Robbins College 2022 Year in Review

December 19, 2022
Robbins College Year in Review

As 2022 comes to a close, we are grateful to be celebrating a year full of noteworthy and impactful developments for Baylor University's Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. In no particular order, here are 10 highlights from Robbins College’s year in review:

1. Welcoming Dean Jason R. Carter, PhD

In May, Baylor Provost Nancy Brickhouse, PhD announced the appointment of Jason R. Carter, PhD, as Dean of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. Dean Carter came to Baylor from Montana State University, where he served as Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Graduate Education. He began his appointment in August and has already made an impact during his first semester leading Robbins College. Learn more about Dean Carter in this Q&A.

2. New Program Accomplishments

2022 has been an exciting year for new Robbins College programs. This year, the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs officially transitioned into individual departments. In January, the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence welcomed the first class of students in the U.S. Army-Baylor Occupational Therapy Doctorate program. In addition, the Baylor Scott & White-Baylor University Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency welcomed its first residents in March, and the PhD in Public Health program welcomed its first cohort of students in August. In December, the Department of Occupational Therapy celebrated their first Entry-level OTD graduating class, and the new Master of Science in Medical Science program opened its application in November.

3. Launch of Robbins College Pure Gold Initiative

Seeking to nurture a culture of excellence, community, and service, Dean Carter established the Pure Gold initiative, an opportunity for College faculty and staff to be celebrated for excellence. Recipients of the Pure Gold Award are nominated by their peers (Robbins College faculty and staff members) in recognition of special achievements in the categories of teaching, research, and service. Learn more about this initiative and view Fall 2022 award recipients here.

Robbins College Pure Gold Event

4. Accreditation Updates

A number of Robbins College programs reported successful accreditation visits, reviews, and submissions throughout the year. Two highlights: The Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral Degree received full accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Didactic Program in Dietetics received a special one-year extension of the programs seven-year accreditation term by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

5. Promotions and Tenure

In Spring 2022, several Robbins College faculty received notification of promotion and/or tenure. These include:

  • Dr. Yang-Soo Yoon, received tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Dr. LesLee Funderburk, received tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in Human Sciences and Design
  • Dr. Casey Unverzagt, promoted to Clinical Associate Professor in Physical Therapy
  • Dr. Jana Parker, promoted to Clinical Associate Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Dr. Nadine Welch, promoted to Clinical Associate Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders

6. Research Highlights

In addition to serving as transformative teachers and exceptional leaders, many Robbins College faculty are active researchers who have been busy throughout the year writing grant proposals, conducting experiments, and producing impact-focused scholarship. In 2022, the following funding sponsors supported research led by Robbins College faculty:

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation
  • Baylor Scott & White Health
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • State of Texas Office of the Governor
  • The Sugar Association
  • Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine
  • U.S. Department of the Interior
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The College also launched an Expert Directory this fall to showcase the vast range of expertise among Robbins College faculty.

7. Interprofessional Education

This year, the Robbins College Interprofessional Education (IPE) Committee hosted a number of IPE events aimed at increasing collaboration across professions and improving health outcomes. For example, in September, Robbins College Master of Athletic Training students collaborated with the Louise Herrington School of Nursing at a health fair for the residents of Austin Street, one of the largest homeless shelters in Dallas. You can read more about this experience here.

Austin Street

8. Introducing New Faculty, Staff, and Leadership

In addition to Dean Carter, Robbins College welcomed over 40 new faculty and staff members across all departments in 2022. This fall, a leadership transition was announced as well. Beginning in the New Year, Diane Loeb, PhD, after five years of outstanding leadership, will step down from her role as the Martin Family Endowed Chair and Department Chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Michaela Ritter, EdD, will assume this critical leadership position (more here). Nicole McAninch, PhD, from the Department of Human Sciences and Design, will assume the role of Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate and International Studies (more here).

9. Events and Celebrations

Food and fellowship abounded at Robbins College events this year. The Academic Advising team hosted two well-attended study breaks for undergraduate students with free breakfast burritos and an opportunity for connection. During football season, the Army-Baylor Tailgate and Robbins College Homecoming Celebration both saw significant crowds. The College also hosted two new events. The Robbins College First-Gen Celebration connected first-generation students with resources and guidance, and the Pure Gold Celebration honored recipients of the inaugural Pure Gold Awards.

Salute to Heroes Army-Baylor Tailgate

10. College Growth and Student Success

Robbins College has experienced nine consecutive years of enrollment growth—both in undergraduate and graduate enrollment. In 2022, nearly a quarter of all graduate students at Baylor University are Robbins College students. As of the Fall 2022 semester, Robbins College enrolls 2,189 undergraduate students and 1,260 graduate students. Our students continue to grow and excel just as the College does. In case you missed it, be sure to check out this story on our Communication Sciences and Disorders student who won a $100,000 scholarship through the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Read this story about two-time Public Health student Chris Amezcua. And hear from Apparel Merchandising student Haidyn Chudy in this story about her participation in the UofNYFW Educational Experience for College Students at New York Fashion Week.