Stories from the Oaks

Justin's Journey

Justin Baker


March 23, 2021

 

After the COVID-19 pandemic took away UNCF New Orleans’ 2020 Mayor’s Masked Ball, the highly-anticipated gala returned in 2021 as a virtual event. The slickly produced ball earned rave reviews, but one appearance stood out. Dillard senior criminal justice major Justin Baker gave a memorable testimonial about how the United Negro College Fund is helping him complete his undergraduate journey. 

 

Baker, a native of Toledo, Ohio, came to Dillard from Sinclair Community College. The journey has not been easy. He began college immediately after high school, but the combination of having to provide for his family and being unprepared for the rigors of college led him to an early departure. Baker decided to resume his journey at Sinclair then transferred to The Oaks.  With his dream of earning a bachelor’s degree within reach, Baker has his sights set on his next step. The highly energetic and ambitious Bleu Devil is looking forward to earning his Master of International Affairs from The Pennsylvania State University.

 

The Office of Communications and Marketing asked Baker about his Dillard experience, his thoughts for his fellow Bleu Devils and also about his next steps.

 

Dillard University:  What made you transfer to Dillard?

Justin Baker:  What made me transfer to Dillard was my community college advisor. They had success with (Sinclair) alumni transfer here as well as the aspect of an HBCU where people could understand me and guide me in a way that most in Ohio couldn't.

 

DU:  What has it been like as a student sitting in a classroom with younger peers?

JB:  It has been interesting and eye opening sitting in a classroom with younger peers. I saw where they were going because I had already been there. I could also offer advice and information I wish people had offered me.

 

DU:  You started college as a traditional student but decided to leave. Talk about what brought you back to college.

JB:  I started college right after high school, but wasn't ready for the responsibility or commitment. I was thrusted into the real world where I discovered that you need a degree to succeed.

 

DU:  Are there students at Dillard who remind you of younger Justin Baker? If so, what advice do you have for them?

JB:  Yes, many people here remind me of younger me. The advice I would give is just take it one day at a time. Don't rush life and make sure you apply yourself as much as possible.

 

DU:  Students often say that they feel "at home" at Dillard. Have you felt that way? If so, what should we keep doing to make more students feel at home?

JB:  Yes, I have felt at home at Dillard. The way to keep students feeling this way is to remember that they are just figuring things out and to check in on them as much as possible. Just to make sure that they are not feeling lost or forgotten.

 

DU:  You seem to have a burning desire to be a policy change maker. Talk about what you want to do and why it's so important to you.

JB:  I have a passion not just to be a policy change maker, but to make new policy that benefits the whole of society and not just a selected few. We have seen how when only a small group of people get to make laws for everyone, especially those who haven't experienced what most of America has. It tends to move the country in a direction of unrest and unbalance civility.

 

DU:  Add any thoughts that you feel would be encouraging for students who have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on their college journeys.

JB:  While working and studying, the end goal may be hard to see. It is up to you to have a goal in mind and good practices to remind you that once you obtain your goal. You're not finished, you have just begun on an adventure that you have been preparing for your entire life.

CAMPUS NEWS

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Alumna Briana and sister Erica's business profiled by The Times-Picayune/The Advocate

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Enrollment management VP Page named to NACAC commission to reform college admissions

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VP Barnes visits the "RAISE Podcast" to talk about his career in advancement and his work at Dillard 

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Alumna, Judge Sheva Sims, to serve on the Louisiana Commission on Justice System Funding

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President Kimbrough chats with Black Enterprise about HBCUs' legacy, culture and weathering the pandemic

Collins weighs in on impeachment process with WVUE-TV

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Collins discusses new local police records management system with The Lens

President Kimbrough among 13 college presidents honored by AAC&U and Cengage

Spencer Jones '23 discusses being inspired, as an HBCU student, by Kamala Harris with WDSU-TV

Collins discusses Trump supporters' reactions to Biden inauguration

Event celebrating Black White House culinary professionals to benefit Ray Charles program

Baham weighs in on WVUE-TV about historic nature of Kamala Harris' inauguration

VP Page expresses thoughts, excitement about Kamala Harris on WWL-TV inauguration day

Esmail discusses heightened security at presidential inauguration

Center for Racial Justice director discusses the state of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream with WWL-TV

Condoll discusses rifts in Republican Party

Baham participates in Jefferson Performing Arts Society panel discussion about Paul Robeson

Chief Medical Officer Hébert to participate in panel discussion about vaccines and the Black community

