SOE Faculty Win Top Baylor Awards

May 13, 2021

Three School of Education faculty members received awards in the university’s 2021 recognition program honoring exemplary teaching and research.

Dr. Stephanie Gerow, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, received the Baylor Tenure-Track Outstanding Scholarship Award. Gerow’s research in Applied Behavior Analysis seeks to improve educational and social outcomes for children with developmental disabilities, addressing problem behaviors and teaching effective intervention strategies to teachers and parents. She has earned $1.8 million in competitive external grant awards at Baylor, funding five PhD students and a post-doctoral fellow. With 30 publications since 2015, she has involved 12 SOE students as co-authors on scholarly publications and presentations.

SOE Dean Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke noted that Gerow’s professional accomplishments and service exemplify Baylor’s high standards. “Her service and outreach to children with disabilities and their families — particularly those who have limited access or means to support — reflect the intersection of her Christian commitment, her gifts of helping others, and her professional expertise,” Hagan-Burke said.

Dr. Lakia Scott, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, received the Baylor Tenure-Track Outstanding Teaching Award. Scott has nearly 15 years of experience in elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate teaching. She is a recognized scholar in Urban Education and the driving force behind the Baylor Freedom Schools program, a summer literacy enrichment initiative. She teaches courses in literacy, social issues, social foundations, and diversity issues.

“Dr. Scott is not only an outstanding scholar but an extraordinary teacher,” said Dr. Brooke Blevins, chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. “She has a unique ability to capture the interest of her students and push them to think about new possibilities.”

One former student said, “For each of her lectures, Dr. Scott entered the classroom full of refreshing energy and ready to address complex subject matters. She always managed to keep a positive and insightful conversation flowing.”

Dr. Laila Sanguras, lecturer in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, received the Non-Tenure-Track Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching.

Sanguras teaches in the Online EdD in Learning and Organizational Change program, and her colleagues noted that she creates a community of scholars through engaging and rigorous learning experiences. Students described her as knowledgeable, approachable, professional, and kind. Sanguras maintains a strong research agenda in gifted education, serves as chair for 13 problem-of-practice dissertations, and encourages students to present at national conferences.

“As our nation found itself in the midst of a racial reckoning last summer,” Blevins said, “Dr. Sanguras was the first to recognize the need for our program to take action. She organized an opportunity for our students to share their experiences and helped develop a comprehensive plan of action for our program.”

Sanguras also developed and led the inaugural Baylor Emerging Research Conference (BERC), giving SOE graduate students the opportunity to share their research.