Martha Baker, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Natural Sciences, is an inaugural recipient a ToGetHerThere award from the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts.
Baker, who was named in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) category, and four other winners will be honored at the ToGetHerThere Awards Luncheon on Friday, Nov. 3 at the Tower Square Hotel (formerly the Springfield Marriott) in Springfield.
“The ToGetHerThere Award winners embody western Massachusetts’ spirit of courage and determination,” says Pattie Hallberg, CEO of the Girl Scouts group. “We are humbled and inspired by their efforts. These individuals remind us that we all hold the power to inspire hope and build up communities. We all can be a force for good.”
The five were cited for their shared vision of creating a culture of creativity and caring, where young women feel confident in their ability to work hard, dream big and face with courage any obstacle that stands in the way of making their dreams come true. The winners have affected hundreds of lives and serve as role models for other organizations grappling with how to support underserved members in their communities.
Throughout her career as a scholar, teacher and administrator at the university, Baker has provided leadership and mentoring to students, faculty and staff, with special attention to engaging girls and women in STEM. Both on campus and through community partnerships, she has initiated programs designed to encourage girls and women to participate in STEM fields and to empower them to become leaders.
In her role as associate dean, she oversees the CNS Advising Center, which provides essential, individualized advising for undergraduates in STEM fields. She also teaches a popular undergraduate seminar, “Women in Science.”
Baker played a major role in the creation of “Eureka! at UMass,” a campus partnership with Girls Inc. of Holyoke. Established in 2013, “Eureka! at UMass” is an innovative five-year program that addresses the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing lower-income middle- and high-school-aged girls from the greater Holyoke community to campus for a four-week immersive program, with the long-term goal of motivating them to pursue post-secondary education and careers in STEM. This program now reaches more than150 girls each year.
In addition, Baker has served the university community by spearheading the CNS Women in Science Initiative, started in 2012 to support women scientists at all stages of their academic careers.
Tickets for the awards luncheon are $50 each, $500 for tables of 10. To order and for more information about the awardees, visit the Girl Scout website or contact Melanie Bonsu at, 413584-2602 ext. 3623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other winners of the ToGetHerThere Award are:
Entrepreneur: Cassandra Abramson, president and founder, ECi Stores
Financial Literacy: Amy Roberts,vice president of human resources, Balise Auto Group
Health & Wellness: Katie Gauvin,regional safety director, SODEXO/ Major, Logistics Readiness Squadron 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base
Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout: Timothy Murphy, Esq.,partner, Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts serves over 8,000 girls in grades K through 12 with the support of 3,800 adult volunteers in 186 municipalities.