andy Arterbury.  On a personal note,  we welcomed a third dog into our household. Our newest Rhodesian Ridgeback just turned five months old.  We named him Guthrie, after Woody Guthrie.  We call him the Plan B puppy because we would never have gotten him if we had done Baylor in Greece and Turkey as planned, but instead we were around when the liter arrived and he  joined the pack this summer.  He is a delight.  Dante and Milo  continue to thrive.  Milo, the official BIC comfort dog,  just turned twelve on September 11.  My Dad relocated to Waco after three years  living in Colorado with my sister and brother-in-law.  He lives right next door to my cabin in Cameron Park (The Lyceum — yes a Platonist lives in the Lyceum, the Academy was already rented out).   Anyway, it has been really great spending more time with him on the days that I am in Waco.  Be well. Stay safe, strong,  and exercise your civic responsibilities.

Lynn Tatum: Well what have I done over the last year or so?  Hmmm… Summer of 2019 was interesting.  I headed over to Oxford and taught a course on Henry VIII and the English Reformation at Christ Church College, Oxford. Christ Church was originally called Cardinal College and was founded by Cardinal Woolsey who played a key role in the divorce of Henry from Catherine of Aragon. It was wonderful eating at the high table with portraits of Woolsey and Henry looking over our shoulders. The classroom was just a few yards from where many of the important events of the English Reformation took place. Two former BIC’ers (my kids), joined me in England—Road Trip!!!. We rented a car, drove on the wrong side of the road down to Tintagel (the home of King Arthur [BIC Capstone]). We visited the Harry Potter studios where I taught Dobie the House Elf how to do a “Sic-em-Bears.”  We headed up to Scotland. Then over to Ireland by ferry. We rented another car and spent several weeks of trekking around Ireland and Northern Ireland—great food, great pubs, great scenery, great music. Fall 2019 was pretty normal.  Except I decided to have a mid-life crisis and take SCUBA lessons. I’m now a certified SCUBA diver.  That was fun.  If I’ve got a SCUBA license and Christmas holidays are coming up…..  Road Trip!!!  My fellow-diver and son met me for a couple of weeks in Cozumel, Mexico for a combination coral-reef-diving, visit-Mayan-pyramids, cenote-diving, eating-great-food, Christmas trek.  We split our time between some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs, cave diving (cenotes), and climbing and visiting Mayan pyramids and cities at Chichen Itza, Coba, and Tulum. The New-World-Encounter material from World Cultures II came alive. Spring 2020— What’s there to say except COVID!  World Cultures II and Biblical Heritage went “online”. To make matters worse, Baylor shut down Tidwell for a multi-year restoration. And so, during a pandemic, I had to sneak up to my office of thirty-plus-years and pack it up and move out. I’m just now beginning to move into my new digs on the third floor of Morrison Hall—boxes of books everywhere. And one other tragedy:  the World Cultures II faculty had planned an-end-of-semester trip to France (Gothic architecture, Bayeux Tapestry, Mont St. Michel—remember Dr.-Rust’s-visual-poem). France had to be cancelled; and I’m still in mourning over that. Summer 2020: Did nothing but sat at home—sad! The only thing that preserved my sanity was a Biblical Heritage and a World Cultures V—Middle East Zoom class. And here’s the only positive, silver-lining aspect of COVID. Because the Middle East class was entirely by Zoom, about half-way through the course, I realized we could invite others to our course.  So our small WC V group “met” with the U.S. State Department’s top anti-ISIS operative (who had to miss one of our meetings because of in-coming mortar fire in Baghdad). We met with an Ambassador from Yemen; and we met with the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (a Baylor graduate). So WC V was a delight. BIC courses, BIC experiences, BIC students, and BIC connections are so absolutely enriching to my life. COVID is a pain, but BIC keeps me sane—sort of.

Sarah Walden: This is a hard update to write. Like so many of us, I’ve been sitting in my house every day since March, trying to scrape together time to work while doing my best to make sure everyone is okay when, let’s face it, most of us really are not okay. Some great things have happened this year: I received a research leave this fall to work on my second book, which studies maternal rhetoric on social media. I’ve been working on this project for awhile now, but when COVID hit the US and schools and businesses began to shut down last spring, my project changed dramatically, because the way mothers talked about their experiences on social media changed dramatically. I spend each day of my leave working to understand how mothers (and all parents/caregivers) are making sense of this event in light of the extreme changes to their daily routines of school, work, etc., and the effects these changes are having on women in particular: mentally, emotionally, physically, financially. I received a University Research Committee Grant last spring (Spring 2020) and an URSA Grant this year (2020-2021) to fund this project by allowing me to work with two excellent BIC undergraduate research assistants. I have been working closely with the Baylor Digital Scholarship Office and the Digital Humanities Initiative, and they have provided excellent support for my work. I was named a Baylor Fellow through the Academy of Teaching and Learning for the 2020-2021 academic year, and as a result I will be able to pilot some digital research projects in my spring BIC classes. I’m excited for the work I’m able to do and the potential to make a difference through my scholarship, but it also shows me daily what a toll the pandemic environment is taking on mothers, fathers, caregivers, and children, and the weight of that can feel overwhelming. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that we have a responsibility to care for one another, and that social media can facilitate that. But that responsibility requires us to be far more reflective and intentional about how we use it, and how we understand the worlds it constructs for us.

Mike Whitenton: This fall marks a big shift for me as I transition to my new role as full time permanent BIC faculty. A dream come true for me and a family! I continue to teach across the World of Rhetoric and Examined Life sequences, including a capstone, “Life at the Intersections,” co-taught with Dr. Sarah Walden. I have also begun teaching a special interest section of Biblical Heritage & Contemporary Ethical Issues, focusing on interfaith engagement, that supports the newly minted Civic Interfaith Studies minor, housed in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. In that course, we explore biblical paradigms for working together intentionally with other faith groups on the basis of shared values, such as hospitality & service, as a means of addressing urgent needs, such as food insecurity & forced migration, while also strengthening our own religious identities. In terms of publications, my second book, Configuring Nicodemus: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Complex Characterization (Bloomsbury) came out last year and received a very positive review in the flagship review journal for my home discipline, Review of Biblical Literature. This book—which also just came out in paperback!—articulates a new way of thinking about ancient literary characters that integrates Hellenistic rhetoric and the cognitive sciences, focusing on the characterization of Nicodemus in John’s gospel as a test case. I am currently working on a series of articles building a framework for understanding narrative worldmaking in light of cognitive blending theory. The Whitenton family is doing well, despite the challenges of this difficult season. Last year, Rachel became a registered Music Together® teacher for Tiny Treble Makers. She’s had to take her music classes online and is doing incredible work pioneering best practices for teaching littles music and movement, from birth to age six. Our kiddos, Felicity & Reece, are now five and three, respectively. Felicity loves to draw, put on impromptu musicals, & ride her bike. Reece is curious about everything and loves taking stuff apart and putting it back together. He also loves making messes (and sometimes cleaning them up). Both of them have also been known to enjoy popping into my Zoom classes unannounced to wax eloquent about the True, the Good, & the Beautiful!

