• Meet this year’s Baylor Faculty-in-Residence

    Mona Choucair, Rishi Sriram, Lee Grumbles, Beth Allison Barr

    A distinguishing part of the Baylor experience is the caring community on campus. One way we do that? Faculty-in-Residence!

    These Baylor professors (many of them also BU alumni) don’t just work on campus; they live on campus, too, in designated apartment-style homes inside most residence halls, along with their families. The goal: Fostering students’ social, cultural, educational and spiritual growth by encouraging community involvement and student interaction. That can mean everything from hosting fun events and socials, to group Bible study classes, to meeting one-on-one with students (even at odd hours).

    Meet this year’s Faculty-in-Residence (FIR):

    Alexander/Memorial Halls: Dr. Jason Whitt (BA ’96, PhD ’08). A FIR since 2019, Whitt is a senior lecturer in the Honors Program whose research interests are in theology of disability, the intersection of faith and medicine, ecclesiology, and political theology. (Family: wife Maggie, MSED ’06, and two children)

    Allen/Dawson Halls: Dr. Beth Allison Barr (BA ’96). The James Vardaman Endowed Professor of History and a FIR since 2018, Barr teaches undergraduate courses on subjects such as medieval history and European women’s history. (Family: husband Jeb, BA ’97, and two children)

    Brooks Flats Apartments: Dr. Lee Grumbles. Grumbles is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Cooperate Innovation. After 17 years as a VP of commercial banking, Grumbles brings extensive experience working with entrepreneurial ventures. (Family: wife Lauren, and two children)

    Brooks Residential College: Dr. Rishi Sriram (BA ’01, MSED ’03). A FIR since 2013, Sriram spent eight years in higher education administration, helping launch and develop Baylor’s living-learning programs, before becoming a professor in the School of Education. (Family: wife Amanda, BS ’02, and four children)

    Earle Hall: Dr. Karenna Malavanti (BS ’10, MA ’12, PhD ’14). A senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Malavanti’s primary research interest is in applied cognition and human memory. (Family: husband Matthew, and daughter Mila)

    Kokernot Hall: Dr. Maricel Demesa. In her second year as a FIR, Demesa is a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with more than 25 years of teaching experience in various fields of chemistry at the university level. (Family: husband Fernadel, and one adult daughter)

    Martin Hall: Dr. Clay Butler (BA ’88). A FIR since 2015, Butler serves as a senior lecturer in the English department, teaching linguistics courses such as Language in Society, Cross-Cultural Linguistics, and Modern English Grammar. (Family: wife Susan, BA ’89, and four adult children)

    North Russell Hall: Dr. Joe Coker. Entering his third year as a FIR, Coker is a senior lecturer in the Religion Department, regularly teaching the core religion courses. He is interested in researching the way that religion both shapes the culture around it and is also shaped by the surrounding culture. (Family: wife Amy, and four children, including two Baylor graduates)

    North Village, Heritage House: Steven Pounders. A FIR from 2008-15 and 2021-present, Pounders is a professor in the Department of Theatre Arts. Along with teaching at Baylor, he has continued to work as a professional actor and director with theater productions in Texas, New York and other regions. (Family: wife Hope)

    North Village, Texana House: Dr. Lesley McAllister. A second-year FIR, McAllister teaches piano and serves as director of piano pedagogy in the School of Music. She advocates to help musicians of every age reach peak performance using yoga, sport psychology research, and mind/body relaxation techniques. (Family: husband Dr. Scott McAllister, also a professor in the School of Music, and two school-aged children)

    North Village, University House: Brent Philips. A FIR since 2020, Philips has taught trombone in the School of Music since 2004. He is currently principal trombone in the Waco Symphony and Abilene Philharmonic, continues to perform regularly with the Houston Symphony, and serves as guest principal with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. (Family: wife Meredith (BA ’94), and two adult sons)

    Penland Hall: Dr. Kelli McMahan (BSED ’93). A FIR since 2016, McMahan is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation and one of the creators of Baylor’s Outdoor Adventure Line Camp and Outdoor Adventure Living-Learning Center.

    South Russell Hall: Dr. Mona Choucair (BA ’86, PhD ’00). A FIR since 2014, Choucair is a senior lecturer in both the English department and School of Education, teaching such subjects as American literature and advanced grammar.

    Teal Residential College: Brian Thomas. A FIR since 2016, Thomas is a senior lecturer in engineering and faculty sponsor of the Engineers with a Mission student organization. (Family: wife Martha (BSED ’81, MSED ’88) and two adult sons)

    University Parks: Dr. Bob Kane. A FIR since 2015, Kane is a chemistry professor and director of Baylor’s Institute of Biomedical Studies, researching applications of synthetic chemistry in areas such as vaccine development. (Family: wife Deb and five adult children)

    Sic ’em, Faculty-in-Residence!

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