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Baylor University has announced the appointments of two faculty members, who will reside on the campus as faculty-in-residence beginning in fall 2011.
Dr. Ian Gravagne, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Baylor, has been appointed as the new Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) for the Engineering and Computer Science Living-Learning Center (ECS-LLC) beginning this fall. Gravagne will succeed Cindy Fry, senior lecturer in computer science and assistant dean for the School of Engineering and Computer Science, who has served as the FIR for ECS-LLC since fall 2006.
Dr. Todd Buras, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the department of philosophy at Baylor, has been appointed as the new Faculty Master for the Honors Residential College beginning this fall. Buras will succeed Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray, associate professor of medieval literature and French in the Honors College Great Texts program, who has served as Faculty Master since fall 2007.
Faculty apply to serve as faculty-in-residence and are selected by a committee representing both academic affairs and student life at Baylor and jointly appointed by Dr. Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost, and Dr. Kevin Jackson, vice president for student life.
Gravagne has taught at Baylor since 2002, and since 2009, has served as the director for the Engaged Learning Groups (ELG) initiative housed in Kokernot Hall. Gravagne and his wife, Ann, both received their bachelor of science degrees in electrical engineering from Rice University and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Clemson University. Ian Gravagne also received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Clemson. He and Ann, along with their three children – Gina, 7, Lydia, 4, and Ray, 9 months – will reside in Heritage House, home to the Engineering and Computer Science Living-Learning Center in the North Village Residential Community.
“My family is very excited to join the students of the ECS-LLC in Heritage House. Ann and I were profoundly and positively influenced by resident faculty when we were undergraduates, and we are deeply aware of the special ministry faculty can have in the lives of students while living in-residence,” Gravagne said.
Buras has taught at Baylor since 2003 and serves as sponsor for the Philosophy Club and a coordinator of the Crane Scholars Program. Buras received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and religion from Ouachita Baptist University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Baylor, a master of arts degree in religion from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University. His wife, Allison, earned her bachelor’s degree from Baylor, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in theological studies at Baylor’s George W. Truett Seminary. She also is a founder and employee of Live Oak Classical School in Waco. They, along with their children – Benjamin, 10, Jonathan, 7, and Michael, 5 – will reside in Memorial Residence Hall, which houses women in the Honors Residential College and men in Alexander Hall.
“Colleges and universities educate the whole person, whether they realize this or not,” Buras said. “It is exciting to work for a university that realizes this, and takes the sacred trust of forming souls so seriously. The residential colleges and living and learning centers at Baylor are a fitting response to that sacred trust. My family and I are eager to contribute what we can to the Honors Residential College, and we are honored to be invited into such a vibrant Christian intellectual community.”
Faculty-in-residence work collaboratively with residence hall directors and Campus Living and Learning to nurture a heightened sense of community that fosters academic excellence, promotes faculty-student interaction and enriches the student living experience.
“I am enormously grateful that students will have the opportunity to live and learn in community with Dr. Gravagne and Dr. Buras as faculty-in-residence,” said Terri Garrett, director for Campus Living and Learning at Baylor. “We are truly indebted to our outstanding faculty-in-residence for their strategic efforts to partner with Campus Living and Learning to connect residents and faculty in the residential communities.”
“Baylor University embodies its mission by having faculty live among our students and investing time in educating students for worldwide leadership and service in the context of a caring, Christian community,” said Dr. Jeff Doyle, dean for student learning and engagement. “In the coming years, Dr. Gravagne and Dr. Buras will do much to make this mission a reality.”
Gravagne and Buras will join seven other Baylor faculty members who serve in residence: Dr. Laine Scales (Kokernot), Professor Steven Pounders (University House, North Village), Drs. Doug and Michele Henry (Brooks College), Dr. Julie Sweet (Texana House, North Village) and Dr. Doug Rogers (Allen and Dawson halls).
Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275
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