Jason Whitlark: The pandemic significantly cut down on travel this year. I was looking forward to giving two paper presentations in Australia at the international SBL meetings, but the conference was canceled due to COVID-19. Instead, my garage is now immaculately organized with the time at home. I am enjoying the Fall semester being back in the classroom and engaging with students, though at times the technological adaptations we have developed can be glitchy. Some of the most exciting news I have received recently was the announcement of a marriage engagement between two students who went with me on Baylor in Italy. I continue to write on the Letter to the Hebrews with several essays either at press, under review, or in the works. Hannah has returned to school and is loving being with her friends again, and Jennifer continues to oversee the elementary campuses at Rapoport Academy—no small task for anyone in primary school administration these days.

Lenore Wright: Greetings BIC Alumni! I hope you are well despite the social unrest and isolation that marks our collective life. Let me begin my update on the research front. COVID-19 put a serious wrinkle in this year’s conference plans. I rededicated anticipated travel time to reviewing submissions for Feminist Philosophy Quarterly and the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. Reading scholarly essays is a close approximation to hearing conference talks (minus the engaging dialogue), and I find reviewer work a deeply gratifying way to support active scholars. My personal scholarly energy resulted in the recent publication of a co-edited book (Called to Teach), the re-publication of a revised article (“Becoming a Wonder Woman”), and the commissioning of a forthcoming article. I am also entering the final stretch of a book project on pregnant subjectivity. In brief, I argue that in ways both subtle and obvious, pregnancy bears paradoxical meanings; it has negative and positive valances. But pregnant subjectivity—the codified understanding of being a wombed person—is stubbornly unchanged. Woman as womb is not a fixed, univocal idea, however. She emerges in my book through four archetypal figures and the performances of pregnancy they authorize: Mary & Womb as Sacred Space, Athena & Womb as Political Space, Venus & Womb as Erotic Space, and Barbie & Womb as Material Space. The book will appear in print in 2021. Stay tuned for publication details.

COVID-19 also disrupted class plans. I continue to teach World Cultures III and Philosophical Issues in Feminism regularly, two courses that challenge me in all the right ways. Both courses have integrated increasing amounts of non-Western texts over the years, and the opportunity to learn new, important material enables me to grow in perspective and appreciation for the rich diversity of our world. I welcome your book recommendations and guest appearances, a plus side of Zoom and Teams, so don’t be shy! You would be a sure sight for sore eyes. I continue to serve the University as Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL). COVID-19 also altered my administrative work substantially. Since March, ATL has joined with other University units to support and prepare faculty for remote, online, hybrid, and face-to-face teaching. You won’t be surprised to know that BIC faculty are excelling in all modalities. BIC faculty also recognize the disruptions to students’ lives and educational experiences. They remain, true to the BIC way, compassionate and caring.

Finally, Henry and our children H.W. (14) and Carl Haze (6) are managing relatively well, all things considered. We have appreciated a slower pace of life during the pandemic, but the loss of freedom weighs heavily on us all.

Colleen Zori: Dr. Colleen Zori joined the BIC faculty as a Senior Lecturer in fall 2020. She coordinates and teaches in the BIC Natural World sequence, while also teaching in World Cultures II and in the Anthropology department.

Davide Zori: The academic year of 2018-2019 certainly had its ups and downs. I was granted tenure (promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor) in the BIC, which means that I get to keep my job teaching and researching in this great community for the foreseeable future. This stability means a great deal to my family; and with my wife, Colleen Zori, also now permanently teaching in the BIC, we feel truly at home here at Baylor and in Waco. After we had another extraordinary field season of archaeological discovery in Italy in the summer of 2019, I returned to Italy in the fall of 2019 to open a new museum exhibit in collaboration with the local town and the Italian heritage agency. The museum features the findings of our ongoing project’s excavation that Baylor students (and many BIC students!) have helped to uncover. We managed to send a Baylor delegation to the opening, including our Provost Nancy Brickhouse and our Vice Provost for Global Engagement, Jeff Hamilton. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to share our discoveries, the work of our students, and the Italian countryside with Baylor leadership. I feel that we are really building a meaningful partnership with the people of Barbarano Romano in research and preservation of their magnificent archaeological heritage. In the picture taken after the inauguration of the museum in Barbarano Romano, I am accepting an award on behalf of all of our project members from the President of Virgil Academy (Rome) in recognition of service to Italian cultural heritage protection. See more information about our project, the San Giuliano Archaeological Research Project, on our website: www.sgarp.org.

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Alumni Updates- Fall 2020

Kristina “Krissy” Doerner Guidi (’00): Read our recent interview with Krissy for an update on her life and work. Krissy is a Baylor Regent and an attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She will be our distinguished guest for our 2020 BIC Alumni Homecoming Lecture.


Rob Sinclair (‘01): I am still living in Annapolis, MD with my wife Ann, four-year-old son Robbie, and one-year-old daughter Evie. I recently celebrated my 10 year anniversary with Anne Arundel County Police Communications where I work as a police dispatcher and 911 call taker (although the real celebration will come in 20 years when I retire). I hope everyone is staying safe and sane through the pandemic. Mask up, Black Lives Matter, and in the immortal words of Marshawn Lynch, take care of y’all’s chicken. One love.

Rachel Smith (’01): Read our recent interview with Rachel for an update on her life and work. Rachel practiced law at Baker Hostetler as an associate and then partner  for nearly 15 years. She left the firm in June 2019 to move with her husband, Michael, and two daughters, Olivia (11) and Claire (7) to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Roman Hamidan (‘02): BA Arts Anthropology – Baylor 2002, M.Ed.- instructional specialist – UTEP 2007. Current profession- Secondary Mathematics Active Learning Leader for El Paso ISD. Previous: 15 years as a math teacher

David Ocamb (‘03): This year we moved up to the Northern Virginia / Washington DC metropolitan area so my wife could take over as Chief Development Officer for the Armed Services YMCA. I continue to work at the same advertising agency as the Chief Research Officer. Our son is now one year old and is still somehow relatively low maintenance and relaxed (comes from his mom!). While we have had to cut back on all of our usual international travel, we do continue with some domestic travel and anxiously await the time we can return to exploring this world around us!

Elizabeth (McDaniel) Kemker (’04) will be celebrating 15 years of marriage this fall to Benjamin Boone Kemker, Jr, who works for International Paper and is a Captain in the Tennessee National Guard. She and her husband live in Collierville, TN, a suburb of Memphis, and have two children, son Liam (9) and daughter Meredith (6). Elizabeth will also be marking her 12-year anniversary with CACI, Inc. as a senior business analyst supporting the United States Navy MyNavy HR enterprise.

Caleb Gardner (’05): Read our recent interview with Caleb for an update on his life and work. Caleb has worked for nonprofits, startups, and professional firms like Edelman and Bain & Company. Some of his most meaningful years were spent running digital strategy for President Obama’s political advocacy group, OFA. A few years ago, he co-founded an innovation consulting firm, 18 Coffees.

