Name: Bryan J. Cook
Department: Office of Data and Policy Analysis
Title: Vice President
Date you joined APLU: September 17, 2018
What was your first real job?
My first real job (i.e., one that provided benefits!) was as an academic coordinator in the Office of Minority Affairs at my undergraduate institution, Miami University.
What education or work experience had the greatest impact on you?
I had a mentor as an undergraduate who I was able to work with after completing my BA. He told me if I wanted to pursue a career in higher education, I should get a Ph.D. Prior to his encouragement I had not considered a Ph.D. Because I respected his mentorship, I followed his advice and earned my Ph.D. To this day his advice has had the greatest impact on my career.
What motivates you to work in higher education?
My motivation to work in higher education is helping students, particularly underrepresented students, avoid some of the common pitfalls of college, particularly around academic performance. As a former student athlete, I was not always as focused on my academics as I should have been. After realizing the importance of focusing on my grades (and realizing I had no future as a professional athlete!) I turned my academic performance around. That led me to want to help students who found themselves in similar academic situations. Helping students successfully navigate higher education continues to be my motivation.
What is your favorite thing to do on your day off?
Golf, golf, and more golf.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why does it stand out? Barcelona and it stands out because…well…it’s Barcelona! (and the food is AMAZING!)
What’s one thing people would never guess about you?
I actually have two. I was a competitive body builder for nearly 8 years and I was an active DJ for 20 years.