Nashia Baker

Speak the truth; make a difference

Senior Nashia Baker has long been a girl on the move. Originally from Fort Benning, Georgia, she’s an Army officer’s daughter, a twin and a runner on the KU track and field and cross country teams. And she has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. When she graduates with a journalism degree in May 2017, she hopes to move to New York and work as an editor at Essence magazine.

Growing up in a military family was great because it immersed me in a lot of different cultures. I met people from areas across the world. I was able to understand others and I became more respectful of various backgrounds.

My father taught me resiliency. My mother, an elementary school teacher, taught me to apply that resiliency to my education. My parents promote and use education while facing adversity in their everyday lives, and I always remember that prioritizing my education and staying involved in the community are the best ways to be resilient in my life.

Like running, with journalism you always have to think on your toes. You always have to think about what’s next.

I set different limits for myself and push myself to those limits. The possibility of learning something new about journalism or myself drives me there.

It is a struggle being aware of everything you need to do as a journalist.

I’m proud of myself for being able to test myself more and more each year with my journalism. I’m also really proud of that the journalism school does show diversity. I see people from different cultures and economic backgrounds.

I was nominated to represent the journalism school when President Obama visited in 2015. In the moment I didn’t really think about how historic it was. He was the first African-American president and the first president to come to KU in a long time. But now that I think back on it, it was such an honor to have been considered, let alone chosen and able to see him in person.

Be involved while you’re at KU. Know what’s going on. Watch the news.

Being a twin is fun, but also it pushes you to be an independent individual. For me, it’s been a blessing to have my sister throughout my collegiate career. We push each other to do our own thing and to find our own differences.

I want to show how many different facets women possess, especially African-American women. The hair. The culture. The way you speak. The way you carry yourself. Those are all so different.

Wherever I end up going in my journalism career, I want to be able to make a difference. Whether it’s at Essence or just through some type of media in general, I want to be able to speak the truth about what’s going on in the world, bring it back to the J-School and show what journalism is really about.

It’s always just onto the next big thing for me.

Colleen Hagan is a senior from St. Louis, Missouri, double majoring in journalism and French. She hopes to work for a fashion magazine either in the United States or abroad after she graduates this May.