Mimi Wiggins Perreault (‘05): I recently moved from teaching at Appalachian State University to East Tennessee State University  (Fall 2020), where I am now an Assistant Professor of Media and Communication. I still live in Boone NC and commute to Johnson City, TN for work. In the past year I have worked on several teaching and research projects, including some with current Baylor faculty. I am still doing research on crisis communication, disasters, journalism, and Public Relations and advising the regional publication Overlooked in Appalachia (overlookedinappalachia.org).

Ashley Turner Parker (‘05): Since graduating, Ashley has been living in the Dallas area building a career in brand marketing. She earned her MBA from SMU in 2012 and has held a few different marketing and advertising positions with various companies since graduating from Baylor in 2005. More recently, she was the Head of Brand Marketing for Travelocity, and then when her son was born she made the move to a small advertising agency where she runs the client services group and consults with small and large businesses on how to build effective and meaningful brands. She married Talley Parker, an attorney in Dallas (originally from northwest Arkansas) back in 2013. They have a 2.5 year old son named Henley Brooks Parker and are expecting a baby girl in November!

Jessica (Govers) Darrouzet (‘09): After earning my BA degree in Economics with minors in Math and Political Science from Baylor, I taught high school math at an inner city school in Dallas. In 2010, I married Peter Darrouzet in Dallas. I became a stay at home mom when our first son William was born in 2011. He is now 9 and I also have a  7 year old son, Oliver, a 5 year old little girl, Amelia, and a 3 year old son, Henry. Three of my children have autism so much of my time is spent helping them with therapy and operating my successful Etsy business. As a family we are very involved in Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts of America). My husband is an Eagle Scout and I earned my Gold Award in high school. I recently took the Wood Badge course, the premier leadership training course in Scouting and was the first in my course to earn my beads after completing 5 projects for the betterment of scouting totalling over 100 hours of service. I am also the Activities Chair for our scouting district in the DFW area and a Unit Commissioner. I love being able to give back to my community in this way and I love instilling the values of scouting in my kids and the kids in our community.

Alyssa (Brown) Brynsvold (’10) married Kyle Brynsvold in December 2019, and they currently reside in the DFW area. In May 2020, Alyssa graduated with her Masters in Theology (ThM) degree, with an emphasis in Bible Translation, from Dallas Theological Seminary. Alyssa now serves the children and families of the Bachman Lake community as the Director of Elementary School Literacy of a non-profit organization called Casa Del Lago.

Samantha (Rylander) Wallace (’10) is currently in the process of publishing her second book, a paranormal romance short story anthology titled The Supernatural Reasons Why I Love You. She is also busy editing the sequel to her original novel, The Heart of Everything. Both will be available under her pen name, Lynn Wallace, in print and digital forms through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other retailers – visit www.lynnwallaceauthor.com for more information! You can also connect with her (as Lynn Wallace) via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. She continues to work part-time as a nurse for the Victoria Eye Clinic in Victoria, TX while her husband serves as teacher/ librarian/ media center director for Edna ISD. Their son Luke turns two this fall, and they are now hoping for a second baby in the near future!

Steven Follis (’10) joined Amazon Web Services in August, where he leads business development activities for a portfolio of cloud services. In June, Steven and his wife Kimberly established the George Allen Haile Endowed Scholarship Fund for Truett Seminary in honor of his grandfather, a life-long Baptist minister in Louisiana. Steven and Kimberly reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Danielle Cooper (‘16): After her time at Baylor, Danielle attended the University of Texas School of Law, graduating in 2019. She passed the Texas Bar in 2019 and has been practicing employment law in-house since then. She lives in downtown Austin, TX and recently adopted an eight-year-old pup named Wilbur. If you have questions about going to law school or other career questions, she’s can be reached at danielledakotacooper@gmail.com.

Will Nations ( ‘16): I’ve been working from home to save Baylor ITS web services from COVID-19. There’s been tremendous effort put in, but it’s all paying off, and I can say I’m quite proud of the work that’s been done. Still, working from home has its own drawbacks. I’ve found that rescuing dogs during the pandemic helps replace tedious days at home with love, cuddles, and energy. Participating in virtual events with others is also a great way to connect with Christian communities. I recently attended and gave a talk at the Christian Game Developer Conference (Virtual) about a new cutting-edge game technology to great success. With the combination of Baylor’s C++ programming courses and BIC’s rhetoric skills, expressing my ideas to a group and bringing those ideas to life has never been easier. Now I co-author Godot Engine, software used by tens of thousands of people across the world.

Shannon McClenahan (‘17): After graduating from Baylor with a B.S. in Environmental Health Science, I spent 2 years as an ORISE Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.  Last November I moved to Fairbanks, Alaska to join the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.  As an Environmental Health Officer for the USPHS, I work with an Alaska Native health corporation to provide a wide variety of environmental health services to Native communities in Interior Alaska.


Priyankaa Bhatia (’17): I am currently starting the second year of my PhD at UT Southwestern in Dallas in Cell and Molecular biology.  I am studying oocyte aging and why female eggs go “bad” in your 30’s! I use microscopic worms (C. elegans) for my research.  During the lockdown, a classmate and I decided to start a science podcast! We launched it very recently—it’s called “Incubation Time.

Alex Plott (‘17): After graduating in May 2017, Alex moved to Washington, D.C. and joined Deloitte to work as a consultant serving government and public sector clients. In late 2018, he became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Virginia and began volunteering as Board Member and Treasurer of the Humane Society of Loudoun County. Last November, Alex married Amanda Beere (BBA ‘19) at Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin, Ireland. In their free time, Alex and Amanda enjoy playing with their two adopted cats and reading.


Valeria Rivera (’17): Graduated from Baylor with a B.A. in Medical Humanities and a minor in Religion. Throughout her time in the BIC, Valeria served as a Peer Mentor and a Rhetoric Peer Instructor. Valeria is currently a 3L at The University of Tulsa College of Law, where she serves as a Staff Editor for the ABA SEER The Year in Review. Additionally, she is a traveling team member of her school’s National Trial Competition (NTC) team. She will be graduating with her Juris Doctor and a Healthcare Law Certificate in May 2021. Valeria plans on working as Legal Counsel for a private hospital after passing her Texas Bar Exam in July. She can be reached at val-rivera@outlook.com.

Austin Allaire (’18) recently completed a Master’s of International Management at Imperial College Business School in London. Austin has recently started as an Associate Consultant with Teneo, a CEO Advisory firm in London with operations around the world. He is excited to continue his adventure across the pond! Feel free to connect with Austin on LinkedIn with any leads or advice for job hunting amidst a financial crisis!



Hannah Byrd (’18) graduated from Baylor with a BA in International Studies and Arabic and Middle East Studies. After graduation, Hannah taught English in Tunis, Tunisia as a Middle East and North Africa Regional (MENAR) Fellow for the 2018-19 academic year. Hannah moved to Washington, D.C. in August 2019 to begin her current position as a Program Associate for the Middle East and North Africa at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). In this role, Hannah works on the Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE) Project which supports refugees and host community members build successful food businesses and create sustainable livelihoods in Turkey.

