Mike Baxter '19

English

St. Kate’s has helped me in many different ways. I wanted to develop my writing skills... And it did happen by taking those classes.

Photo by Mara Landon '20. Interview by Amy Mullowney '19.

Hometown

St. Paul, MN

Deciding on an Area of Study

A scholar with wide and varying interests, Mike has studied linguistics, Japanese, saxophone, and piano. “Music has always been a central theme in my life,” he says. After four years of jazz piano lessons, Mike was ready to take on and master a new skill.

Mike’s connection to St. Kate’s dates back to 1995, when he began working as a custodian in Facilities Management. When the College for Adults was established In 2016, St. Kate’s announced a new enrollment policy to admit male students into bachelor programs. That very week, Mike applied!

“I wanted the academic challenge,” says Mike. “I specifically wanted to go through the English program because writing is an important aspect of any career.”

Building Experience

“I’ve become a better writer through taking a lot of writing intensive classes,” Mike reflects. “All the class discussions, critiques, and peer reviews have been extremely helpful in helping me develop as a writer.”

In addition to developing his writing skills, Mike is grateful for a life lesson he learned at St. Kate’s: before he took The Reflective Woman (TRW) class, he wasn’t aware of social justice issues like white privilege and systemic racism. “I wanted to deny it because I felt guilty, but I couldn’t deny it. To realize where I fit into society, how others see and perceive me, and how I relate and interact with others was probably the most important lesson that I learned here at St. Kate’s—and the most important lesson that I’ll carry throughout life.”

Today

Mike’s been accepted into St. Kate’s Master in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) program. Working full-time, Mike expects to graduate with an MAOL in four years, taking one class per semester. After earning an MAOL, Mike’s goal is to fuse his academic and musical passions into one and run a jazz ensemble.