Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

April 7, 2021
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor PhD Student Earns Honors from CEC and OAR [04/06/2021]

PhD student Marie Kirkpatrick

Baylor School of Education PhD student Marie Kirkpatrick

Baylor School of Education doctoral student Marie Kirkpatrick has received recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) for her research related to autism.

CEC chose Kirkpatrick as an Outstanding Scholar to join the Division for Research Doctoral Student Scholars Cohort 13. Students are selected through an internationally competitive review process based on proposals and nominations. Kirkpatrick was nominated by Dr. Jessica Akers, her mentor and an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis.

The CEC program provides professional development and networking for advanced doctoral students who are conducting research in special education. Kirkpatrick said the program has provided guidance in publishing articles, collaborating within Baylor and across universities, obtaining grant funding, and mentoring and advising students.

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) awarded Kirkpatrick a grant of $1,730 for her doctoral dissertation research. A record number of proposals was reviewed by the OAR Scientific Council, a panel of experts, and awarded based on alignment with OAR’s research priorities, methodological soundness, and relevance for those affected by autism. Continue Reading →

February 2, 2021
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor School of Education’s Center Updates Name [02/02/2021]

BCSL 2020 WInter Leadership Seminar

The Winter Leadership Seminar, held Jan. 30, 2020, was the last in-person education event for the newly renamed Baylor Center for School Leadership. Switching to virtual events in March, the Center provided webinars for more than 800 school leaders in 2020. Virtual institutes in 2021 are already serving more than 100 leaders per month.

Baylor School of Education’s Center for Christian Education has changed its name to the Baylor Center for School Leadership (BCSL) to better reflect its mission to serve school leaders.

Matt Thomas

Dr. Matt Thomas, speaking at the 2019 Academy for Teaching and Learning

Dr. Matt Thomas, Executive Director of the Center for School Leadership, said the name change does not reflect any change in the Center’s mission. “Be assured our mission and aim will not change, nor will the centrality of the Christian faith be diminished in any way,” he said. “In fact, this name change will enhance our ability to serve Christian schools and Christian leaders.”

The Center serves Christian independent schools and their leaders and also offers programming for Christians serving in any type of school in the U.S. and abroad. Its programs include conferences, symposia, and field-based consultative services aimed at all levels of school leadership. Recent offerings have provided professional and leadership development opportunities for teachers (organized by grade and subject level), heads of independent schools, financial leaders and board members for independent schools, and those in public education settings. Continue Reading →

January 25, 2021
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Doctoral Student Wins National Award [01/25/2021]

Lori Leibowitz, Baylor EdD studentBaylor doctoral student Lori Leibowitz took on a new job just two years ago, and in that time she has totally redesigned the gifted education program in her Connecticut school district. Recently she received national recognition for her efforts, which have resulted in inclusion of more students in gifted education programs, beyond those who do well on traditional academic measures.

A student in Baylor School of Education’s EdD Online in Learning and Organizational Change (EDD-LOC) and District Coordinator for the Gifted and Talented Program in Norwalk (Connecticut) Public Schools, Leibowitz received the 2020 Gifted Coordinator of the Year Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Leibowitz holds an MA in education from Sacred heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, and a BA in history from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. To her current job she brought more than 20 years of classroom and administrative experience in Connecticut elementary and middle-grades schools, including a seven-year stint teaching advanced learning programs. Continue Reading →

December 2, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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School Psychology Doc Student Named Tops in Texas [12/02/2020]

Brandon Parker

Brandon Parker, doctoral student in School Psychology (Photo by Baylor Photography)

Brandon Parker, a third-year PhD student in School Psychology, was awarded the 2020 Texas Association of School Psychology (TASP) Outstanding Graduate Doctoral Student Award.

Parker was nominated by his current practicum supervisor, Lindsay Shockley, BA ’06 (psychology), EdS ’09 (School Psychology), a school psychologist for Lorena ISD, south of Waco. At Lorena ISD, Parker provides individual counseling services to students placed in special education.

“I help students work on increasing positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors,” Parker said. “I help them with social skills and study skills, and I help them with emotional regulation and anger management.” Continue Reading →

November 23, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Fall 2020 Issue of Impact Newsletter is Online [11/23/2020]

The fall 2020 issue of Baylor Impact newsletter is now online. This issue is online only, and alumni should have received an email with the newsletter today. If you did not receive an email with the newsletter, please let us know by emailing BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. To make sure you don’t miss any future communications, you can also update your information online at this link: Update Your Information

The Fall Impact issue features the work of faculty, students, and alumni who are making a difference through education. Read about exciting new academic programs, how our faculty are serving educators, and how student teachers are succeeding in the midst of a global pandemic.

