Madeleine Baker, c'06

Additional honors and achievements:
National Merit Scholar
Pi Beta Kappa

How I became interested in my area of study/research/discipline:
AND
An honor, achievement or accomplishment is most meaningful to me and why:

I spent the year of 2005 in Washington DC. As a political science major, it was stimulating and fulfilling to experience politics at the working level. Despite the higher profiles of the other organizations, my internship at Resources for the Future helped me focus my career path. I assisted in research on the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administrationís fuel economy standards. I loved going to work every day and puzzling through the rulemakings and analyses. The complexity of fuel economy standards convinced me I needed more tools and training before entering the policy world. This fall I have entered a Ph.D. program in environmental policy at Duke University, specializing in environmental economics. My internships gave me incredible work experience and helped me clarify my interests.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:
Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I receive guidance from my parents. My father has been an excellent advisor and friend. He motivates me to go beyond my comfort zone and challenge myself academically and professionally. My parents have always been encouraging and supportive of my interests. My mother developed my sense of responsibility and service to my community. She helps people in need where ever she finds them, from Hurricane Katrina survivors to her foster children. I have been blessed to have amazing parents.

Most favorite memory as a student:
Living in Miller Scholarship Hall provided the best memories of my time at KU. Not only did I meet many of my closest friends, I was also able to participate in a cooperative living environment which fostered leadership. I have been lucky to know many women who are changing the world.

A favorite quote or saying:
My father always says, do what is right and everything will work itself out. This helps to calm me in situations where Iíve felt frustrated that the direction of my life was out of my control, such as securing an internship and applying for graduate school. It motivates me to keep working hard and remain hopeful for the future.

My hopes for the world:
Humanity must find a balance between its wants and the capacity of the Earth. I hope someday growth can occur without damage to the environment. We need to move beyond exploiting the Earth and future generations towards respect and careful consideration of our choices.