Presidential Perspective - April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

It’s that crazy time of the spring semester, with so many assignments, projects, events and activities happening all at once – and final exams right around the corner. For students, the University offers many resources for you throughout the year – and particularly at this time – including:

Know that the Baylor Family is here for you!

Some updates for this week:

  • LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS: As we enter the final weeks of the spring semester, join your fellow faculty and staff as we “Lift Up Our Hearts” in prayer and worship on Friday, May 3, at 11 a.m. in the Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary. It’s such a privilege to gather as a Baylor Family for this service – led by members of the Baylor community – that brings our semester to a close. The message will be given by Rebecca Poe Hays, Ph.D., assistant professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett Seminary, and a complimentary luncheon for faculty and staff will follow in the Piper Great Hall. Registration is available now on the Religious Affairs website.
  • DAVID BROOKS RETURNING TO BAYLOR: I am excited to announce we will host David Brooks on Tuesday, Sept. 10, for a day-long slate of events and activities. We anticipate Brooks will visit with students, faculty and staff before delivering a community-wide address in the evening. Brooks is a best-selling author, columnist and commentator, as well as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Given his knowledge of present-day politics and foreign affairs, we expect his visit will continue to foster the spirit of respect and understanding that undergirds our Baylor Conversation Series on civil discourse. Please mark your calendars now for this important day to kick off the fall semester.
  • FREE SPEECH ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES: After we launched the Baylor Conversation Series in January with a discussion on faith and politics, we quickly followed with a program designed to equip interested students to lead and facilitate difficult conversations. Now, these newly commissioned “Bridgebuilding Fellows” will demonstrate their skills during a modeling exercise on Tuesday, April 23, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Hurd Welcome Center ballroom. The topic is Perspectives on Free Speech on College Campuses – timely as we navigate another highly anticipated general election. The Bridging the Gap program is a collaboration between the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and the Division of Student Life, and students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the exercise.
  • FOURTH CHURCHILL SCHOLAR: Baylor’s unprecedented success for students attaining the prestigious and highly selective Churchill Scholarship in science, mathematics and engineering continues. Our latest recipient is Alagu Subramanian, B.A. ’23, Baylor’s fourth consecutive Churchill, an extraordinary achievement given the University has been a nominating institution for only four years! Alagu won the Goldwater Scholarship in 2023, was a stellar undergraduate researcher with Joseph Taube, Ph.D., in the Taube Lab on Cancer Biology Research and graduated summa cum laude in December as a University Scholar with concentrations in biology, medical humanities and business administration. Now with the Churchill, the aspiring medical researcher and physician with an interest in novel therapeutic discovery is off to study for a master’s degree at Churchill College, Cambridge, with future plans to pursue an M.D. Stay tuned for more great news about our students earning major fellowships and awards!
  • OUTSTANDING FACULTY: Congratulations to this year’s recipients of Outstanding Faculty Awards, which honor the best all-around professors for their teaching, scholarship and contributions to the academic community. The designation represents a singular honor for Baylor faculty since the recognition comes from their colleagues. This year’s Outstanding Faculty are:
    • Teaching (tenured): Dawn Carlson, Ph.D., The H.R. Gibson Chair of Organizational Development and director of the McBride Center of International Business; Victor J. Hinojosa, Ph.D., associate professor of political science in the Honors Program; and Theresa Varney Kennedy, Ph.D., professor of French and director of Women’s and Gender Studies.
    • Teaching (tenure-track): Jessica Asbridge, J.D., associate professor of law.
    • Teaching (non-tenure-track): Eric Swan, D.B.A., clinical assistant professor of marketing, Amy Fleming, Ph.D., senior lecturer in music theory, and Jim Huggins, M.F.S., senior lecturer in anthropology.
    • Scholarship (tenured): Yulia Sullivan, Ph.D., associate professor of information systems and business analytics; Davide Zori, Ph.D., associate professor of history in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core; and Rafael Climent-Espino, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and director of the Graduate Program.
    • Scholarship (tenure-track): Laura Upenieks, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology.
    • Significant Contributions: Lenore Wright, Ph.D., professor of philosophy in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning.
  • CAMP COUNSELOR COMMISSIONING: If you are working at a summer camp as a counselor, staff member or other role, I hope you will join the First Gent and me this Monday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room for food, giveaways and a time of encouragement, prayer and commissioning. Immediately following at 9 p.m., we will join the Vertical Worship team in the SUB Bowl for recognition and preparation for your important work this summer. Be sure to register in advance for this moving experience.

See you at all the Green and Gold activities this weekend!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


A hearty Sic ’em to the staff and student employment award recipients who were recognized at a special ceremony Tuesday at the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. Here’s the complete list of the BaylorPLUS Salute Award winners, Distinguished Staff Leadership Award recipients, Outstanding Staff Award honorees and the eight Student Employment Award winners.