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BARBARA BAKER DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY Barbara Baker was a non-traditional student, earning her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh after a 10-year break from school. During the 10 years, Baker played as a musician with a passion for rhythm and blues. Baker received her master’s degree in English from Auburn University and taught English at Tuskegee University for 11 years. While working at Tuskegee, Baker sent students to participate in the Women’s Leadership Institute and became interested in the program. Baker also earned her Ph.D. from Auburn, where she began teaching in August 2009, when she was hired as the director for the Institute. Her area of study while working on her Ph.D. was Southern literature. She chose to write her dissertation on trends in Blues music in Southern Literature. Baker’s work has been concerned with balancing out power relationships and privilege in culture, and her expertise in African-American studies led her to Tuskegee, where she became more interested in roles and power. She later realized she wanted to do something to equalize the balance of power between men and women. When she learned the position of director was open, Baker decided it was the next step she needed to take. Baker’s goal is to change the Institute from a five-day program to a year-round program with events scattered throughout, including the “Extraordinary Women” lecture series. Baker also teaches a women’s studies class she hopes to morph into a women’s leadership class. -more-


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“I think her vision is tremendous and it will allow young people, both women and men, at Auburn to think about leadership much earlier in their lives and help them to be more successful,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Leslie F. Kenne, the first speaker in the Institute’s lecture series. Baker said she hopes the Institute helps young women recognize the imbalance and fight for equality. She said one of her goals for the Institute is to create a network for women to help each other in their careers. “To be able to come in on the ground floor and have the strength, the vision and the resources to put this Institute together and give it some wings is a major accomplishment for me,” said Baker. ##### Contact Information: Chelsea Quinlan, Director of Communications Cell: (256)-783-9530 E-mail: caq0001@auburn.edu The Women’s Leadership Institute College of Liberal Arts 2227 Haley Center Auburn, AL 36849


Biography