The Wunderkind of SU
Brooke Baerman ’15 is an established undergraduate
Most students are accustomed to reading about German art and culture; Brooke Baerman ’15 has experienced them firsthand.
Baerman ’15, a native of Laconia, New Hampshire, is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences. A Coronat Scholar and a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, Baerman is majoring in both art history and philosophy, while also minoring in German.
Creative by nature, Baerman says she ‘loves’ literature and spent much of her high school career reading and writing fiction and poetry. Her passion for writing is perhaps the reason she ended up at Syracuse University.
“The summer before my senior year in high school, I attended an advanced studies program where I met a Syracuse alumna,” says Baerman. “I instantly admired her intelligence and vivacity. She loved Syracuse so I began to look into it, and upon visiting the school, I knew it was the right place for me.”
Baerman has certainly made the most of her time at Syracuse thus far. She is a member of not one, but two honor fraternities: Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, of which she serves as the student vice president. She was a recipient of the Sheldon P. Peterfreund Undergraduate Philosophy Prize in 2013 and also received a scholarship from the German government, which enabled her to study abroad, an opportunity in which she says took full advantage.
“I lived in Berlin with a kind German family, traveled through Europe, and visited the world’s most famous museums. It was truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” she adds.
Baerman says Syracuse University, in particular the College, has played a huge role in opening up these opportunities for her.
“I’ve been able to pursue so many different things – I’ve taken three different languages (German, French, and Italian), and classes on literature and poetry. This breadth of experience is something I wouldn’t have been able to receive anywhere else.”
Baerman’s professors say her achievements to date are nothing short of extraordinary.
“Brooke is an outstanding student,” says Romita Ray, associate professor in the Department of Art and Music Histories. “She’s not only a quick learner, but enthusiastic too! It’s great to see a student like Brooke get so excited about what she’s learning. I have no doubt we’ll hear great things from her in the future.”
Baerman is quick to return the praise to Ray as well as the many faculty members whom have been a part of her Syracuse story. In fact, she says Gary Radke, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and professor of art history influenced her before she had even submitted her application.
“Professor Radke influenced me from my very first visit to the University. I remember his passion as he discussed the art history program and a class he co-teaches that examines the scientific and artistic aspects of Leonardo da Vinci’s life and work. I took that course my freshman year and since then, he has given me thoughtful advice and always takes to the time to discuss any questions I may have about classes or the art history world in general.”
Baerman adds that Radke, who will retire at the end of 2014 is now teaching her senior seminar for art history.
“Our relationship has truly come full circle,” says Baerman.
Though her studies keep her busy, Baerman finds a little time to have fun.
“There’s always something to do here,” says Baerman. “I love attending basketball games, visiting a new exhibit at the SU Art Galleries, dining at Funk ‘n Waffles, and going to Armory Square.”
Her days may be numbered at Syracuse University, but Baerman is eager to see what the future has in store.
“I definitely want to pursue graduate school, but I may take a year off to intern or work at an art museum.”