Baylor Highlights Research Opportunities for Students in New Program for National STEM Day

November 8, 2021

Baylor ResearchU takes high school students inside Baylor laboratories to spark interest in pursuing research opportunities in college

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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By Derek Smith, Baylor University Marketing & Communications

WACO, Texas (Nov. 8, 2021) – Baylor University today will host Baylor ResearchU, a new virtual program designed to showcase research opportunities to prospective high school students, in recognition of National STEM Day. Featuring conversations with Baylor researchers and mentors, Baylor ResearchU aims to encourage high school students to pursue research opportunities early in their college career that will enhance their experience and prepare them to address meaningful societal challenges.

Baylor ResearchU will be streamed today to high school classrooms and prospective students across the country. The program features David Jack, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering and a nationally recognized leader in advanced materials and aerospace research, and Liela Romero, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and a Baylor graduate (BS ’11) who returned to her alma mater last year to continue her research into building blocks for cancer treatment through a $2 million Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) grant.

“National STEM Day is a perfect day to connect students to the tremendous research opportunities available to them in college. More and more, students come to Baylor seeking to take part in research, and Baylor ResearchU allows us to highlight hands-on experiences and engaged learning opportunities all across our campus,” said Jason Cook, Baylor’s vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer.

“Dr. Jack and Dr. Romero are tremendous mentors and ambassadors for Baylor research, and we're grateful for their commitment to students who are at Baylor today and those who will join us in the future. We hope this program inspires high school students to seek out research opportunities at Baylor, or wherever they choose to attend,” Cook said.

The program is a partnership between Baylor Undergraduate Admissions and Marketing and Communications to encourage students to pursue careers in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and to seek out research opportunities as college students. Top high school students often recognize the importance of engaged learning opportunities as they make their college selection, and research provides them with beneficial experiences that resonate as they make internship, postgraduate education and career decisions in the future. Baylor’s pursuit of R1 research recognition continues to open doors for students to engage in research as undergraduates.

“We’re excited to offer this unique virtual event that’s solely focused on the innovative, hands-on research that’s happening in and out of the Baylor classroom, and we plan to do more events like these in the future,” said Ross VanDyke, senior director of undergraduate admissions.

Jack and Romero bring dynamic credentials to share with students as the first featured Baylor ResearchU professors. Jack is developing a non-destructive testing approach to make airplanes safer by enabling manufacturers to test airplane parts using patented ultrasound technology. Romero is an organic chemist who synthesizes molecules to test their therapeutic potential and promote cancer drug discovery. Admissions coordinator Micah Marroquin will serve as the program’s host and interview Jack and Romero.

“I’m very excited to share the research opportunities on Baylor ResearchU. My undergraduate research experience played a key role in shaping my calling, and I hope to help future students set that foundation as well,” Romero said. “There’s something really exciting about getting into the lab and developing something new, and National STEM Day is the perfect time for us to share that excitement with the next generation of college students.”

Baylor ResearchU will stream live today at 11 a.m. CST and will be available for on-demand viewing on Baylor’s YouTube Channel.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) has been preparing its students for more than 25 years as innovators for worldwide impact by training graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian view. Students can choose from majors including bioinformatics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, general engineering and mechanical engineering. ECS also offers graduate programs in all areas of study within the School. We stand out from the crowd through Christian commitment, a strong community, expert accessibility, leading practical experience and teamwork. Visit to learn more and follow on Facebook at and on Instagram at @Baylor_ECS.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments in the sciences, humanities, fine arts and social sciences, as well as 10 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit