From being a tutor and participating in several clubs, to volunteering and being a 2021 Oregon State Homecoming Ambassador, kinesiology student Hallie Baker understands firsthand the importance of getting involved on campus and in her community. Recently, she was crowned Miss Marion-Polk in 2021 as a part of the Miss Oregon pageant.
Part of the responsibilities of being Miss Marion-Polk includes visiting classrooms and community events to promote a social initiative. For Hallie, that means talking about the importance of exercising, specifically how physical activity acts as medicine, and applying what she’s learning in the classroom.
“My mom is a teacher; my grandma is a teacher and my great-grandma was a teacher. I’m breaking the chain, but at the same time, I’m a teacher in a different way,” she says. “I’m teaching people about health and how to take care of their bodies.”
Hallie volunteers at a free medical clinic in Corvallis and says a majority of patients who seek care have chronic diseases that could be prevented through active lifestyle changes. She says the care she’s seen provided at the clinic gives her inspiration for how to treat patients in the future.
“It’s been really cool to talk to the doctors about the medicines they prescribe and why, and then also talking to them about what I’m learning,” she says. “It’s shown me that I love medicine and that I want to come into the field with a strong background of kinesiology and nutrition as well.”
Hallie’s biggest piece of advice for other students is to take advantage of all the opportunities university and college have to offer.
“OSU is an amazing place that provides as many of these opportunities as they possibly can for their students,” she says. “I wouldn’t have known I’m interested in fitness and nutrition if I hadn’t signed up for a research opportunity, and showed up at a professor’s office to talk to him about his research project. Even though I was scared sometimes, it pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me discover new things and figure out the direction I want to take my future.”
After graduation in spring 2022, Hallie plans to attend graduate school, become a nurse and continue to teach the importance of wellness. Part of a family of several Beaver alums, she also hopes to return to Oregon State.
“I’m excited to start my career as a nurse, but I’ll always have that orange-and-black spirit within me, and I hope to someday come back as an alumni volunteer or on some kind of board, maybe even as a professor,” she says. “I love OSU; it’s been a part of my entire life. I can’t see myself ever just like walking away from this place and never looking back.”