Arianna Gomez Lopez (‘18): After graduating, I moved to Atlanta for my MPH in Global Health at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH). One of my most significant accomplishments while at Emory was chartering the university’s Catholic Graduate Student Association—an incredible community of faith that has made Atlanta my home. Currently, I am an ORISE Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where I am serving on the International Task Force for COVID-19’s Emergency Response Capacity Team (ERCT) in the role of Response Capacity Coordinator. Jumping into the humanitarian arena during this time has been an unbelievable learning opportunity (though at times it might feel like drinking from a firehose!). I am grateful for my time in the BIC. The emphasis it places on exploring and living out all of our passions, rather than hyper-focusing on separate academic disciplines, has uniquely prepared me for the multidisciplinary health diplomacy career I’m now pursuing.

Francesqa Kaggwa (‘18): I graduated in December of 2018 from the BIC. I moved to London, England to pursue a Masters in Human Rights and International Relations. I’m currently working on my dissertation and completing my degree in January of 2021. I’ve enjoyed London so much I’ve decided to stay another year and intern with an international law attorney and volunteer for the Amnesty International London office!


Reid A Pinkerton (‘18): Dear BIC family, while 2020 has been a year of crisis for a lot of people, I’ve been fortunate to see many pieces of my post-college life coming together rather harmoniously. I’m living in Fort Worth with my wife, Drue, and our 18 month old daughter, Willa. I’m working for Oncor Electric Delivery as a distribution operations Utility Designer Associate, and I’m leading a project to improve the map of the grid, which puts me on track to become certified as a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt by spring 2021. At home, I’m blessed that my daughter is very healthy and happy to play in the backyard where I stay busy tending the garden. I’m eternally grateful for my experiences with the BIC (class of 2018) for equipping me with the tools I’ve needed to begin “living the examined life,” thereby discovering a glimpse of Saint Paul’s path to “contentment during both times of scarcity and times of abundance.” — “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)

Carolyn Robbins (‘18): After graduating with my BA in sociology and philosophy in 2018, I stayed at Baylor to pursue my MA in communication while working with Dr. Perry and Dr. Walden in the BIC. I spent the first year of my MA taking classes and working as a TA, and in my second year I wrote my thesis and taught a couple of sections of rhetoric in the BIC. Since graduating with my MA in May, I have moved to Maryland to pursue my PhD in communication with a focus on rhetoric and political culture at the University of Maryland. I am continuing to pursue anti-prison activism through academia and hope to have my first journal article published soon.

Heath McCabe (‘19): I am a year into working with Lockheed Martin as a Systems Engineer. I have just begun an online graduate program through Johns Hopkins University where I will be earning a Master’s of Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree. Best wishes to all the new BIC students just beginning their journey in college.

Veronica Meredith (’19) graduated with a BA in English and a minor in Film and Digital Media. Largely thanks to her experience working in Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor, she currently works as a library assistant and content editor for LexisNexis in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On breaks at the library, she works on her novel, Wintry Sea, and listens to way too many audiobooks.



Rachael M. Power (‘19): A Fall ’19 graduate from the BIC, I am following my passion for foreign policy work in Washington D.C. During my first post-grad summer, I traveled to CO and spent time backpacking through the Rockies, spending the beautiful summer months with family and friends. Afterwards, I began an internship with the US Senate, where I observed what Hill operations and mechanics looked like on the ground. Following my position’s conclusion in December, I began the job hunt for positions in the DC metroplex, specifically pursuing foreign policy research positions. Although I did not get the positions I most coveted, I signed on as an Executive Assistant at Convergence Media, where I follow the ins and outs of campaigning and polling. As I look at law-school and the USAF, I am taking one step at a time, wherever the Lord leads.

Gabbi Mucerino (‘20) graduated from Baylor in May 2020 with a BA in Political Science and a minor in History. During her final year at Baylor, Gabbi received the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs fellowship from the U.S. Department of State. This fall she will begin her graduate studies, as a Rangel Fellow, at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. There she will study Gender Analysis in International Affairs and International Security Studies. Gabbi will receive her appointment to the Foreign Service in the Summer of 2022 and begin training as a U.S. Diplomat. She looks forward to traveling the world representing the U.S. Government as well as Baylor University. Gabbi can be reached at gabbi.mucerino@gmail.com.

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Alumni Interviews — Rachel Smith (’01)

With each year that passes there are more and more BIC graduates doing great work all over the world. Each year we publish brief Alumni Updates where our alumni can tell us some about their post-BIC lives. In addition to these annual updates, we post interviews with our alumni. Today we are excited to post an interview with Rachel Smith (’01). We hope you enjoy, and if you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog post, email us at BIC@baylor.edu.

What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?

I graduated from Baylor in May 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Tell us some about your career and journey since graduating from Baylor.

After graduating from Baylor, I attended The University of Texas School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctorate in May 2004. I passed the Texas Bar Exam that year and began practicing law in the Houston office of Baker Hostetler, an Am-Law 100 law firm in September 2004. I practiced at Baker Hostetler as an associate and then partner practicing both civil litigation and employment law for nearly 15 years. At Baker Hostetler, I litigated cases to trial, drafted policy, conducted training, and spoke regularly, on federal and state anti-discrimination and harassment law, and advised and counseled corporate clients on various aspects of workplace and employment law matters. I left the firm in June 2019 to move with my husband, Michael, and two daughters, Olivia (11) and Claire (7) to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Michael works as a Financial Manager for ExxonMobil here in Argentina.

How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor?

BIC was in its early stages when I entered the program as a Baylor freshman in 1997. If I recall correctly, we were the first or one of the very first BIC classes. BIC began to open the world to me in a way it had not been opened to me before. Even as a freshman in college, I knew that being part of the BIC meant exposing myself to more history, to many more cultures, and to learning to be a citizen of the world and not just my own community. It was a means to pursue a well-rounded classical education beyond focused study in a singular major or department and twenty-plus years later clearly helped prepare me for living abroad today.

Do you have any favorite memories from your time in BIC?

My favorite memory has to be becoming friends with Emily Paige Lindsey through our BIC classes. Paige and I met as freshmen in the BIC program and have remained friends for more than 23 years. We very well may not have otherwise met at Baylor, had it not been for BIC which brought students together across disciplines and areas of study. We are both now mothers of two daughters and continue to keep in touch and encourage one another all of these years later.

Is there something you learned in BIC that still sticks with you today?

I will never forget our visit to a Jewish Synagogue or reading the Qur’an in class. BIC taught me that as a Christian, learning about other religions or what others believe is not a threat to my personal faith as a Christ-follower. This serves me well today, and has throughout my adult life as I’ve learned to love, work with, and to develop deep and meaningful friendships with people of many different cultures, faiths, and beliefs, and to do so as hopefully, a thoughtful, compassionate ambassador of my own faith in Jesus.

