• Get to know Dr. Gaynor Yancey, Master Teacher

    Baylor Master Teacher Gaynor Yancey

    This past August, Baylor Interim President David Garland announced three professors who have earned the designation of Master Teacher – one of the highest honors given to Baylor faculty members. One of these new Master Teachers is longtime School of Social Work professor Dr. Gaynor Yancey.

    Yancey has been with the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work for a quarter of a century now, where she also serves as director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries. Before coming to Baylor, she worked for more than 25 years as a congregational community ministries director in inner-city Philadelphia and for four years as the executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank. She even spent three months living in a shelter with women who had lost their children to the state and who had histories of substance abuse — just so she could fully understand how to help them.

    Much of Yancey’s work is influenced by her experiences witnessing injustice as a youth. The first was when she, at the age of 8, ran up to the wrong water fountain in a small town in Arkansas; she struggled to understand why some people could drink from one fountain, and others only from another. “I knew my whole life had been influenced by the Civil Rights Movement — particularly the two areas of racial and socioeconomic justice,” she said. “I’ve spent my entire adult life committed to working with populations that were at risk, oppressed and discriminated against.”

    During her time at Baylor, Yancey has received more than $3.5 million in research and program grants with a focus on church and community collaboration on issues of social justice. This Master Teacher designation only adds to her growing list of awards, which includes Outstanding Teacher at Baylor in 2006, the inaugural Clovis A. Brantley Award for Outstanding Service in Christian Social Ministries in the United States, the Marie Mathis Award for Outstanding Life Achievement in Lay Ministry from the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Baylor, and the Lifetime Achievement award from the Texas National Association of Social Workers-Central Texas chapter.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Yancey!