Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Isabel Baker, Ed.D.

Dr. Baker has committed 70 years of service to strengthening educational opportunities for K-12 and university students throughout Oklahoma. After earning her bachelor's degree at Northeastern State University and masters at Oklahoma State University, she started her career as a public classroom teacher and continued her education as she taught, ultimately earning a doctorate in 1972. After several years at Morehead State University as an associate professor, she returned to Oklahoma to serve the Cherokee Nation as Director of Research and Coordinator of Title IV programs for the Cherokee Education Center. The importance of education to the Cherokee people cannot be overstated, and Dr. Baker's support and dedication to the mission of providing educational opportunities for all learners continues today.

In 1980, Dr. Baker's educational talents were called upon to support one of her alma maters, Oklahoma State University as she served as Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Project Coordinator of the OSU/Shawnee Teacher Corp Project. It is easy to see why this project resonated with her in that it involved recruiting, training, and retaining educators to work with indigenous students and support tribal education efforts.

At the end of the project, Dr. Baker came home to Northeastern State University where she served as a Professor in the College of Education from 1982-1993. Her students went on to accomplish great things, and some even returned as professors and colleagues. Even today, each one talks about the high standards she held then and continues to hold. Through example, Dr. Baker demonstrates the importance of commitment and tireless effort on behalf of others.

During her "retirement," Dr. Baker has continued to serve higher education. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame (1998), the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame (2096), and served as an OSU Regent from 1991-1999. At Northeastern State University, she is an emeritus professor, has received the President's Award for Community Service, and has been honored as a Centurion for her leadership and significant impact. Dr. Baker was one of 100 women invited to the White House by President Carter for a Women's Issues conference and has been active in many organizations supporting the advancement of women. She served as state president of the Oklahoma Association of Bilingual Education as an officer for several higher education professional societies.