Baylor professors of the year represent biology, engineering & apparel merchandising
Another academic year is coming to its end: final grades being posted, books returned, students walking the stage — and Baylor professors being honored! Here’s a look at this year’s professors of the year:
The Collins Outstanding Professor Award, which is voted on by the outgoing senior class, includes a $10,000 cash prize for the recipient. Past Collins professors include Rachel Moore (MA ’69) in 1999, Dr. Mona Choucair (BA ’86, PhD ’00) in 2008, and Dr. Jane Damron (MA ’09) in 2019.
Baylor’s Class of 2022 chose Dr. Mojgan Parizi-Robinson, a senior lecturer in biology, as this year’s recipient for the Collins Award. “This award in humbling and completely inspiring to me,” says Parizi-Robinson. “Knowing that I was recognized for doing something I love to do… teaching AND learning from my students. These students are just amazing, and to be recognized by this group of students is heart-warming.”
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 includes a $20,000 award. Past recipients include Dr. Bill Hillis (BS ’53) in 2009, Dr. Roger Kirk in 2012, and Dr. Gaynor Yancey in 2019.
Dr. Kenneth Van Treuren, professor of mechanical engineering and an associate dean in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, is this year’s honoree. “We do the things we do because we love being at Baylor and being a part of the Christian mission,” Van Treuren says. “I am privileged to be around great students, faculty and staff, which makes what I do even more rewarding.”
The Baylor Centennial Professor Award is funded by the Centennial Class of 1945 and provides $5,000 for financial support to aid professors with specific research projects. Past honorees include Robert Darden (BSED ’76) in 2008, Dr. Richard Russell in 2012 and Dr. Greg Garrett in 2013.
Two professors were selected for the 2022 award: Dr. Jay Yoo, associate professor of apparel merchandising, and Dr. Byron Newberry, professor of mechanical engineering. Yoo, who teaches courses on fashion and health, will use the award to continue his research to study the body image distress that occurs in African American breast cancer patients. Newberry aims to use his award to publish a book on the character formation that exists at the intersection of engineering, the social sciences, and the humanities.
A dozen more Baylor faculty members received Outstanding Faculty awards for 2021-22: Dr. Jessica Akers; Dr. Tommy Bryan (BBA ’79, MS ’88); Jeremy Counseller; Dr. Tonya Davis (BSED ’02, MSED ’04); Dr. Jon Eckert; Dr. Patrick Flavin; Dr. Angela Gorrell; Dr. Kelly Jo Hollingsworth; Dr. Jonathan Hu; Dr. Michael Muehlenbein; Dr. Joel Weaver (PhD ’04); and Rachel Woods (BA ’98).
Sic ’em, Baylor professors!