Senior Olivia Moses presented her research on campus during the McNair Scholars Symposium last fall.
Many seniors feel the pressure of the unknown that inevitably comes as they anticipate life after college. For elementary education senior Olivia Moses, however, this pressure began to subside due to her involvement with the Baylor McNair Scholars Program.
Last fall, Moses was among Baylor’s first group of McNair Scholars, chosen after the program launched at Baylor. Over 150 other universities have the program, giving McNair students a broad network of resources and support.
The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded program that helps low-income and first-generation undergraduates — as well as students who come from groups underrepresented in graduate education — prepare for the path to doctoral degree programs through a variety of scholarly activities, including immersion in research with a mentor. The program also provides financial planning for graduate school success, summer research internships with stipends, and the opportunity to attend academic conferences.
Moses found her place in the McNair program as an elementary education major conducting research on media literacy. For her research project, Moses analyzed the animated movie Megamind with a group of students that were participants in Baylor School of Education’s Freedom School program last summer. “The basic question is, ‘What experience do 10-11-year-olds have with analyzing and pulling out themes, and making media messages?’” Moses said. Megamind proved to be an interesting movie to work with, because the main character is a villain, rather than a hero. “There are a lot of topsy-turvy moments between good and evil, so I really wanted them to tackle that.” Continue Reading →
January 18, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact 0 comments
Jerkins, Coordinator of Elementary Science/Social Studies and English Learners for Midway ISD near Waco, will receive the 2019 Johnny L. Veselka Scholarship from the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) at the group’s Midwinter Conference Jan. 27-30 in Austin. The scholarship recognizes the leadership of Dr. Johnny L. Veselka, who dedicated nearly 44 years of service to the association, including 32 years as TASA’s executive director. TASA awards the scholarship annually to two outstanding doctoral students pursuing careers in educational leadership, with particular emphasis on the superintendency.
Jerkins said, “I am pursuing the superintendency because it is a culmination of all of the things that have shaped my life thus far — a desire to serve others, a passion for education, a desire to support students and teachers, and now a desire to work with entire communities to promote student success.” Continue Reading →
October 30, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact 1 Comment
Costa Rica freshman Bryan Lizano (second from left) is greeted at the Waco airport by Baylor faculty (l-r) Dr. Randy Wood, Dr. Trena Wilkerson and Dr. Debra Burleson.
Ten years ago, Bryan Lizano was a fifth-grade boy in Costa Rica, carefully watching a group of Baylor School of Education students completing mission work at Santa Elena School. He noticed how different these Baylor students were. It wasn’t just their accents and the slang they used. It was all the knowledge they shared about a university they loved. Lizano, a Nicaraguan refugee, liked the image of Baylor they showed by their service projects — painting the school’s walls, teaching, and developing relationships with the students.
Bryan (back row, third from right) with the Baylor volunteers at Santa Elena School in March 2017.
As the idea of Baylor became more vivid each year the students came back, Lizano realized he wanted to become a Baylor student himself. Through support from Baylor students and professors, a dream became reality for Lizano, a freshman interested in studying computer sciences and the first graduate of his technical high school to attend a university in the U.S., with a full tuition scholarship to Baylor.
“Because we’ve know Bryan so long from the trips, he was always an active part of our activities; when he got here, it felt like he had already been a part of the Baylor family for years,” said Dr. Trena Wilkerson, professor in the School of Education. “Our Costa Rica mission students helped him to understand what Baylor is and what we stand for. They saw what a tremendous young man he is.” Continue Reading →
October 2, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact 0 comments
School of Education doctoral student Amanda Gardner at Armstrong-Browning Library
Imagine, for just a moment, that you are sitting at the desk of your favorite author, walking through the halls of her home, gazing out of the same windows. You can begin to understand who she was as an individual and the circumstances that made her who she was. That deep level of understanding and appreciation of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning is the goal for Baylor School of Education doctoral student Amanda Gardner’s interactive video dissertation project.
“Location and zeitgeist help us understand what we’re reading and what we’re experiencing,” Gardner said. “I can’t take a class of students to those unique places, but I can bring a 360 experience to them.”
360-degree film creates a final product in which the viewer can see the entire room in 360 degrees. GoPro’s Odyssey was used for this film.
After learning about 360º film technology, known as Cinematic Virtual Reality (CVR) in a Baylor Film and Digital Media course, Gardner became interested in its implications for high school English classroom learning. Dr. Gretchen Schwarz, her dissertation chair and an authority in media literacy, supported Gardner in combining her new interest in CVR technology with her passion for English to study the impact of the new and potentially appealing platform.
