Dr. Elaine Baker Selected 2012 Andrus Award for Community Service Winner
Jackson, MS – Elaine Baker, Ph.D., MSW, of Mound Bayou, is the 2012 AARP Mississippi Andrus Award for Community Service winner. She recently was presented the award during the Andrus Award Banquet at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson.
Baker describes her desire to give back as simply being “a part of who she is.” As a longtime volunteer, advocate and community leader in the city of Mound Bayou and previously in Albany, Ga., Baker has displayed altruism and dedication to service.
Baker, who is president of the AARP Mound Bayou Chapter, has more than 50 years of volunteer experience. She has worked to raise the level of volunteer awareness among seniors; formed partnerships with cities through community conversations; and helped increase membership as well as educate citizens on the benefits and positions of AARP.
“This award serves as a symbol to the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” said AARP Mississippi State Director Sherri Davis-Garner. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve.”
Baker dedicates her time to other community service organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she has served as president of the Bolivar County Alumnae Chapter. She also is president of the Mound Bayou Public Schools Alumni Association. Baker’s other volunteer activities include the NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women, and the Tougaloo College National Alumni Association.
Her teaching career spanned more than 30 years in the University System of Georgia and continued with post retirement adjunct appointments at Delta State University and Mississippi Valley State University.
Baker explains volunteerism as being a vital part of her life because she has been given so much - not in terms of economic gain, but through people, family, church families and teachers who went beyond the call of duty.
Baker is a 1968 Cum Laude graduate of Tougaloo College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. In 1970, she earned a Master of Social Work degree with concentrations in Community Organization from Atlanta University School of Social Work. In 1986, Baker earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Administration with concentrations in General Public Administration, Organizational Development and Health Care Administration. She is a Professor Emerita of Social Work at Albany State University.
AARP’s commitment to volunteer service can be traced back to the life and vision of its founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. From the beginning, her motto, “to serve, not to be served” has shaped AARP’s community service efforts at the national, state, and local levels. Each year, AARP honors the legacy of Dr. Andrus with the AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service.