Annette Baich commands the attention of male colleagues at the National
AAUP Convention, 1970. Source: OSU Archives.
The Annette and Henry Baich Award was established in 2007 by friends and colleagues of Annette and Henry Baich. The award is designed to honor the Baiches' dedication to learning and scholarship at SIUE, as well as their careers in the sciences.
The Baich award is given to the most promising STEP proposal within the field of sciences that fall within the focus of the Sigma Xi Society. The winner is chosen from the eligible STEP applications (who desire to be considered for the award) by the R&D committee. The award is a one-time $1,000 stipend.
Annette Baich began her 36-year career at SIUE in 1969, when she was hired as an associate professor in what was then known as the Division of Science and Technology. This was the first of a variety of roles Annette would play on campus. She became a full professor five years later, then went on to serve as the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences for six years (1984-1990).
Aside from her departmental duties, Annette served on other campus-wide committees during her tenure at SIUE. She was a founding member of what is now the SIUE Chapter of the Sigma Xi Club, and president of the SIUE Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Annette spent much of her career at SIUE as a member of the Graduate Council, serving on various committees and twice as the Graduate Council Chair. She was the first president of the SIUE Faculty Senate and served as a member for 18 years.
Annette's research garnered awards from the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Research and Projects at SIUE. She also received the National Institution of Health Career Development Award and two Science Research Awards from the SIUE Chapter of Sigma Xi.
Dedication to service and research are only two aspects of Annette's career at SIUE. She also served as a member of the selection committee for Presidential Scholars and acted as a mentor for many biology and biochemistry students. She developed an interdisciplinary course with a colleague in the philosophy department that merged scientific study with the humanities. Annette herself demonstrated a marked interest in the humanities and was a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Her husband, Henry Baich, shared her interest in intellectual pursuits. Henry was an associate professor at the SIU School of Dental Medicine in Alton. He also helped select Presidential Scholar students. The award is named for the couple in order to honor "their love of learning and scholarship in their long life together," according to a colleague and close friend.