Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

July 23, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Rishi Sriram Elected to Azusa Pacific Board [07/22/2020]

Rishi SriramDr. Rishi Sriram, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in Baylor School of Education, was elected unanimously as a member of the Board of Trustees of Azusa Pacific University. Azusa officials spent six months vetting Sriram for the position, which was announced on May 29. Considered one of the top Christian colleges in the country, Azusa is a private, evangelical Christian university in Azusa, California. As an alumnus of the university, having earned his Ph.D. in higher education from Azusa in 2010, Sriram kept in contact with the university post-graduation, serving as a guest speaker at several events and even as a visiting professor for higher education classes.

Sriram said he was honored by the fact that he was even considered for the position, let alone appointed. His appointment began May 29.

“It’s not a role I ever thought I’d be considered for,” said Sriram. “The reason they approached me is because they wanted someone who believed in their mission and was also an expert in higher education.” Continue Reading →

July 16, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE and Museum Studies Offer Informal Education Minor [07/16/2020]

Alex and Rachel

Alex Sudduth (left) of the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler and Rachel Moore or the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco are Baylor graduates with careers in informal education.

Baylor graduate Rachel Moore had somewhat of an epiphany after her junior year of studying education. While working at a zoo, she discovered that education can occur outside of traditional classrooms.

“I had always wanted to be a teacher,” Moore said, “and I thought that meant I would be in a classroom. But after working at a zoo, I became passionate about informal education, and fortunately, two of my School of Education professors were eager to help me become an unconventional teacher.”

Alex and Baloo

Alex Sudduth with Baloo

Alex Farrell Sudduth had a similar experience. In a junior course on elementary mathematics, professor Dr. Sandi Cooper took the class to Baylor’s Mayborn Museum to create a mathematics lesson based on the museum’s exhibits.

“It was so fun and exciting to be creative and craft lessons that related to our TEKS but also kept the students engaged in the topic,” Sudduth said. “I found the museum to be more inspiring than a traditional classroom.”

Sudduth pursued a master’s degree at Baylor SOE, which professors tailored to coordinate with Baylor’s Museum Studies Department, allowing her to develop the expertise for her current job as education manager for the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler. Continue Reading →

July 2, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Spring/Summer Issue of “Baylor Impact” is Online . . . Only [07/02/2020]

Meet the new SOE dean, learn about faculty research, and find out about new programs in Baylor School of Education in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Baylor Impact newsletter. This issue of Impact is online only. If you are a graduate of Baylor SOE and did not receive an email with the newsletter, please let us know by emailing BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. You can also update your information online at this link: Update Your Information

In this issue, you get two deans for the price of one! Read all about the SOE’s new Dean, Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke, who arrived July 1, and see the farewell message from Dr. Terrill Saxon, who has been SOE Interim Dean for three years.

This issue features research profiles on faculty members in each SOE department:
Curriculum & Instruction: Dr. Sandi Cooper’s early mathematics program leads to student success.
Educational Leadership: Dr. Bradley Carpenter and Dr. Jon Eckert bring new research focus to K-12 leadership studies.
Educational Psychology: Dr. Nick Benson’s research on assessments makes “testing” a good thing.

Don’t miss an inspiring Q&A with Baylor SOE alumna Lisa Fuentes ’96, whose Focus Behavioral clinic is helping hundreds of children with autism and their families. And there’s more inspiration from Baylor supporters Ryan and Karen Liles, who know that investing in a teacher’s education helps the education of many others. Plus, all sorts of exciting news about awards and new programs is tucked into the SOE news briefs.

Thank you for keeping in touch with Baylor SOE!

 

June 30, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Terrill Saxon Completes Term as SOE’s Longest Serving Interim Dean [06/30/2020]

Terrill Saxon

Tuesday, June 30, marks the final day of Dr. Terrill Saxon’s service as Interim Dean of the Baylor School of Education. He has served for three years and is the longest serving Interim in the School’s history, with a tenure that equals or exceeds two of the School’s permanent deans. On July 1, Baylor SOE will welcome Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke as its 15th dean (including interims).

Saxon joined the Baylor faculty in 1995 and is also Professor of Educational Psychology and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education. He earned his BA in psychology and MSEd in educational psychology from Baylor and his PhD in educational psychology at the University of Kansas. Continue Reading →

May 19, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Brooke Blevins Named Strickland Endowed Chair in School of Education [05/19/2020]

Brooke Blevins

Dr. Brooke Blevins

Brooke E. Blevins, Ph.D., associate professor of social studies education and chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the Baylor University School of Education, has been named The Conwell G. Strickland Endowed Chair in Education.

Blevins is only the third faculty member to hold The Strickland Chair, following recently retired professor Larry Browning, Ed.D. (appointed in 2012), and the inaugural holder, the late Fred. K. Curtis, Ed.D. (1985).

