Foundation Feature: Tara Baltes

Tara Baltes had a great experience as a student as MSUM, and is excited to give back as a member of the Foundation Board. She’s taken many of the things she’s learned at MSUM, including the core values of grit, humility, and heart, and used them to become a successful professional.

Name, job title, employer, grad year and major
Tara Baltes, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Bell Bank, 2004 graduate in Mass Communications

Description of how you’re connected to MSUM
Besides graduating from MSUM, I have served as co-chair for the MSUM Scholarship Gala. I met my husband on campus and had such a wonderful experience overall there.

Tenure on MSUM Foundation Board
Joined in July of 2022

What energizes you in your role serving on the Foundation Board?
I am excited to work with the staff and fellow board members to focus on student enrollment, diversity and making the overall college experience a success.

What inspires you to give back to the university with your time and talent?
I came to MSUM as a full-time post-secondary freshman due to my family relocating. I was able to complete my senior year of high school and freshman year of college all at once. What could have been a difficult time was made so much easier due to the staff and fellow students at MSUM. I am so thankful to have had such a robust college path and am excited to have an opportunity to give back.

Who at MSUM inspires you?
Dr. Anne Blackhurst: her involvement on all levels, her proven care for the students and her realistic and relatable approach as president has been truly inspiring to see.

What experiences at MSUM have influenced your life the most? Which have helped you succeed?
During my time in mass communications, I had the opportunity to unlock a creative side that I didn’t know existed. I loved my photography and advertising classes and felt like I finally found an outlet for me to express myself. I still use this creativity today to think outside the box in my career in human resources.

How do you hope to support MSUM and/or students with your philanthropic involvement? What good do you hope will come from it?
I hope to inspire current and future students to do good, be a light for others and give back where you can. Sometimes big things come from small actions.

What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?
You can’t do it alone. Surround yourself with great people who inspire you to think differently. Find your voice and get involved in things that speak to you. Be open to going outside your comfort zone because that is where growth happens.

What’s the most interesting project you’re working on right now?
I think working in human resources, specifically hiring, is extremely interesting and challenging. Navigating trends and the effects of hiring during a recession has allowed for me to be more innovative and think beyond what has worked in the past to find new ways to recruit awesome people.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I love documentaries! Any topic, doesn’t matter. I could watch them all.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
On one of the first boards I was a part of, a long-time former board member said to me simply, “Just get involved!” It stuck with me and I have continued to make it a priority to give of my time as much and often as I can.

Where’s your favorite spot on-campus?
Right outside the Livingston Lord Library doors. It was always the spot that I ran into everyone I knew. We’d stand and visit, just catch up on things. Brings back a lot of fun memories!

What personal or professional achievement are you most proud of?
Seeing my two children grow into such amazing people. I’m so thankful and blessed to be their mom.

In what ways have grit, humility and heart helped you in life?
I think you need each of these in different seasons of your life. Whether it’s fighting for what I believe in, changing course personally or professionally or giving back to my community, each of these play a large part in my life every day.

What does being a Dragon mean to you?
Being strong, determined and kind

How does being a Dragon continue to transform you today?
When I get to see incredibly talented students on campus, it makes me so proud to be a Dragon and pushes me to be better every day!

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