We had the chance to get coffee with 49er alumnus Andrew Baker to learn more about his involvement with UNC Charlotte, both, prior to and after his graduation. In one word, loyalty is how Baker describes his relationship with the university. As a young alumnus, he feels the campus is a canvas in progress and sees an opportunity to help paint and mold the University by creating a lasting impact by focusing on three principles: Honor the Past, Embrace the Present, Look Towards the Future.
Baker graduated from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 2015, majoring in Mass Media Communication and earning a double minor in Journalism and Religious Studies. Before graduation, Baker was incredibly involved in student organizations, extracurriculars and even helped professors create content for their curriculums through his on-campus job. It is clear he was involved, but what he said he loved the most about the involvement was his ability to make an impact on the University while doing something fun and interesting to him.
Early on in his college career, Baker became an involved member in Student Niner Media (and subsequently the Athletics Department) through his production and anchoring of television programs like Niner News, Niner Access and Niner Blitz. It was in the Student Niner Media organization that Baker turned a friendly rivalry into a relationship that soon became marriage with his wife, Emily Kupsky Baker '15. The two of them have continued to find ways to give back to the organization through their time and talents. through it all. In 2017, Baker was named the organization’s Distinguished Alumni for his continued support and professional achievements.
Today, Baker continues his investment to his alma mater through a variety of endeavors. One short year after graduation he began his post-grad involvementby joining the Young Alumni Chapter (YAC) as Chair of the Student Engagement Committee. Through his drive and ambition, Baker found himself furthering his leadership roles within YAC through opportunities as the Vice President and President. During his time as President for the Young Alumni Chapter’s Board of Directors, Baker would become a prominent and recognizable face at sporting events and tailgates, Green Tie Gala, the Top 10 Under Ten Awards, and Niner Nation Gives. You may have even seen him hosting the Final 49 minutes of Niner Nation Gives in 2021, alongside his former Student Niner Media peer Ohavia Phillips, where he helped his alma mater raise a record number of funds for scholarships, student organizations and facilities.
When asked what’s next, Baker stated his interest in continuing to serve the university in unique and engaging ways, citing the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Council as an opportunity to translate many of his leadership and development skills from his previous roles with the Young Alumni Chapter’s Board of Directors. Baker reiterated his vision of campus as a developing canvas of artwork, where the investors today are finalizing the long-sustaining traditions for future generations of Niners.
As Baker looks to his future and his relationship with UNC Charlotte, he is building a plan to continue making an impact and helping Charlotte reach its true potential. Through his continued leadership and work, Baker has been recognized by the university community and beyond. Don't believe us? Check out the list of awards and engagements Andrew has achieved over the years:
- 2017: Distinguished Alumni, UNC Charlotte Student Media
- 2018: 30 Under 30 “Future Leaders of Charlotte”, Elevate Lifestyle
- 2018: 30 Under 30, YMCA of the USA
- 2020: STANDOUT Young Professional, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- 2016-2017: Emerging Business Leaders Graduate, Charlotte Regional
- 2016-2021: UNC Charlotte Young Alumni Chapter; Board of Directors
- 2015-Present: Game Day Announcer, Miracle League Baseball
- 2016-Present: NinerNation Gives Ambassador
- 2016-Present: Green Tie Gala Committee Member
- 2018-Present: Founder, Dream to Achieve Bowling
As Baker continues to help paint the canvas of our university, he wants Niner Nation to know that he is here to pay it forward. He has recognized the impact many of his mentors like Gene Johnson and Sallie Sistare have had on him and wants to help other alumni get involved. If you would like to reach out to Baker about getting involved either as a student or alumni his information is below. Getting involved and making your mark is easier and more welcoming than most believe and very rewarding.
Do good thing, go Niners!