Janelle Baker was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Growing up, she was surrounded by a Christian family whose commitment to serving others fueled her passion to use all her God-given talents and abilities to contribute to her community.
During her middle school years, Janelle discovered that she deeply enjoyed learning about math and science, which is why she chose to attend the School of Science and Engineering at Townview, the top STEM high school in the nation, where she will graduate as the salutatorian of her class. Upon entering this high school, Janelle was placed into the most accelerated math and science tracks, but she saw her passion for STEM come to fruition when she joined the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) joint chapter at her school. As the Vice President of NSBE, she took on the role of organizing engineering design challenges to specifically cater to skills vital to success in STEM careers and tutored the students in math and science in preparation for divisional STEM competitions. Her position not only allowed her to influence future generations of scientists and engineers through mentorship but allowed her to advise other clubs’ leadership in the region to make their respective chapters more efficient in the mission of the overall organizations: to ignite and increase minority participation in STEM fields.
In addition to her rigorous academic course load, Janelle is a competitive dancer who has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical dance technique for most of her life. Janelle’s passion for movement and fascination with biomechanics engendered the interdisciplinary perspective that has motivated her to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. Dancing has allowed her to experience feeling weightless and untethered as she glides across a stage, using every inch of her being to create beautiful silhouettes, and she hopes a bioengineering education will provide her with the skills to design products that can restore mobility and enable people to experience their unique expressions of freedom. After undergrad, Janelle hopes to attend medical school and pursue a specialty in sports medicine or orthopedics, continuing to explore the intersection between medicine and the mechanics of the human body.