What are your goals for the future?

1 Thessalonians 4:11 says to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. I stumbled upon this verse 5 or 6 years ago when I was in the midst of one of the busiest periods in my life. A wife, and mother of two young girls, and a civil litigator in a major U.S. law firm, my life was far from quiet, it was busy beyond measure. I wore “busyness” as a badge of honor, a false sign of importance and value. And this verse floored me because it seemed so impossible a pursuit and antithetical to society’s view of ambition and certainly for a “big law” litigator. But as I reflect back and look ahead, I see the beauty in pursuing the quiet life and the “gift of presence” it affords us whether we are taking on the demands of big careers or family priorities.

At present, my legal career is on pause as we live abroad and in this time, I’ve had the opportunity to pursue the vintage arts of antique letterpress and modern quilting. What I’ve come to love about learning these old art forms and the skills and characteristics that they are developing in me, is that they are slow, tedious, and demand time and concentrated focus on even the minutest of details–and by their very nature you cannot rush yourself through the creative process. They slow down the pace of my life in remarkably, meaningful ways. So in short, my goals involve creating meaningful work through these vintage art forms without needless busyness that keeps me from truly being present in life, in my work, and with my loved ones, and I want to encourage others to do the same whether in a fast-paced demanding career or in their work at home–because when you are more fully present, you can truly experience life.

Do you have any advice for current BIC students?

Be kind and compassionate, and remain teachable through all of life. Sometimes it feels like this world we live in is literally on fire. Try your best not to be a firestarter or excelerant. Kindness and compassion are highly underrated and go a long way not only in our everyday lives, with friends and loved ones, but also in business, in the courtroom and in the public squares. Even as passionate advocates for the causes we believe are worth fighting for, these character traits will serve you well with strangers, neighbors, in community and in life generally. Commit to being kind and showing sincere genuine compassion. And secondly, remain teachable. Be thoughtful, be a thinker, and be willing to learn not just as a young person, but always. Consider that you and those you associate with, may not have it all figured out, and be willing to be a teachable, life-long learner.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Moving abroad and settling into life in South America has been one of the greatest and most unexpected joys of my life. As BIC students are learning now in class, it has proven true through our experience in Argentina, that immersing oneself among people and cultures different from our own, expands us in ways we don’t always know we need. It reveals blind spots (which we all have) and gives us an appreciation for God’s greatest creation–the people He made in His image–and inevitably, appreciating other people, leads to a richer, fuller and more impactful life.

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Alumni Interviews — Caleb Gardner (’05)

With each year that passes there are more and more BIC graduates doing great work all over the world. Each year we publish brief “Alumni Updates” where our alumni can tell us some about their post-BIC lives. In addition to these annual updates, we post interviews with our alumni. Today we are excited to post an interview with Caleb Gardner (’05). We hope you enjoy, and if you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog post, email us at BIC@baylor.edu.

What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?

I graduated in 2005, and I majored in History and minored in Music.

Tell us some about your career and journey since graduating from Baylor.

I’ve had a winding career path in marketing, strategy and innovation. After going back to school for my MBA, I worked for nonprofits, startups, and professional firms like Edelman and Bain & Company, but some of my most meaningful years were spent running digital strategy for President Obama’s political advocacy group, OFA. A few years ago, I co-founded an innovation consulting firm, 18 Coffees, and now run our consulting practice and business development.

How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor? Do you have any favorite memories from your time in BIC?

Multi-disciplinary critical thinking has been key to my career path – because my career didn’t exist when I graduated! Having a passionate curiosity about how the world works stems directly from my time in the BIC, and has been an incredible career advantage.

I think my favorite memories from the BIC happened outside of the classes themselves – in hallways, study rooms, and cafeterias, where ideas would spill over into passionate debates. A hallmark of anyone in the BIC was a commitment to engaging with the material, and not just being in class for the sake of being in class.

Do you have any advice for current BIC students?

The workplace is changing at an incredible pace, and the narrative that you can carry with you from your BIC education into any interview is the ability to be an adaptable critical thinker.

The best time to start telling your story and thinking about how future employers will see you was yesterday. The second best time is now.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Part of landing on your feet after you graduate is building the right network. I’m always happy to help.

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Frame/s – Connection

Frame/s is the annual BIC student publication, created by a group of BIC students over the course of the academic year.

Our student editorial team works very hard all year to make this publication happen. This year’s team included Joao Moraes, DA Smith, Emily Rand Wilson, and DJ Ramirez. They did an outstanding job. We hate that due to the pandemic we can’t put the publication in print this year, but we have now released it online.

Each year Frame/s has a different theme. This year, during the fall semester, our editorial board decided on the theme of “Connection.” This theme is now even more appropriate in our current world.

We hope you take the time to read through the publication, which includes contributions from 15 BIC students. You can read the full publication online. We hope you enjoy.

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2020 Senior Recognition Banquet

On Wednesday, April 22, 2020 we gathered virtually to celebrate the graduating BIC students of 2020. We were saddened to not be able to meet in person, but it was still wonderful to gather together to celebrate this impressive class of BIC students.

This year’s virtual celebration was recorded, and you are welcome to experience the event yourself. You will hear from Dr. Anne-Marie Schultz, Dr. Jason Whitlark, Mr. Adam Moore, our student speakers, Emily Varley and Michael Agapos, and our honored BIC faculty member, Dr. David Hendon. We hope you enjoy this special event.

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2019 Homecoming Speaker — Kelly Driscoll (’09)

Each year the BIC invites one of our outstanding alumni to return to campus for Homecoming and share a lecture with our students, faculty, and alumni. This year we are thrilled to have Kelly Driscoll (’09), the president and founder of HEYDAY Cold-Brew Coffee in Austin, Texas, as our distinguished guest. We recently interviewed Ms. Driscoll to learn more about her journey since graduating from Baylor. We hope you enjoy the interview, and we hope you will join us for her lecture on October 11 at 2:30 pm in Marrs McLean Science Building, room 101. Ms. Driscoll will speak on the topic “Living the Examined Life at Baylor and Beyond.”


What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?

I graduated from Baylor in August of 2009 with a BBA in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Sociology.

What has been your journey since graduating from Baylor? 

Following graduation, I was on the hunt for a career path that tapped both my entrepreneurial interests and passion for working with people. A much more challenging endeavor than expected! The search for my first job alone taught me a lot about humility, relationship building and keeping an open mind.

The first opportunity I found was at a winery in Gruene TX, where you never knew who was going to walk in the door. A last minute call led me to Fara Coffee, a local roaster based in Austin. Through seven years working in sales and marketing at Fara, I found a true passion for coffee. I fell in love with the global impact of the coffee industry; that something so simple as a cup of coffee travels through hundreds of hands and thousands of miles just to reach the consumer. In this, I saw the opportunity to create real change, a way to address both human need and make a positive difference through the delivery.

