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Dr. Laine Scales Named Baylor Master Teacher [08/30/2016]


Dr. Laine ScalesDr. Laine Scales, professor of higher education who teaches in the School of Education’s Ph.D. program in higher education and leadership studies, is among three Baylor faculty members honored for teaching excellence.

Baylor University Interim President David E. Garland announced the designation of Master Teacher – the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members for sustained excellence in teaching – has been conferred on Corey P. Carbonara, Ph.D., professor of film and digital media, College of Arts & Sciences; T. Laine Scales, Ph.D., professor of higher education, School of Education, and associate dean of graduate studies and professional development, Graduate School; and Gaynor I. Yancey, D.S.W., professor of social work, Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.

Garland made the announcement during the annual fall faculty meeting Aug. 25 at Waco Hall. The last time Baylor designated Master Teachers was in 2005.

“All three faculty members were unanimously recommended by the selection committee as excellent teachers, whose years of dedication and commitment to teaching and to our students have been outstanding,” Garland said. “They truly represent the transformational experience our students receive at Baylor.”

Laine Scales joined the Baylor faculty in 1999 as assistant professor of social work, has served as associate dean in the Graduate School since 2004 and joined the School of Education in 2008, where she teaches in the Ph.D. program in higher education and leadership studies. Her teaching and administrative focus is on faculty development, including professional development of graduate students.

Through her leadership of such programs as Conyers Scholars, Baptist College and University Scholars, and Preparing our Future Faculty, Scales has mentored aspiring faculty from all disciplines as well as current faculty and administrators through the Summer Faculty Institute, Adjunct Training Institute and Baylor Seminar for Academic Leadership. She was influential in in the creation of Baylor’s Academy for Teaching and Learning in 2008, and has served continuously on its advisory board as well as on the provost’s Teaching with Technology committee.

From 2008 to 2014, Scales served as Faculty-in-Residence, living among students in Kokernot Hall and has co-directed the Baylor in Oxford summer study abroad program since 2013. She earned her B.A. in psychology and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983, her master’s degree in social work from the Carver School of Church Social Work at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1986, and her Ph.D. in higher education at the University of Kentucky in 1994. (Read more about Scales here and here.)

“I came to Baylor in 1999 to work alongside my own teacher, Diana Garland, who had certainly mastered the skills of teaching and administration and allowed me to learn at her elbow,” Scales said. “As a new faculty member, I got to know Baylor’s Master Teachers like Bob Baird and Tom Hanks, who generously shared their wisdom and experience with novices like me. I grew to love being in the classroom with Baylor’s curious and engaged learners, but I never dreamed I would be honored with an invitation to join the esteemed group of Master Teachers.”

Appointment as a Master Teacher is based on the profound impact of faculty members in the classroom and on students’ lives as judged by the record of the faculty members’ achievements and the observations of the various nominators. Nominations may be made by former students of the nominated faculty member or by current or former staff, faculty or administrators personally familiar with the nominated faculty member’s record of teaching achievements and other contributions to teaching.

Master Teachers represent:

  1. Knowledge and use of effective and engaging pedagogy
    2. Advocacy for teaching and learning, as reflected by characteristics such as:
  • a) Passion for teaching and learning
  • b) Engagement of students – mentoring undergraduates and/or graduates in research, active learning classes, group work, service learning and/or community-based learning
  • c) Impact beyond nominee’s own courses – e.g., curricular development, mentoring of other faculty colleagues, publications, presentations or web resources
  1. Sustained (minimum 10 years at Baylor University) commitment to teaching excellence.

— Story from Baylor Media Communications

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Founded in 1919, the Baylor School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The School prepares leaders beginning in undergraduate programs, continuing through master’s-level work and culminating in both Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs; impacts the world as students participate in faculty-guided fieldwork, service learning and community-focused research in local and global contexts; and shapes the future by mentoring the whole person, developing an understanding of theory and practice and encouraging responsiveness to one’s calling.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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