By Emily Lohec | Staff Writer
Baylor has announced the awarding of ten professors with the honor of becoming Baylor Fellows. The Baylor Fellow program is designed for professors to step outside the norms of the classroom and think of creative teaching strategies to engage with students.
Baylor’s Academy for Teaching and Learning began in 2011, and it honors professors from different disciplines, providing them with a baseline to introduce new ideas for teaching. Each faculty member is granted a $1,845 donation, in honor of the year Baylor was founded, while receiving the title ‘Baylor Fellow.’
Dr. Lenore Wright, director of the academy, shared insight into the Fellows program and the work these faculty members are expected to put in.
“As Baylor Fellows, we participate in a year-long exploration of the theme ‘Education for Global Education,’” Wright said.
Wright said that once the theme has been chosen, the colleagues can begin to create new teachings while inspiring faculty members to explore other approaches for students as well.
Baylor Fellow members begin to construct their own teaching plan after they undergo a series of meetings and partner-classroom teaching to further develop new strategies.
Tiffany Hogue, a clinical professor of higher education leadership and policy and director of Leadership Studies, has found that her role as a Baylor Fellow incorporates not only her passion for teaching, but also dedication to the good that comes from becoming globally aware.
“I care deeply about my students, my subject matter and my courses. I am also committed to the good work of our Center for Global Engagement,” Hogue said. “I will have the wonderful opportunity of putting some of our ideas into action into my courses in the Netherlands next spring.”
Hogue is excited to share her new ideas with her current and incoming students, alongside her other colleagues and their new approaches as well.
“My hope is to learn new techniques, new ways of facilitating discussions and fresh ways to consider age-old ideas,” Hogue said. “I am honored to be a Fellow, and I am committed to bring what I learn into my classrooms.”
The process of selecting Baylor Fellows goes through several rounds of review to ensure accurate candidate selection. Nominees are chosen by the deans of Baylor’s 12 colleges and schools, and from former Baylor Fellows and the advisory council. After this, the final selection is made through the provost’s office to install the new Baylor Fellows.
Dr. Michael Stroope, associate professor at Truett Seminary and holder of the M.C. Shook Chair of Missions, has a chance to connect with students not just at Baylor but around the world. Stroope specializes in the teachings of areas in world Christianity and witness.
“This year’s theme of global engagement will definitely inform my area of study [and] hopefully influence my students as we study Christianity and its engagement with people across the world,” Stroope said.
Through his teachings in the classroom, Stroope said he feels that he can instill in students an interest in wanting to connect, understand and grow as a unified community with those from all parts of the world.
“I believe this a unique program from which any professor at Baylor would benefit,” Stroope said.
Although the Baylor Fellows program is strictly for professors, students can learn about the program’s strategies from Baylor professors who are implementing them in the classroom.
Plano sophomore Grey Cunningham, from his experience with one of his professors, said he feels it is a unique opportunity to be taught by a professor who is also a Baylor Fellow. Just as the Baylor Fellows program expects the utmost of the faculty members, the Baylor Business Fellow program is a taste of what it’s like to be set to a higher standard for current students.
“Baylor Business Fellows is for students who have goals beyond what a four-year degree program provides,” Cunningham said. “You get to join a group of students who are also looking to be pushed to the limit, helping each other along the way.”
Cunningham said that this rigorous program is no light challenge; through hard work and dedication, he said that students are pushed to their limits to receive full satisfaction and success not just with their own time at Baylor but into their near futures.
“I’ve grown so much from Fellows,” Cunningham said. “I learned how to manage my time wisely, stay involved in extracurricular activities and think more clearly about how I can build a future for myself.”