• Baylor faculty & students honored for career contributions and promising new research

    It’s always impressive when any one Baylor student or professor wins a statewide, national or even international award — but yet again, Bears have been winning so many awards that we can’t write about them fast enough!

    Take a moment to check out these six amazing Bears and the work they’re doing in their respective fields:


    Dr. Bryan Brooks, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, received The International Environmental Award for his contributions and scholarly research on environmental sustainability.

    The International Environmental Award recognizes the best environmental practice or innovation within the pharmacy and healthcare industries or academia. Brooks’ work exploring the potential effects and risks of contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, on the environment is widely recognized in the industry. “This research will help to build a greater understanding of the impact of certain contaminants on the environment and could potentially provide invaluable guidance on how to reduce any negative effects,” said Lars Backsell, chairman of the board of Recipharm.


    Ana O’Quin, a junior social work major, was recently named one of three recipients of the 2019 Shared Justice Student-Faculty Research Prize by the Center for Public Justice.

    The prize includes a semester-long research project in which students write a comprehensive policy report on a social safety net program and its impact in their local community. O’Quin and her research advisor, Dr. Stephanie Boddie, assistant professor of church and community ministries in the Garland School of Social Work, will study Waco teenagers’ access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). O’Quin, whose minor is in poverty and social justice, said she believes teens are often left out of the national conversation surrounding food insecurity and hopes her research will give that population a voice.


    Dr. Sara L. Dolan, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, has been awarded a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — for a project aimed at improving clinical practice for children who have been victims of abuse and trauma.

    The grant will allow for her and her team to develop and implement new training methods in assessment and diagnosis for counselors and social workers, ultimately leading to improved outcomes for their patients. Therapists and counselors commonly use evidence-based treatment methods, which are interventions that have been validated through scientific studies to be effective for treating a particular disorder. The problem, according to Dolan, is that therapists often deploy these treatments without first using evidence-based assessments: diagnostic methods grounded in the most current scientific knowledge.


    Maxey Parrish, BA ’78, MS ’93, senior lecturer of journalism, public relations and new media, was named a member of the 2019 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame class.

    CoSIDA is made up of approximately 3,000 intercollegiate athletic media relations and communications professionals from colleges, universities and athletic conferences in the United States and Canada. Parrish has spent a lifetime at Baylor: working as a Lariat sports editor and running track and cross country as a student, serving in Baylor’s sports information office from 1980-2000, and teaching journalism from 2001 to present.


    Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, associate professor and associate dean in Baylor’s School of Education, is serving as president of the School Science and Mathematics Association.

    A specialist in science and mathematics education, Nesmith has published extensively on the ways in which content, instructional strategies and instructional contexts work together in the construction of meaning and understanding. She is passionate about integrating STEM studies across the disciplines, and she’s taking that commitment to new heights with this position.


    Jiajun (Dylan) Jiang, teaching assistant and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geosciences, was selected as a recipient of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Outstanding TA Award for demonstrating excellence in his teaching assistant position.

    “I enjoy the fulfillment, contribution and passion I get from my teaching experience,” Jiang says. “Baylor has a really good development opportunity for being a good teaching assistant, and I am grateful my class loves to learn what I teach.” Jiang’s doctoral research focuses on machine learning and geologic modeling, which fits nicely with the NAGT’s vision to build geoscience expertise and an Earth-literate society through high-quality education and improve geoscience teaching and student learning.


    Sic ’em, Bears!

    You might also like:
    * New to the ‘Baylor Connections’ podcast? Here’s where to start (April 2019)
    * Baylor names finalists for 2020 Cherry Award, nation’s largest award for top teaching (April 2019)
    * Baylor faculty & students honored for career contributions and promising new research (Feb. 2019)

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