By Nancy Sanchez-Diaz
Dr. Uchenna Baker was appointed vice president for student affairs and dean of students on Aug. 1.
As vice president, Baker’s tasks will focus on mitigating disparities in student outcomes, closing achievement gaps and fostering a better sense of belonging and inclusiveness for all students, according to an email sent out on Sept. 7 by president Christopher Capuano.
A New Jersey native, Baker holds a Ph.D. in educational policy with a focus on urban education, an M.Ed. in counseling psychology and a B.A. in english and sociology, all from Rutgers University, according to FDU Magazine.
When asked about her goals as Vice President, Baker noted different areas of focus. One of them was to guarantee a seamless transition from Zoom university to in-person classes.
“We need to be mindful of students and their mental health,” Baker said.
Another priority is adapting to the needs of both campuses.
“We hope to align what the student experience looks like on both campuses. We want to enact processes into place to make sure we are not creating barriers,” Baker said.
Part of that is acknowledging that both campuses are different, she added.
“We are going to recognize the differences of each campus, because they do differ and we want to honor that and be mindful of what the student’s needs are,” Baker said. “We want to think of testing, disability services, and housing, as a division. We are looking to partner with other divisions on campus, so that students end up having a holistic experience and not a fragmented one.”
For student organizations, a goal is to raise attendance and build membership.
“When I met with the clubs and orgs. on the Florham campus, students were really excited about getting students to sign up,” Baker continued. “I can say that from the student perspective, they are looking to build new clubs and organizations.”
Student affairs is welcoming suggestions from the FDU community.
To get in touch with Baker, students can email her at email@example.com or drop by her office. She is on the Metropolitan campus Tuesdays and Thursdays in the SUB Lane.
Dr. Baker looks to make a difference in her first year as Vice President of student affairs and dean of students
Photo Courtesy of UchennaBaker.com