Name: Sean Michael Love
Department: Office of the President
Title: Executive Assistant
Date you joined APLU: March 2019
What education or work experience had the greatest impact on you? I participated in the Aspen Institute’s Emerging Governance Leaders: Socrates Program. I was able to engage in roundtable discussions focused on deepening my insights and challenging me as a leader to live more responsibly. The program also encouraged me to have productive discourse on contemporary issues. In this bipartisan environment, I was able to not only participate in the discussion but listen to all sides of the political spectrum. I learned so much in that experience and it fueled my passion for service. I also created some lifelong bonds with people that I would not encounter any other way. It really prepared me to work in this bi-partisan environment. It was at the Socrates program I really honed into my belief that education is not a partisan issue.
What motivates you to work in higher education? I understand the value of higher education as a first-generation college student. It truly changed my life. It is also motivating to work for our president, Peter McPherson, who has such great experience in making change for the good in higher education. He is constantly teaching and coaching, so I am never without a reason to do my best. I’m motivated by all who haven’t had the chances I have been blessed with and to those who will have opportunities because of the work we do.
What’s most rewarding about working with public research universities? I would say the most rewarding part is interacting with such a diverse group of intellectuals. I appreciate the dialogue on some of the toughest topics in higher education. It’s comforting to know we have the best minds at our public research universities.
What are you most proud of during your time at APLU? We recently held an event for 9/11 honoring our veterans. We wrote letters and made care packages for troops overseas. We also made paracord bracelets for troops as well. We partnered with the presidential five higher education organizations. It was amazing to see the camaraderie and the commitment to service we all share. We owe so much to those who risk their lives for us and we are a community of givers. I’m so glad we all came together to give back.
What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? I love participating in open mics whether it is playing the piano or doing poetry. I like going to the Moth storytelling events and I often will get up and do my own storytelling. This city has a great art and music scene and it’s great to express yourself in such a rich environment. I encourage all people to tell their story and express themselves.
What is your favorite thing about living in DC? I love history. This city is full of history and culture. I especially enjoy all the art museums. We are right next to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. So to be able to take a lunch break and walk through a museum or walk through the National Mall is amazing.
What’s the last book you read? The last book I read is by Richard Powers, called Orfeo. Our executive vice president recommended I read it. It is phenomenal.
What’s the first thing you do when you look at your phone in the morning? Check emails and of course the news. Our president usually reads three different papers daily before I see him, so I try to keep pace. That’s still a work in progress.
What was the last concert you attended? The last concert I went to was Granny and the Boys. Granny is an 87-year-old piano player and the boys is her band. She is breathtaking, and the band plays some of the best old school R&B soul music to accompany her. To be able play at that age is inspiring.
What’s your secret talent? I really love to cook. I usually cook daily afterwork, I find it stress-relieving.