Gephardt News Goldman Fellows

Student Spotlight: Christian Baker, Goldman Fellows Program Class of 2019

Meet Class of 2019 Goldman Fellow Christian Baker, AB ’20, and learn more about his experiences in the program, his advice for future Goldman Fellows, and more in the interview below.

Can you tell about your experience at WashU? What was your academic focus, and how did you make connections across the university?

As a WashU undergraduate, I conducted Religious Studies and Merle Kling Honors Fellowship research on the intersection of religion, politics, and hip hop. Regarding extracurriculars, I co-founded Kairos: A Journal of Christian Thought and contributed several written pieces. Also, I was a Washington University Student Associate (WUSA) my sophomore year and a Resident Advisor (RA) as a junior and senior. Outside of WashU, I regularly participated in the Theology at the Bottleworks monthly conversations at the Schlafly Bottleworks.

What was your experience like as a Goldman Fellow?

During my Goldman experience in the summer of 2019, I used Coca-Cola’s Dear Future Community Challenge grant and collaborated with Harris-Stowe State University and local St. Louis artists to implement a summer arts program for high school students. The Goldman Fellows program provided me professional development opportunities and a support system as I undertook my project.

What have you been up to since graduating from WashU, and what’s your proudest achievement since graduating??

After my remote graduation in May 2020, I returned to St. Louis to begin law school at Washington University. I am proud of having successfully navigated my first year of law school classes during the pandemic.

What are your hopes or goals for your future both personal and professional?

This summer, I look forward to exploring more of St. Louis City. In the future, I hope to continue finding opportunities to serve marginalized communities in St. Louis in both a professional and volunteer capacity.

If you could give a current Goldman Fellow some advice, what would it be?

The Goldman Fellows program provides a unique opportunity to learn about the various areas of St. Louis from the people that live in those areas. Listen carefully to how they describe their homes. And take time to process how their words impact your work, both as a Goldman Fellow and for your future career.