Highly respected as an exemplary teacher/scholar and a recognized leader in the field of civics education, Blevins’ appointment to the endowed chair places her in the company of Baylor’s most revered faculty. Colleagues describe Blevins as a fully engaged teaching scholar who empowers her students to become transformative and as a leader who serves through a philosophy grounded in care and demonstrated in collaboration.

READ MORE . . .

 

May 6, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke Appointed Dean of Baylor School of Education [05/06/2020]

Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke

Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke

Following a nationwide search, Baylor University Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., announced today that Shanna Hagan-Burke, Ph.D., professor of special education and head of the department of educational psychology at Texas A&M University’s College of Education and Human Development, has been selected as Dean of the Baylor School of Education. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Dr. Hagan-Burke will succeed Terrill F. Saxon, Ph.D., professor of educational psychology and associate dean for research and graduate education, who has served the past three years as the School’s interim dean.

“We welcome Dr. Hagan-Burke to Baylor University and the School of Education,” Dr. Brickhouse said. “Throughout her academic career, Dr. Hagan-Burke has demonstrated a strong commitment to both undergraduate and graduate teaching while also conducting robust externally funded research in her academic field. She also deeply values Baylor’s mission and aspirations as a preeminent Christian research university. As Dean, she will continue the impactful work of our education faculty, whose growing research portfolio complements a long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring.”

READ MORE . . .

April 28, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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School of Education Offers Online Summer Courses [04/28/2020]

Baylor University School of Education (SOE) will offer summer courses online as part of Baylor’s “Summer of Discovery” for 2020. Special tuition discounts apply for both current and incoming students, and the savings increase as the number of summer hours increases.

Baylor created special online course “bundles” for this summer, and the SOE has added some education courses that are not usually offered in summer.

“These online summer course bundles are a great way for students to pick up classes that help them progress toward graduation and free up time in their remaining semesters for work or study abroad,” said SOE associate dean, Dr. Suzanne Nesmith. Continue Reading →

April 21, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Finishing Well: Closure for a different sort of Semester [04/21/2020]

By Dr. Jonathan Eckert
Faculty Guest Blog

I have given away over 700 books to college students in the last 11 years. Usually I hand them out in our last class session. This afternoon, I had to mail the books to my students as I have not seen them in person in a month. In each book, I write an inscription that tells students what I appreciate about them, how I have seen them grow, and what I am praying for them as they move on from our class. This year’s book is Prodigal God by Tim Keller – a reminder of God’s reckless love for us. This semester was more challenging as my students are scattered across the country, but this was more important than ever—certainly for me and maybe for my students.

Dr. Jonathan Eckert, Copple Professor

For me, this is how I bring closure to a semester. When each new class begins, I always wonder if I am going to appreciate the students as much as I did the previous class. Twenty-four years of teaching at all different levels has taught me that I will, but it is typically not until I write the book inscriptions that I realize how much I appreciate the individuals in my class and the class as a whole. Not being able to by physically present with them this month has been harder than I expected—writing was particularly important for me this semester. Continue Reading →

April 9, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Trena Wilkerson, Professor of Mathematics Education, Installed as NCTM President [04/09/2020]

Trena Wilkerson - NCTM

Dr. Trena Wilkerson at NCTM headquarters in Virginia

Trena L. Wilkerson, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education in the Baylor University School of Education, has taken on a national leadership role as the newly installed president of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Wilkerson, who has taught in the Baylor SOE department of curriculum and instruction since 1999, said she is honored by the opportunity to advocate for mathematics, which she has always loved. In her role leading the organization of more than 30,000 members, Wilkerson will continue NCTM’s efforts to “build strategic networks around critical issues, classroom instruction, teacher education and student learning.”

In her new role as NCTM president, Wilkerson will be working to make all kinds of connections to enhance mathematics education and benefit students. The beauty in mathematics, she said, is that “everything connects.”

READ MORE ON THE BAYLOR MEDIA SITE….

March 25, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Advice from a Full-Time Distance Educator [03/25/2020]

Nick Werse

Photo by Aiden and Jennifer Werse

While distance education is new for most of Baylor, Dr. Nicholas Werse has been a distance educator for several years. Werse is the Graduate Writing Coordinator for Baylor School of Education’s EdD in Learning and Organizational Change, the university’s largest online doctoral program, housed in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. Werse runs a fully online writing center to coach the doctoral students with their academic writing. He meets with students one-on-one and also conducts webinars.

Werse holds an MDiv from Truett Seminary and a Baylor PhD in religion. He previously coached writing in Baylor’s Graduate School, often interacting with students from a distance after they had finished on-campus coursework. He has four years of experience teaching undergraduate college courses and spent two years teaching in an online format.

So we asked Dr. Werse for some advice about online interactions in academia.

Q: How do you typically interact with students in the EdD program?

A: We usually interact via email, and we meet via video conference. Students email documents for me to review. I provide written feedback and then meet with the students for a 30-minute one-on-one writing consultation. During that, we talk through the feedback and discuss strategies to help them grow as writers. In many ways, it reminds me of holding office hours for students when I taught in the classroom. Continue Reading →