Dr. Frederick J. Baker
Fred Baker was surrounded by his family when he died at his home in Claremont on September 15, 2014, after a valiant two-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73.
Dr. Baker was proud professor emeritus of Cal Poly Pomona where he worked in the Department of Education, College of Education and Integrative Studies from 1988-2004 and served as chair of his department from 1988-1993. At Cal Poly, he received the institution’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award and the Outstanding International Scholar Award.
He was the founding curriculum director for I-Poly High School, an interdisciplinary, project-driven, international- themed secondary school located on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona. He was selected to serve four terms as a respected representative on the California State Commission on Teacher Credentialing. He excelled at his specialization of field-based and international models for teacher education.
Dr. Baker held a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Antioch University and a PhD from Michigan State University. He had a lifetime commitment to international education that was informed by the 14 years he lived overseas, mainly with his family. A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, he also served as a Foreign Service Officer in Thailand, a Fulbright Fellow in Thailand, an inner-city middle school teacher in Washington, DC, a director of field experiences at Central Michigan University, a Teacher Corps Director in Micronesia and an assistant director of teacher education at the University of California, Irvine. In addition, he directed a variety of programs in Belize, England, China, Mexico, Latvia, Malaysia, Guyana, Yemen, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Republic of Vietnam. During a yearlong sabbatical in Florence, Italy, he developed online courses in education for Cal Poly Pomona.
Dr. Baker was recipient of numerous grants and awards including an Asian Foundation grant, a Teacher Corps grant, a Peace Corps development grant, a Fulbright fellowship, an Asian Development Bank grant and a World Bank grant. Dr. Baker authored over 120 publications. His most recent books, Reforming America’s Schools: From Teachers and Curriculum to Globalization and Interdisciplinary Projects and Ways of Coexisting: Urban, Suburban, and Global Communities, were published by Kendall/Hunt.
A fluent speaker of Thai and Lao, Dr. Baker looked for ways to develop friendships through shared linguistic and cultural experiences. He often worked as a consultant on international and multicultural topics, especially in the areas of curriculum development, teacher education and educational policy in economically developing countries. He enriched the lives of family members, students, friends and colleagues around the globe. He made the world a better and more peaceful place.
Dr. Baker was predeceased by his parents, Benjamin George Baker and Mary Ross Ross Baker, both of Saginaw, Michigan. He is survived by Dr. Rosalie Giacchino-Baker, his wife of 47 years; by three children, Sarah Baker, John Benjamin Baker and his wife Rachelle Baker, and Michael Thomas Baker and his wife Tamar Baker; and by three grandchildren, Nikolas Remo Guevara, Benjamin Nathan Baker and Isabella Rachelle Baker.
Dr. Baker also leaves a brother, Floyd Ross Baker, and his wife Lee Ann Baker; three sisters-in-law, Mary Crosetto, Jean Giacchino, and Josephine Connor and her husband Matt Connor; as well as many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews and great-grand-nieces and nephews. An avid golfer, he will be remembered fondly by all of his golf buddies. He is mourned and missed by his family and friends around the world.
A celebration of Fred Baker’s life will be held on October 10, 2014 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Kellogg House at Cal Poly Pomona. All friends of the Baker family are invited. Please find directions at www.foundation.csupomona.edu/kh/#
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Fred Baker to the “Dr. Fred Baker and Dr. Rosalie Giacchino-Baker Study Abroad Scholarship.” This endowed scholarship embodies Dr. Baker’s commitment to international education since it will benefit students who will change their lives and the world by studying abroad. It will be managed and administered by the Phi Beta Delta Society of International Scholars, Gamma Lambda Chapter.
To make a gift online, please visit www.csusb.edu/makeagift. In the first drop-down, select “Other”; in the box type “Dr. Fred Baker and Dr. Rosalie Giacchino-Baker Study Abroad Scholarship.” You can also make notes in the comment box. Follow the prompts to finalize your online gift. Please note that this is a secure website.
To make a donation by check, please make your gift payable to CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation, with the memo line reflecting “Dr. Fred Baker & Dr. Rosalie Giacchino-Baker Study Abroad Scholarship.” Mail to: CSU San Bernardino, Office of Alumni Development, 5500 University Parkway, AD 121, San Bernardino CA 92407, ATTN: Terri Carlos.