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  CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: April 18, 2003

New director for women's center

DEARBORN---Suzanne Baker, a former faculty member at Creighton University, has been named the first director of the Women's Resource Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Baker

Before joining UM-Dearborn, Baker was assistant professor of anthropology at Creighton University and assisted in creating various services and programs directed at women students, faculty and staff. Previously, Baker had worked as an independent consultant providing a variety of services to nonprofit organizations serving immigrant and refugee populations. While doing her doctoral research in Nicaragua, she was an advisor to an income-generating cooperative of peasant women.

"At UM-Dearborn, the first step is going to be to gather together information about the resources available here," Baker said. "I've met a lot of dynamic women and men who are committed to women's issues on campus so I know we won't be starting from zero."

Baker plans to hold of series of focus groups and informal conversations with faculty, staff and students "to see what they hope for from a women's center."
Among other roles for a women's center, Baker mentioned that it can help shoulder some of the responsibilities for counseling and mentoring students that often fall to women faculty members.

The Women's Resource Center also can help with the campus's plans to increase enrollment, she said. "A program like this can be a real draw, not only for new students, but also for women who are returning to school who want to make sure that there are resources available to help them address the multiple concerns they face in the different roles in their busy lives."

Baker earned her bachelor's degree in international relations at the University of Wisconsin before going on to receive master's and doctoral degrees in anthropology at Boston University.

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