Great news includes:

CCE Answers the Call — How the Center for Christian Education made the most of cancelled in-person workshops to reach thousands more in virtual settings.

Teacher Education in Challenging Times — SOE faculty and students are adjusting and succeeding on the Baylor campus and in local schools.

School Psychology Degree in Dallas — The SOE has extended its reach to the Metroplex, offering the EdS degree at the campus of Baylor’s Nursing School.

There’s more inspiration in the story of globe-trotting teacher and PhD student Kenley Bailey Ritter, BSEd ’06, and the heart-warming profile of Baylor supporters Jim and Kaye Patterson. news about the new MA in School Leadership and more.

October 12, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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That Summer When . . . How teachers can “warm up a cold, virtual space” [10/12/2020]

Faculty Guest Blog by Tracey Jones

Tracey Jones, who teaches Spanish Education and ESL (English as a Second Language) in the School of Education, shares creative and successful teaching strategies she has employed in the current online environment. Jones taught ESL to SOE students this summer during Baylor’s “Summer of Discovery” and is a Baylor Lecturer in Modern Languages & Cultures.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2020 Newsletter of Texas TESOL
(Texas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)


It seems likely that one could begin a narrative with “That summer when…” and launch into a description of high temps, high anxiety and trips canceled, with images of teachers pivoting, prepping and re-prepping, and anyone who lived through it will nod knowingly and say: “That had to be Summer 2020.”

Many of us made an abrupt shift, beginning last March, to fully virtual teaching. I have been an online student in various programs since 2011, and this seemed to work to my advantage a bit. When colleagues were discovering the wonder of Zoom, I had been fortunate enough to be a student on Zoom since the application came out in 2013. I have experienced varying levels of teaching effectiveness from an online student perspective, and that background has afforded me a unique view as I put on my Online Teacher Hat. Continue Reading →

October 5, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Kelly Johnston Receives Laska Award for Doctoral Research [10/05/2020]

Dr. Kelly JohnstonDr. Kelly Johnston, Assistant Professor in the Baylor School of Education, won the 2020 John Laska Distinguished Dissertation Award in Teaching from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC) for her recent dissertation research. Johnston joined the Baylor SOE faculty in 2018 and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

Johnston’s dissertation, (Re)Imagining Possibilities for Youth in Schools: A Rhizomatic Exploration of Youths’ Affective Engagement with Literacy, focuses on youths’ different forms of literacy engagement in the classroom and how these understandings can be used to rethink literacy teaching and learning in and out of schools. Johnston’s dissertation was part of her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching, which she earned in 2018 at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She previously earned her M.Ed. in Reading Education from Texas State University in 2011 and her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Baylor in 2004. Continue Reading →

August 19, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Lessons in Online Teaching and Learning from the Pros [08/19/2020]

Online teaching

Baylor SOE professors, including Dr. Brooke Blevins, are equipped to build community in online as well as in-person courses, and the SOE’s EdD Online has proven to be very successful at that.

Baylor School of Education’s EdD Online in Learning and Organizational Change (EDD-LOC), launched in 2018, has quickly become the university’s largest online program and also the university’s largest doctoral program. The program has more than 400 students, with a class of 100 expected for fall 2020, and will graduate its first students in August of 2021.

Cece Lively

Cece Lively, a doctoral student in Curriculum & Instruction, is studying online learning for her PhD while she serves as assistant program director for Baylor EdD Online.

While Baylor’s residential students are returning to campus for in-person learning for the fall semester, Baylor has moved 25 percent of courses to an online format, and it’s possible that some aspects of in-person courses may happen in virtual spaces. And in addition to learning online, students in the School of Education might also be teaching online as they serve in local preK-12 schools.

In light of this new normal, we reached out to Cece Lively, assistant program director for the EDD-LOC, for some insight. She works closely with professors in the program and with Baylor’s partner 2U to create the most enriching student experiences. Lively is also a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, which houses the EDD-LOC, and her dissertation research explores learning communities in online programs. Continue Reading →

August 11, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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First Year Teacher Reflections — How Did Baylor SOE Grads Do in the Year of COVID? [08/11/2020]

Every future teacher dreams of the day they will have their very own classroom, so we like to check in and find out how that pivotal first year went. Well, this year was different, to say the least.

