Tag Archives: leadership
Senior Jake Baker takes full advantage of his college experience, not
wasting a second of it
Senior Jake Baker has a large appetite for leadership
Friends describe him as loud, outspoken, passionate, competitive and over the top, but in a positive way, of course.
Senior Jake Baker is the Associated Students of Linfield College’s vice president, co-captain of the men’s soccer team, a Pi Kappa
Alpha brother, the fraternity’s scholarship chair and vice president of Greek Honor Society Order of Omega. Needless to say he is a
busy body surging with energy and excitement to leave a lasting impact on the Linfield community during his last year as a Wildcat
“By the time I am done here I want to look back on the year and actually be able to see what I have helped accomplish,” Baker
said. “I want people to remember me as a leader who practiced what I preached and for doing everything in my power to make things
happen in whatever venue I am in.”
Some may say that Baker is spreading himself too thin. That is not the case for this organized go-getter. He uses the calendar on his
cellphone to keep track of ASLC meetings, fraternity get togethers and soccer practices, he even blocks out time to work on homework
and hang out with his friends. Baker swears by establishing a simple and repetitive routine to keep all of his responsibilities under
Baker transferred to Linfield from Western Oregon University after his sophomore year. The McMinnville resident felt like he wasn’t
being pushed academically, and wanted the opportunity to play soccer under the leadership of his stepdad while being a part of
Linfield’s intimate community.
“For me, being involved on campus has opened a lot of doors,” Baker said. “The various leadership positions that I hold have
given me the opportunity to meet fellow students who have made a lasting impact on me. It’s awesome, I am figuring myself out as an
individual, while making a positive contribution to my school.”
When Baker is not darting down the soccer field, hanging out with his fraternity brothers, leading a senate meeting or checking up on
Greek Life he is most likely studying. He will be graduating in the spring with a political science major and gender studies minor.
Baker attributes athletics for instilling a work ethic that is valuable to him in every facet of his life. If you couldn’t guess it, Baker is
struggling to narrow his focus in on one goal as vice president of the student body.
“I want to look back on the year and be able to put my finger on the changes that have occurred on campus,” he said. “I know
the students have ideas about what can be improved and I want to act on it. Rubber will meet the road with that here in the next few
One of Baker’s main goals is to collaborate with other clubs, organizations, faculty and students in the Linfield community on
“I want the student government to be more involved on campus,” he said. “We want to focus on projects that will benefit the entire
For someone who has been a part of athletic teams since he could walk, Baker emphasizes comradery among his peers in order to
see success as a school.
“I feel really blessed to have classes with so many smart, fun and sociable people,” Baker said. “People don’t even understand how
much of an impact we can have on one another. We can’t take for granted.”
By Sarah Mason/ Copy Editor
Presenting a different kind of seminar, a former Oregon state representative helped Linfield students discover what it means to be a true leader. A small group showed up to listen to Jefferson Smith speak March 14 in Riley Hall, 201, expecting a lecture.
But Smith told everyone he didn’t want to do one of his speeches because they can easily be found on the Internet. He was more interested in getting to know the students in the audience.
“It’s way cooler to do something that we can’t replace,” Smith said. He wanted to focus on answering questions and creating a dialogue.
He asked members of the group to think of traits that belong to a great leader. Students came up with characteristics like persistence, innovation, cooperation and responsibility. Smith suggested books and further resources that related to almost every trait written on the whiteboard.
Smith said leaders don’t necessarily need to be charismatic, but rather should embody discipline and selflessness.
“I don’t think someone who’s magnetic or loud is necessarily a worse or better leader. Someone who is loud and obnoxious, or maybe shy and reserved, can make a tremendous leader.”
Smith then asked everyone to think of an example that linked to one of the leadership traits. Sophomore Ian Franceschi gave the example of Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula, as a great leader, which gave the group a good laugh.
“He was a slave for the longest time to the Turkish Empire. He ended up coming out of the woodworks from his slavery and coming back to his people with ideas that were used within the Turkish and Mongolian armies. He brought those ideas back and ended up becoming one of the most feared men, and leader-oriented men in all of Europe in his day,” Franceschi said. “The lesson is, I would say he was innovative.”
Smith connected this example to the different eras of leadership in the world.
“For centuries, rule of the world was based on control of the best weaponry. I think the rule of the world today is dictated by access to the control of capital. The question is what the next era of history is controlled by, I think by ideas,” Smith said, giving his “dumb” interpretation of the arc of history.
Then he asked students to brainstorm the hard parts of being a leader, the things that most people would rather avoid. Asking for help, maintaining support, dealing with conflict and staying motivated were a few ideas that students came up with.
With regard to motivation, he advised everyone to “never, ever, give up,” as Winston Churchill once said in a speech.
Smith gave advice for what he could, but said that for some, he had no answers. He admitted that he is actively working on being able to deal with the hard parts, such as losing, criticism or failure.
Smith ended his presentation by saying that the most important thing a leader can do is develop other leaders. To lead is to empower, he said.
Kelsey Sutton/Managing editor
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the great things that Linfield offers is the abundance of leadership opportunities for students. With that said, a large number of students do participate in different areas of leadership, for some, in more than one area. In my case, I hold leadership positions through my sorority and the Linfield Review. However, I know of other students who take on even more responsibility, juggling three or more positions and balancing school work and a social life. I commend these students on their dedication and effort, but the important thing that they need to realize early on is when to keep it professional. It is also important to distinguish when it is appropriate to be oneself and not the face of whatever position or organization that one is representing.
For me, I am the face of the Review, but I also represent my sorority. This can be tricky at times because I have an obligation and loyalty to both. This means that I have to pay special care to keep them as separate as possible, unless an event does come up, which would require reporting on. And, even then, I cannot be involved in that process because it is a conflict of interest. I know of others who are in the same boat, and it is always difficult getting some peers to understand one’s views and distinctions. Compartmentalizing is an awesome skill to practice, but for some, it does require more effort than for others. For instance, it is something that I understand is necessary, especially in my line of work, but I have to constantly remind myself of. Just because one does not agree with a professional decision, does not mean it has to affect one’s views on that person as a whole.
As far as professionalism goes, a student who represents a certain organization or position should always keep that in mind when it comes to making practical decisions that would reflect on that particular organization. However, it is also important to maintain a balance. All work and no play is never ideal for anyone. So although making good decisions is always important, it is also crucial to maintain one’s sense of self. This is an adventure that I have started on and it is only going to continue to be a learning process, as it is for most everyone.
Taking on a leadership role is often a learn-as-you-go endeavor. So, making sure that one is mentally prepared to tackle all of the good and the bad that comes along for the ride will only help to ensure success in the end.
Jessica Prokop can be reached at email@example.com.