When choosing a university Elizabeth Baker was looking for a small community, like the one she grew up in on the south shore of Nova Scotia, and she knew she wanted to study biochemistry. When she found both of these things at Mount Allison, along with being able to play both soccer and badminton, her decision was easy.
“Sports weren’t my deciding factor, but they made the decision a lot easier,” she says.
Growing up in Liverpool, NS, Baker played soccer as soon as she could at the age of 4, following in her older brothers’ footsteps. Her dad was the President of the local soccer association and coached her for many years. She played for her school teams and local clubs teams, as well as for Team Nova Scotia when she was 16.
“I really enjoy being part of a team,” she says. “It’s great being on a field with my teammates working towards a common goal.”
After picking up badminton in junior high, Baker was pleased to be able to find such a competitive badminton program at Mount Allison. The Mounties are nine-time league champions.
“We are really lucky to have great leadership,” she says. “From my first year, the upper-year students have made it a great atmosphere and it has been nice to be part of a winning team.”
In high school she was also a sprinter on the track and field team. In her Grade 12 year she won the 100m at the regional meet and was seeded first at provincials. She credits this as one of her favourite sporting moments. Her other most memorable sporting moment was when she was 12 and her soccer team hadn’t won a single game all season.
“We ended up winning our final game of the season and I remember us all being so excited and happy,” she says.
Being a dual sport student-athlete has contributed to Baker’s Mount Allison experience in many ways.
“It has definitely helped my discipline,” she says. “It forces me to be more organized and manage my time.”
Outside of athletics she is focused on contributing to her academic experience. She has been a teaching assistant for several classes and a tutor, as well as an academic mentor in residence. This year she will also be getting more involved in the community with the Mounties in Motion program and as a volunteer at the Sackville hospital.
Baker plans to pursue medical school after graduation and says the biochemistry program is preparing her well for the next step.
“I enjoy how hands on the program is,” she says. “We are presented with difficult lab situations and it allows us to learn so quickly and in such an involved way. I also really enjoy how relevant the classes are to both things that are happening in your body and in the world.”