Baker Proud Summer 2018 - 10


BAKER PROUD | Summer 2018

Alumna encourages students
to be open minded


here was a feeling of finality to 1999. Prince
had been singing about it for years already
when the Dow Jones began reaching historical
highs and winter brought chilling lows to the
Midwest as newscasters reminded their audiences of the
disastrous possibilities that could be made a reality by the
Y2K bug. Despite it all, there was also a sense of hope, and
at Baker University that hope looked a lot like the graduating class of 1999. Among those was Molly Anderson, now
an assistant professor of laboratory instruction and the latest Baker faculty member to deliver an address in Student
Activity Council's Last Lecture series.
"To be asked to be a part of this lecture series is an
honor, and I was pretty overwhelmed by the idea at first,"
Anderson said. "The fact that I am also an alumna of Baker is just something that makes this an unreal experience.
It's something that people dream of doing!"

"The thing I am most hopeful for is that
students will just be open to the process of
finding something they love doing because
then their work becomes service."
-Molly Anderson
Anderson's initial feelings of surprise and gratitude
were quickly overtaken by worry about how to live up to
prior lecturers' presentations and how to deliver on the
good faith that came with SAC's invitation to participate.
Drawing on her academic experiences at Baker as
well as at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned
her graduate degree, Anderson created a lecture that
encompassed both her interests and a relevancy for
Before delivering it on March 19, Anderson described
her lecture, "Must," as being a "look at the difference
between things in our lives that are 'have-tos' and 'musts'
and hopefully being able to find a way to tease out the
things that aren't important and focus on the ones that are
"I chose this topic because I like using applications
that apply in academics and life after college," Anderson
said. "This idea that we should know a 'calling' at a young
age doesn't leave a lot of flexibility or grace in the process

of learning and living life. This conversation had come up
several times in recent conversations with students, so it
felt like the right topic for the time."
Anderson wholeheartedly encourages students to be
open minded in their expectations and academic choices
while in college.
"I think it is part of my job to help students understand
that the journey is OK and that it's not a bad thing to allow
new information to change how you see things," Anderson
said. "Figuring out what your 'must' is personal and sometimes nerve racking. I think I see our students embracing
this idea every time they want to meet with an advisor
or peer and want to work through an idea regarding their
"The thing I am most hopeful for is that students will
just be open to the process of finding something they
love doing because then their work becomes service," she
continued. "I think humans are built for service and when
we are doing something we love, it provides purpose. My
path to get here was certainly unconventional, since I was
originally a pre-med major, and now I am exactly where I
am supposed to be!"
Recent graduate Catey Payne, social and cultural
issues coordinator of SAC, was responsible for selecting
Anderson. She also introduced Anderson on the night of
the lecture.
"She is someone who really stands out to students,"
Payne said. "I am not a science major and have never taken a class from Professor Anderson. However, I only hear
the best things about her teaching style, personality, and
her ability to relate to students, so I thought she would be
the perfect addition to the faculty who have presented in
the Last Lecture series."
To Anderson, the evening represented coming full
circle from her time as a student to her time as a professor
that allows her to make a positive imprint on the lives of
new Baker students each day.
"The part that I am most grateful for is that the offer
came from the Baker students," Anderson said. "As a professor, I am always working to do my job to the absolute
best of my ability, but if I am not reaching the students,
it doesn't matter.  This lecture is a highlight for me in my
career, and the longer I reflect on it, the more grateful I
am for the opportunity."


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baker Proud Summer 2018

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