Baylor in the News - Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 2023

November 5, 2023
Leaves change color outside the Baylor Sciences Building.

Contact: Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-710-1961
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WACO, Texas (Nov. 5, 2023) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories about the origins of Halloween, the importance of Black gospel music in bridging racial divides and the prominence of Texas in horror films.

Oct. 29, 2023

Scripps News: Unmasking the centuries-old evolution of Halloween

VIDEO: Beth Allison Barr, Ph.D., The James Vardaman Endowed Professor of History and medieval scholar at Baylor, is quoted in this article about All Souls Day and its influence of All Hallows Eve traditions in today’s Halloween celebrations.

Oct. 30, 2023

Pensions & Investments: Baylor University's endowment records 6.4% gain

Baylor University's $2 billion endowment returned a net 6.4% for the fiscal year ended June 30, said David Morehead, chief investment officer at Baylor.

KUT & KUTX Studios: Austin Author on “One of Our Greatest American Writers” James Baldwin and His Foray into Screenwriting

AUDIO: Greg Garrett, Ph.D., The Carole McDaniel Hanks Professor of Literature and Culture at Baylor, is interviewed about his latest book, “The Gospel According to James Baldwin: What America’s Great Prophet Can Teach Us About Life, Love and Identity.” Garrett talks about the importance of Baldwin in his life and Baldwin’s entrance into screenwriting. 

Waco Tribune-Herald: Officials: Total eclipse could draw 100k visitors to Waco

With the first total eclipse in 146 years set to offer North Texas some of the best views on April 8, 2024, Baylor University is partnering with the City of Waco, Discovery Inc. and The Lowell Observatory of Flagstaff, Arizona, for “Eclipse over Texas: Live from Waco.” The article highlights some of the special eclipse-related events happening at Baylor in preparation.

Austin American-Statesman: Is school choice dead in the Texas Legislature? Lawmakers are at an impasse.

Patrick Flavin, Ph.D., The Bob Bullock Professor of Political Science at Baylor, was interviewed for this story about passing a school choice program by the Texas legislature.

The Boss Magazine: How the internet of things positively impacts the environment

Baylor’s Master of Computer Science program is mentioned in this article about the “Internet of Things,” or IoT, and how Baylor’s program offers a software engineering track designed to provide students with greater software skills that are intrinsic to IoT and shape them into experts who can make a significant and positive impact on the world.

Oct. 31, 2023

School Construction News: Populous Designs Spectacular New Baylor Welcome Center

Highlighting the work of the architecture firm Populous, this article dives into some of the specific design choices, dynamic technology and rich history that Populous was able to convey Baylor’s Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., is quoted in this article about the importance of the welcome center for Baylor’s campus.

Baptist News Global: Bridging racial divides with Black gospel music

Robert Darden,  Emeritus Professor of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media at Baylor and founder of the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program, talks about the power of Black gospel music to unite unlike any other force.

Preaching Today: Christmas Light

Scott M. Gibson, professor of preaching and The David E. Garland Chair of Preaching at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, writes about the theme of light as an important topic for preachers to center their sermons on as they enter the Christmas season.

The Texas Tribune: Texas is terrifying. Hollywood has noticed.

James Kendrick, Ph.D., professor of film and digital media at Baylor and horror films expert, is quoted in this article about the state of Texas’ prominence in horror movies. Kendrick speaks on Lone Star State’s legacy in horror film and television due to the potential for a classic rural, southern, isolating horror.

Health Central: What’s Causing That Pain in Your Butt?

Laurel Proulx, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of physical therapy at Baylor, is quoted in this article about piriformis syndrome pain. She discusses the causes, diagnoses and treatment options for this painful condition that effects the glutes and piriformis.

U.S. Catholic: Have Christians forgotten how to care for the dead?

Mikael Parsons, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor and The Kidd L. and Buna Hitchcock Macon Professor of Religion, is interviewed about his new book “Corpse Care” and the importance of dead bodies in God’s creation.

Atlas Obscura: The Family recipes That Live on in Cemeteries

Death and dying expert Candi K. Cann, Ph.D., associate professor of religion in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, is quoted in this article about the significance of recipes and their immortality on gravestones as a way to honor, memorialize and remember the life and legacy of a person.

Austin Daily Herald: Carolyn Bogott: Tammy Snee shares with the community

Tammy Snee, a member of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty Board of Advocates, is highlighted in this article for her contributions to and passion for leading and serving her community. This includes a collaboration with Baylor University to endow a professor for the Collaborative, addressing the needs of mental healthcare and increasing education and appreciation for nursing home care.

Nov. 1, 2023

Inside Higher Ed: Debunking Perceptions About Value of Humanities Degrees

Amy Rylander, director of Baylor’s Career Center, is quoted about encouraging humanities majors to explore their interests and skills to present themselves as great candidates for jobs in different sectors.

Baptist Standard: Around the State: Orr Chair in Medical Humanities and Christian Faith endowed at Baylor

Baylor University announced a $2 million gift from Scott and Susan Orr of The Woodlands which will establish the Scott & Susan Orr Family Endowed Chair in Medical Humanities & Christian Faith and support teaching mentorship and research within the medical humanities program at Baylor.

Fortune: Will AI be the holy grail of cost reduction for CFOs? These 5 stats make the case

(Subscription required) Robert Marks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor, is quoted in this article, encouraging Wall Street to think through the use of AI.

Eurek Alert: Do physical connections improve the control and performance of robot swarms?

Baylor University will be one of eight universities competing at the annual Defend the Republic Drone Competition, where they will use autonomous robots in a competition to capture helium balloons and deliver them to their opponents’ goal.

Nov. 2, 2023

The Texas Tribune: Texas universities seeking top research status will have a clearer path under new rules

Kevin Chambliss, Ph.D., vice provost for research at Baylor University, is quoted in this article about Baylor’s continued strength as a R1 research university even with updates to criteria.

Faith Today: Artwork by Monique Sliedrecht; New Media Roundup

David Lyle Jeffery, Ph.D., Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor, is featured twice on this roundup for his latest books, “We Were a Peculiar People Once: Confessions of an Old-Time Baptist” and “A Testament of Witness and Other Poems.”

Nov. 3, 2023

Baylor Connections: Lulin Jiang and Charles Dowdell

AUDIO: What if communities could reduce air pollutants in landfills and convert waste into energy? Baylor and the City of Waco are partnering on a competitive project to bring this idea to life. In this Baylor Connections, Lulin Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Charles Dowdell, chief sustainability officer for the City of Waco, share how this partnership could pay dividends for the Greater Waco area.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Wichitas hope Waco visit builds beneficial relationships

Members of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes will be in Waco next week for a series of conversations they hope will build economic, educational and cultural bridges between the two communities. Meetings include discussions with Waco city officials, Baylor administrators including President Linda Livingstone and local business leaders.


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.