Baylor in the News – May 7-13, 2023

May 14, 2023
Damage in downtown Waco after the devastating F5 tornado on May 11, 1953

Damage in downtown Waco after the devastating F5 tornado on May 11, 1953. (Photo courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University)

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WACO, Texas (May 14, 2023) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts shared their thoughts and expertise with various media outlets on the effect of Instagram and TikTok on psychological well-being, a new study that provides insight into community dynamics during once-in-a-century pandemic and remembering how the 1953 Waco tornado changed the landscape of downtown.

May 7, 2023

Bloomberg: Lines Stretch Down the Block at Food Banks as Costs Go Up and Pandemic Aid Expires

Craig Gundersen, Ph.D., The Snee Family Endowed Chair at the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP) and professor of economics at Baylor, is quoted in this article about how food banks across the country have been flooded with requests for help since food-stamp recipients were hit with a double blow: the expiration of a temporary boost in benefits put in place during the pandemic and onerous grocery prices.

May 8, 2023

EurekAlert: Baylor researchers explore effect of Instagram, TikTok on psychological well-being

Noted Baylor smartphone researchers Meredith E. David, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, and James A. Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing, have investigated the correlation between the “flow states” – or happiness experienced by individuals – while using Instagram and TikTok and psychological well-being. This research also was covered by and Kentucky Health News.

Newswise: The Waco COVID Survey: A Community-Based SARS-CoV-2 Serological Surveillance Study in Central Texas

Results from the Waco COVID Survey have provided needed insights into how the dynamics of COVID-19 transmission, health behaviors and COVID-19-related attitudes changed across the first two years of the pandemic in the McLennan County, Texas. The research team was led by Baylor biological anthropologist Michael P. Muehlenbein, Ph.D. In addition to Newswise, the research was covered by, MedicalXpress and KWKT-TV (FOX/Waco).

Maxwell AFB: AFROTC cadets selected to receive the Harry S. Truman Scholarship

A cadet from Air Force ROTC Detachment 810 at Baylor University has been selected to receive the highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Cadet Kaitlyn Vana is the first Truman Scholar from Detachment 810 and the 10th Baylor student to earn this honor.

May 9, 2023

Baptist News Global: Fuller family establishes social justice chair at Garland School of Social Work

Charlie and Cindy Fuller of Woodway, Texas, along with their family, have committed $1.5 million to Baylor University to establish an endowed chair for social justice in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. This news also was covered by the Baptist Standard.

May 10, 2023

Waco Tribune-Herald: 70 years later, Waco remembers deadly tornado that reshaped city

Baylor University’s Texas Collection will present “The Waco Tornado, 70 Years Later: The Calm, the Storm, the Aftermath” May 18 at the Mayborn Museum. Panelists include Texas Collection audiovisual coordinator Geoff Hunt, Waco historian and author Eric Ames and meteorologist Brady Taylor.

May 11, 2023

KWTX-TV (CBS/Waco): Monster from the Sky

VIDEO: This KWTX-TV documentary “Monster from the Sky” take an in-depth look at May 11, 1953 tornado that killed 114 people, injured more than 600 others and changed the landscape of downtown Waco. The documentary includes photos and film footage from The Texas Collection at Baylor and features historian and author Eric Ames of Baylor Libraries and Geoff Hunt, audio/visual curator at The Texas Collection.

Public Discourse: Leo Strauss on Greatness and Democracy: An Interview with Timothy W. Burns

Timothy W. Burns, Ph.D., professor of political science at Baylor and graduate program director, is interviewed about his latest book, “Leo Strauss on Democracy, Technology, and Liberal Education,” through which he explores how Strauss understood the emergence of liberal democracy and what is necessary to sustain and elevate it.

May 12, 2023

Baylor Connections: Kenyatta Gilbert and Malcolm Foley

AUDIO: In April, Baylor unveiled statues honoring the University’s first Black graduates, Rev. Robert Gilbert and Barbara Walker. Despite physical limitations and the burdens of being a trailblazer, Rev. Gilbert served his hometown of Waco and made an impact far beyond campus. In this Baylor Connections, his son, Dr. Kenyatta Gilbert, expands on his father’s journey and legacy. Dr. Gilbert, professor of homiletics at the Howard University Divinity School, is joined by Rev. Dr. Malcolm Foley, Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Campus Engagement and Director of Black Church Studies at Truett Seminary, sharing more about Baylor’s efforts to tell the University’s complete history and honor trailblazers like Rev. Gilbert.

Madang Podcast: Episode 28: Historian Beth Allison Barr, author of The Making of Biblical Womanhood

AUDIO: Beth Allison Barr, Ph.D., The James Vardaman Endowed Professor of History and author of “The Making of Biblical Womanhood,” about being a pastor’s wife, what led her to writing a book on biblical womanhood, Paul’s writings about women, Christian household codes, Reformation theology about women and more.

KWTX-TV (CBS/Waco): Celebrating Texas Collections: 100 years of Texas History in Central Texas

VIDEO: Feature on The Texas Collection at Baylor University, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Interviewed for the story is The Texas Collection’s director, Jeff Pirtle.

TV News Check: Scripps National Spelling Bee To Host 231 Spellers At 2023 Bee Week

Scripps National Spelling Bee has named Daniel Notman, B.A. ’17, project manager in the Office of the President at Baylor University, as 2023 Regional Volunteer of the Year. Notman has served as volunteer pronouncer for the Central Texas regional spelling bee organized by Rapoport Holdings LLC. 

May 13, 2023

Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor University research sheds light on Waco-area behavior, attitudes around COVID-19

Baylor biological anthropologist Michael Muehlenbein, Ph.D., led a team of researchers that studied the behavior and attitudes associated with COVID-19 that have helped inform doctors and continued to provide insights into the dynamics of how people in McLennan County responded to the disease during the first two years of the pandemic.


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.