Grants and Honors

January 2, 2022


The Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) is part of a $2.3 million federally funded grant to provide services in Texas to improve the lives of youth with disabilities and their families.

In partnership with the University of Texas and Texas State University, Dr. Kristen Padilla, Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of BCDD, received this Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program (LEND) grant award from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration. The partnership is called Autism Consortium of Texas (ACT) LEND and will provide interdisciplinary leadership training; promote health equity in screening, diagnosis, and service delivery; provide continuing education for practicing professionals in Texas; and disseminate evidence-based knowledge to key stakeholders.

Padilla will serve as the project’s Leadership Training Coordinator.


Dr. Philip Nichols

Dr. Philip Nichols, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, was selected as a 2021 National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, among only 25 recipients.
These $70,000 fellowships support early-career scholars working in critical areas of education research, who then serve as non-residential postdoctoral scholars. The program further develops the careers of recipients through professional development activities.
In his literacy research, Nichols uses historical and ethnographic methods to study how science and technology condition the ways we practice, teach, and talk about literacy — and the implications for just and equitable public education. His scholarship appears in top research journals, as well as practitioner-oriented publications. His first book, Innovation from Below: Building Infrastructures for Equity in 21st Century Schools, will be published by Teachers College Press.


Dr. Lakia Scott

Dr. Lakia Scott, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, became the first Baylor faculty member to be named as the university’s “Champion of Change” earlier this year.

Baylor launched the “Champions of Change” awards to recognize and acknowledge the accomplishments of faculty, staff, and alumni (one of each annually) who demonstrate efforts to “foster greater appreciation and advancement of diversity, inclusiveness, and equity for communities of color at Baylor and in Waco.” Scott’s efforts in equity enhancement have included promoting the recruitment and retention of first-generation college students and students of color through advising student organizations; establishing a reputation for being empathetic and supportive of students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds; and focusing her research on multicultural awareness, diversity practices, and urban education and literacy.

Dr. Kelsey Ragan

Baylor University recognized the significant community impact and outreach of the Baylor Autism Resource Clinic (ARC) by awarding the Solid Gold Neighbor Award to clinic director Dr. Kelsey Ragan, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology.

Baylor ARC, and the Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) that houses it, provide diagnostic and formative assessments, behavioral therapy, professional development, educational resources, and related supportive services for those with autism spectrum disorders and their families. The affiliated faculty and students provide nearly 3,000 hours of autism-related services to the community annually.

Founded in 2008 by SOE faculty member Dr. Julie Ivey, Baylor ARC served as the catalyst for the launch of the BCDD in 2015, which allowed expanded and diversified services.

Dr. Sandi Cooper

Dr. Sandi Cooper — math educator, Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, and program director for the EdD in Learning and Organizational Change — was selected as a 2021-2022 Baylor Fellow. Baylor Fellows are faculty selected from across the University based upon their demonstrated excellence and creativity in teaching and learning. This year’s theme for the Baylor Fellows program is Engaging Undergraduates in Scholarly Work, and Cooper has a rich history of mentorship with students both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.