Exploring Democracy, Promoting Leadership
We are committed to engaging students in the public policy process. Inspired by Senator Baker’s values of civility and integrity, the Center prepares students for careers in public service through professional development programming, academic opportunities, and service experiences. Through research, teaching, mentorship, and engagement, the Center’s student programs seek to provide a forum for exploring democracy and promoting leadership in public service.
To equip students with the experiences and tools they need to launch meaningful careers.
Citizens, scholars, and public servants ready to tackle the most pressing public policy problems.
Baker Ambassadors is an action-oriented program that gives students hands-on opportunities in the areas that interest them. From coordinating a voter registration campaign, to hosting candidates for the state’s gubernatorial election, to discussing foreign policy with ambassadors and diplomats, students gain invaluable experience and connections. Baker Ambassadors must commit to the principles of civility and integrity in the spirit of Senator Baker and be dedicated to the spirit of public service.
The Baker Scholar program requires students to undertake a multi-year project that involves either research on a specific policy issue or implementation of a creative initiative that contributes toward understanding of public policy issues, governance, civic engagement, or public service. Scholars are paired with faculty or professional mentors who serve as resources and help direct their project.
The Washington Fellows program is a two-week study trip to Washington, D.C. Students meet with Washington insiders including elected officials, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and members of the media. Students explore the political system and experience how individuals work in policy-related fields.
Public Policy Analytics Minor
The minor in Policy Analytics is intended to provide skills in employing advanced analytical methods that have become critical to the design, implementation and evaluation of public policy on the part of government agencies, nonprofits, think tanks and researchers. Students are exposed to the foundations of public policy and the policy-making process, analytical tools from economics and political science, quantitative methods and program evaluation techniques.
Baker Living Learning Community
The Baker Living Learning Community (BLLC) provides first-year students interested in politics and public service with an instant community that will enrich their undergraduate experience. The BLLC is designed for first-year students who want to improve their understanding of our system of governance and public policy within an established mentored student support network. Students accepted into the BLLC live together in a university residence hall and take courses together their first-year, which also fulfills Volunteer Core requirements for many majors.
Japan Ambassadors Program
The Japan Ambassadors program is a 12-day international immersive experience in Japan from May 28-June 8, 2023. Students will follow in the footsteps of former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Howard H. Baker to learn about Japanese culture, politics, history, and U.S.-Japan relations through meetings with Japanese policy makers, U.S. diplomatic staff, researchers at thinktanks, and Japanese university students. Visit museums, cultural sites, thinktanks, Japanese government agencies, and universities.
The Baker Center is committed to engaging students in the public policy process, and the Center prepares students for careers in public service through various service experiences.
Knoxville Internship Program
Our student programs also support the following programs through targeted partnerships. Learn more through the links below.