Student Profile: Kate Baker '17

Kate Baker

 

Class Year
2017

 

Hometown
Titusville, PA

 

Major
Community Development

 

Minor
Economics

 

Residence building and hall
Macllelan/Rymer, Halcyon

 

Activities
Diversity club, intramural volleyball and soccer, and economics club.

 

Favorite place on campus
The overlook is absolutely gorgeous, but I also really the cross-country trails that surround Covenant. On a sunny day, there is nothing like a run to take time to think and enjoy the beauty of Lookout Mountain.

 

Why did you choose Covenant?
I came to Covenant to study community development. I actually had never heard of Covenant before reading When Helping Hurts by Dr. Fikkert and Professor Corbett. After reading the book, I looked up the school online and found out about the competitive scholarships that Covenant offers. In January, I visited the campus and got to meet the community development professors and students in the major. One thing that really struck me was the relationships that current students had with the professors. The students clearly admired and looked up to the professors. It seemed like the professors were well acquainted with each student and engaged with each individual on a personal level. The conversation flowed easily and it was a comfortable discussion rather than being stilted. I also really appreciated the fact that these students were highly intelligent, yet their goals were service oriented. At one point, I looked around the room and realized that I wanted to go to a college with students like the upperclassmen I was sitting around. They had been equipped with skills and filled with passion to do development work, and I wanted to learn what they had learned. It was this close-knit learning community that resembled discipleship that drew me to Covenant.

 

How is Covenant unique?
There are lots of things that make Covenant unique, but one thing that I particularly enjoy is that there are students from a lot of different areas of the country in a small, tight-knit learning community. I think around 76% of students at Covenant are from out of state. You have all the diversity of a larger institution, but you are small enough to actually enjoy it. Since coming to Covenant, I have become friends with students from all over the U.S. and other countries. On my hall, there are girls from Maine, Texas, Ohio, Indonesia, Korea, Colorado, and Illinois to name a few. A really unique learning environment is created when students who have a lot of different experiences and cultural backgrounds, all get together and explore different topic together.

 

Describe Covenant in three words
Vibrant, kingdom-centered, connected.

 

What has been your favorite experience at Covenant?
Culture Fest is definitely my favorite event at Covenant. It is a time when students who grew up internationally get to share different aspects of their culture with the student body. There is dancing, music, and great food and fellowship.

 

What is your favorite class so far?
Probably Doctrine with Dr. Kapic

 

What made that class your favorite?
I am taking it this semester, and honestly I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I have learned so much about my faith. Dr. Kapic is passionate and asks hard questions that have caused me to grapple with the things that I believe.

 

What makes hall life at Covenant unique?
Students at covenant don’t typically pack their bags and go home for the weekend. I think this is one thing that creates opportunities to develop really tight-knit community. My hall has been my family at Covenant. We eat meals together, study in each other’s rooms, play card games, do Bible study, play pranks, sing, and laugh a lot. At the end of a busy day, I can’t wait to get back to my hall and tell my friends all about my day. During my freshman year, I was super homesick and the girls on my hall came alongside me and loved and supported me through that. During the fall of sophomore year, I took a semester off from Covenant. When I got back in the spring, the girls on my hall made the transition really smooth for me. It was like I had never left. This experience taught me that through doing life together on a hall, my friends and I have developed relationships that will last.

 

What are some things you enjoy about your major?
The professors are great. They are passionate about what they are teaching and they push me to be the best that I can be in my studies. It is academically rigorous, but the emphasis isn’t “be the best that you can be so that you can be CEO of a Fortune 500.” The emphasis is on being a steward of the gifts God has given you and using those gifts for the kingdom. Even when we are looking at supply and demand curves, my professors are asking me to challenge the presuppositions of our culture and helping me to develop a framework for thinking of these things from a biblical perspective.

 

Who at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
Dr. Wescher has had the greatest impact on me since coming to Covenant. He has really given me a passion for economics. He is a pretty demanding professor, but I don’t mind because I know that he is working as hard as I am to teach all his students. One time my friends and I were studying for a macroeconomics midterm (which Dr, Fikkert teaches) in the bottom of Brock and it was around 10:30 at night and Dr. Wescher came into the classroom. He had just finished a review session for one of his other classes and it was super late, but he took the time to talk with us about how we felt about Dr. Fikkert’s the test the next day. He even explained a graph to us that we didn’t understand. To me this story exemplifies his commitment to students.

 

How is Covenant preparing you for life after graduation?
Covenant puts a strong emphasis on being a good member of a community—not only while you are here at Covenant, but also when you leave. At Covenant, I am learning that real change happens in a community when you put down roots and are committed to your neighbors that surround you. In a world, where many people are chasing the next greatest opportunity, when I graduate I hope to be the type of person that is a good neighbor and friend and is committed to the place where God has put me.

 

How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
Through my time at Covenant, I have really grown to realize the importance of institutions. I think that in general, my generation can have a negative view of authority structures, like the church. We disagree with actions that different denominations have taken in the past and are reluctant to be too associated with it. I think the temptation to live life out of the context of the church is really tempting for millennials working in community development. Dr. Fikkert addresses this temptation head on in the class Theories of Community Development. Using theology, he makes a strong case for why development should always be done in connection with the church. This really impacted me. Through many different classes and chapel messages, I am learning to be more institutionally minded. Since coming to Covenant, one of my life goals has become to build my life around the church.

"I love the holistic approach of community development. Although I am only a few classes into the major, it is already transforming my view on life. I also have really enjoyed being taught by Dr. Fikkert and Professor Corbett. They are SO knowledgeable in the field of community development and their passion is contagious."
 - Brittany Stout '18

Chris Carter

"The Community Development program is preparing me for a life dedicated to the work of Christ in a setting that may otherwise be way out of my comfort zone. The classes are beautifully crafted to give you the confidence and knowledge needed to step into the third world, but also instill an understanding of the necessity of humility and an open heart when interacting with a new culture. Corbett and Fikkert, two of the key professors in the major, are extremely respected individuals in their field, yet meet you at such a personal level and concentrate on your personal growth. Never have I been in a position in my life where I wake up stoked to go to my classes, nor have I ever felt so loved and supported by professors who care so much about your dreams and plans for the future. "
 - Chris Carter '18