November brings us to a month of “thanks” ending with Thanksgiving.  For this month’s “Meet a Member,” I thought I would switch it up a little bit from the traditional interviews of our general membership and take this time to reflect and give thanks to our club’s President, Rae Baker.  A lot goes on behind the scenes that the general membership doesn’t see.  While our entire Executive Board works to bring new ideas, events, and speakers to the club, Rae works tirelessly to keep everyone on track and bring it all together.  When I asked some of the board members what they would like to share about our Madam President, these were their thoughts and thanks for what Rae has done for us and the club.   

Ron Long, our Vice President began the big push for the re-activation of the club in January 2019 in conjunction with Rae and Rae stepped up to be our President. 

“She has led the club through strong leadership, motivation, and a general goofy charisma.  In the beginning she was shy and uncomfortable with public speaking, but look at her now!  She began a campaign to bring interesting topics and speakers to the club, and we have had many.  She continues to come up with ideas for the club while remaining in constant communication with the University.  When the Club Officers discuss how to best include the World Campus club with the events that occur on campus, Rae is the person that reaches out to the various Campus administration and organizations and breaks the ice.  She has represented the club and the University in an outstanding fashion with all of her blogs, event presentations / participation, and her volunteer work with organizations such as Operation Safe Escape where she helps with OSINT investigations that assist the organization with supporting victims of domestic violence and their journey to be free from fear and violence.  Our club is lucky to have such a leader serving World Campus students, and attempting to break the barrier between us and the brick and mortar campus.  This is something that she, and all of your officers feel strongly about.  I am honored to serve the club with a leader such as our “Madam Prez”, Rae Baker.”

Maria Soyoso-Capuder, our club’s Event Chair had the following to say about Rae. 

“Rae, has been a living proof that with the right attitude – everything is possible. When we started off, the core group first meeting was filled with overflowing question of “how”.  We know little about clubs and yet with her dedication and leadership she leads the Technology club into what “We Are” today. I thank Rae for being such a good friend, a colleague who never get tired of my overflowing ideas, or even if I just need someone to talk to. I’m thankful for her.”

Nicholas Dzienis, our club’s Treasurer says,

“Rae’s dedication to every aspect of her life is unparalleled. I’ve watched her go from starting back up the tech club to championing adult learners/ online students, and on to pioneering a more inclusive relationship between UP and PSU’s World Campus students. I’ve seen her go from new IT student to cybersecurity rookie, and now on to being one of the leading up and coming voices in all things OSINT. She’s committed to, and succeeds in, everything she decides to endeavor and the WCTC is no exception. Her fervor for student participation, professional development, and UP involvement are what drive this club, and what earned us the praise given by everyone who comes into contact with the Penn State World Campus Technology Club.”

For myself, Rae has been a great friend, leader, and colleague who has inspired me to step out of my comfort zone not only in the club, but in my classes, and the SRA field in general.  She has motivated me when I’ve felt insecure about what I’m doing in this field and has helped boost my esteem.  Rae has fantastic ideas and it’s wonderful to bask in her excitement when she’s sharing these ideas with the club.  She’s brought about experiences for myself and the club members that I never would have imagined possible and is truly dedicated to everything she does from family, school, and work.  Rae is encouraging, supportive, and dedicated to all of the students in the club and I’m glad to have had the privilege of working with her and learning from her. 

I thank all of the club members for their dedication and commitment to all the areas of IST and their continued support in our club.  We wouldn’t exist with your participation.  We are the most active club in World Campus and are continuously growing.  We are lucky to have so many wonderful speakers, presentations, activities, and events.  I hope everyone’s semester is going well and wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.     

~ Faith Konidaris, WCTC Secretary 

Meet a Member: Rae Baker