Fall 2018 | Volume 12, Number 1
Baylor School of Education Impact logo

Preparing Leaders, Impacting the World, Shaping the Future


  • First Among Equals - First Graduate in PhD Program
  • Alumni Profile: Dr. Agnes Tang
  • Grant Helps Rural Families of Children with Autism
  • News Briefs and Faculty Awards
  • Passion for Education

Fall 2018


Last fall I became aware of a documentary film entitled Backpack Full of Cash. It raises hotly debated issues of school vouchers, high-stakes accountability testing, and church-state separation.


The documentary movie Backpack Full of Cash touches on every aspect and challenge of public education that's in the daily news — from under budgeting to overcrowding. That's why Dr. Terrill Saxon, Baylor School of Education Interim Dean, saw the film as a launching point for important conversations.


In August of 2018, Savanah Landerholm became the first graduate of the School of Education's PhD in Higher Education Studies & Leadership (HESL). Landerholm was part of the initial cohort of three PhD students in the Department of Educational Leadership, starting in August of 2014.


The response to the new Online EdD in Learning and Organizational Change was overwhelmingly positive, and the inaugural cohort that started in August numbers 51 students. More than 4,500 prospects submitted an online inquiry into the program, representing 47 states.

Agnes Tang

She's fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, skilled at teaching English to those who struggle with it, and recently received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award that has taken her to Taiwan's National Taitung University. Dr. Agnes Tang is willing to follow her motivation to encourage positive literacy wherever it leads.

Grad Program Update

Here's a glance at where School of Education programs stood for the 2017-18 academic year. The SOE's 2017-18 total of 189 graduate students compares to a population of about 400 in the teacher-education undergraduate program.

Student Financial Need

The SOE uses endowment funds to supplement financial aid that students receive from the University, outside sources, loans and student work-study. But many students still have unmet needs.

New Faculty Fall 2018

The School of Education welcomed four new faculty members in the fall of 2018, and a new librarian for the Learning Resources Center joined the faculty in the spring. The SOE is currently searching to fill five faculty positions for the Fall 2019 academic term.

SOE Excellence

Students are both outstanding and satisfied in the School of Education's graduate programs, according to the 2017 report from the Baylor Graduate School. Read about our doctoral, specialist, and master's graduates for 2017-18.

Matt Thomas

Dr. Matt Thomas joined the Baylor School of Education (SOE) on Aug. 1 as executive director of the SOE's Center for Christian Education. Founded in 1985, the CCE is dedicated to advancing evidence-based approaches to educational improvement and values-driven leadership through a range of programming and resources.

Rural Autism Support

Through a $278,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Baylor School of Education will bring services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to rural families who might otherwise be unable to obtain help.

LRC Renovations

SOE graduates have a pass rate of 100 percent — again. Plus a new department chair, a new degree program, and enhancements to the Learning Resources Center. Check out the news at a glance.

Suzanne Nesmith and Sandi Cooper

Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, Dr. Sandi Cooper, and Dr. Susan Johnsen were among several faculty members who won awards at the national level, while several others won university-wide awards.


Now in its second year, the Baylor Freedom School program aims to prevent summer learning loss by exposing the students — called "scholars" — to three reading texts daily and encouraging the discussion of civic issues. It runs for seven weeks in the summer.

Bob and Barbara Stepp Johnston

Bob and Barbara Stepp Johnston have spent their professional lives dedicated to education. They say they are giving to the School of Education because "if we can have a Baylor graduate in a classroom, we know the caliber of that person is going to be what we want to see."

SOE Centennial

Watch for the launch of the Centennial website for historical features and ways for alumni to share memories! That's also where to find info on upcoming events, including a special Dr Pepper Hour in the SUB, students; SOE birthday party, SOE historical exhibit at the Mayborn Museum, the Centennial Scholarship Banquet, special lectures and the Centennial Homecoming Tailgate.