Baylor Connections podcast highlights the people behind a Baylor education

Derek Smith

By Briana Garcia | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

The voice behind the Baylor Connections podcast — Derek Smith — dives in to explain what the podcast is all about, shedding light on how it impacts Baylor students and his goals for the future.

“This is something we do in Baylor Marketing and Communications,” Smith says. “It is a new way to tell Baylor stories in a way that is accessible and portable for people to take them with them and to really go in-depth on people.”

Smith and several other people from the marketing team came together in 2018 to launch the podcast. Smith said the podcast is an outreach and helps allow people to tell their stories and display the heart behind what they do specifically.

“It can inform, entertain, help people see what makes the Baylor family special,” Smith said.

The podcast is heading into its fifth season and is looking for people who will be an excellent fit. Smith said the process of finding people for the podcast starts with a collaborative effort; they talk to a couple of people and keep a running guest list for the upcoming season.

With so many great stories throughout the Baylor campus, incorporating academics, student life, research and athletics helps add a balance to the content of the podcast.

“We get the whole mosaic of people at Baylor in different disciplines and different areas of campus, so people can get a sense of what Baylor student campus is as a whole,” Smith said.

If you listen regularly, you will be more well-versed with what is happening on campus, which is one way Smith said the podcast can impact students. His recent guest speaker — Whitney Jones, senior director of Student Access Initiatives in the Center of Academic Engagement — explained how students can receive academic coaching and tutoring.

“The podcast allowed me to share my story, passion and purpose to serve students in a meaningful way at Baylor University,” Jones said.

President Linda Livingstone is a regular guest on the podcast and helps give a sense of the business at the university.

“She works with leaders across the campus and Waco to lead and shape where Baylor is going and what is going on,” Smith said.

Smith said that a goal he has for the podcast is to feature more diverse voices — people doing interdisciplinary and cross-cultural work — and allow them to share their stories.

“I want to give them a moment to let people see and hear their stories through interviews,” Smith said.

Smith said that as the Baylor family grows, he wants to build on the ways that telling these stories can help move Baylor toward R1 status.

“As we grow and stay rooted in our Christian faith, we grow in the ways we impact the world,” Smith said. “That’s a fun mix that not every university can pull off and is always a goal and very special.”