Faculty Associates

Dr. Holly Oxhandler is Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Assistant Professor in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. She joined Baylor University’s Garland School of Social Work in Fall 2014, upon completing her Ph.D. at the University of Houston. Her research focuses on the intersection between ethical and effective integration of clients’ religion/spirituality and the evidence-based practice process in mental and behavioral health treatment. She developed the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale, which assesses mental healthcare providers’ (social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and nurses) attitudes, perceived feasibility, self-efficacy, behaviors, and overall orientation toward integrating clients’ religion/spirituality in practice. In January 2018, she presented at Baylor’s first Southwest Region Interfaith Leadership Lab.

Dr. Blake Burleson is Senior Lecturer of Religion and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies for the College of Arts and Sciences. Burleson teaches world religions. Texas Monthly Guide to Texas Colleges and Universities listed “Religion with Blake Burleson” as one of the four “best classes” at Baylor University. He teaches primarily in the Department of Religion, but he has also taught African Studies, Swahili, and Sports Ethics. He has traveled extensively on the African continent since 1978 and directed the African Studies Program at Baylor from 1996 to 2003. A member of the International Association of Jungian Studies and a member of the Advisory Board for Spring Journal, he has given public lectures and presented academic papers on Jungian studies in the U.S., Europe, and Africa. In 2007, Burleson was invited to give a plenary address to the XVII International Congress of the International Association of Analytical Psychology.

Dr. T. J. Geiger is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric in the English Department. He received his doctorate from Syracuse University, and he teaches Technical Writing, Persuasive Writing, and Spiritual Writing.

Dr. Lynn W. Tatum is faculty with the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. With his primary interest in the era of the Old Testament, Tatum has served as a staff member on numerous excavations in Israel and Syria. He has been recognized with several awards, fellowships and international grants from such organizations as the Institute of Archaeology, Zion Research Foundation, National Council on U.S.–Arab Relations and the Southwest Commission on Religion. Tatum has published many articles and presented papers on a variety of topics, including King David, King Manasseh, the Book of Chronicles, the Patriarchal Period and current religious and political developments in the Middle East. His most recent publication focused on academic freedom at religiously affiliated colleges and universities. Tatum serves as president of the Texas American Association of University Professors and is a member of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, the Texas Association of Middle East Scholars and the Texas Council on U.S.–Arab Relations.

Dr. Mike Whitenton is faculty with the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. He specializes in understanding and explaining the ways people produce, experience, and are influenced by rhetorical discourse. He draws upon studies in rhetoric, literary theory, cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, and theatre & film to shed new light on old (or unarticulated) questions regarding ancient and modern communication, its variegated audiences, the world around it and the ones created by it. He focuses especially on the surprisingly populated intersection of ancient rhetoric and modern sciences of the mind, particularly the role of figured speech and polyvalency in persuasion.

Sarah Ritter, LMSW, is Lecturer and MSW Program Director for the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. She received her BA in Social Work from Baylor University and an MSW from Temple University (2003,2004). After graduating, Sarah worked with formerly homeless adults with serious mental illnesses. Shen then went on to work for the City of Philadelphia and Drexel University focusing on individuals with serious mental illness who intersect with the criminal justice system. Sarah has also worked in inpatient and outpatient settings in the medical field, and most recently worked as the Senior Case Manager for Student Life at Baylor University, assisting students with crisis support and resource development. In January 2018, she presented at Baylor’s first Southwest Region Interfaith Leadership Lab.

Kerri Fisher is a Lecturer in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. After receiving her MSW, Kerri served as the School Social Worker at The University of Texas Elementary School in Austin, Tex. There she provided individual, group and family counseling, case management and consultation to students, families and members of the interdisciplinary student educational planning team. In 2011 Kerri accepted a position as Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor of Social Work at Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Tex. She loves teaching, advising and collaborating with students. She is passionate about doing so with full measures of grace and truth. Throughout her time in Austin and Abilene, Kerri served in many community roles including: Branch Church Leadership Team (Abilene), Citizens United Against Disproportionality and Disparity (CUADD) Member and Central Texas Tres Dias Community member. In January 2018, she presented at Baylor’s first Southwest Region Interfaith Leadership Lab. From this experience, she has been invited to speak at Schreiner University and TCU regarding intersectionality, anti-oppressive practices, and cultural humility.