Business Insider profiles alumna Broussard and historic accomplishment

Coraniquejuanae Jackson '23 featured in hometown L'Observateur

Collins provides insight about Capitol Building takeover

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Collins comments on electoral college vote

Alumna Kelly Nash among "1,000 inspiring Black scientists in America"

Alumnus G. Larry Lawrence appointed to ProPetro Board of Directors

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Collins comments on Trump's refusal to accept Electoral College presidential results

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Kaylan Tanner named one of Seventeen's 2020 Voices of the Year

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Alum Ryan Banks puts on virtual L.O.C.A.L.S' Music Festival

Alum and Broadway star Kyle Banks puts on free virtual show to increase diabetes awareness

Alum Ashle Mitchell celebrated as "Yardrunner" by Nike

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Alumnus James Williams named U.S. Venture's president of U.S. Lubricants Division

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Alumna Paramore named executive director of Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans

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Senior Smith featured as "young superstar" by Charles Koch Foundation

Atty. Kimbrough: "Black hair has always been policed in this country"

Collins: Coney Barrett nomination would be a "source of pride" for Louisiana 

A.D. Barnes on the "Straight to the Point" sports show

Collins analyzes La. secretary of state's absentee voting tutorial

Alumna Leyte Winfield on HBCUs' preparing Black students for careers in science

Palmer, one of New Orleans Magazine's "People to Watch"

Alumnus Baker discusses how the Louisiana Weekly gives context to the Black experience in news

Saloy discusses resilience through words in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

Alumnus Floyd Wilson Jr. discusses 47-year-old police bill of rights with The Washington Post 

The New Orleans Tribune recounts legacies of Straight College's Walter L. Cohen and James Madison Vance Jr.

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President Kimbrough quoted by Los Angeles Times about Kamala Harris VP nomination

Ray Charles director Palmer talks Black chefs, program with Gambit

Alumna Benjamin awarded 2020 Laurel Award for Dedication to Community Service

A.D. Barnes talks leadership advancement as a Black woman with WGNO-TV

President Kimbrough joins local university presidents for equity in higher education discussion 

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Dallas Weekly profiles alumna and banking executive Cassandra McKinney

For HBCUs, the coronavirus pandemic hits especially close to home

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President Kimbrough on how COVID-19 will change higher education


Collins: Mayor's new texting service could be providing valuable data

Broady discusses Black families' struggles during pandemic with The New York Times


Esmail on Dixie Beer name change


DU junior battling COVID-19: "Don't let your guard down"


Lumina Foundation: "Dillard University students rise to the challenge"

Significance of Juneteenth - Dr. Eva Baham 

Chief Medical Officer Hébert hosts video series on sickle cell anemia


Alumna Alves named Bradford & Barthel LLP chief diversity officer


Esmail talks race relations on Juneteenth


Alumna McNeal first African American woman on American Express's executive committee


The Washington Post quotes President Kimbrough on president's HBCU claims


Broady one of 19 Black economists celebrated on Juneteenth


Esmail discusses "pivotal shift in societal views on race"

Collins: Renaming Jefferson Davis Parkway a sign of city council being "responsive to the will of the people"
 

Esmail: Policing policies terminology needs to be more "forceful"


Alumna Roberts named Xavier Exponential director


Alumnus Atwood brings Houston its first hip hop museum


President Kimbrough on COVID-19's exacerbating inequities in higher education


Alumna Fleming named Florida SouthWestern State College dean of education


Dean Broady talks BLS jobs report on #RolandMartinUnfiltered


Words matter for college presidents, but so will actions


President Kimbrough discusses Black college graduates' COVID, civil unrest struggles
 

Esmail: Harmony between NOPD, protesters influenced by several factors


President Kimbrough discusses future of HBCUs in New Orleans with the Kresge Foundation


Alumna Kopylov named to Posse Foundation national board


Alumna Domingue-Glover talks actors' struggles amid COVID-19


Palmer: New Orleans restaurants "essential to our community"


VP Barnes on police brutality and racism in the wake of George Floyd's death


Alumna Astasia Williams talks life as Washington Redskins social media manager


Reflections in Black: Dillard alumna Samella Lewis


HBCUs after COVID-19: Sheen exclusive with President Kimbrough


Esmail discusses COVID-related financial difficulties for low-income workers


President Kimbrough talks fall 2020 amid COVID-19 with The Atlantic


Saloy comments on roots of jazz funerals as COVID-19 silences tradition


Alumna, DU 40 Under 40 recipient Mitchell selected MyNewOrleans.com Top Female Achiever


Hebert, Lesen, Fos named to COVID task force

Fos, Lesen discuss COVID racial disparities with columnist Sutton

AD Barnes discusses future of college athletics, institutions amid COVID

Columnist Sutton on COVID disparities: "Lesen...tried to warn us."

