Assistant Professor of Psychology Wendi Born prepares to leave Baker

Story by Kyle Davis

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Associate Professor of Psychology Wendi Born has accepted a position at the University of Kansas Medical School and will leave Baker University at the end of the fall semester.

Born will be working in the department of family medicine, spending part of her time with patients, while also teaching classes and developing the curriculum for the training program in behavioral science.

“It was a tough decision, it was a really tough decision,” Born said. “I think that I get so much joy here from being with my students, and I know that I won’t get as much of that, so that was hard.”

Born is familiar with KU Med, as she did a post-doctoral research fellowship at the school for two years before coming to Baker. This is Born’s seventh year at Baker.

“I don’t want to do a lot of clinical work, but when you put so much time and effort into advanced, specialized training into becoming a clinician, it feels like something that you can’t let go of and if I stayed here, and never had a way to do clinical work, I would lose that part of my education,” Born said.

Rand Ziegler, vice president and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, sent an e-mail Friday to Baker faculty informing them of Born’s decision.

“Maybe as much as any faculty member on campus, she really is all about the welfare of the students and part of that is the natural counselor in her,” Ziegler said.

Born will still be on campus on Tuesdays in the spring, as she will continue to teach Clinical and Counseling Psychology next semester.

“She’s definitely been a huge inspiration to me since I’ve been here,” junior Garrett Chumley said. “I know (it’s) not just myself, but a lot of others just because the fact that she is such a caring person.”

Ziegler said Baker will look to hire a new faculty member for the fall 2011 semester.

“We lost Traci Floreani last spring and we lose Wendi this winter, and I can say that both of those individuals are faculty that I definitely did not want to lose,” Ziegler said.

Marc Carter, chair of the psychology department, is happy for the opportunity Born has, but doesn’t think it will be easy to find someone new to take over.

“She’s a rare person, so I don’t know that we’re going to be able to find somebody that can fill those shoes,” Carter said.

Born said she is unsure of the future, but a possibility exists that she may return to teaching at some point.

“I really don’t know what my next experience is going to be like,” Born said. “I know that one of the things that has made me the happiest, since I’ve been at Baker, is the high-quality colleagues I have, the friends I have here.”