Centennial Professors Receive Funding for Summer Research Projects

May 4, 2022

Dr. Jay Yoo, Dr. Byron Newberry honored with funding for projects on therapeutic shopping among African American breast cancer patients, broadening engineering education in the 21st century

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WACO, Texas (May 4, 2022) – Baylor University faculty members Jay Yoo, Ph.D., associate professor of apparel merchandising in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, and Byron Newberry, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, have been selected to receive the 2022 Centennial Professor Awards for summer research projects.

The Centennial Professor Award, created by the Baylor Class of 1945, honors two tenured faculty members with a $5,000 Centennial Faculty Development award for research projects, which facilitate their development and contribute to the academic life of the University. These projects may include travel for study or research, the development of innovative teaching materials or other professional development activities.

Yoo teaches courses on fashion and health, social responsibility and environmental issues involving consumptive behaviors. His research revolves around the appearance-related behaviors and its implication to the individual and social well-being from consumer perspectives. He will use the Centennial Professor funding to understand the body image distress that occurs in African American breast cancer patients and whether therapeutic shopping, negative mood reduction and positive mood elevation – known to alleviate body image distress in women – also produces the same benefits for them.

“A cancer diagnosis creates significant body image distress when deciding about cancer treatments,” Yoo said. “My goal for the research is to understand the role of fashion-oriented consumption for breast cancer patients and develop a body image scale to tailor interventions and provide personalized care for particularly vulnerable populations. A therapeutic shopping trip can be utilized to enhance self-image and positively impact emotional well-being. Especially for patients who have appropriate products to camouflage a patient’s perceived body flaws, this can reduce the negative feelings associated with the cancer diagnosis.”

The funding also provides another step toward effective health promotion for cancer patients. Yoo plans to conduct a study, which will contribute to long-term survivorship for breast cancer patients and provide coping strategies and ways for cancer patients to improve their quality of life. Yoo intends to share strategies with the appropriate medical professionals, enabling them to provide personalized care for appearance-related symptoms and identifying ways to enhance body image, a significant stressor in their ability to fight against cancer.

Newberry teaches courses in statics, social and ethical issues in engineering, machine design, engineering design, strength of materials and sustainable engineering. His research interests include engineering ethics, philosophy of engineering and technology studies and the theory and practice of engineering education. With his Centennial Professor funding, Newberry aims to publish his book volume in the Springer Philosophy of Engineering and Technology (POET) book series, “Framing Conversations between Engineering, Social Sciences, and the Humanities through Bildung.” Bildung is a German word that expresses a concept of education involving character formation, values consciousness and social responsibility.

“One of my goals in both teaching and research has been to forge connections between engineering and other disciplines, particularly disciplines in the humanities and social sciences,” Newberry said. “From a teaching perspective, this helps my engineering students better understand the role engineering and technology play in the wider world, along with some of the challenges and ethical responsibilities that come with it. From a research perspective, I’m interested in exploring the philosophical and sociological aspects of engineering and technology, which requires working with scholars in other disciplines.”.

The Centennial Professor funding will allow Newberry to travel to The Netherlands to meet with a team of scholars from engineering, philosophy, sociology and education from universities in the U.S., Ireland, Denmark and France. The scholars aim to produce their book, which explores the ways in which Bildung is present in engineering education currently, and in what ways its presence could or should be enhanced. Newberry said they also plan to present their work internationally.

“Even though the average person probably rarely, if ever, thinks about engineering education, this is nonetheless important to that person. We all constantly depend upon technology in our daily lives, including entrusting our safety and welfare to the engineered systems surrounding us,” Newberry said. “Having engineers, who are not only technically competent, but who have a strong sense of meaning and responsibility, matters. We hope our book will provide new insights into how engineering education can be infused with such characteristics.”

The selection of the 2022 Centennial Professor Awards was made by the Centennial Faculty Development Review Committee, chaired by Joaquin N. Lugo, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate program director in the department of psychology and neuroscience.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 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.


The Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor University was established in 2014, a result of identified priorities for strengthening the health sciences through Baylor’s strategic vision, Pro Futuris, and the University’s Illuminate strategic plan. The anchor academic units that form Robbins College – Communication Sciences and Disorders; Human Sciences and Design; Health, Human Performance and Recreation; Occupational Therapy; Physical Therapy; Public Health; and Division of Health Professions – share a common purpose: improving health and quality of life. The College’s curricula promotes a team-based approach to transformational education and research that has established interdisciplinary research collaborations to advance solutions for improving quality of life for individuals, families and communities. For more information, visit baylor.edu/chhs.


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 baylor.edu/ecs to learn more and follow on Facebook at facebook.com/BaylorECS and on Instagram at @Baylor_ECS.