Nicholas Baker

September 19, 2019

Nicholas Baker ’21 had the opportunity to pursue two of his passions this summer: soccer and history. As a student majoring in history and also pursuing a secondary teaching license, Baker translated these passions into hands-on experiences.

Baker works as the head coach of the Hammerheads Soccer Academy at the Wilmington Hammerheads Youth FC and has been offered a full-time job with the organization after graduation.

“Coaching at a high school and university is definitely something I’d love to do in the future,” Baker said. “I’d also love to play professional soccer.”

Baker’s other passion, history, led to his summer internship with the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Southport, NC. He worked on a project for one of the museum’s canons displayed in the exhibit hall, which includes interactive features that teach visitors about the loading process of canons as well as a video displaying additional information.

“Getting an internship was one of my biggest goals this year,” Baker said. “I’ve learned so much from my experiences, from how different historical sites operate to the kinds of work that may be required of me.”

Baker’s love for history is closely tied with his relationship to his family, many of whom are Seahawk alumni. His grandfather Earl Baker ‘58, and grandmother Alena Anderson’52, earned their associate’s degrees from Wilmington College. His mother, LeeAnn Baker ’06 earned a bachelor’s degree in music and his aunt Tina Holmes ’00 studied psychology.

“Growing up, my dad and uncle loved to talk about military history – things like World War I and the Civil War,” said Baker. “I found the things they talked about very interesting, and it brought me closer to them.”
Baker has many career interests and hopes to narrow down his path after graduating from UNCW. In addition to professional soccer or coaching, he wants to work in a museum or at another historical site. He has also considered obtaining an advanced degree in archaeology. He credits UNCW for helping him pursue his passions and exploring the many options available to him.

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my time at UNCW is to not be afraid to reach out,” Baker said. “There is always someone who will have answers to your questions, but you have to take the initiative to ask.”

--Fairley Lloyd ’20