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Media Contact: Laurie White, Chief Communications Officer



TCC Professor Selected for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award;
Among only 11 in the state, three in the region

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Jan. 21, 2004) – Tidewater Community College proudly announces that Anna Marie Baker, associate professor, Early Childhood Development program, has received one of Virginia’s most prestigious honors: a TIAA/CREF Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) announced the 11 recipients for 2004 at a celebration with Gov. Mark Warner in Richmond, Jan. 21. Chosen from 86 entrants from 35 public and private college and universities across the state, Baker joins two past TCC honorees – physics professor David Wright, 2002, and history professor Carol Knight, 1989.

The Outstanding Faculty Awards are the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. These awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. This year’s recipients received a $4,000 award and a commemorative plaque from SCHEV, which administers the OFA program.

TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce commends Baker for her lifelong dedication to her field. “In her 25 years of service to TCC, Marie Baker has been an exemplar of an effective teacher and program developer and advocate. Across the college’s four campuses and throughout the Virginia Community College System, Professor Baker is recognized as a leader for all issues related to preparing students in the Early Childhood Development program.”

Baker, a 25-year TCC faculty member, has helped make the Early Childhood Development program a leader in the state. During her tenure the program has evolved, now offering flexible options for students to pursue careers. As a result of Baker’s leadership and advocacy, Virginia provides free-tuition core classes for beginning students in early childhood development programs at community colleges. That system, now followed by most of Virginia’s community colleges, allows seamless transition from certificate to degree tracks.

“In nominating her for this high honor, Marie Baker’s faculty colleagues have recognized her outstanding accomplishments in teaching, scholarship and service,” says John T. Dever, vice president for academic and student affairs. “She has consistently kept her program at the forefront, ensuring that students have pathways and support to reach their highest potential in the vitally important work of serving the educational and developmental needs of young children.”

Baker’s outstanding accomplishments include: creation of the first Nanny Training curriculum in Virginia, which received national recognition; development of dual-enrollment courses for high school students, where the teens must use campus labs; co-author of the book, Nutrition Education for Young Children: Strategies and Activities; creator of 12 training modules for a national video series on PBS, Seeing Infants with New Eyes; and primary author of the Preschool Guideline of Learning (PGOLs), written in the SOL format and disseminated statewide by community colleges for childcare providers and pre-school programs across Virginia.

Also deeply involved in her community area of Suffolk and Portsmouth, Baker has worked with those school systems and numerous groups, volunteering her time from the PTA to the Rotary Club to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Baker deeply believes in comprehensive involvement, and often connects her students with a variety of community-service projects.

“With 32 years of professional teaching experiences, from preschool to adult-education settings, I still consider myself as an emerging teacher of learners,” says Baker. “My relationship with the learning partners, or ‘students,’ is the foundation that keeps the excitement of the teaching-learning cycle in constant motion. The best way to learn any information is to teach it.”


Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 34,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation's 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1958 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-three percent of the region's residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC.

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Media Contact: Laurie White, Chief Communications Officer