Victor Hinojosa, Lenore Wright, and Davide Zori Receive Outstanding Faculty Awards

May 1, 2024
Outstanding Faculty Awardees

Honors College professors Victor Hinojosa, Ph.D.Lenore Wright, Ph.D., and Davide Zori, Ph.D., have been honored with Outstanding Faculty Awards for teaching, scholarship, and contributions to the academic community for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

The Outstanding Faculty Awards recognize the best all-around professors on teaching capabilities, research achievement, effective committee service, time spent with students, and civic and church involvement. 

"In any year, only 1% of Baylor’s faculty are recognized by the University with an outstanding faculty award,” said Honors College Dean Douglas Henry, Ph.D. “It’s remarkable that one-fourth of this year’s recipients are faculty of the Honors College. Drs. Hinojosa, Wright, and Zori deserve our heartfelt congratulations and genuine pride. They’d also be the first to point out countless extraordinary faculty in every quarter of the University, dear colleagues alongside whom they count it a privilege to serve.”

This designation comes with an award of $3,750, a citation, and recognition by their department. 

Victor Hinojosa, Ph.D. | Outstanding Tenured Faculty Award

Victor Hinojosa, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science in the Honors Program, has been an esteemed member of Baylor’s faculty since 2003. Teaching in both the Honors Program, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, and the Department of Political Science, Hinojosa has taught over 15 different courses during his years of service, from first-year seminars to graduate seminars.   

“I had the privilege of having Dr. Hinojosa for several classes that were the highlight of my Baylor career,” Emma Valle (BA, '19) said. “The care and compassion he has for his students shines through his every interaction, from something as simple as an email to as complex as a lecture. He balances challenging his students to be their best selves with listening and appreciating each one on a personal level. Dr. Hinojosa’s indelible legacy is the impact he has on the students blessed enough to have him.”

His commitment to mentorship extends beyond the classroom, with students seeking his guidance long after graduation. Particularly influential among minority students, Dr. Hinojosa provides support through initiatives like Baylor’s Latino/a Student Success Initiative and the McNair Scholars program. His dedication to mentoring was recognized when he received the Elizabeth Vardaman Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Students in 2022. Additionally, he has made significant scholarly contributions, focusing on political and criminal violence in Latin America, migration issues, and the intersections of religion, race, and disability. His research has been published in prestigious journals and has garnered attention internationally, contributing to initiatives like Baylor's Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty's "Guatemala Sin Hambre" project.

Lenore Wright, Ph.D. | Outstanding Faculty Service Award

Lenore Wright, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, and Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL), has served in the BIC since 1998, when she began as an assistant director, joined the faculty in 2003, and led ATL since 2013. In addition to these roles, Wright has served on numerous committees and guided several programs and organizations in a leadership position. 

“Lenore’s leadership of the ATL benefits the entire Baylor community,” Anne-Marie Schultz, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and former Director of the BIC said. “The work of the ATL is particularly remarkable in light of the additional demands of pivoting to online learning. While I could easily nominate her for Outstanding Tenured Teacher and for Outstanding Researcher, it is her extreme dedication to fostering excellence at Baylor through her work with the ATL, the Summer Faculty Institute, and the time-consuming work as Chair of the Coache Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey committee that I feel is most worthy of recognition.”

Dr. Wright has played a pivotal role in the expansion of ATL, offering various programs like fellowships, workshops, and seminars to support innovative teaching approaches and interdisciplinary education. Beyond her leadership, she has actively mentored both students and faculty, contributing to thesis and dissertation committees while consistently teaching wide-ranging courses in the BIC and Philosophy departments. Despite her significant service commitments, Dr. Wright remains an active scholar and is recognized internationally for her work. Notably, she recently published Athena to Barbie: Bodies, Archetypes, and Women’s Search for Self (Fortress Press, 2021), further solidifying her impact in academia.

Davide Zori, Ph.D. | Tenured Scholarship Award

Davide Zori, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Archaeology in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, produces world-renowned archaeological scholarship and incorporates undergraduates into his current work through the San Giuliano Archaeological Research Program in central Italy. Zori is also a leading scholar of Viking Studies and his expertise on the Viking Age is sought out globally among academics, national governments, editors at prestigious presses, and agencies such as National Geographic. 

“To say that Professor Zori’s research is cutting edge would not be a sharp enough statement,” Alden Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Classics, said. “He has dominated in two spheres, that of Viking archaeology and that of Etruscan tombs. Both fields are incredibly difficult to break into, but Dr. Zori’s mastery of technology, his excellent rapport with both northern and southern Europeans, and his command of both Danish and Italian have allowed him to develop two fantastically rich archaeological zones. He is not only a great teacher, but he is also a great leader of his colleagues. Though I am older than him by not a few years, I have learned much about dirt archaeology from Davide Zori. He is more than worthy of this recognition, in no small part because he works selflessly and tirelessly in the service of Baylor University.”

Zori’s interdisciplinary work in archaeology, history, anthropology, sociology, and the humanities has earned him recognition as an expert in his field, with over $808,000 in grant awards and more than 500 citations of his scholarly work. His latest book, Age of Wolf and Wind: Voyages through the Viking World (Oxford University Press, 2023) provides fresh insights into the Viking Age by combining written sources, archaeology, and the natural sciences. His scholarly contributions include numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, along with invited lectures and conference presentations, showcasing his expertise and extensive engagement within the academic community. Additionally, Dr. Zori's commitment to undergraduate education is evident through his involvement in the Baylor in Italy program and his supervision of undergraduate Honors Theses. He also plays an active role in teaching courses in the BIC, as well as in the Departments of History and Anthropology, further enriching the academic experience of Baylor students. 

Please help us congratulate Drs. Hinojosa, Wright, and Zori for their exceptional achievements. Their contributions enrich both the students' educational experience and the university's scholarly endeavors.