An Armstrong County woman has been confirmed to begin service as a member of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Council of Trustees, and two current members have been reappointed to new terms as members of the Council of Trustees.

Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker, of Armstrong County, was confirmed January 27 by the Pennsylvania Senate to begin a six-year term on the Council of Trustees. She replaces James Miller, who began service on the Council of Trustees in 2005.

Tim Cejka and Sam Smith were reappointed by the Senate to continue service as members of the Council of Trustees in January and February, respectively.

The IUP Council of Trustees is responsible for financial oversight of the university and ensuring compliance of university policy with state law.

“IUP has been very fortunate over the years to have an incredibly dedicated and wise group of individuals serving in these important leadership roles,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.

“I am very pleased to welcome Mrs. Baker as our newest member of the Council of Trustees, and I am certain her contributions will be invaluable. I am also very glad to have Mr. Cejka and Mr. Smith continue to serve on the Council. Their leadership has been incredibly important to this university and to me, personally, as president.

Tim Cejka

Tim Cejka

“Our trustees bring a diverse collection of experiences and expertise to their work and are a vital resource for this university. They are dedicated to their responsibility as stewards and leaders, and I cannot thank them enough for the work that they do on behalf of IUP.”

Baker, a 2005 summa cum laude graduate of IUP with a bachelor of science degree in education of exceptional persons, currently works as a teacher at St. Luke Lutheran School. Prior to her current work, she was a therapeutic support staff at Family Behavioral Resources.

She is an active volunteer in her community, including with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Armstrong County Youth Commission (a program for first-time juvenile offenders), the Armstrong County Community Action Agency, and Blessings in a Backpack.

“I am well versed in the long history of the university and have been a beneficiary of the high quality of education it delivers,” she said. “While I attended IUP at Indiana campus, the university now has a branch campus at Northpointe, just a few miles away from my home. I have personally seen the tremendous benefit of this campus for the students that attend, as well as the benefit enjoyed by the community.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith

“It is an honor to be asked to serve on the Council of Trustees, and as an alumna of the university, it was a very easy decision to say yes to this opportunity. I still have a lot to learn about the university, but I've always enjoyed volunteer service, which has allowed me to do much more than the work I have done in my professional career. I'm looking forward to the coming months and to meeting all the trustees. The ones I have met have been wonderful, and the group has an incredible reputation for being a very strong group of leaders who work together very well.”

Baker will attend her first meeting of the Council of Trustees on March 19.

Baker's personal interests include reading and travel. Her road trips have taken her all over the United States in an effort to visit all 3,142 counties in the country. She and her husband, Mike Baker, also a graduate of IUP, are the parents of two children.

Cejka, of Latrobe, is a 1973 graduate of IUP. He is the retired president of ExxonMobil Exploration and retired vice president of ExxonMobil. He was first confirmed to serve as a trustee in October 2018 to fill the term of Gealy Wallwork.

Smith, of Punxsutawney, has been a member of the IUP Council of Trustees since 2001. A retired legislator, Smith was named to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in 2017. He currently serves as chair of the Council.