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Baylor faculty members honored for sharing core virtues with students | College of Arts and Sciences | Pro Club Bd

August 4, 2022



By Randy Fiedler, Director of Marketing and Communications, College of Arts & Sciences, Baylor University

Four Baylor University faculty members are the inaugural recipients of the Core Curriculum Virtues Recognition Award presented by the College of Arts & Sciences. The awards are presented annually to faculty members who have inspired moral, intellectual, and/or spiritual virtues through the process of teaching a course in Baylor’s core curriculum during the previous academic year.

The Core Vision identifies 14 virtues – humility, courage, rigor, integrity, respect, justice, empathy, compassion, responsibility, patience, wisdom, faith, hope and love.

Each Core Curriculum Virtues Recognition Award recipient is nominated by faculty members in their respective departments. The four inaugural honorees recognized for their contributions in the 2021-2022 academic year at Baylor University are: David Bridge, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, cited for the core value of respect; Allyson L. Irom, Ph.D., director of undergraduate studies in modern languages ​​and cultures, cited for the core value of compassion; Julie King, JD, Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Director in Environmental Sciences, cites for core value courage; and Jerolyn Morrison, Ph.D., associate professor of art and art history, cited for the core value of humility.

Blake Burleson, Ph.D., associate dean for undergraduate studies and strategic and enrollment initiatives at the College of Arts & Sciences, who played an important role in creating the current core curriculum, said he is grateful for colleagues like the four honorees who “ Examine, express, demonstrate and measure virtues in their classrooms”.

“The Unified Core curriculum provides a common foundation of knowledge from the rich and diverse liberal arts tradition and develops diverse skills necessary to complete an academic degree that are also essential to personal and professional life beyond Baylor,” Burleson said . “In addition, the core curriculum inspires moral, intellectual, and spiritual virtues. All three of these general educational requirements—knowledge, skills, and virtues—are of equal importance in our pedagogical efforts to transform students.”



David Bridge was nominated for the central virtue of respect by Rebecca Flavin, Ph.D., associate professor of political science.

“DR. Bridge ends the semester by requiring students to write a mission statement that outlines their philosophy of informed civic engagement and their five-year civic engagement plan,” Flavin said commanding respect in a politically polarized environment than the methods he has chosen.”

For his part, Bridge believes that “respect counts when it is questioned. When we deeply and fundamentally disagree with others – that is when respect is most needed,” he said. “Before we can say, ‘I see things differently,’ we have to be able to say, ‘You know I respect you.’ And while this skill is badly needed in American political discourse, it can be transferred to other fields and everyday life.”



Allyson Irom was nominated for the core virtue of compassion by Cristian Bratu, Ph.D., Associate Chair of Modern Languages ​​and Cultures and Division Director of French and Italian. “DR. Irom is an excellent teacher and her students value her teaching skills as well as her caring and compassionate nature,” said Bratu.

“Learning to communicate well in another language involves much more than memorizing vocabulary lists and studying the mechanics of sentence formation. Truly understanding how to relate to someone means knowing their traditions, beliefs and ideals. In the Spanish for Medical Professionals course I teach, the entire first unit is devoted to exploring this dynamic,” Irom said. “Baylor students lead with compassion, and I hope my teaching will continue to foster that quality in our future doctors and nurses.”



Julia King was nominated for the Core Virtue of Courage by George Cobb, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Environmental Sciences.

“Julie King teaches courses in environmental law, advanced environmental law and environmental policy. Learning from the determination that communities or individuals have faced to challenge authorities through legal channels inspires students to work boldly within institutional and community frameworks to improve current conditions,” said Cobb. “Their commitment to offering core classes is immense.”

“The word ‘courage’ has its linguistic roots in the Middle English, French and Latin words for ‘heart,'” King said. “As I consider using courage in my courses and in life, I ask students to ask their hearts for others to put themselves in the place of the most vulnerable. This can be someone suffering from the health effects of pollution, or with the people of a small, less developed country facing the most devastating effects of a problem they didn’t create and don’t have the resources to address it. I strive to instill courage for action based on the heart that students serve for the poor, downtrodden, underrepresented and most vulnerable. Courage requires strong advocacy, motivated by a heart for justice.”



Jerolyn Morrison was nominated for the Core Virtue of Humility by Heidi Hornik-Parsons, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Art and Art History.

“Dr. Morrison relocated from the island of Crete to be a full-time temporary Lecturer in Art History for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years. Her new spring 2022 courses were Minoan Art History and Mycenaean Cuisine,” Hornik-Parsons said, “Her willingness to take up this challenge showed her humility in reviewing survey material that she has not faced in many, many years as a Minoan specialist watched or studied. Nonetheless, she persevered and was successful.”

“There is a joy in serving people through teaching as it allows one to explore avenues of communication and understanding,” Morrison told Classrooms. I believe they are rooted in empathy and humility, and the arts and humanities are based on perfecting these qualities. In order to interpret artworks and place them in a meaningful context, one must exercise humility and look beyond oneself to try to understand an artist’s intention. Teaching and learning these skills can be tiring, and it takes patience, practice, and most importantly, the ability to forgive yourself when there is a lot of room for improvement.”

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