In the Spring of 2016, my partner (in both life & business) and I launched HEYDAY Cold Brew Coffee. HEYDAY was built with the intention to bring refreshing, great tasting cold brew coffee with clean ingredients to market. More than just a coffee company, HEYDAY is all about celebrating good times and inspiring a healthy, positive lifestyle.

What does your daily work look like now at HEYDAY? What do you enjoy most about your work–or what is something you are currently excited about in your work?

Every day is different! Growing from a local Austin company to one with national distribution, we are continually met with new opportunities and challenges. The aspect that brings me the most joy is innovation – the thrill of bringing a new product to market and seeing our customers enjoy first-hand. Beyond being a continual learning experience, I love that HEYDAY gives me the freedom and flexibility to live a balanced life – in health, creativity, relationships and career.

How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor?

Most importantly, exploring new concepts and experiences. Motivation to say “yes” to experiences outside my comfort level and reflect on what lessons come about. Never stop learning and exploring. Through personal interaction, reading, and travel, I have deep appreciation for and interest in other cultures.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in BIC?

The community feel of the BIC, fascinating professors, and lasting friendships with like-minded students. Each field trip was a highlight, a favorite would be the Japanese Garden in Ft. Worth – a peaceful inspirational retreat from school life. As an out-of-stater, I really appreciated seeing such unique destinations throughout Texas and their tie-ins to our curriculum.

Is there something you learned in BIC that still sticks with you today?

Socrates’ “an unexamined life is not worth living.” One of the very first discussions in BIC, remains a core philosophy I continue to reflect on to this day. The importance of exploration, self-understanding, and empathy for other people and their perspectives.

What are your goals for the future?

I hope to see HEYDAY built into a revolutionary brand that ultimately provides value to our customers and partners. I aspire to continue to travel, seeking inspiration around the world, and spend my time working to make a positive difference where I can.

Do you have any advice for current BIC students?

If you would have told me ten years ago that I’d be where I am today, I would be equally surprised and unsurprised. Surprised because at that time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation. Unsurprised because I’ve always felt motivated to do something beyond a typical job and kept up the work ethic to keep building on the foundation we receive in school.

Things will not turn out as planned, there will be many detours, but stay true to what motivates you and be willing to take an alternate path. The real value is in the journey and the time we have right now – it is all we truly have. Take the time to enjoy where you are, who you are with, and share kindness with others. Make today your Heyday!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to attend Baylor and participate in the BIC! Thank you for offering the chance to share my story, I hope it inspires others to keep learning & exploring their passions.

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Alumni Updates- Spring 2019

Candace Weddle Livingston (’99): After graduating Baylor (Classics) in the first BIC class, Candace earned an MA in Art History from Tulane University and a PhD from the University of Southern California, specializing in Greco-Roman art and archaeology. Since 2012, she has taught at the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University, where she is Associate Professor of Art History. Her research focus is the sensory experience of ancient animal sacrifices. A popular speaker, Candace travels worldwide lecturing on art and archaeology, and appeared as an expert in the 2015 PBS documentary series Ancient Roads: From Christ to Constantine. In 2018, she was elected a Fellow in the Explorers Club, the world’s most prestigious organization dedicated to exploration, an honor she shares with such well-known individuals as Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, filmmaker James Cameron, and all of the men who have walked on the Moon. Candace lives in Greenville, SC with her husband Todd Livingston, who writes comics and writes, directs, and produces for film and television.

Omoniyi Omotoso (’00), MD.MPH (BIC program, B.A. Biochemistry 2000). Since graduation, slowly my dream has become reality as I’m now a proud dad to my bright daughter Soley (7 3/4 as she’d say). After training at Washington University in St Louis Medical School, I moved out to Northern California for pediatrics residency. Since then we’ve made a home now in Alameda. For the past 7 years, I’ve worked at LifeLong Medical Care – a Federally Qualified Community Health Center network. Now I serve as the Associate Medical Director for a pediatric-only clinic and the Pediatrics Clinical Lead for the organization as a whole. Looking forward to the summer with lots of hiking planned.

Emily Nicholson Simcox (’03) is the Vice President of Development for the Newseum and Freedom Forum Institute in Washington, D.C. She and her husband of 11 years , Rob Simcox, live in Arlington, Virginia, and have two boys R.J. (4) and Max (2).  They love seeing Baylor friends who visit the national capital and can be reached at emysimcox@gmail.com




Ben Davis (’04) and his wife Gracy recently moved to Denver, Colorado. Ben is a Communications Specialist for Boeing. He and his wife also are expecting a child sometime in November. Ben has already experienced the gracious hospitality of fellow Denver residents and BIC’ers Renee Bouchardy Hardy (2004) and Lindsey Deal Bratcher (2004), who are teaching him how to survive life at a mile elevation. Contact at bendbear@gmail.com.

Holly Joyner (’07) recently celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary with Ryan Joyner, Baylor graduate (’07), a Baylor theatre professor. They have one son Jameson (4) and live in Waco, TX. Holly recently was promoted to Global Baylor Program Manager. In this position she co-leads the Global Baylor Initiative which is Baylor’s Quality Enhancement Plan to lead Baylor students and Baylor as a whole to a more globally engaged community through course work, a certificate program, study abroad, and leadership series. Holly looks forward to working with a new generation of Baylor students (such as BIC) on this initiative.

Rachel Muldez (’07): I very much enjoyed my time at Baylor as a Studio Art major. Since then, I have acquired two Master’s degrees in Ceramics and Sculpture and one Master of Fine Arts degree in Art. I currently teach Ceramics at Richland Community College and have a full time studio art practice that has taken me to many exciting places. As a professional artist I’ve shown in galleries and universities all over the US and in the Czech Republic, been a gallery director at one of the oldest artist run galleries in North America, been written about in numerous magazines, news papers, and even the occasional student essay. I’ve shown work in National Museums and spoken on public radio. The art I create is nature based. I use only natural materials and reference nature from the microscopic to the macroscopic. I’m 11years into my professional career and I’m excited for the years to come. For a look at my art work Google my name or find me on Instagram @muldezart.

Kevin Nguyen (’07): I graduated from Baylor with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. I spent a year teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand after I graduated from Baylor. I graduated with a Master of Science in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University in California in 2010. Since then, I have worked at the University of Houston for over 8 years. Currently, I am the First Year Experience Undergraduate Advisor for the College of Technology. I completed another Bachelor of Science degree in Health within the College of Education at the University of Houston and also completed a Corporate Entrepreneurship Certificate within the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. I received the 2019  “Inclusion and Advocacy Award” by the Center for Student Involvement at the University of Houston. I also serve as a member of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. I have also volunteered for a couple of non-profit organizations like Bunnies on the Bayou, Inc., Human Rights Campaign (Houston Chapter), and Pride Houston

Keisha Ray (’07): New job. From assistant professor at Texas State University to assistant professor at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, McGovern Medical School, McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics (UT medical school for short). I teach ethics and humanities to medical residents, medical students and students at other schools in the university (dental, nursing, etc.).



