Alumni spotlight: Akiel Baker, ’21 Eastern Mennonite University


by Ryan Cornell for EMU and available here

Akiel Baker ’21, originally from Bowie, Maryland, graduated from EMU’s accredited social work program. As a school social worker for Harrisonburg City Public Schools, Baker connects elementary and middle school students and their families with resources in the schools and community that can help them perform at their very best. (Photo by Macson McGuigan/EMU)

Why they LovEMU: Akiel Baker ’21 says human connection feels central to EMU

Editor’s Note: This profile is the fifth of six about students and alumni leading up to LovEMU Giving Day on April 10. For more information about the day and to donate, visit  

EMU alumnus Akiel Baker ’21 says a turning point in his life came while on a cross-cultural trip to Guatemala during his junior year. Being in a country where he didn’t speak the language or understand the culture was a humbling experience for the Bowie, Maryland, native. 

“I came back a new person,” Baker said. “Before that, I was always doing the bare minimum.”

When he returned to the U.S., his whole approach to college changed. The social work major became more engaged in his coursework and more involved in the EMU campus community. He joined clubs such as the Black Student Alliance (BSA), the International Students Organization and the Student Government Association.

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