Alumnus Raj Smoove's online DJ sets create social connection

Hébert: "Protect La.'s vulnerable African Americans"

Lesen visits "CBS Evening News" to discuss COVID disparities

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Lesen: COVID disparities "produced by policy"

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AD Barnes featured as P.O.W.E.R.ful women series

Collins discusses governor's COVID federal disaster declaration

Food Studies featured in USA Today's agriculture issue

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SAFE Fund featured example of how HBCUs try to minimize student debt

President Kimbrough examines Trump's claim to have saved HBCUs

Report: HBCUs produce higher income, more prosperity for students

President Kimbrough: "Missouri effect" part of HBCU enrollment increase

Alumnus Lynn leverages Facebook employment to help small businesses

AD Barnes on athletics' post-Katrina return: "Hiring, trust and relationships are everything."

Report: HBCUs produce more upwardly mobile graduates than PWIs 

Alumna Bolden recognized by National AfterSchool Association

AT&T donates $250,000 to College of Business

Kimbrough joins star-studded panel at Essence Fest to discuss HBCUs' helping close nation's economic divide

President Kimbrough featured on MyNewOrleans.com in style

University receives $1.25M for STEM research


DU IN THE NEWS

Collins talks federal infrastructure plan with WWL-TV

Collins discusses Biden's attempt to work with Republicans

History-making alumni Gloria Banks, Pearlie Elloie to be honored in 'Trailblazers' painting with Marilyn Piper

Condoll discusses tighter gun laws with WWL-TV

Alumna Briana and sister Erica's business profiled by The Times-Picayune/The Advocate

University, JPAS agree to three-year partnership

Karsten Patrick among students to earn NASCAR Wendell Scott Sr. Scholarship

Profile on Ruth Simmons' success at Prairie View

Board Chair Jones leads Maryland HBCU lawsuit to final stages

AD Barnes discusses career and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association membership

History professor Baham among historians to explore renaming some of New Orleans' public schools

Alumnus Daigle tapped to be medical director in Chicago

Alumna Stacey Holman: “Know where you end, when someone begins”

Gary Clark talks super PAC backing Karen Carter Peterson

President Kimbrough shares "weekly wisdom" with Inside Higher Ed

President Kimbrough talks college hazing on the Scott Sands Show

Dillard Business announced as one of Intelligent.com's best business management programs

Psychology program coordinator Dr. Sean Gibbs serves as panelist on mental health with Jefferson Performing Arts Society

Art professor Bernstein profiled as co-house of in-house coronavirus talk show

Enrollment management VP Page named to NACAC commission to reform college admissions

Student engagement and leadership director Courtney Williams earns one of Gambit's Frontline People Awards 

Gary Clark on Second Congressional District race

Alumna Quibulah “Quib” Graham named Orlando Health's director of diversity and minority business development

Profile on alumnus Edward Agyekum Kufuor

Big Easy Magazine: Louisiana’s HBCUs Have a Lasting Impact

Alumna Ruth Simmons to deliver principal address at Harvard

Alumna Sylvia Taylor continues impact on local community with new business

Dillard part of Sodexo's $1M scholarship program

Board of Trustees chair, alumnus Michael D. Jones' historic HBCU settlement

Collins on Republicans and Cassidy censure

Collins discusses Trump acquittal on Turkey's A News

The importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Sheen Magazine profiles alumna Meme Kelly

Alumna Samella Lewis awarded College Art Association's highest honor

Alumna Dr. Jessica Harris named SIUE's first vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion

Dr. Kristen Broady presents at Hamilton Project's "Rethinking Workforce Development"

VP Barnes visits the "RAISE Podcast" to talk about his career in advancement and his work at Dillard 

President Kimbrough appears on "The Tammi Mac Late Show" on Fox Soul to talk HBCUs

Esmail discusses increase in crimes happening in broad daylight with WVUE-TV

AD Barnes announces sports leadership academic for teen girls

Alumna, Judge Sheva Sims, to serve on the Louisiana Commission on Justice System Funding

Palmer visits "Tina on Tech" podcast to discuss Black history

President Kimbrough chats with Black Enterprise about HBCUs' legacy, culture and weathering the pandemic

Collins weighs in on impeachment process with WVUE-TV

Dillard, one of nine institutions across the nation included in Black small business assistance program

