Baylor professors of the year represent communication, social work and English
It’s official: The academic year has come to a close. Finals grades are in, seniors have walked the stage — and Baylor’s professors of the year have been named.
The Collins Outstanding Professor Award, which is voted on by the outgoing senior class, awards the recipient a $10,000 cash prize. Past Collins professors include Rachel Moore, MA ’69 (1999), Dr. Mona Choucair, BA ’86, PhD ’00, (2008), and Dr. Devan Jonklaas, PhD ’03 (2015).
Baylor’s Class of 2019 chose Dr. Jane Damron, MA ’09, a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication, as the recipient for the Collins award. “Words can’t fully describe how surprised, honored, happy and grateful I felt when I found out I had been selected as this year’s recipient,” Damron says. “It is very special, meaningful and humbling. I’m deeply thankful for this recognition and for every senior who voted.”
The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year honors a professor who “makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor,” based on teaching, research and service, and comes with a $20,000 award. Past recipients include Dr. Kevin Pinney (2006), Dr. Bill Hillis, BS ’53 (2009), and Dr. Roger Kirk (2012).
Dr. Gaynor Yancey, a longtime Baylor social work professor, Master Teacher and director of the Center for Church and Community Impact at Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, is this year’s honoree. “I have listened carefully as students have asked me to share more stories,” she says. “I have listened carefully, and watched the intensity, of students as I taught through lectures that have been full of concepts that have been challenging to grasp. In the end, I have learned that so many of our Baylor students absolutely love classroom lectures. This award really goes to our Baylor students. You have taught me well, and I am still continuing to learn from you.”
The Baylor Centennial Professor Award is funded by the Centennial Class of 1945 and provides $5,000 of financial support to aid professors with specific research projects. Past honorees include Robert Darden, BSED ’76, Dr. Greg Garrett, and Dr. Richard Russell.
The Centennial Faculty Development Review Committee selected two professors for the 2019 award: Dr. Laine Scales, professor and Master Teacher in the Garland School of Social Work, and Dr. Sarah Gilbreath Ford, a longtime English professor and director of Baylor’s Beall Poetry Festival.
A dozen more Baylor faculty members received Outstanding Professor awards for 2018-19: Dr. Andrew Arterbury, BA ’90, PhD ’03 (Truett Seminary); Dr. Enrique Blair (engineering); Matt Cordon (Baylor Law School); Joseph Donndelinger (engineering); Dr. Joel Gregory, BA ’70, PhD ’83 (Truett Seminary); Dr. Monique Ingalls (music); Dr. Lesley McAllister (piano); Dr. Bill Neilson, BA ’76 (Honors College); Dr. Lauren Poor (history); Dr. Cindy Riemenschneider, BBA ’83, MBA ’84 (information systems); Dr. James SoRelle (history); and Dr. John Wood (chemistry).
Sic ’em, Baylor professors!