The Baylor School of Education program in teacher education is designed to prepare graduates thoroughly  through rigorous coursework as well as intense faculty-guided clinical experiences in schools. But can anything really prepare them for their first year of teaching? And how did our newly minted teachers navigate this spring’s historic disruption?

Read the reflections of five of our 2019 graduates after their first year in their own classroom — or wherever they were this spring, reaching their remote students in creative ways!

Ashley NockAshley Nock, BSEd ’19
The Amazima School

Jinja, Uganda
Transition Year

“Teaching through a phone and sending all work on paper has challenged me to look at the learning practices I learned from Baylor in a whole new light. Visiting students in their villages has been an invaluable experience to build relationships with students and know how I can better teach them. Drawing graphs in the dirt, working on multiplication and area by counting bricks, and helping a family to budget for the first time have been memories I will never forget.”

READ ASHLEY’S REFLECTION


Jamie WongJamie Wong Baesa, MSEd ’19, BSEd ’18
Lorena Middle School, Lorena ISD
Seventh Grade Math

“This season also opened my eyes to the questions: ‘What really matters? What is really important?’ Clearly, STAAR testing was not an answer. Neither was homework, nor students’ timeliness of turning things in, when they were at home all day, sharing a computer with their four siblings as their parents juggled work and tried to make sure their students finished their schoolwork at home. I am thankful for what this pandemic has revealed. It certainly makes me nervous for what this next year will look like, but I know I can move forward with confidence that in the end, relationships will be built, and students will learn.”

READ JAMIE’S REFLECTION


Conor AustinConor Austin, BSEd ’19
Jinjam Middle School and Gasuwon Middle School
Daejeon, South Korea

Seventh, Eighth & Ninth Grades

“If there is anything I have learned from teaching this year, it is to be adaptable. Not only did I have to adapt my teaching style to fit the students, but I also had to adapt to the school culture in Korea. It may not come as a surprise, but Korean schools differ from American schools. . . . COVID aside, I enjoy my life in Korea. I have found an English church and have been able to make many friends (other foreigners and Koreans). Now I have friends from all different countries. My favorite thing to do in Korea is to go to cafés. There are more cafés in Korea than you could ever imagine. Plus, the cafés usually all have themes: animal cafe, pink cafe, Emoji cafe. You name it, and they probably have it in Korea.”

READ CONOR’S REFLECTION


Julianne VoigtsJulianne Voigts West, BSEd ’19
Sigler Elementary, Plano ISD
First Grade 

“My first three weeks at school flew by. I had learned so much from my team and was starting to find my own groove as a teacher. I’ll never forget that Thursday afternoon on the third week of school when my principal asked me to come to his office. My principal told me that, due to low numbers in my class, I was being ‘rifted’ to another school to teach first grade. The move would happen in two days. Immediately I felt like my world was falling apart. I was in love with my school, my students, my team and truly could not believe this was happening. Soon my room was packed up and I was driving to my new home campus.”

READ JULIANNE’S REFLECTION


Lauren HornbeakLauren Hornbeak. BSEd ’19
Cypress Creek High School
Cypress Fairbanks ISD
Ninth-grade Biology 

“Baylor is a special place, there is no doubt about that. The School of Education not only prepared me to step into my own classroom as a confident teacher, but it also prepared me to step into education as a team player, an advocate, and a safe place to land for my students. It prepared me to see my students as children of God and not just a name on a role sheet. . . . The first semester was a long one filled with ‘learnable’ moments, but nothing could have prepared me for the spring.”

READ LAUREN’S REFLECTION

Continue Reading →

July 29, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Trevor Taylor, BSEd ’17, Takes Leadership Role in San Antonio Protests [07/29/2020]

Trevor Taylor

Baylor SOE graduate and high school teacher Trevor Taylor in San Antonio / Photos by Kendrick Washington

Until this summer, Trevor Taylor’s “activism” was confined to a ninth-grade English classroom at San Antonio’s Wagner High School, where he teaches. But the 2017 Baylor University School of Education graduate said that when protests started in San Antonio over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, he stepped out of his comfort zone to become part of something bigger than himself.

“I guess I’m an activist in the classroom,” he said. But protesting in the street was something new. “In my classroom, I talk about these things, and I encourage my students to use their voices and to share their stories, because they have power. But it’s a different thing to show them as well.”

After joining peaceful protests in San Antonio, Taylor quickly became a leader and organizer, leading chants and speaking to crowds numbering in the thousands. He has been featured in San Antonio news coverage several times:

Continue Reading →