Neurosurgical resident to be honored at homecoming

PLAINVIEW – Dr. Hailey Budnick, a neurosurgical resident in Indiana, will be recognized as Wayland Baptist University’s 2022 Distinguished Young Alumni Award winner during a Feb. 17 banquet held as part of the WBU Homecoming celebration in Plainview. The award is reserved for alumni under age 35 who have set themselves apart professionally.

Dr. Budnick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology from Wayland in 2014, graduating as a member of Alpha Chi honor society and Theta Alpha Kappa, and having participated in Wayland’s undergraduate research program in the sciences. She continued her education at Texas Tech University School of Medicine, graduating in 2018 and earning the 100-Hour Club Service Award as a Helen Hodges Scholar.

Currently, Dr. Budnick is a member of the neurological surgery residency program at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She earned honors as Pediatric Neurosurgery Resident of the Year and IU Emergency Medicine Consultant of the Year in June 2020. She has been active in research publications and presentations during her educational journey. A poster on the peripheral nerve earned third place at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons National Conference in 2017, and she earned a Distinction in Research Award that same year.

Professionally, Dr. Budnick is a member of AANS, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Association of Women Neurosurgeons and Walter E. Dandy Neurosurgical Society. She has previously served in leadership roles in Women in Medicine, Association of Women Surgeons, and the Neurosurgery Interest Group. She is married to Zach Welsh.

“Dr. Budnick was a focused student while at Wayland, and we knew she would do great things,” said Jeffrey Vera, director of alumni relations. “She has certainly distinguished herself by her devotion to a career in neurosurgery and the ability to impact many lives through her special skills. We are incredibly proud that she is part of the Wayland family and are pleased to honor her this year.”

The Blue and Gold Banquet is set for 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17, on the Plainview campus. It is open to alumni and friends for $15 per person, which includes dinner. In addition to Budnick, honorees include Donnie Brown, longtime campus minister and Director of Spiritual Life; Rick Cooper, longtime basketball coach currently on staff with Texas Tech; Kathie Jackson, longtime educator; Richard Miller, longtime social worker and pastor of Happy Union Baptist Church; and benefactor honoree Sally Dillman Eaves.

The dinner is just one piece of the homecoming weekend lineup that can be found online at Registration is available at that site. For more information, contact Vera at (806) 291-3600.