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Having a strong interest in movies that has stayed with her most of her life, Barbara Baker is well known for a number of courses she taught in the Department of Communication that dealt with film studies, media and rhetoric. She also gained popularity among students for her course on Gender Communication, which she helped create while teaching at UCM
for 23 years.
In addition to her film and media specializations, the professor emerita of women’s studies taught courses in interpersonal and intercultural communication, basic or general communication, women’s studies, and research methods. She also spent at least 13 years as the sole graduate adviser to graduate students in the communication department, assisting 30 to 50 advisees each year. Her work with students contributed to the recognition of UCM’s communication program and resulted in published research papers and presentations by students she supervised. She was a committee member on many thesis projects, assisted with the review and restructuring of the department’s Master of Arts program, and helped revise the program into a new major, Communication Studies
During her tenure, Baker had the opportunity to serve as a visiting lecturer at universities in the United Kingdom and Mexico. She got involved in projects such as serving as a judge at the Annual Show-Me Justice Film Festival at UCM, and spent time as a faculty adviser for students seeking undergraduate degrees in communication. She also served as a faculty adviser to the Animation Culture Society at UCM, and briefly served as faculty adviser to the Women Scholars at Central student organization.
Baker earned her bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in speech communication and drama from the University of North Texas, Denton. She earned her Ph.D. in rhetoric and film from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.