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Feb. 20, 2013
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baker senior to present at leadership conference

Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University's Katerra Shackelford, a Kansas City, Kan., senior majoring in business, has been selected to be a presenter at the 36th annual Big XII Conference on Black Student Government Feb. 28-March 3 at Kansas State University.Katerra

Shackelford is the first Baker student to be chosen in nearly a decade to present at the conference, which this year has selected "The Talented Tenth: Redefining Black Student Leadership" as its theme. Her presentation is titled "Remaining 'Black' in 'White': The Unwritten Rules of Corporate Social Standards for Black Americans."

During this conference, students will listen to speakers, participate in workshops and enjoy social and cultural events, as well as have the opportunity to network and explore potential opportunities with companies at a career fair. The mission of the Big XII Conference on Black Student Government is "to provide strong, determined and courageous leadership and advocacy to affect our social and academic environments toward consideration of this community's collective concerns and issues where it pertains to the educational, socio-cultural, economic, and spiritual well-being of this community."

Shackelford will discuss abstract liberalism, naturalization, cultural racism and minimization during the presentation while offering the following advice:

• Be a strong performer
• Observe and listen to everything
• Seek regular feedback
• Step out of your comfort zone
• When in doubt, ask
Shackelford said Baker has prepared her well for the presentation.

"God has placed me at a university that has truly blessed me," she said. "Because of the encouragement, support, interest and time the faculty and staff have dedicated to my ideas and passion, this information will flourish beyond Baker's campus. I cannot say enough for the help I received in developing my talents and skills as a leader and social activist."

Zuleica Gerardo, the workshop chair for the conference, invited Shackelford to speak because of her passion for leadership and social activism.

"Displaying this type of drive is what defines what I believe is a major characteristic of a seasoned leader: the need to guide others," Gerardo said.

In the past year on the Baldwin City campus, Shackelford has coordinated the Trayvon Martin Forum and Presidential Election Faculty Panel. She will graduate in May and has a job secured as a velocity professional services consultant with Cerner.

Shackelford, a past president of Baker's student-run diversity organization, was honored in October as the Office of Student Life's Student Leader of the Month. As a salon leader, she helped Baker freshmen adjust to college and was the recipient of the prestigious INROADS Intern of the Year 2012 Award.

Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.