- President's Award for Distinguished Teaching (1990)
Dr. Claude D. Baker is an award-winning teacher, researcher and biologist. Dr. Baker is a native Arkansan from El Dorado. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Arkansas and his PhD from the University of Louisville.
Dr. Baker was a professor at Indiana University for many years, where he was involved with solving the energy crisis in the 1970s, and the country’s short-lived effort to gain energy independence. He was awarded distinguished teaching and distinguished research awards. In 1990, he received the President’s Award for Teaching. In 2004, one of Dr. Claude Baker’s students at Indiana University found an unknown mosquito. The State Health Lab later verified that it was the exotic Asian rock pool mosquito that had entered the east coast in the late 1990s. The student making this discovery received the honor of presenting his research on Capitol Hill.
In 2006, Dr. Baker received the Presidents Volunteer Service lifetime award for his over 5,000 hours of volunteer service. He has been extremely active with mosquito work, and has provided scientific information and expertise to local agencies and to private pond owners. He has also given his time to local organizations, schools and churches when they needed outside speakers. Baker credits his parents, who both attended SAU, for his inspiration for wanting to help others. His parents volunteered consistently, including painting the local elementary school, working with disadvantaged youth, assisting the Red Cross and many other agencies.
Dr. Baker currently holds a position as professor of Biology at Southern Arkansas University, where virtually all of his recent grant money has been used to support deserving undergraduate students.