“I think Amanda is very creative,” Schwarz said. “What’s amazing is that this is just the beginning of her study, and hopefully it will be an engaging way for students to interact with the author and with the literature.” Continue Reading →
The Math for Early Learners Academy (MELA), now in its third year sponsored by the Baylor University School of Education, is underway through July 27 at Baylor’s Mayborn Museum, and research is showing that the summer early-intervention program serving early childhood students in Waco ISD is showing positive results.
Baylor faculty and graduate students have conducted follow-up math assessments of the students both of the previous years and found that the program is making a difference.
“After participating in MELA, students who were previously identified as being consistently below their peers in mathematics were found to be indistinguishable from their peers on a test of broad math ability,” said Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education in the department of curriculum and instruction and founder and director of MELA. “This suggests that participating in MELA enabled these students to not only make progress in math ability but also to close the gap between them and their peers.”
Doctoral student Cara Cliburn Allen received a Scholar Award for her work on food insecurity among college students.
Surviving on dry cereal and ramen can be typical for a surprising number of college students, even at Baylor. This realization led School of Education doctoral candidate Cara Cliburn Allen to focus her research in Higher Education Studies on food insecurity — the inability to access three nutritious meals a day.
Her passion and interest in “at-risk” student populations led to a recent $15,000 scholarship award from the P.E.O. Scholar Awards program, a merit-based award for women conducting research in a doctoral program, that she will use to further her study on how food insecurity shapes students’ identity formation. P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), founded in 1869, is a philanthropic organization with more than 6,000 chapters dedicated to supporting higher education for women; celebrating the advancement of women; educating women through scholarships, grants, awards, and loans; and motivating women to achieve their highest aspirations. Continue Reading →
In this issue, you’ll find news of a prestigious national award and of a $2.5 million gift to the School, plus an inside look the SOE’s “Introduction to Teaching” class for first-year students, a faculty feature on Dr. Susan Johnsen, and news of publications in higher education studies — plus much, much more!
School of Education graduates should have received a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and did not receive a printed copy, please email BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. Also feel free to email us with any news that the School needs to know!
Baylor senior Morgan Frey with “Most Memorable Teacher” Regina Moschitta
Two teachers were honored at the annual Baylor University School of Education Senior Recognition Banquet on April 26. Following tradition, Baylor School of Education seniors had the opportunity to nominate teachers who had been influential in their lives. Students submitted a nomination essay about their teacher, and the awarded educators were chosen by a Baylor faculty committee.
This year Regina Moschitta of Atoka, Tennessee, and Monica Regan of Georgetown in Washington, D.C., were honored with the Baylor School of Education’s “Most Memorable Teacher” award. Continue Reading →
Baylor SOE award winners with Interim Dean Dr. Terrill Saxon
Baylor School of Education (SOE) recognized seven seniors as outstanding students at the 33rd Annual Senior Recognition Banquet April 26. Brad Livingstone, a history and government teacher at Vanguard College Preparatory School and husband to Baylor University President Linda Livingstone, spoke to a gathering of students, faculty, student mentors and family members before students received their honors. Livingstone acknowledged the challenges teachers face, but he encouraged the future educators to have courage, seek God and never give up on teaching.
EDICUT Preservice Educator of the Year Award
Jamie Wong, a middle grades mathematics major from Taipei, Taiwan, was named the 2018 EDICUT Pre-Service Educator of the Year. This award, also known as the “Dean’s Award,” recognizes a student who most exemplifies the bright future for the teaching profession by the Education Deans of Independent Colleges and Universities in Texas (EDICUT).
Wong said, “I want to impact middle school students in the most shapeable time of their lives. Building relationships with the future generation is a passion of mine. With the love of Jesus, I hope to speak value and identity in to every student.” Continue Reading →
March 15, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact 0 comments
Teacher Bianca Ochoa, M.S.Ed. ’93, Ph.D. ’13, with Sara Sommerfeldt, a junior elementary education major, at Hillcrest PDS in Waco ISD. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
For the second year in a row, the Baylor University School of Education has won a prestigious national honor in recognition of its Professional Development School (PDS) partnership with local schools.
The partnership between Baylor School of Education and Waco Independent School District to prepare future teachers has earned the Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS). The award will be presented March 17 to Baylor School of Education and Waco ISD, plus three other university-public school partnerships, at the NAPDS annual conference in Jacksonville, Florida.
The NAPDS award is given to a small number of school-university partnerships each year whose work creates and sustains genuine collaborative relationships between pre K-12 schools and higher education and prepares the next generation of teachers with valuable classroom experience. NAPDS cited the Baylor-Waco ISD partnership “for its mutually beneficial 25-year collaboration and its leadership in PDS work nationally.”