Smart & Strong

Hungry for Success

Brandon Baker, a junior in Fort Valley State University’s dual degree Cooperative Development Energy Program, knows how to balance being smart and strong. Baker is the starting center on Fort Valley State’s football team. His majors are mathematics and electrical engineering.

Bridge: Where are you from, and why did you choose your major? Baker: I am from Columbus, Ga. I was always interested in engineering. I was involved in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program at my high school, called Project Lead the Way.

Bridge: How are you involved in NSBE? Baker: I am currently the public relations chair in my school chapter. I enjoy the role, because I can communicate with different people as well as sharpen my presentation skills.

Bridge: How do you find time to play football and take classes for a dual degree major program?
Baker: I prioritize the scheduling of my classes to give me enough time to make football practice and study.

Bridge: Can you tell us a little about the dual degree Cooperative Development Energy Program?
Baker: The program was founded by Dr. Isaac J. Crumbly to (help more minorities enter) the energy industry ( The dual degree programs operate by students enrolling for three years at Fort Valley State University and majoring in mathematics, chemistry or biology. (After my third year at Fort Valley State,) I will transfer to Georgia Tech to continue my second degree in engineering. I will receive two Bachelor of Science degrees: one degree from Fort Valley State and the second degree from Georgia Tech when I graduate in 2015. 

Bridge: What aspect of engineering do you think is most valuable to helping you play on the football field?
Baker: The most important aspect of engineering that I use on the field is critical thinking skills. You have to be able to think on the move no matter what is going on around you.

Bridge: What is your best advice to a young person about the importance of having a strong foundation in math and sciences?
Baker: My best advice to a young person is to learn to excel in math and science, because these subjects are the foundation of your success.

Bridge: Have you interned in engineering?
Baker: I interned as an engineering technician at the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver, Colo. I performed strength and integrity tests of concrete dams. Overall, I enjoyed learning the different aspects of engineering I can become involved in.

Bridge: Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
Baker: My favorite quote is, “In order to succeed, you must be hungry for success.”

“My best advice to a young person is to learn to excel in math and science, because these subjects are the foundation of your success.”