Baylor in the News – May 28-June 3, 2023

June 4, 2023
Rosenbaum Fountain

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

WACO, Texas (June 4, 2023) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories about mosquitos in Waco, the monopoly of Christian music and two new novels written by Baylor faculty.

May 28, 2023

Waco Tribune-Herald: Waco ISD summer meals program kicking off Tuesday

Waco ISD is kicking off its summer meal program for thousands of kids aged 1-18 in the surrounding area. John Puder, statewide child hunger manager at the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, is quoted about the positive changes the school district has made to reach more children and offers the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty assistance to improve services.  

May 31, 2023

Waco Tribune-Herald: Mosquitoes in Waco a nuisance, though health dangers limited

VIDEO: Jason Pitts, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology and director of the Texas Mosquito Control Association, is interviewed in this story about mosquitos in Waco. He states that while they are a nuisance, mosquitos in the area rarely carry diseases.

The Roys Report: The Megachurch Worship Monopoly

AUDIO: Shannon Baker, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in church music and digital humanities, is interviewed in this podcast on the monopoly of worship music in megachurches. The conversation explores the history and current troubles faced by megachurches, especially in the current music landscape. 

Waco Tribune-Herald: KWBU brings back 'Likely Stories' with multiple hosts

Kevin Tankersley, senior lecturer for journalism, public relations and new media, will be joining the newly revised KWBU-FM radio program, “Likely Stories.” The popular series brings multiple hosts on to share their individual views and interests, broadening the range of books discussed and reviewed.

Finding Genius Podcast: Unpacking Philosophy & Religion | How To Seek The Truth & Cultivate Faith

AUDIO: In this podcast, Francis Beckwith, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and church-state studies, shares his expertise and insight on philosophy and religion and how the two work together to cultivate faith.

June 1, 2023

Proceedings Podcast: George Dewey: A New Force at Sea

AUDIO: David A. Smith, Ph.D., senior lecturer in history and author of “A New Force at Sea: George Dewey and the Rise of the American Navy,” reviews the life of Commodore Dewey and his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War. Smith also was interviewed about his book by History Happenings, the newsletter of the Vermont Historical Society.

Phys.Org: Machine learning-based protein annotation tool predicts protein function

Researchers from Baylor join Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon Health & Science University to develop Snekmer, a software tool designed to leverage redundancy of amino acid residue properties to reduce sequence space and use short protein sequence (kmer) features for machine learning to generate protein family models.

Wacoan: A Story of Resilience

Maura Jortner, Ph.D., senior lecturer in English, discusses writing and her creative process in this article highlighting her her debut novel “102 Days of Lying About Lauren.” The book has received pre-publication buzz as it was recently chosen as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

Baptist Standard: Baylor prof explores ‘big issues’ through novel’s characters

In his latest novel, Bastille Day, Greg Garrett, Ph.D., The Carole McDaniel Hanks Chair of Literature and Culture at Baylor was explores themes of terrorism, interfaith struggles and prejudice through a fictional lens. The idea for this novel was born from the July 14, 2016 terrorist attack in Nice, France.

Premier Christian News: Megachurches have a monopoly on top worship songs, study finds

Shannon Baker, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in church music and digital humanities, is quoted in this article on recent research that suggests four megachurches in the U.S. have a monopoly on the highest-rated worship songs.

June 2, 2023

Baylor Connections: Paul Martens and Elise Edwards

AUDIO: The Baylor Ethics Initiative is a community of scholars across campus who engage in purposeful conversation to elevate the role of ethics in their research and teaching. Paul Martens, Ph.D., associate professor of ethics, serves as Baylor Ethics Initiative director; Elise Edwards, Ph.D., assistant professor of religion, is co-convener of the Initiative’s Ethics in Leadership working group. In this Baylor Connections, they share how faculty come together to discuss interdisciplinary issues and sharpen a focus on ethics in their work.

June 3, 2023

Waco Tribune-Herald: Mike Copeland: Baylor building; Ritchie's riding off; Cottonwood hotels; Waco airport update

This roundup of Waco business news includes building permits for Baylor projects, including the planned Honors Residential College construction, which coincides with a $5 million gift to Baylor from John and Helen Carona. With the gift, Baylor will name the Carona Family Commons at the HRC and the Carona Family Premium Entry, one of four entries for Baylor basketball fans at the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion.


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.