Dr. Claude D. Baker is an award-winning teacher, researcher and biologist, and a professor at Southern Arkansas University. Claude is a native Arkansan from El Dorado, but most of his relatives lived in and near Columbia County—some arriving here in the early 1800′s. Dr. Baker received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Arkansas and his PhD from the University of Louisville. In the 1970′s, he was involved with solving the energy crisis at that time, and the country’s short-lived effort to gain energy independence. Prior to coming to SAU, Dr. Baker was a professor at Indiana University where he was awarded both the distinguished teaching and distinguished research awards. Later, he received the all-university teaching award. This is a competition between all 8 Indiana University campuses. In 2006, Dr. Baker received the Presidents Volunteer Service lifetime award for his over 5,000 hours of volunteer service. He has been extremely active with mosquito work, but over the years, he has provided scientific information and expertise to local agencies and to private pond owners. He has also willingly given his time to local organizations, schools and churches when they needed outside speakers. Virtually all of Dr. Bakers recent grant money has been used to support deserving undergraduate students. On July 5, 2004, one of Dr. Claude Bakers students at Indiana University found an unknown mosquito. The State Health Lab later verified that it was the exotic Asian rock pool mosquito that had entered the east coast in the late 1990′s. The student making this discovery received the honor of presenting his research on Capitol Hill in 2006. Baker credits his Dad and Mom–who both attended SAU–for his inspiration for wanting to help others. His parents volunteered for everything including painting the local elementary school, working with disadvantaged youth, assisting the Red Cross and many other agencies, phoning shut-ins to determine that they were OK, providing comfort for terminally ill patients who had no living relatives, participating in numerous fund raising efforts over the years, taking up tickets at the Civic Center, volunteering at the hospital, cooking for the Band Boosters and at church functions and many other service opportunities.