Frederick J. Baker, professor emeritus in the Department of Education, died in his Claremont home on Sept. 15 after a two-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73.
Baker taught at Cal Poly Pomona from 1988 to 2004, serving as department chair from 1988 to 1993. During his tenure, he received the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award and the Outstanding International Scholar Award.
In addition, Baker was the founding curriculum director for iPoly High School, an interdisciplinary, project-driven international-themed secondary school on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. He served four terms on the California State Commission on Teacher Credentialing. He excelled at his specialization of field-based and international models for teacher education.
Baker earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, a master’s degree in teaching from Antioch University and a doctorate from Michigan State University.
He also had a lifetime commitment to international education stemming from the 14 years he lived overseas. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, he also served as a Foreign Service officer in Thailand, a Fulbright Fellow in Thailand, director of field experiences at Central Michigan University, a Teacher Corps director in Micronesia, and an assistant director of teacher education at UC Irvine.
In addition, he directed programs in Belize, England, China, Mexico, Latvia, Malaysia, Guyana, Yemen, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and the Republic of Vietnam. During a yearlong sabbatical in Florence, Italy, he developed online courses in education for Cal Poly Pomona.
Baker was a recipient of numerous honors, including grants from the Asian Foundation, Teacher Corps, Peace Corps, Asian Development Bank and World Bank, and a Fulbright fellowship.
He authored more than 120 publications. His most recent books, “Reforming America’s Schools: From Teachers and Curriculum to Globalization and Interdisciplinary Projects” and “Ways of Coexisting: Urban, Suburban, and Global Communities,” were published by Kendall/Hunt.
Fluent in Thai and Lao, Baker developed friendships through shared linguistic and cultural experiences. He often consulted on international and multicultural topics, especially in curriculum development, teacher education and educational policy in economically developing countries.
Baker is survived by Rosalie Giacchino-Baker, his wife of 47 years and a retired faculty member who headed the International Institute at Cal State San Bernardino; three children, John Benjamin Baker (and his wife, Rachelle Baker), Michael Thomas Baker (and his wife, Tamar Baker) and Sarah Baker; three grandchildren, Nikolas Remo Guevara, Benjamin Nathan Baker and Isabella Rachelle Baker; a brother, Floyd Ross Baker (and his wife, Lee Ann Baker); three sisters-in-law, Mary Crosetto, Jean Giacchino and Josephine Connor (and her husband Matt Connor); as well as many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, and great-grand-nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, Oct. 10, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the Kellogg House Pomona.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Baker’s memory to the Dr. Fred Baker and Dr. Rosalie Giacchino-Baker Study Abroad Scholarship. This scholarship will benefit students who wish to study abroad.
To make a donation by check, make gifts payable to CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation, with the memo line reflecting Dr. Fred Baker and Dr. Rosalie Giacchino-Baker Study Abroad Scholarship. Mail to: CSU San Bernardino, Office of Alumni Development, ATTN: Terri Carlos, 5500 University Parkway, AD 121, San Bernardino, CA 92407.