COLLEGE STATION — Dr. Matt Baker has been named head of the department of agricultural leadership, education and communications, ALEC, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, beginning Aug. 1.
Baker, a native of Vernon, was a professor in the department of agricultural education and communications at Texas Tech University for eight years. He taught and advised undergraduate- and graduate students, participated on transdisciplinary research and education teams, mentored junior faculty and provided leadership to numerous university activities and professional associations. He also served as founding dean for University College at Texas Tech for three years and departmental chair for agricultural education and communications for eight years.
Baker focuses his research on antecedents to human behavior. Specifically, he has measured biometric-skin conductance, facial expressions, eye-movement, heart rate and respiration- responses to differing medium, messages and online treatments. He has also used continuous response systems to examine the effects of real-time medium and message treatments.
In his new role at Texas A&M, Baker will provide leadership to program faculty, staff and students in the department, continue his research into cognitive and emotional responses to medium and messages, and teach courses in research and statistics. His vision is to enhance the impact of departmental research programs, recruit students into the department from around Texas and throughout the world, provide world-renowned outreach programs and further develop an already outstanding Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Organizational Development and Program Evaluation unit housed in the department.
“We are honored to have Dr. Baker join our college and lead the department into its next phase,” said Dr. Patrick J. Stover, vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M AgriLife. “He brings a wealth of experience that will benefit not only the department of agricultural leadership, education and communications, but also the college as a whole.”
He has received many awards and honors over the years, including being named a Fellow for the American Association for Agricultural Education, a Senior Fellow for the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education, and a recipient of the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award at Texas Tech University. Baker is also a member of many professional societies, including the American Association for Agricultural Education, the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education, and the American Evaluation Association.
“I know I will have an opportunity to work with wonderful people in the department, people with great teaching philosophies, people who understand the value of our student population and how important those populations are to our land-grant mission in Texas,” Baker said. “There exists a huge base of former students, and I look forward to meeting more of them. The opportunities in research are tremendous, so I look for nothing but good things to happen at Texas A&M University and the ALEC department.”
Baker received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Tech University, and his doctorate in agricultural education from the Ohio State University.