Pure Gold Initiative Emphasizes Valuing Employees and Collaboration

May 2, 2024
Pure Gold Award

In his Fall 2022 semester kickoff address to College faculty and staff, Jason R. Carter, PhD, Dean of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, described his vision for developing a culture within the College that emphasizes valuing employees and encouraging collaboration. He shared his four priorities moving into his new position: (1) The Road to J.O.Y., a nod to Baylor Men’s Basketball Coach Scott Drew’s commitment to Jesus, Others, and Yourself—in that order, (2) Alignment with Illuminate, the University’s academic strategic plan, (3) Valuing lopsidedness of people, and (4) Building Community.  

One of the ways these priorities took shape in that first semester was through the launch of the Robbins College Pure Gold initiative.

“It’s easy sometimes to take people for granted. We don’t take the time to pause and actually acknowledge people, recognize them, pat them on the back,” Carter shared. “The genesis for Pure Gold was to create a mechanism for that acknowledgement—to recognize individuals who are doing a great job and to inspire others to nominate their peers.”

In particular, Pure Gold honors “lopsided” individuals—a phrase Carter once heard from a guest speaker to illustrate how people with differing strengths can come together and make an even greater team through the diversity of their skillsets. You don’t need 11 quarterbacks to play football. You need individuals with distinct talents to make the whole more effective.

In this spirit, the Pure Gold initiative recognizes Robbins College faculty and staff in four categories: Research, Teaching, Service, and Culture. The Culture category was added in Spring 2023 to offer more award opportunities to staff members who are typically not engaged in research or teaching activities. Nominations are submitted for faculty and staff members by their peers, reviewed by College leadership, and award winners are announced each month. At the end of the semester, a special celebration is held for the award winners, along with their nominators. 


  • RESEARCH: Awarded to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in research through impact, innovation, and/or collaboration.

  • TEACHING: Awarded to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching through inspiration, creativity, scholarship, and/or student care.

  • SERVICE: Awarded to a faculty or staff member who demonstrates excellence in service through accountability, work ethic, and/or exceptional achievement or contribution.

  • CULTURE: Awarded to a faculty or staff member who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to building and nurturing a culture of faith, collegiality, and excellence.

“I’ve been really encouraged by the sheer number of nominations. It’s clear that there’s a lot of collegiality within the College, and a program like Pure Gold just brought it out and elevated that underlying value of caring for one another at a Christian university. It gave people a megaphone to encourage one another,” Carter said.

His favorite part of the program, Carter admits, is the portion of the end-of-semester celebration when nominators ascend the stage alongside their awardee and read the nomination statement they submitted out loud to all those gathered. It’s a powerful moment that illustrates the immense value of both nominator and awardee to the College as an academic unit and as a community.

In each future edition of this publication, a list of the Robbins College Pure Gold awardees will be included. In this issue, you will find award winners from Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and Fall 2023.