If you haven’t taken a class with Ben Baker, Teaching Assistant working on his PhD in Communication, you should try adding one to your spring course schedule today. Baker’s enthusiasm for communication can be shown through his teaching and the way he talks about how powerful and impactful communication is in our everyday life. He teaches Public Speaking and Communication and Gender, and he really enjoys teaching.
Baker hadn’t always planned on going back to school. He was working in the corporate world and wasn’t happy or challenged. He then decided to return to school and get his master’s degree. Doing research and teaching became his muse, and he feels that continuing on and getting his PhD will give him more options for his future.
Along with teaching, Baker does research on various subjects in communication, and he tends to focus on marginalized and oppressed groups. Topics regarding the LGBT+ community and women’s studies interest him the most. Currently, Baker is working on a study with Associate Professor, Dr. Erin Parcell, which involves him talking with current and future LGBT military personnel about their relationships.
Some of his future goals include graduating with his PhD, becoming a full professor, continuing to do research and teach, and work with community groups such as the LGBT+ community and women’s rights groups. His dream job is to become a full professor at a university that focuses on equal parts teaching and research because he believes it’s important to focus on both.
Baker loves Milwaukee because there is always something to do and it is such a diverse city. Greene Hall is Baker’s favorite place on campus because it is historic, has a lot of character, and he has a lot of good memories there. In his spare time, Baker enjoys watching television shows, especially Game of Thrones. If he could be any television character he would want to be a mix between Arya Stark from Game of Thrones and Michael Scott from The Office. He enjoys Stark’s character because she is somebody who has lost everything, is brave, talented, and is a great role model for everyone. He likes Michael Scott because he is just hilarious.
When Baker isn’t teaching or doing research, you can find him playing video games, listening to podcasts, watching movies, and hanging out with his girlfriend, Michelle, and dog, Buddy. If you get a chance, try taking one of Baker’s classes. You won’t regret it.
By Meagan Sklar, UWM Communications Major