History Professor Receives Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award

Director of the Institute for Oral History and history professor, Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., honored for his outstanding contributions to Baylor’s learning environment 

April 22, 2024
Stephen Sloan, Phd, Cornelia Marschall Smith Award

Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., accepts the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award at Academic Honors Convocation (Baylor Photography: Matthew Minard).

Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-327-8012
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WACO, Texas (April 23, 2024) – Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., professor of history and the director of the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University, was honored as the 2024 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year at the annual Academic Honors Convocation on April 19. 

Stephen Sloan, Phd, Cornelia Marschall Smith Award

The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award annually recognizes a Baylor faculty member who makes a significant contribution to the learning environment at Baylor through teaching, research and creative activity and service. The award is named for Cornelia Marschall Smith, Ph.D., a 1918 Baylor biology graduate and highly decorated Baylor faculty member. 

"I am humbled and honored at receiving this award and it means even more that the nomination came from colleagues in my department,” Sloan said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to do meaningful work here at Baylor and the ways in which I am encouraged and empowered to serve my university, discipline, department, students and community.” 

As Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year, Sloan received a commemorative plaque, a monetary award and the opportunity to present a lecture on a topic of his choosing within the next academic year. Faculty members are nominated for the award by students, alumni and faculty. Sloan was chosen by a designated committee, including DeAnna Toten Beard, Ph.D., vice provost for faculty affairs. 

“The breadth of Dr. Sloan’s impact particularly impressed the committee. He has created extraordinary learning opportunities for Baylor students, members of our local community, other American history scholars and the field of oral history domestically and internationally,” Toten Beard said. “Dr. Sloan’s teaching has reached farther than most Baylor faculty can hope for. He is as much a public scholar as he is a traditional academic.”

In addition to teaching, Sloan serves as executive director of the national Oral History Association, which is headquartered at Baylor. He received both his B.B.A. and M.A. at Baylor before completing his Ph.D. at Arizona State University with a focus on the United States Post-1945, Public History. In 2007, he joined the Baylor history faculty and IOH and is active in local history organizations, including the Historic Waco Foundation and the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair.

A public historian, Sloan created and developed Waco History, a website and free mobile app on local history, which he spun off into the popular Waco History Podcast. His work has been funded by grants at the local, state and national levels, and he has presented his research at numerous state and national meetings and abroad at conferences in Liverpool, Prague, Guadalajara, Naples, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, and Jyväskylä, Finland.

"My desire is to live up to this designation in all areas in which I research, teach and serve. It is a gift to have the opportunity to do what I do,” Sloan said. “Baylor University has been a part of my life since I was young and to receive this high honor is a true highlight of my professional career.” 

About Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith

The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year honor was inaugurated in 2004 by the Office of the Provost and is named for Cornelia Marschall Smith, Ph.D., a 1918 Baylor biology graduate who earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1925 and her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1928.

Smith was a professor of biology at Baylor from 1940 to 1967, chair of the biology department from 1943 to 1967 and director of Strecker Museum from 1943 to 1967. She retired in 1967 but maintained an office in Armstrong Browning Library to assist charitable causes. In 1980, Baylor honored Smith with an endowed chair known as The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professorship in Biology. She was celebrated among her colleagues, students and alumni for fine teaching, generous mentoring and her many interdisciplinary interests. She was a lively and continuing contributor to the Baylor intellectual community until her death on Aug. 27, 1997, at age 101.


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