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NSU lectureship to honor Dr. Isabel Baker’s memory

New NSU lectureship to honor Dr. Isabel Baker’s memory, highlight female faculty research

TAHLEQUAH — A new NSU lectureship will honor the memory of longtime educator Dr. Isabel Baker as it highlights women’s contributions to educational research.

The inaugural lecture as part of the Dr. Isabel Baker Memorial Lectureship in Women’s Studies will take place on Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the Webb Auditorium on the Tahlequah campus. Dr. Farina King, associate professor of Native American history, will be the presenter. She will speak about Rachel Caroline Eaton, an alumna of the Cherokee National Female Seminary.

NSU Center for Women’s Studies established the lectureship in May in memory of Baker’s lifetime commitment to furthering education and advocating for policies that empower women in education. Dr. Suzanne Farmer, associate professor of history at NSU and director of the Center for Women’s Studies, said the lectureship will highlight research done by female NSU faculty members and women’s studies faculty.

“Dr. Baker was a tireless supporter of women in our community and the state of Oklahoma,” Farmer said. “Dr. Baker worked to empower women through education. She was one of the biggest supporters of the Center for Women's Studies from our inception.”

For more than four decades, Baker served in public education, starting as a teacher in 1950 after graduating from NSU. She would later earn a master’s degree and receive her doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Baker taught at K-12 schools in Shidler, Sapulpa and Tahlequah. She also taught at NSU, OSU and Morehead State University. She retired from NSU as a professor emeritus in 1994.

She was named to the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame (1997), Oklahoma Mother of the Year (1998), OSU College of Education Hall of Fame (2005), NSU Presidents’ Award for Community Service (2006), NSU Centurion (2010), and Distinguished Alumna at OSU (2018).

A lifelong Tahlequah resident, she also served on many local boards including the Tahlequah Public Works Authority, Bank of Cherokee County, Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce and American Association of University Women (AAUW). She was also the First Mother of the Cherokee Nation during her son and former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation Bill John Baker’s two terms.

The NSU Foundation is accepting gifts to this lectureship fund. Those interested in giving to this lectureship fund can contact the foundation at 918-444-4200 or visit www.nsugiving.com/donate and put “Baker Lecture” in the comments box.