Presidential Perspective - August 18, 2022
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
The beginning of the fall semester is finally here! I cannot wait for the first day of class on Monday. In fact, I invite our new and returning students to join me Monday for free fruit smoothies from Waco favorite Oh My Juice outside Allbritton House at 3 p.m. I hope to see you for some fun and fellowship as we kick off the semester.
Be sure to check out all the Welcome Week activities, which began yesterday and run through Sunday.
Important Public Safety Announcement:
Many of the roads and intersections around campus and in the Downtown Waco area changed while many of you were gone over the summer. Please pay close attention to new stop signs, pedestrian crossings and road closures, as well as parking updates. Everything you need to know can be found here. Of course, we’re extremely excited about the full opening of I-35 through Waco, and we’re anxiously awaiting all the work on the underpasses and side streets to be complete in the very near future.
A few updates for this week:
- Thank you to everyone who volunteered to assist with Baylor Move-in, which celebrated its 20th anniversary as a fully coordinated, University-wide effort to welcome our new students and their families during this important transition to campus life. In addition to hundreds of faculty and staff volunteers, we had more than 50 student groups and 2,000 returning students pitching in to help – our highest number since 2013. We also had more than 170 volunteers from 11 local churches and related organizations assist new students and their families. Sic ’em, Bears!
- A Baylor chemistry research team, including five persons who have experienced total blindness or low vision since childhood or adolescence, has discovered an innovative way – by using an old-fashioned art form and 3D printing – to make scientific data accessible to everyone regardless of eyesight. In the journal Science Advances, the researchers detail how they used lithophane to turn data into tactile graphics that light up with picture-perfect resolution, allowing both blind and sighted individuals to share the same data. The groundbreaking research led by Dr. Bryan Shaw, Ph.D., along with seven graduate students, a blind undergraduate, the director of Baylor’s Center for Microscopy and Imaging and four blind Ph.D. chemists, is a major step forward in removing barriers to chemistry and lab experiences for individuals with blindness. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, Welch Foundation and National Institutes of Health.
- Fortune last week released its national rankings for many online professional programs, and I’m pleased to share that the Baylor online Professional Education portfolio received top marks – the Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) ranked No. 4, Master’s in Computer Science ranked No. 12 and Master’s in Public Health ranked No. 8. Also, in a separate ranking by the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Baylor’s online Ed.D. has been named the program of the year. These recognitions support and celebrate the need for flexible professional education offerings, and we have answered that call with quality, career-enhancing, student-centric online programs. Congratulations to the faculty and staff who have dedicated themselves to enhancing the career journeys of students across the country and to the Graduate Professional Education department for their efforts to shepherd the growth of Baylor’s online professional offerings.
- Another congratulations to Forest Kim, Ph.D., director of the Robbins MBA Healthcare Program and clinical associate professor of economics, on his appointment as board chair of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare and Management Education. Dr. Kim also is the first Asian American to serve as CAHME chair. His appointment highlights Baylor’s commitment through our signature Health initiative in Illuminate to have a seat at the table in the national and international conversations around the future of healthcare.
Finally, some “Pro Tips” for the first week of class:
- Personally introduce yourself to your professors.
- Get involved in your residence hall or a student organization.
- Stay hydrated in this Texas heat.
- Study and get some rest.
Here’s to a great fall!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Baylor’s 2022-23 class of new faculty is as excited to start the year as our students. This “freshman” class is not only the most diverse in University history, but also one of the largest groups of new faculty we have had in many years. Please help us welcome these new faculty members into the Baylor Family!