Baylor in the News – Jan. 8-14, 2023

January 15, 2023
Truett Seminary Spire

(Matthew Minard/Baylor University)

Media Contact: Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1961
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WACO, Texas (Jan. 15, 2023) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories as they shared their thoughts and expertise on the future of the church, a Baylor demonstration project that grown into a full-blown federal strategy to combat childhood hunger and a “better way” for today’s prisons that tests the theory of accountability as an important tool in returning correctional facilities to their intended purpose of rehabilitation.

Jan. 8, 2023

Providence: “Hate Speech” and Blasphemy
Paul Marshall, Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom at Baylor, writes about the growing international effort to resist punitive restrictions on blasphemy and apostasy, which occur mostly but not exclusively in Muslim-majority countries.

Jan. 9, 2023

Baptist Standard: Truett program helps churches prepare for the future
Dustin Benac believes the church has a future, and he wants to help congregations get ready for it. As director and co-founder of the Program for the Future Church at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, Benac seeks to help congregational leaders begin preparation now for the next steps they need to take in ministry.

WFAA-TV (ABC/Dallas-Fort Worth): Can TCU win a national title for ... Waco?!
VIDEO: As TCU plays for the College Football championship, much of its history in Waco from 1895-1910, photos and other documents, is tucked away at the Texas Collection on the campus of Baylor University. Jeff Pirtle, director of the Texas Collection and university archives at Baylor, was interviewed for the story.

CBS News Chicago: Rev. James Meeks, founder and senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church, retiring after 38 years of ministry
Salem Baptist Church pastor Rev. James Meeks will retire after ministering to Chicago and the world for 38 years. At the Sunday service celebrating his retirement, it was noted that Baylor University plans to archive all of Meeks' sermons to make them part of history.

Jan. 10, 2023

Strategy + Business: Can bossless management work?
In their book, “Why Managers Matter,” Nicolai Foss, Ph.D., a strategy professor at the Copenhagen Business School, and Peter Klein, Ph.D., The W.W. Caruth Chair and professor of entrepreneurship at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, examine the various iterations of manager-free organizations and conclude that “Bosses matter, not just as figureheads but as designers, organizers, encouragers, and enforcers.”

Discover: Which Animals Did Early Humans Mainly Hunt?
Joseph Ferraro, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Archaeology at Baylor, is quoted in this article about evidence indicating that early humans may have acquired a taste for meat before they could cook it, or the tools that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals used.

KCEN-TV (NBC/Waco): The 88th Texas Legislative session begins with a $33-billion surplus
VIDEO: As Texas lawmakers returned to work for the 88th Legislative session, Baylor political science professor Patrick Flavin, Ph.D., expects great division on major topics such as gun and border patrol.

Composites World: SPE ACCE calls for papers, sponsors and exhibitors for 2023 event
David Jack, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering at Baylor, will serve as co-chair of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Composites Conference & Expo (ACCE) for 2023. “Composites continue to play a key role in the development of electric vehicles [EVs], from safety to range to ergonomics, so we’re continuing with our 2022 theme and expanding it to include air mobility which is the next frontier for transportation and composites,” Jack said.

KCEN-TV (NBC/Waco): What a local expert is expecting from the 88th Texas legislative session
VIDEO: As Texas lawmakers face a wide variety of issues from gun control to ERCOT regulations to LGBTQ+ rights, Baylor political science professor Patrick Flavin, Ph.D., said while those topics are important, the first discussion will be about how Texas officials plan to use the state’s $33 billion surplus.

Jan. 11, 2023

Baptist News Global: Hunger alleviation program developed at Baylor adopted as federal program
A summer meals program created by the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty has transitioned from a demonstration project into a full-blown federal strategy to combat childhood hunger. Meals-To-You was included in the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed into law by President Joe Biden Dec. 29.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor bear to get retirement home off campus as school pursues new cubs
Matt Burchett, Ph.D., assistant dean of philanthropic engagement and senior director of student activities, is interviewed about Baylor plans to renovate the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat and build an off-campus habitat that will serve Baylor bear Lady, who turns 21 in late January, in retirement.

Jan. 12, 2023

Waco Tribune-Herald: Sci-fi, bullfighting inspire art shows at Baylor's Martin Museum of Art
Baylor University's Martin Museum of Art shows a considerable breadth in two new exhibits, one which compares an imagined sci-fi future contrasted with a technological present and the other a series of 19th century etchings capturing Spanish bullfighting of that era.