Collins discusses new local police records management system with The Lens

President Kimbrough among 13 college presidents honored by AAC&U and Cengage

Spencer Jones '23 discusses being inspired, as an HBCU student, by Kamala Harris with WDSU-TV

Collins discusses Trump supporters' reactions to Biden inauguration

Event celebrating Black White House culinary professionals to benefit Ray Charles program

Baham weighs in on WVUE-TV about historic nature of Kamala Harris' inauguration

VP Page expresses thoughts, excitement about Kamala Harris on WWL-TV inauguration day

Esmail discusses heightened security at presidential inauguration

Center for Racial Justice director discusses the state of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream with WWL-TV

Condoll discusses rifts in Republican Party

Baham participates in Jefferson Performing Arts Society panel discussion about Paul Robeson

Chief Medical Officer Hébert to participate in panel discussion about vaccines and the Black community

Business Insider profiles alumna Broussard and historic accomplishment

Coraniquejuanae Jackson '23 featured in hometown L'Observateur

Collins provides insight about Capitol Building takeover

Collins on recorded Trump phone call to overturn Georgia's certified election results 

Collins comments on electoral college vote

Alumna Kelly Nash among "1,000 inspiring Black scientists in America"

Alumnus G. Larry Lawrence appointed to ProPetro Board of Directors

Palmer discusses local chefs' struggles with Washington Post

Collins comments on Trump's refusal to accept Electoral College presidential results

Dillard among local HBCUs receiving support from pro athletes

President Kimbrough talks "all things HBCUs" on Bakari Sellers' podcast

HBCU Digest: "Dillard Breaks Giving Tuesday Fundraising Record"

Cador '21 reflects on fall 2020 with WWNO-FM

Kaylan Tanner named one of Seventeen's 2020 Voices of the Year

Several proposed New Orleans street renamings for Dillard, Straight alumni and Albert Dent

Esmail talks nature of increased crime in city with WVUE

Collins discusses Cedric Richmond leaving Congress for White House with WVUE

Alum Ryan Banks puts on virtual L.O.C.A.L.S' Music Festival

Alum and Broadway star Kyle Banks puts on free virtual show to increase diabetes awareness

Alum Ashle Mitchell celebrated as "Yardrunner" by Nike

Collins: Election results show near 50 percent turnover at Criminal District Court

Condoll breaks down Louisiana's Amendment 7 on WDSU prior to November 3rd election

Urban studies and public policy junior Gentry featured in 2020 HBCU Digest Honors

Poetry Rooted in History: Brenda Marie Osbey

Alumnus James Williams named U.S. Venture's president of U.S. Lubricants Division

Mustapha quoted by Forbes regarding women and work during COVID-19

Collins on Democrats and Amy Coney Barrett

Alumnus Carl Stewart delivers keynote for University of Notre Dame law school

Enrollment Management VP Page on advising students for financial aid

Alumna Paramore named executive director of Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans

Dallas Weekly chats with President Kimbrough regarding the Black community and vaccinations

Senior Smith featured as "young superstar" by Charles Koch Foundation

Atty. Kimbrough: "Black hair has always been policed in this country"

Collins: Coney Barrett nomination would be a "source of pride" for Louisiana 

A.D. Barnes on the "Straight to the Point" sports show

Collins analyzes La. secretary of state's absentee voting tutorial

Alumna Leyte Winfield on HBCUs' preparing Black students for careers in science

Palmer, one of New Orleans Magazine's "People to Watch"

Alumnus Baker discusses how the Louisiana Weekly gives context to the Black experience in news

Saloy discusses resilience through words in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

Alumnus Floyd Wilson Jr. discusses 47-year-old police bill of rights with The Washington Post 

The New Orleans Tribune recounts legacies of Straight College's Walter L. Cohen and James Madison Vance Jr.

Dillard School of STEM, an example of "empowering success"

Collins talks to The Lens about local wedding venue's COVID-19 restrictions violations

President Kimbrough quoted by Los Angeles Times about Kamala Harris VP nomination

Ray Charles director Palmer talks Black chefs, program with Gambit

Alumna Benjamin awarded 2020 Laurel Award for Dedication to Community Service

A.D. Barnes talks leadership advancement as a Black woman with WGNO-TV

President Kimbrough joins local university presidents for equity in higher education discussion 

Sigur discusses Apple, Dillard coding partnership

Alumna Friedman to host "Chicago Tonight: Black Voices"

Dallas Weekly profiles alumna and banking executive Cassandra McKinney

For HBCUs, the coronavirus pandemic hits especially close to home

Film student Peters "chases his passion"

