Dr. Lakia Scott, assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, received the 2018 Baylor Diversity Enhancement Award, presented at a reception in the President’s Suite of McLane Stadium on Sept. 6.
In presenting the award, Eloisa Haynes, assistant director of advancement services and chair of the Campus Diversity Committee, said the award “recognizes the efforts of one individual within the Baylor community who actively strengthens and promotes respect for diversity through innovative leadership and service or through practices and programs designed to enhance a climate of understanding and respect throughout the campus community.”
She said the committee singled out Scott for her efforts in promoting the recruitment and retention of first-generation college students; serving as advisor to the multicultural student organization ROOTS; mentoring young women of color; establishing a reputation for being empathetic and supportive of students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds; and focusing her research on multicultural awareness, diversity practices and urban literacy.”
Scott said she was honored to receive the award and plans to continue serving in volunteer capacities to “advance university initiatives centered on diversity and inclusivity for students, faculty and staff.”
Since the award announcement, Scott has become a member of the Campus Diversity Committee and was also appointed by School of Education Interim Dean Terrill Saxon to serve on the President’s Diversity Council.
Saxon said that he knew Scott would be an excellent representative for the President’s Diversity Council. “The value she places on diversity, her devotion to cultural issues, and her desire to reach marginalized children are not simply things she talks about,” he said. “Her teaching and scholarship are focused on these areas and are making a strong impact.”
Scott said, “I hope to make significant contributions to both the committee and the council in order to advance the mission and vision of our University.”
After receiving the award, Scott especially acknowledged mentors Ramona Curtis, Baylor’s Director for Community Engagement and Initiatives, and Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, professor of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media.
“Ramona Curtis, a legendary figure how walks among us, introduced me to the missionary experience in Ghana a few years ago, and that has made all the difference in understanding global issues in literacy, which has further informed my scholarship,” Scott said. “Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez has been a pioneer helping me to see the value of mentoring students and serving as a role model for those who may come from similar backgrounds. These two women continue to inspire me. It is in this sentiment that I accepted the award, knowing that I am following in the footsteps of amazing trailblazers of the University.”
Scott joined the Baylor faculty in 2014 and teaches courses in literacy, literature, multicultural education practices, and social issues and foundations. Her research has included the publication of books on culturally relevant literature and on the history and relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is founder and director of the Baylor CDF Freedom School, a seven-week summer program to prevent summer learning loss in middle school students through culturally relevant literature, STEM activities, and art. She is the director of the Baylor in Ghana Mission Trip, which takes a group of students to Africa each May, and she has led the SOE’s Spring Break study-abroad trip to Queretaro, Mexico, through the Carpenter Embedded Global Classroom.
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Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.
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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.