The Athletic: The NCAA has rallied around its main priority for 2023: Get help from Congress
College sports leaders are discussing what they believe is essential to preserve college sports: Congressional action. It may be the only way forward, according to Baylor president Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., who chairs the NCAA Board of Governors, the organization’s highest governing body. She spoke at the NCAA’s annual convention on Thursday detailing the need for Congressional help.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Wreaths, march, candlelight vigil mark MLK Day activities in Waco
Community memorials and activities commemorating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., including those at Baylor, will return this weekend after COVID-19 limitations for the last two years.

Associated Press: NCAA board approves recommendations for Division I reform
At the NCAA convention Thursday, Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., chair of the NCAA’s Board of Governors, handled most of the annual state of college sports address with the NCAA in a period of both transition and transformation.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Grubhub-linked robots to start food deliveries at Baylor University
Whether they are viewed as charming, unsettling or both, robots on wheels and tracked by GPS satellites have descended on Baylor University to start making food deliveries.

KWBU-FM (NPR/Waco): Business Review - Follow The Leader
AUDIO: Stephanie Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of management at Baylor, shares how leadership within groups is ever-changing and what factors are involved in emerging as a leader.

Jan. 13, 2023

Baylor Connections: Chet Garner
AUDIO: Chet Garner, a 2006 Baylor Law alum, hosts the Emmy Award-winning Texas travel show, The Daytripper. As the face of Baylor’s Bears in the Wild alumni campaign, he encourages alumni around the country to connect with their fellow Bears. In this Baylor Connections, Garner takes listeners inside his Baylor experience, his love for Baylor University and the Lone Star State, and the joys of traveling Texas highways to share hidden gems with viewers.

The Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal: Cross Burning Before Sunrise: Martin Luther King, Jr. in the City of Roses
Jamal-Dominique Hopkins, Ph.D., associate professor of Christian Scriptures and Black Church Studies at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, writes about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s February 1960 trip to Pasadena, California, to address the congregation at Friendship Baptist Church, one of the oldest Black congregations in the city. While well received by city residents, one report notes that King’s appearance occurred the morning after a Black city resident had a cross burned on his lawn.

TIME: 10 Low-Budget Horror Movies Like Skinamarink That Have Terrified Audiences
James Kendrick, Ph.D., professor of film and digital media at Baylor and an expert on horror films, is quoted in this article about 10 of the most memorable low-budget scary movies. Often credited with ushering in modern horror, Kendrick said “Psycho” was the first big, mainstream film that tapped into the fear of the monster within.

Jan. 14, 2023

The Dallas Morning News: Faith-based programs can restore accountability, rehabilitation to prisons
Byron R. Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Studies of Religion and Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor, writes about a “better way” for today’s prisons that tests the theory that accountability, rightly understood, is an important tool in returning correctional facilities to their intended purpose of rehabilitation. Funded by the Templeton Religion Trust, this research is helping create a system of measurement that can help assess whether accountability truly helps criminal offenders change their behavior and improves their lives and those of others around them.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Alan Weaver: Hamlin injury triggered our indelible need to pray
This column by Baylor graduate Alan Weaver about how NFL players knelt on the field in prayer after Demar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle. Weaver cites media comments, including from Paul Putz, Ph.D. director of the Faith & Sports Institute at Baylor, who told the AP that this public expression of faith “was new in terms of scale and scope.”

Broadway World: Curtis Symphony Orchestra to Present PERRY, TCHAIKOVSKY, AND SHENG at Verizon Hall
Emmy Award-winning, GRAMMY-nominated conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, The Mary Franks Thompson Director of Orchestral Studies at Baylor, will conduct an afternoon of firsts and favorites "Perry, Tchaikovsky, and Sheng" Jan. 29 with Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.


Baylor's Office of Media and Public Relations (M&PR) supports the University's Illuminate strategic plan as a top Christian research university by focusing on faculty research and expert opinions, innovative teaching, major awards and recognition, and community involvement. Through its media training workshops, the Baylor M&PR team develops faculty experts to effectively communicate the impact of their research or speak as subject-matter experts into national trends and conversations with media outlets, through Hot Topics and on the Baylor Connections podcast. Our faculty expert directory is available on the M&PR website at


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.