Baylor in the News – May 14-20, 2023

May 21, 2023
Baylor Science Building

Baylor Sciences Building (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)

Contact: Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-710-1961 
Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia 

WACO, Texas (May 21, 2023) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories about the efficacy of hypnosis, college students and their need for sleep and the Baylor Board of Regents May meeting.   

May 14, 2023 

Public Discourse: A Coalition of the Sensible: What’s Wrong with “The New Right” 

In this essay, David Corey, Ph.D., political science professor at Baylor, illustrates political principles to ease the divisive politicization toward moral unity. 

May 16, 2023 

WebMD: Hypnosis Can Be Powerful Therapy – But Will It Work for You? 

Gary Elkins, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neuroscience and director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor, is quoted about the benefits of hypnosis, stating that about 10-15% of people are hypnotizable, hypnosis is learnable and the benefits can clinically reduce symptoms regardless of hypnotizability. 

Baptist Standard: Baylor grad saved a life before starting medical school 

As a freshman, recent Baylor graduate Sydney Duke put herself on the National Bone Marrow Donor registry. During her senior year, she was the only match out of 19 million people and was able to donate lifesaving marrow while simultaneously finishing her degree.  

EurekAlert: Are college students with religious tattoos more religious? Yes and no 

Results from a recent study co-authored by Kevin D. Dougherty, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Baylor, expanded the scholarly understanding of personal identity as it correlates to tattoos and religion. Tattooed individuals may be sensation seekers, and emotions and practices between tattoos and religion may parallel each other in specific ways.  

The TODAY Show: Hoda & Jenna celebrate the Class of 2023 with a quote game 

VIDEO: Baylor senior Molly Roberts participated in a game on the TODAY Show that teamed hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager with graduating college students to see if they could tell who said famous commencement quotes. (Molly won!) 

Waco Tribune-Herald: Waco out of drought for 1st time since 2021; lake still 9 feet low 

Robert Doyle, Ph.D., professor and associate chair of biology and director for the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research at Baylor, is quoted about the drought in Waco, noting that variable weather patterns are seen as a possible result of climate change and that society must redefine how and where water is used to become more sustainable.  

May 17, 2023 

KTRE-9 (ABC/East Texas): Central ISD senior planning to attend Baylor receives Gates scholarship 

VIDEO: Incoming freshman Isabel Contreras of Angelina County is one of only 750 students nationwide to receive the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship worth approximately $240,000. Contreras is the valedictorian of her class and will attend Baylor in the fall to major in health science studies in hopes of becoming a pediatrician.  

EurekAlert: Morning lark or night owl: Baylor researchers highlight the influence of behavior on the circadian preferences of college students 

Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory at Baylor, and doctoral candidate Blake Barley studied college students and their chronotype – the body’s need for sleep at a certain time and thought to be unchangeable – and the factors and behavioral choices that play a role in sleep problems. This research also has been featured in Sleep Review, Newswise, Study Finds, Neuroscience News, Tech and Science Post, MedicalXpress and

Religion News Service: What is Christian nationalism, anyway? 

Data from the 2017 Baylor Religion Survey was used in an article detailing Christian nationalism – what it is and what it isn’t. The survey provided American participants' responses to whether the federal government should declare the United States a Christian nation and whether it should advocate Christian values.  

May 18, 2023 

Australian Catholic University: Rome campus to host inaugural conference on human flourishing 

Baylor University, Harvard University and Boston College will collaborate for the inaugural Makarios conference with ACU’s Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at ACU’s Rome campus. The international conference will explore the role of character and virtue in Christianity and how this informs the concept of human flourishing, or the ability to live a good life. 

May 19, 2023 

Baylor Connections: President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. 

AUDIO: As another semester draws to a close, Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., reflects on the 2022-23 year at Baylor and looks ahead to important initiatives and projects on the horizon. In this Baylor Connections, she shares more about the next steps in strategic planning, Baylor’s live bear mascots, construction projects like the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center and Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion, the Big 12 Conference and more. 

Word on Fire: Am I an It? 

Erik Carter, Ph.D., The Luther Sweet Endowed Chair in Disabilities at Baylor, presents statistics on adults with severe disabilities attending worship compared to people without disabilities in this article on the perception and inclusion of people with disabilities in parish communities.  

Waco Tribune-Herald: Robert Baird: Paying tribute to 2 great Baylor teachers 

A touching tribute to two Baylor professors offers gratitude for teachers everywhere, especially for Jim Vardaman (1928-2018), professor of history and Master Teacher, and Ann Vardaman Miller (1926-2006), professor of English and Master Teacher.  

Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor regents OK $902 million budget, elect new leaders 

At their May board meeting, Baylor University regents approved a $902 million operating budget, $24.5 million in facilities renovations, two new degree programs, elected a new chair and changed its leadership structure. The meeting was also covered in the Baylor Lariat

Religion News Service: Carl Lentz calls abuse allegations ‘categorically false’ in new Hillsong documentary 

David Pooler, Ph.D., professor of social work at Baylor who researches clergy sexual abuse, is quoted in this article about a documentary detailing the scandal and descent of megachurch Hillsong.  

May 20, 2023 

Houston Chronicle: UH extending test-optional policies as officials mull permanent change 

In an article about the test-optional admissions policy currently in place at the University of Houston, Baylor University is mentioned as another Texas university with a test-optional policy in effect through the class entering fall 2025.  


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


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 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.