President Kimbrough on how COVID-19 will change higher education


Collins: Mayor's new texting service could be providing valuable data

Broady discusses Black families' struggles during pandemic with The New York Times


Esmail on Dixie Beer name change


DU junior battling COVID-19: "Don't let your guard down"


Lumina Foundation: "Dillard University students rise to the challenge"

Significance of Juneteenth - Dr. Eva Baham 

Chief Medical Officer Hébert hosts video series on sickle cell anemia


Alumna Alves named Bradford & Barthel LLP chief diversity officer


Esmail talks race relations on Juneteenth


Alumna McNeal first African American woman on American Express's executive committee


The Washington Post quotes President Kimbrough on president's HBCU claims


Broady one of 19 Black economists celebrated on Juneteenth


Esmail discusses "pivotal shift in societal views on race"

Collins: Renaming Jefferson Davis Parkway a sign of city council being "responsive to the will of the people"
 

Esmail: Policing policies terminology needs to be more "forceful"


Alumna Roberts named Xavier Exponential director


Alumnus Atwood brings Houston its first hip hop museum


President Kimbrough on COVID-19's exacerbating inequities in higher education


Alumna Fleming named Florida SouthWestern State College dean of education


Dean Broady talks BLS jobs report on #RolandMartinUnfiltered


Words matter for college presidents, but so will actions


President Kimbrough discusses Black college graduates' COVID, civil unrest struggles
 

Esmail: Harmony between NOPD, protesters influenced by several factors


President Kimbrough discusses future of HBCUs in New Orleans with the Kresge Foundation


Alumna Kopylov named to Posse Foundation national board


Alumna Domingue-Glover talks actors' struggles amid COVID-19


Palmer: New Orleans restaurants "essential to our community"


VP Barnes on police brutality and racism in the wake of George Floyd's death


Alumna Astasia Williams talks life as Washington Redskins social media manager


Reflections in Black: Dillard alumna Samella Lewis


HBCUs after COVID-19: Sheen exclusive with President Kimbrough


Esmail discusses COVID-related financial difficulties for low-income workers


President Kimbrough talks fall 2020 amid COVID-19 with The Atlantic


Saloy comments on roots of jazz funerals as COVID-19 silences tradition


Alumna, DU 40 Under 40 recipient Mitchell selected MyNewOrleans.com Top Female Achiever


Hebert, Lesen, Fos named to COVID task force

Fos, Lesen discuss COVID racial disparities with columnist Sutton

AD Barnes discusses future of college athletics, institutions amid COVID

Columnist Sutton on COVID disparities: "Lesen...tried to warn us."

Alumnus Raj Smoove's online DJ sets create social connection

Hébert: "Protect La.'s vulnerable African Americans"

Lesen visits "CBS Evening News" to discuss COVID disparities

Nursing, Community Relations make PPE donations

Lesen: COVID disparities "produced by policy"

Environmental journalism professor cites Lesen

La. Budget Project cites Lesen

AD Barnes featured as P.O.W.E.R.ful women series

Collins discusses governor's COVID federal disaster declaration

Food Studies featured in USA Today's agriculture issue

Hébert: 10 things for African Americans to protect themselves from COVID

SAFE Fund featured example of how HBCUs try to minimize student debt

President Kimbrough examines Trump's claim to have saved HBCUs

Report: HBCUs produce higher income, more prosperity for students

President Kimbrough: "Missouri effect" part of HBCU enrollment increase

Alumnus Lynn leverages Facebook employment to help small businesses

AD Barnes on athletics' post-Katrina return: "Hiring, trust and relationships are everything."

Report: HBCUs produce more upwardly mobile graduates than PWIs 

Alumna Bolden recognized by National AfterSchool Association

AT&T donates $250,000 to College of Business

Kimbrough joins star-studded panel at Essence Fest to discuss HBCUs' helping close nation's economic divide

President Kimbrough featured on MyNewOrleans.com in style

University receives $1.25M for STEM research


VIEWS

CRJ Board Member Cedric Alexander: Which side are you on? The question every police officer must answer.

President Kimbrough:  Louisiana's free speech hypocrites are now condemning Bill Cassidy

Professor Condoll:  The limits of free speech and the dangers of violence and insurrection

President Kimbrough:  This Year, Couldn't Give a King Day Speech

Vice President Page:  For a sorority sister, a historic first shows power of HBCU education

President Kimbrough:  Why it’s time for a new generation of HBCU grads to become national leaders

Views Archives


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