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Steve Baker named Grossmont College dean

Posted on: Jul 20, 2010 1:00:00 AM
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Contact: Della Elliott

Steve Baker named Grossmont College dean

Longtime instructor will oversee arts, languages and communication department

EL CAJON – Steve Baker has been named dean of the department of arts, languages and communication at Grossmont College. Baker began his career with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District as a music instructor in 1985, and has taught at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. At Grossmont, he was music department chair and interim dean before his latest appointment.

As a dean, Baker is responsible for establishing overall goals and objectives within the department, overseeing curriculum planning and development, instructional planning and assignments and more. Baker will also be a key player in recommending and implementing new department programs.

Baker takes on new tasks at a challenging time of cuts in community college funding due to California’s state budget crisis, which has forced GCCCD to severely reduce course offerings.  This is happening despite increased demands for classes as students train, or  retrain, for new careers and complete general education requirements to transfer to four-year universities and colleges.

The department Baker now heads encompasses studies in fine and visual arts, including ceramics, photography, drawing and painting, sculpture and digital media, as well as foreign languages, humanities, music, theater, dance, journalism and media studies and speech communication. Baker hopes to bring diverse disciplines together to work collaboratively under a single department, and to seek partnership opportunities in and out of the classroom.

“While the disciplines may all seem very different, what we all have in common is that we have to communicate -- in words, visual images, or sounds,” Baker said. “Grossmont College has a well-developed, vigorous program in each of the areas within the department. Each discipline has developed a high standard of quality.

“We also experience arts and humanities as an economic engine. Our students learn more than just acting or singing or languages. It makes a difference in a tight job market. Our students are the ones getting hired.”

Baker said an immediate priority as dean is the construction of a performing arts center and the remodeling of the fine arts quad.

“We are proud of Steve Baker’s many accomplishments,” said Dr. Sunita V. “Sunny” Cooke, Grossmont College president. “He inspires his students and generously shares his academic and artistic knowledge. He will continue to be an outstanding leader on campus and we all congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment.”

Baker has been a professional musician for more than 40 years. In his career as a pianist, he has performed with numerous national and international recording artists. The Steve Baker Trio specializes in Brazilian and Afro-Cuban-influenced jazz and performs in varied venues.

A San Diego resident since 1960, Baker's music study has included training in classical and jazz piano and composition. He holds degrees in music from Grossmont College; University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University, where he received a master’s in piano performance. His post-graduate studies were at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

For more information about Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, including how to register online for fall semester classes, go to www.gcccd.edu.

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