Baylor University honored the School of Education’s Dr. Nick Werse with an Outstanding Staff Award this spring in a presentation at Truett Seminary. Werse is director of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s Ed.D. Writing Center, which serves hundreds of students in the SOE’s online Ed.D. in Learning and Organizational Change (EdD-LOC). The center offers comprehensive support, including writing development support, writing webinars, writing resources for faculty, course development recommendations, dissertation formatting support, and individualized student writing consultations via Zoom, employing a staff of seven including Werse. During the fall of 2021, the EdD Writing Center provided feedback on over 950 documents, which included more than 480 writing consultations, and written feedback to guide the development of more than 470 dissertation chapters.
Werse holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Baylor, graduating in 2018, and a 2012 M.Div. from Truett Theological Seminary in Biblical and Theological Studies. He earned his B.A. from Palm Beach Atlantic University. He published a book on Old Testament prophets in 2019 and has another in the works on the prophets in the age of ecological crisis, and he is competent in eight research languages.
Baylor colleagues and EdD-LOC students, while recognizing this broad expertise and his skills in academic writing, also appreciate him for his spirit of encouragement and his obvious dedication to Baylor.
2021 EdD graduate Nadine E. Franz said, “His ability to encourage and bring out the best in others is undeniable. He recognizes my potential while encouraging me to become a better writer and scholar. He is the consummate educator who respects his students while guiding them to optimal performance. My Baylor experience would not be as gratifying without Dr. Werse’s tutelage.”
Ashley Gibson, also a 2021 EdD graduate, said, “Every time I have a writing meeting with Dr. Werse, I feel like my writing is the only thing he is reading and focusing on. I never feel rushed or overlooked. He is a truly gifted, selfless, and Christ-filled servant. Baylor is truly blessed to have him.”
Writing Center staff members who work with Werse are equally effusive. Graduate writing coordinator Dr. Lacy Crocker Papadakis said, “Dr. Werse demonstrates leadership by creating a team-oriented atmosphere and a culture of collegiality. He routinely finds publication or presentation opportunities for faculty and students. . . . Dr. Werse’s efforts have encouraged a culture of research among the EdD-LOC students and have led to 20 student publications in 2021-22.”
Several colleagues in Curriculum & Instruction lauded Werse for his leadership. Dr. Madelon McCall, clinical assistant professor, noted, “While most people view writing as a somewhat subdued activity, Dr. Werse elevates his instruction and encouragement to the level of a Peloton instructor, except he is dressed in a vest and a tie (always)! His level of energy and excitement for the writing process is infectious.”
Dr. Brooke Blevins, department chair and the Conwell G. Strickland Endowed Chair in Education, said Werse is a “visionary leader” and strategic planner who inspires others. “When we hired Nick almost three years ago, we had no idea how important his role in our EDD online program would become,” she said.
Dr. Sandi Cooper, professor and founding program director of the EdD-LOC, said Werse has been key to the program’s success. “When we began this program, we had no idea how fast it would grow and how innovative we would need to be,” Cooper said. “We were fortunate to hire Dr. Werse as we launched this program, and it was one of the best decisions we made. He embraces each situation with a positive outlook, a problem-solving mentality, and a dedication to providing the highest level of support. He is a master of writing and exceptional coach for emerging scholars.”
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ABOUT BAYLOR SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Baylor’s School of Education celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. The school boasts a variety of academic program options across its three departments: Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Educational Psychology. Baylor’s award-winning undergraduate program in teacher education serves approximately 400 students and has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers with extensive clinical preparation.
More than 700 graduate students pursue advanced study and professional preparation in master’s, Ed.S., Ed.D., and Ph.D. programs. With exciting new academic initiatives both at home and abroad, the school is in a period of significant expansion and is poised for greater impact through the production of meaningful, high-quality research and the preparation of outstanding leaders, teachers, and clinicians. Visit www.baylor.edu/SOE to learn more.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.