My Motlow Story
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Dr. Scott Cook
Scott Cook's My Motlow Story is one of success as a student and continued success as an instructor. For both he sums up, "I've never considered myself the smartest person in the room, but I've also never been afraid to work hard. That is the key to academic success."
His belief in hard work is evident in his personal academic achievements. As a student at Motlow he received Outstanding Achievement awards in History and Political Science and graduated summa cum laude, earning an Associate of Science degree in 2000. He continued the summa cum laude distinction a year later when he earned a bachelor's degree at a university. He went on to get his master's and last year obtained his Doctorate of Education in History.
Cook's goal to become teacher was fostered at a very young age. "I had the most wonderful kindergarten and first grade teachers (Helen Whitworth and Terry Davis) at Lynchburg Elementary School. Because of them, I really always wanted to be a teacher. At times, the subject or level changed, but I always wanted to teach."
The decisions of 'what and where' he would teach were made while he was a student at Motlow. According to Cook, "I signed up for History 2010 with Dr. Donald Cheatham during my first semester, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had."
Cook said Dr. Cheatham demonstrated a love for history that he soon fostered. He talks of how Dr. Cheatham made him think differently about American history, human history, and his own history. Cook added, "I took Dr. Cheatham for three more courses and several independent studies. I've had a passion for history and learning ever since."
While it was evident history would be his major, Cook said, "I also fell in love with literature and psychology while I attended Motlow." He credits the late Professor Rick Kribs for his choice of a minor in psychology. "Prof. Kribs made psychology come alive for me, particularly his social psychology."
Another faculty member leaving a mark of influence on Dr. Cook was Professor Jeannette Palmer. Cook said, "She helped me see the applicability of literature in everyone's life and taught connections between history and literature that I had not considered before." He added, "Incidentally, Dr. Cheatham says that you can learn anything about life by reading Shakespeare. Now - I completely agree."
For Scott Cook, returning to teach at Motlow was part of his plan. He said, "I knew from the moment I left Motlow as a student that I wanted to return as a teacher."
Motlow students, faculty and administration are glad he made that choice. Cook is described as having a gift or passion for teaching. Former student Christen Vann said, "I am pursuing a career in elementary education. Yet, when I attended Motlow and took a history class under Mr. Cook, I was so inspired by his teaching that I almost changed my major because of him."
Dr. Scott Cook with wife, Meghan and son, Jacob
Dr. Cook is an associate professor of history and is the Honors Coordinator for Motlow's Moore County, Fayetteville and McMinnville locations. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, he recently accepted the position of interim assistant vice president for academic affairs.
As encouragement to others, Dr. Cook said, "Seeking an education takes considerable determination and commitment. I would advise any student to work hard and strive to learn something new every day." He concluded, "I cannot help pausing to think sometimes about how fortunate I have been. I wake up every day with the opportunity of doing something that I love. How many people can really say that?"