A former Centerville resident whose family moved to Appanoose County when she was 4 years old can be seen in the magazine, “VISIONS Across America” and in an upcoming art exhibition at Iowa State University called “VISIONS Across America: Portraits of Iowa State Alumni,” by Jim Heemstra.
Leslie Sowder Baker is one of more that 120 ISU graduates photographed and interviewed by Heemstra and VISIONS editor Carole Gieseke. Baker plus 50 other ISU grads are featured in the magazine and the art exhibition that will run April 3-Aug. 9 at the Brunnier Art Museum on the ISU campus. Baker is photographed in front of “The End of the Trail” sculpture by James Earle Fraser at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Okla., where she has been the director of marketing and editor-in-chief since 2003.
Baker said she was photographed and interviewed in the fall of 2011, one of the first ISU alumni they photographed and interviewed for the magazine and art exhibition.
“As an editor I have such an appreciation for the project and the scope of the project that they bit off,” she said. “To track down these stories and do these photo shoots and interviews in all of these states is impressive.”
Baker said she wasn’t sure why they choose her, but she’s glad they did.
“And I’m not sure why mine jumped out at them,” she said. “There’s certainly big donors and people with wonderful careers but I’m just so honored that they do so.”
Baker graduated from Centerville High School in 1982. She attended ISU from 1982 through 1986 and majored in agricultural journalism.
Baker said she felt blessed to have grown up and attend school in Centerville.
“I loved my education at Iowa State. I loved my education in Centerville as well,” Baker said. “And I certainly feel like I was blessed to grow up when I did and just to have the teachers that I did.”