In the coming weeks, Suzanne Baker will transition from the admissions and community outreach coordinator to her new role at Western Washington University as the curriculum and records manager.
At the same time, she will be wrapping up her doctorate in educational leadership from Northeastern University.
“I have always like education,” Baker said. “I was the first in my immediate family to earn a doctorate which is pretty exciting.”
However, balancing these monumental professional accomplishments is nothing new to the 34-year-old.
“I’m well known for saying yes to everything,” Baker said. “But it’s a balancing act because when you are doing a professional degree and working full time you have to decide where it will all fit in your schedule.”
In 2008 Baker completed her undergrad at California State University, Chico with a double major in German and human geography.
After completing her undergrad, she continued her education and earned her master’s degree from San Diego State University in post-secondary educational leadership with an emphasis in student affairs.
“When I run a marathon I tell myself that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it,” Baker said. “You have to remind yourself you can do hard things.”
Baker has lived in Bellingham for the last five years and in that time she has used her education and professional experience to strengthen student services at Western.
“Part of the reason I love working with college students is that they come in at 18 or fresh out of community college and they have been so structured in the direction they think they are going and then they realize all that is out there,” Baker said. “That’s the fun part for me is helping them realize what it is they are passionate about.”
Over the past two years, Baker has served as the publicity chair for the Whatcom Young Professionals.
Baker is also currently participating as a member of the Leadership Whatcom 2019 cohort. She joined the cohort as a way to network with other young professionals and help develop leadership opportunities in the community.
“I believe it is really important to build your community outside of just your job that fulfills you and helps you feel like you are a part of things.