John Baird is a member of the Class of 2004. He graduated with a dual degree in Biology & Biotechnology (concentration in Bioinformatics) and Humanities (specifically, History of Science and Technology).
After graduating, Baird went to Taiwan, ROC to teach English as a second language for a year and earned TEFL certification. He attended graduate school at Yale, graduating in 2007 with an M.Sc. in Biostatistics. He later graduated from Teachers College at Columbia University in the summer of 2010 with a degree in math education.
Baird's primary organization was Tech News, to which he dedicated most of his time. After joining the paper, he took over its "Man on the Street" weekly feature, often with the help of Frank Gerratana. In 2002, he started the widely popular music review column, Rummaging in the CD Bin. In 2003, he was elected Features Editor in recognition for his contributions to the paper and still holds the title of Features Editor Emeritus.
Baird was the most prolific writer for Tech News in its history, publishing articles in all four categories (News, Opinion, Features, Sports, plus Photography) and setting several publication records, including the one for most published items in 4 years. Many of these articles are no longer online due to technical issues with the paper's website. He also revised the Features Editor blue book guidelines in 2003.
After pledging for APO in Spring '01, it's members elected Baird Historian, Public Relations Chair, and Sergeant at Arms from 2001-2004. He is currently a life-member of APO and has worked with chapters in other schools, including the University of Pittsburgh and CMU. He's a member of APO's alumni group.
Baird was a student senator from Fall '00 to Fall '01. Online Senator Profiles was an idea he had while working for the PR Committee; Conor Walsh assisted in programming them. He was the first member of SGA to also be an elected official in actual government at the same time, having been elected to his town's Housing Authority in 1999.
Thanks to a sizable donation of comics and other materials, Baird has the longest continuous membership in WPI's Science Fiction Society: 300 years. This means he will be an active member until the year 2304. He plans to include these years in his will so they can be passed on to his children and grandchildren.
- Tech News Features Editor (2003)
- Alpha Phi Omega Historian (2001), Public Relations Chairs (2002), Sergeant at Arms (2003)
- SGA Student Senator (2001)
- Mu Sigma Delta Treasurer in 2002
- Pathways Editor in 2003
- Peddler Student Life editor in 2004
Awards and distinctions
- WPI's nominee for the Truman Scholarship in 2003
- The first WPI student to win the AmeriCorps Education Service Award for exceptional community service
- Nominated to represent WPI along with two other students in the Massachusetts Campus Compact (MACC), a program that brought together leaders from campuses across the state
- Tau Beta Pi member in junior year
- Baccalaureate Speaker in 2004
- Most published articles in Tech News ever over a four year period (~150)