Baylor in the News – April 14-20, 2024

April 21, 2024
Byron Johnson and Tyler VanderWheel

(L to R) – Baylor’s Byron R. Johnson, Ph.D., co-directs the groundbreaking Global Flourishing Study with Harvard’s Tyler J. VanderWeele, Ph.D., in conjunction with Gallup, telling The Wall Street Journal that among 200,000 people surveyed worldwide, those attending religious services weekly had higher “flourishing” scores than those who never attended.  (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)

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Note: The opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of the University.

WACO, Texas (April 21, 2024) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories about the mental health benefits of active religious practice, creating a belonging environment in schools for students with disabilities and the intersection of faith and leadership in the workplace.

April 14, 2024

The Wall Street Journal: The Mental-Health Benefits Linked to Going to Church

Active religious practice, such as going to churches, synagogues and mosques, is linked to mental well-being, according to a growing body of research and some of the first findings from the Global Flourishing Study, said GFS researcher Byron Johnson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and director of the Institute for the Studies of Religion at Baylor.

Education Week: 5 Tips to Help Students With Disabilities Feel Like They Belong

Erik W. Carter, Ph.D., The Luther Sweet Endowed Chair in Disabilities and executive director of Baylor’s Center for Developmental Disabilities has developed the 10 dimensions of belonging, a list of principles that create an environment in which all students—but particularly those with disabilities who have historically been excluded—feel as if they authentically belong.

April 16, 2024

Addison Magazine: WaterTower Theatre Presents Satchmo at The Waldorf

Sam Henderson, M.F.A., assistant professor of theatre and film at Baylor, is starring in WaterTower Theatre’s production of “Satchmo at The Waldorf.” Henderson plays the three characters of Louis Armstrong, his manager Joe Glaser and Miles Davis.

The Arthur Page Center: Ethics education, practice and theory research grants announced

Rosalynn Vasquez, Ph.D., assistant professor of journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor, is a recipient of a Page/Johnson Legacy Scholar Grant from the Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication for her research project on “Examining the role of PR in communicating ethics training and DEI within organization.” The call on ethics training is being led by Marlene Neill, Ph.D., associate professor at Baylor University and Page Center senior research fellow.

Baptist News Global: An asset map shows how churches are meeting the needs of older adults in rural areas

Jessica Lewis, a Master of Social Work candidate at Baylor and intern at The Center for Church and Community Impact, led a team of individuals conducting an asset map in Falls and McLennan counties in the heart of Texas that helped shed some light on the valuable role rural churches play in addressing the physical and social needs of older adults.

UTC News: Unlock your musical potential: Inside the success of UTC Music’s summer intensive conducting workshops

Kristina Caswell MacMullen, D.M.A., director of choral activities and The Mary Gibbs Jones Chair in Music at Baylor, is one of the clinicians at the Choral and Instrumental Summer Institutes at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, which provide participants – especially K-12 music educators – with professional development opportunities to advance their careers in music education.

April 18, 2024

Waco Tribune-Herald: The Bard's 'Tempest,' Pinter's 'Betrayal' arrive on Waco stages

Baylor Theatre will perform “The Tempest,” Shakespeare’s story of a ship wrecked on an island where magic spirits rule. Director Steven Pounders, M.F.A., professor of acting at Baylor, said the play is one of Shakespeare’s later works and not as frequently produced, which led in part to its selection in this year’s season.

Lunar and Planetary Institute: LPI Announces 2024 Class of Interns

Allie North, a senior Science Research Fellow at Baylor, is one of 11 undergraduates selected for the 2024 LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science, a highly competitive program that offers interns the opportunity to experience cutting-edge research in lunar and planetary science. Students will work one-on-one with scientists at the LPI and NASA Johnson Space Center.

April 19, 2024

Baylor Connections: Sandeep Mazumder and Matt Quade

AUDIO: Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business sets the standard in research and scholarship at the intersection of faith and leadership. What does Christian leadership mean, and how can Christians build on their faith foundation in the workplace? In this Baylor Connections, these topics are examined by Sandeep Mazumder, Ph.D., The William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean, and Matt Quade, Ph.D., The Kimberly and Aaron P. Graft Professor in Christian Leadership in Business.

KWKT-TV (FOX/Waco): Baylor Foreign Policy Expert explains tension between Iran and Israel

VIDEO: Joanne Cummings, M.A., lecturer of political science who teaches political dynamics in the Middle East as a former Foreign Policy Advisor, is interviewed about the tension between Iran and Israel.

April 20, 2024

Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: The Mental-Health Benefits Linked to Going to Church

The top story in News Above the Noise cites a Wall Street Journal article about a growing body of “empirical evidence suggesting that people who are active in their faith tend to be the recipients of a number of important physical and mental-health benefits,” said Byron Johnson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and director of the Institute for the Studies of Religion at Baylor.


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.