Dr. Jennifer Baker Named Vice President

The announcement came late Wednesday afternoon that Dr. Jennifer Baker, PsyD, LFMT would be joining the executive administration in a newly created position.  Baker is now the Vice President, a position that that puts her in line with Dr. Nedwick, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dawn Medley, the Vice President of Enrollment Services.  Below is the letter sent out by the President.

Dear Forest community,

I am pleased to inform you that after considerable deliberation, consultation with the School’s trustees and my executive team and discussions with Dr. Baker – the decision has been made to promote Jennifer Baker, PsyD, LFMT, to Vice President.


For those that don’t know Dr. Baker well – a little background: Dr. Jennifer Baker is a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist, Associate Professor, and Director of the Center for Innovation and Community Health (CICH: Formerly the Center for Professional Solutions - CPS) at The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute. Dr. Baker directs Forest Institute’s Mental Health in Corrections Conference (MHCC), oversees grant development and administration, administers APA-approved, and other, continuing education for professionals, and provides training and consultation on workplace and relationship wellness to the business community. She is also the founder of Ozarks Marriage Matters (OMM), a community healthy marriage initiative. Dr. Baker is a valuable member of the Forest President’s Executive Committee and the President’s Cabinet.


Dr. Baker oversees the work of Operation Us, a five-year, $5.2 million project funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide healthy marriage and healthy relationship education to persons living in 29 counties in southwest Missouri. Over the last four years, this project has served more than 13,000 persons, including adolescents and adults.


Prior to her work with the current Operation Us project, Dr. Baker directed the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at Forest for nine years. During that time she helped the program to become the only fully accredited MFT program in Missouri. Also, during that same time period Jennifer and her team developed a curriculum to train child welfare professionals throughout Missouri, as well as graduate students in social work and marriage and family therapy at Missouri State University and Forest, in the importance of healthy marriage to child wellbeing. This five-year, $1.2 million project was funded through the Children’s Bureau under ACF.

Through the years Dr. Baker has built strong relationships with individuals and community and regional agencies and systems. And she is well-known and sought-out by civic and private organizations – regularly a guest on local radio and TV stations. This work has had a significant impact in furthering the mission of Forest and its programs and advancing the local and national reputation of the school, creating opportunities for faculty, students and alumni and enriching the lives of our citizens.


Please join me in congratulating Dr. Baker on this well-deserved promotion.

Thank you,

President, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute