Heart for philanthropy leads alumna to career of service

May 26, 2023
Linnea Baggett '19, her husband and baby girl.
Linnea Baggett '19, her husband and baby girl. (Courtesy photo)

To put it lightly, Linnea Baggett has been busy these past few years. 

After graduating from Newman University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in international studies, the former St. Newman Scholar spent a year working to save money for graduate school. When COVID hit and most programs shifted to an online format, she was in the process of choosing where she wanted to apply. 

“Rather than selecting a program that hurriedly transitioned to online courses, I decided to choose one that was already excelling in providing a remote learning environment,” Baggett explained. “I began Bay Path University’s master’s program for nonprofit management and philanthropy shortly after getting married in October 2020.”

Baggett (Courtesy photo)
Baggett (Courtesy photo)

Baggett spent her first year of graduate school serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Alternative Gifts International (AGI), a nonprofit with a mission to inspire support for humanitarian and environmental causes. The role allowed her to practically apply her graduate studies to a nonprofit organization. 

When she completed her VISTA service, Baggett was hired to be AGI’s program development director. After completing her graduate degree, as well as a certification in strategic fundraising, she decided to pursue a career path that aligned more with her interest in donor relations and fundraising.

So, this past March, Baggett began a new role as the development officer for Envision Inc. 

“Envision is a nonprofit that improves the quality of life and provides inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research,” she shared. “Though I started my maternity leave after only a month at Envision, I have enjoyed getting to know the many programs offered by the nonprofit and meeting the community served.”

For Baggett, serving others has been a lifelong passion. 

“I’ve been volunteering with nonprofit organizations since I was a child, as my parents encouraged my siblings and me to give back and help others,” she said. “For my 12th birthday, I organized a community art auction to fundraise for a nonprofit empowering children in Uganda. While attending Newman, I had the opportunity to spend three months volunteering with that same organization in Uganda. I loved the experience, and it confirmed my desire for a career in nonprofit work.”

From late-May to mid-August 2016, Baggett lived in the Ugandan village of Zirobwe, and spent one or two days a week in Kampala, the nation’s capital.
From late-May to mid-August 2016, Baggett lived in the Ugandan village of Zirobwe, and spent one or two days a week in Kampala, the nation’s capital.

Baggett credits Director of the Honors Program Kelly McFall and Director of International Studies Cheryl Golden with making it possible for her to travel to Uganda for service, England for study abroad and New York City for a nonprofit internship while a Newman student.  

“These experiences all helped to shape the path I have taken,” she said. 

Some day, Baggett hopes to work for an international NGO and live outside of the United States. In the meantime, she’s simply happy to be working for a great organization that is making an impact. 

Find your degree fit at Newman University

Whether you have a passion for nonprofits, social work, education or health care, earning a degree of difference at Newman will help you reach your future goals.