Baker ’04 Named Central Illinois Woman of the Year

Gianina Baker
Gianina Baker ’04

Oct. 23, 2020

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Central Illinois Business Magazine named Illinois Wesleyan University alumna Gianina Baker ’04 its Woman of the Year from the publication’s “Forty Under 40” class.

Baker is the associate director at the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a resource-research institute founded to discover, document, and disseminate effective assessment of student learning practices at colleges and universities. She is also vice president of the Champaign Community Unit School District 4 school board and recently helped pass a resolution that declares racism a public health crisis, ensuring that the necessary attention and resources will be directed to this issue.

Baker graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 2004 with a degree in psychology, before earning a master’s degree in human development counseling from Saint Louis University and a Ph.D. in education policy, organization & leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

One of the most decorated student-athletes in Illinois Wesleyan history, Baker was an eight-time All-American, and a member of the 2004 Indoor National Champion 4x400 meter relay team. Baker was also president of the Black Student Union; co-President of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee; resident advisor; and assisted/led/hosted a variety of initiatives on the IWU campus. 

Baker remains involved with Illinois Wesleyan as a member of the Council for Women. She will be among the presenters for a Titan Talks webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. titled: “ Leaders in Education - Rising to the Challenges of COVID-19.”

Central Illinois Business Magazine ’s “Forty Under 40” recognizes the professional achievements and community involvement of young leaders in Central Illinois.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21