Erin Greneaux (’08 ): In the past year I have published two books. Learnable Moments for Moms: 100 Devotions to Discover God in the Everyday was released in November 2018. It helps moms discover the many ways that God reveals Himself in the everyday experiences of motherhood. Inconceivable Redemption: God’s Presence in Miscarriage and Infertility released in May 2019 and hit new release bestseller status on Amazon in its genre. The book takes women by the hand and walks them through the giref of losing a baby, the uncertainty of waiting, and the hope and redemption available that can be found in the midst of loss through Christ.

Suzanne Kraai (’09) has a deep-seeded love of Baylor, and the BIC experience! She graduated in 2009 and also holds an MS in Educational Administration. She has served at Eastern Christian School, outside of NYC, in a variety of roles including HS Honors and CP English teacher, HS Musical Theater and HS/MSChoral Director. The past 2 years she has served in an administrative role as Director of Extended Learning, which includes programs such as Before and After School Care and Clubs Pk-6th grade, Service Learning Pk-12th grade, Camps Pk-8th grade, Early College program development, and several short term international/cultural exchange programs. She and her husband are also co-owners of a small business in Warwick, NY, “Pine Island Brewery” and are opening another brewery this fall highlighting barrel-aging production, the local terroir, as well as a venue space with some retail operations. They are proud parents to a 3-year old son and a daughter on the way and give our Lord all the glory for any successes and challenges along the journey.

Zaire Paschal (’09) (formerly Adams) recently moved to Japan to teach English to Japanese students. He currently resides in Hiroshima City. He was teaching English in Texas public schools the previous five years. He is also working on completing three novels based on a world of his own design like a true BIC nerd. He hopes to finish in the next year or so. Beyond this, he posts memes on Facebook. Zaire was an 09 graduate.

Meaghan (McNeill) Bond (’10) and Greg Bond welcomed their son Daniel Gregory in October 2018. Meaghan is working as a research scientist and lecturer in the Rice 360 Institute for Global Health.

Raymond L. Panneton (BIC, ’10) has joined the law firm of Daniel & Associates, LLC in Houston, Texas.  Having spent almost three-years practicing in the area of complex business litigation, Ray has returned to his roots and is again practicing in the area of personal injury litigation, with a focus on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.  He can be reached at ray@dpdlawfirm.com.

Lucas C. Rodriguez (’10), MS, PhD- CEO, CerSci Therapeutics. As an update I am including an article which was done on me and my company I started during graduate school. Click on link to learn more: https://dallasinnovates.com/meet-the-innovators-lucas-rodriguez-cersci-therapeutics/


Samantha (Rylander) Wallace (’10) is happy to announce both the safe arrival of her son, Lucas Michael, last September, and the official publication of her first novel, The Heart of Everything, last December!  The Heart of Everything is “a paranormal romance with a Christian twist” published by Covenant Books under her pen name, Lynn Wallace.  The book is available in both print and digital formats via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple, among other retailers – visit www.lynnwallaceauthor.com to learn more!  She continues to work part-time as a nurse for the Victoria Eye Clinic in Victoria, TX while her husband serves as teacher/ librarian/ media center director for Edna ISD.  They also recently bought their first house and are excited to be moving in this summer!

Joben David (’11) After graduation in 2011, Joben spent a year working for the Walt Disney Company before returning to Baylor for Graduate School, graduating in 2015.  After a stint living and working in Washington, DC he embarked on a year long adventure traveling through the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Joben returned to his home country of India in 2017 to serve as the Director of Operations at Justice & Hope, a non-profit that fights against sex-trafficking, child sexual abuse and domestic violence. He continues to credit the BIC for his unbreakable New York Times addiction, cultivated disdain for all other “honors” programs and friendships that defy the bounds of distance and time.

Katy (Johnson) Stevick (’11): Graduated from Baylor with a double major in International Studies and Russian. She lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina with her husband and fellow Baylor grad Michael Stevick (BA ’09 and MA ’11) where he serves in the US Army and she found her passion helping military families plan for financial security through her work as a Financial Advisor. His work did not take them to far off places together (as promised) so they make up for their stateside location in frequent overseas trips and welcomed their greatest adventure yet, baby Audrey Elise, in July 2018.  That same year Katy was named 2018 AFI Fort Bragg Military Spouse of the Year.

Cole Short (’13) After graduating from Baylor in December 2013 with a degree in International Studies, Cole moved to Boston for his Masters in Economics. Following his time in Boston, he completed a PhD in Business Administration (Strategy and Entrepreneurship) at the University of Georgia. Cole and his wife Kristin–who is currently working on her PhD in Financial Planning–are moving to Los Angeles this July where he will start a new job as an Assistant Professor of Strategy at Pepperdine University.



Chris Ha (’14): After graduation from Baylor in 2014, Chris started medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, and is set to graduate in May of 2019. Most recently, he completed an additional one-year fellowship at Duke Divinity School as part of the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative.  Chris and his wife Melissa are ecstatic to have welcomed their first baby boy, Alden, into the world in December of 2018. They look forward to moving as a family up to Rochester, Minnesota this summer for Chris to pursue his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic.

Lance Hitt (’14): I graduated in 2014 (BIC: Political Science, Philosophy). After graduation I went home to Nashville and worked for the Tennessee General Assembly and then a law firm for a year. Thereafter, I went to Florida State University College of Law where I will graduate this May. I’ve worked in several areas of law over the past few years, and hope to transition into a compliance role with a broker-dealer in NYC after taking the bar exam in July.

Rachel (Slate) McKinley (’15): I will be graduating from Texas Tech University School of Medicine in May of this year and will be moving to the East coast to complete my Pediatrics residency at MUSC in Charleston, SC. I am excited to finally be a physician! Plus, I even matched to the same residency program with a fellow BIC graduate, Mary Hamilton! Another big accomplishment this year is that I got married! Though my new husband didn’t go to Baylor, he still came to Waco with me to watch a Baylor football game and proudly wears his Baylor shirt. We’ll be cheering on the bears from the beach in Charleston!

Anthony Farfan (BSW ‘16, MSW ‘17): After graduating with his masters in social work in 2017 from the Houston campus, Anthony stayed in the city and took some time to study for his state licensure exam. Afterwards, he worked in Houston ISD until an opening for a pediatric clinic in the Texas Medical Center presented itself. The UT Pediatric High Risk Clinic treats babies right out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through 21 years of age who depend on tracheostomies, ventilators, have cystic fibrosis, are severely premature, and other chronic and life endangering complications. Anthony is currently a social worker in this clinic helping educate families on resources and coping skills, advocating for the patients rights, and addressing mental health issues like postpartum depression. His internship experience in Waco, his work in Houston, and his faith have taught him to serve with a full heart. He plans to begin supervision for his Licensed Clinical Social Worker accreditation in 2020 and pursue a doctorate in education down the road.

Courtenay Klauber (’16):  I am graduating this spring from NC State University with a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration. As part of my program, I got to study abroad in China to learn more about Chinese higher education. Visiting Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, was a highlight of the trip, especially after reading the Analects in World Cultures years ago! After graduation, I will stay at NC State to work as an International Student and Scholar Advisor.

