Baylor in the News – Dec. 24-30, 2023

December 31, 2023
Jonathan Tran, Ph.D., associate Honors College dean and associate professor of theology

Jonathan Tran, Ph.D., associate Honors College dean and associate professor of theology, shown here with Baylor Honors Residential College students, took part in a discussion about the state of American Christianity and the diversity of Christian life on WBUR-Boston's "On Point." (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)

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WACO, Texas (Dec. 31, 2023) – Baylor University researchers and faculty experts were featured in national and local media stories about why people believe in Bigfoot, managing “cyberchondria” when searching online health concerns and how the Gartner Hype Cycle tracks the progression of a new technology as it enters the market.

Dec. 24, 2023 

LiveLearnVenture: How to Manage “Cyberchondria” and Fear of the Unknown

This article on cyberchondria, or the fear based on repeated internet searches regarding medical conditions that can cause excessive concerns about physical health, is based on research from Baylor associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, Thomas Fergus, Ph.D.

Dec. 25, 2023 

WBUR (NPR/Boston): On Point: What do American Christians believe about their religion?

AUDIO: In this rebroadcast, Jonathan Tran, Ph.D., associate professor of theology in Great Texts, is among the guests on WBUR’s On Point discussing the state of American Christianity and the diversity of Christian life.

Dec. 26, 2023 

The Paris News: North Lamar graduate receives prestigious academic honor

AUDIO: This audio report celebrates the North Lamar ISD alum, Lorin Swint Matthews, Ph.D., professor of physics and associate director of Baylor University’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER), who has been appointed as a 2023 Fellow of the American Physical Society, an honor bestowed on no more than one half of 1% of the American Physical Society’s membership.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Songs from eclipse-themed musical to debut at Baylor ahead of April 8 total eclipse

AUDIO: Baylor University theater students will perform the debut of songs from a Broadway-style musical about the famous eclipse of 1878 in conjunction with the celebrations of the total eclipse festival to be held at McLane Stadium on April 8. Jeremy Vickers[SC1] , assistant vice provost for research at Baylor, gave credit to Lauren Weber, lecturer in musical theater at Baylor, for bringing the performance to campus.

Dec. 27, 2023 

U.S. News: What Is the Gartner Hype Cycle?

Timothy Kayworth, Ph.D., professor and department chair of information systems at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, is quoted throughout this article detailing the Gartner Hype Cycle which identifies emerging technologies and estimates when the tech may become mainstream.

Dec. 28, 2023 

The Denver Post: Myth or reality? Bigfoot sightings reported in Colorado 130 times over past century

Carson Mencken, Ph.D., professor and chair of sociology at Baylor and co-author of Paranormal America: Ghost encounters, UFO sightings, Bigfoot hunts and other Curiosities in Religion and Culture, was interviewed for this article about the number of “Bigfoot” sightings in Colorado. Mencken’s academic research grew out of the second wave of the national Baylor Religion Survey, a section of which focused on religious and paranormal beliefs and experiences, from Bigfoot to UFOs to belief in guardian angels.

WIA Report: Five Women Taking on New Administrative Roles in Higher Education

The Women In Academia Reports highlights five women taking administrative roles in colleges across the country, including Mary Alexander, Ph.D., who was recently named as the new vice provost for administration and operations in the Office of the Provost at Baylor, effective January 3. 

Dec. 29, 2023

Baylor Connections: Sarah Kathryn Ricci

AUDIO: Baylor Alumni is Baylor’s official alumni engagement program, and facilitates numerous events, activities and volunteer opportunities across the nation to connect with the Baylor Family. Sarah Kathryn Ricci serves as Assistant Vice President of Alumni Engagement. In this Baylor Connections, she takes listeners inside opportunities to connect through affinity groups, outings, athletics and more.

Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor says new basketball arena ready for Tuesday play

AUDIO: Baylor Athletics Director,  Mack Rhoades, and men’s basketball coach, Scott Drew, talk about the new Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion. While the finishing touches on the fieldhouse continue, it will be ready in time for the first basketball games of the new year.

Dec. 30, 2023 

Sarasota Tribune-Herald: Sarasota Orchestra concert explores ‘Friends and Inspirations’ with longtime collaborators

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, the Mary Franks Thompson Director of Orchestral Studies and music director of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, made his debut as guest conductor for the Sarasota Orchestra.


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.