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Who is SAU? Duke and Dave

Photo of Dave Baker and Duke Schneider

June 2017


Donald "Duke" Schneider ‘76 and Dave Baker ‘88 have much in common.

Both earned mass communication degrees, briefly worked elsewhere, then returned to St. Ambrose to teach, guide and help thousands of students achieve their dreams.

"We never really left St. Ambrose in our hearts," said Schneider, a member of the Communication Department faculty and SAUtv operations manager. Both men strive to ensure students have the skills to succeed, whether they aspire to be a sports anchor or announcer, work for a newspaper or NPR or set a scene with video or music.

"In our department, we do not see divisions between the faculty and staff. We all work together to help students," said Baker, KALA-FM operations manager.

Schneider worked in radio and print journalism and did freelance work across the Midwest after graduating. He returned to St. Ambrose in 1979. When he is not working with students in the SAUtv studio, he can be found at many events with a camera on his shoulder.

After graduating, Baker spent six months as a part-time engineer for WQAD-TV in Moline, Illinois, then began working at St. Ambrose. When Baker is not helping students in the KALA studio, he is usually behind the microphone in the radio booth or serving as a DJ at campus events.

Most fulfilling
Baker: "For me it is seeing our graduates do well. I would say that almost every one of our graduates who wanted to found employment in the communications field. We gave them all the tools they needed. It's great to see so many of them doing things in the industry."
Schneider: "Working with students. You work closely with them, get to know them and continue that relationship after they graduate. They end up being lifelong friends. I run into former students all the time, and it's awesome. We just pick up where we left off."

A good team
Schneider: "Dave is fun and he has an excellent work ethic-competence is not a strong enough word. He excels at what he does and working with him is a joy because you know you are going to get a top product, it will be on time, and you will have fun."
Baker: "I can get worked up about things pretty easily and Duke is good listener. He has also kept me in the industry by reminding me of all the things I needed to do. He is a good mentor, and we've been thankful to have each other here."

What makes SAU special
Schneider: "The connections," he said, adding alumni working in the field will seek out SAU students when they have open positions. "It is a network that pays off for our students. We have so many graduates working in the industry."
Baker: "The education. I really enjoyed my time as a student. The faculty in our department were great, and we loved going to class."

Most or least favorite
Schneider: "I like recording video and attending art events, plays and concerts because I am so envious of our students' talent and that of the faculty and staff who help with those things."
Baker: "When I DJ, I get a few requests for songs that are tough to play because they have been played so much. I could probably do without playing Macarena and Who Let The Dogs Out."

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