Priyankaa Bhatia (’17): I am at the NIH in my postbac lab position until July of this year, after which I will be heading back to Dallas to start graduate school at UT Southwestern! I’ll be doing the PhD program in Biomedical Sciences. I don’t know what I’ll be researching yet but I’m excited to start go back to school and spend a year rotating in labs to find a good fit for my thesis work.

Isabeau “Beau” Posey (‘17): joined the Baylor Teaching in Thailand Program directly after graduation. After spending a year in Waco, Beau is currently living in Sagamihara, Japan as a Professor of English Foreign Language at Sagami Women’s University through Westgate.





Audrey (Hamlin) Kelley (’18) graduated from Baylor with a BS in All-Level Special Education. After graduation she married the love of her life a fellow and current BICer, Connor Kelley (’20). She currently works in her dream job as a Functional Academics teacher working with an amazing group of students in 4th through 8th grade with moderate to severe disabilities at Robinson Intermediate School, just down the road from her alma mater. She teaches each academic subject, as well as functional skills such as cooking and communication, including American Sign Language and Braille.


Katie Méndez (’18): I am about to finish my first year of law school at American University Washington College of Law. This spring was busy but successful – I wrote on to the American University International Law Review and accepted a judicial intern position with the Eastern District Court of Virginia for this summer. I will also be working as a research assistant with a professor to help him edit his administrative law textbook and writing my comment for the International Law Review over the summer. Next fall, I will be starting my Masters in International Affairs in addition to my J.D. I’m looking forward to using the skills the BIC taught me as I continue working towards my J.D./M.A. in international law and affairs.

Rachel Davy (’18): I graduated in May of 2018 from Baylor LHSON. During a long initial job search, I moved back home to wintry Illinois and began volunteering in the high school ministry with . . . surprise! A fellow BICer! (Mand Elliott, class of 2015). I now work as a nurse on a medical-surgical/oncology floor at a local community hospital. When I’m not at work, I can be found volunteering at church in the high school ministry and the food pantry, pursuing my joy of swing dancing that began at Baylor, and playing open gym volleyball. Plus, most recently, a spontaneous weekend trip to visit former roommate and fellow-BICer Gracie Davis (class of 2018)!

Sofie Sonner (‘18) graduated from Baylor with a BS in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and a minor in French. She has been living on Kinmen Island, Taiwan, for the past year on a Fulbright fellowship to teach English. In the fall, she will attend Walla Walla University to research octopus physiology and pursue an MS in Biology for the next two years.

Calleigh Swift (‘18): I have just finished my first year of graduate school at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work!




Soo Matthews (’18):  I am currently tutoring part-time while studying for the LSAT. I will be moving to Denver in July to get ready to do a teaching fellowship with Teach for America Colorado. I have already been hired by a school called University Prep. It’s an elementary school in the heart of Denver.

Austin P Allaire (’18) graduated a few short months ago with a BBA in Accounting and International Business. Since graduating in December, Austin has spent time working with KPMG’s International Tax practice in Dallas, Texas, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Keeping with the passion for international work he developed as a student in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, Austin will undertake an MSc in International Business as City, University of London’s Cass Business School this fall. London BICers, feel free to reach out at Austin_Allaire@alumni.baylor.edu


Zane Zovak (’18) Since graduating in December, Zane has been a fellow at the John Jay Institute outside of Philadelphia where he has explored political philosophy and Christian traditions in this semester-long residency program. He encourages anyone interested in public service who has a strong faith background to consider this fully-funded program as it has been extremely influential in his vocational development. In the summer, he will be interning with California Policy Center where he hopes to gain experience from grassroots-level policy work. He hopes to return to DC on the other side of summer to focus on foreign policy approaches to China and hopes to build upon his appreciation for different cultures that was cultivated during his time in the BIC. Zane truly believes “the unexamined life isn’t worth living” and hopes to pay homage to Socrates in his continued studies.


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2019 Senior Banquet Speech — Kennen Dickens

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019 we gathered to celebrate the BIC graduating students of 2019. As part of the banquet, Kennen Dickens was voted by her peers as the female BIC student to represent her graduating class and was invited to offer a few words to her fellow graduating seniors. We hope you enjoy reading her remarks from that evening’s festivities.


Well, here we are! I’m being honest in saying that I wasn’t exactly sure what “here” would look like, and I’m pretty certain what I thought “here” would be has changed about five times. I remember the day when we were Baby BICers, booking it to Large Lecture in Marrs McClane Auditorium because we (or rather, I) mixed up small group and large group dates in our schedule. Now here we are, running a little less on campus, and getting ready to take what we have learned and plunge ourselves into the abyss that is life after Baylor. Oh, how far we have come from being those lil’ Baby BICers. We have walked our way through the rest of our classes and made it to the final bookend of our college career.

I keep coming back to the great thankfulness I have for the BIC and all of the connections that come from being a member of this rare community. There are several characteristics which BICers have accumulated over these last four years that I expect will remain influential in whatever avenues we take in the years to come: the lasting motivation of Curiosity, willingness to enter challenging circumstances, and the Hope born from Curiosity.

We have read from great artists, historians, activist, writers, and pioneers throughout these last couple of years, each driven by the need to not only find answers but to also redefine the way we ask questions. In their seeking they found understanding and humility, knowing that there is oh so much more to be sought after that which we have barely touched. There’s something about having Curiosity as a motivator. She is never quite satiated, which is a lovely yet equally dangerous thing, but as BICers we are not ones to shy away from perilous grounds, are we? Within one newly found item of Curiosity arrives the undeniable desire to pursue another.

A BICer is known for their willingness to press into difficult questions. If there is an uncomfortable or challenging incident in Baylor Chapel or on the Baylor campus, whatcha bet that there is a BIC student or professor there in the midst of it. BIC –the best kind of troublemakers, indeed. BICers have this great desire to press into hard things and challenge common subscriptions. “That’s just the way it is” isn’t a viable answer for us. Something I have learned as a BICer is that familiarity is a lovely place to live for a time, but we find our true selves through stepping outside and plunging into the unknown, grappling with our assumptions of what we think we know. Throughback to Plato’s Cave, am I right?

However, as I look back on our time as members of the BIC and what this program has taught us about living, I begin to see the concept of Curiosity in a new light. Curiosity is synonymous with Hope. If anything they are co-motivators and game-changers. As our Paw Prints have depleted over the years printing several trees worth of readings, these authors and professors have fueled this truth within us that change is inevitable. And healthy. Sometimes it’s unhurried and other times it comes on faster than we can gauge, but as BICers we have trained our perspective to see the challenges around us as means to understand and seek out greater truths. Where there is still yet more to be discovered, there will always be Hope. As BICers with this desire to take on the uncomfortable and stoke our curiosity for the foreign, we may step into this post-Baylor abyss and onto the shoulders of the professors, authors, and friends who have shaped our BIC experience.

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