Action Photo for Dorothy Cook

Leading with Empathy

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Dorothy Cook

Anchorage, Alaska
Concordia is just such a unique place. I’ve lived all over the United States and the sense of community from Concordia is unlike anywhere else.

Dorothy Cook’s experiences as a military kid have greatly influenced her decision to come to Concordia. “I moved around a lot when I was younger. When people would ask me where I was from, I never really knew how to answer. That’s why it was important to me that I could find a college that kind of felt like home.” For Dorothy, that place was Concordia.  

Dorothy knew for a long time that she wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but she had a fair bit of trouble choosing a minor. “I tried everything. Computer science, special education, everything.” Eventually, Dorothy found her place. “Finally, when I seemed to be out of options, my advisor suggested English as a Second Language. It was the perfect place for me. I know exactly what it’s like to be the new kid, and I want to use that knowledge and empathy to help others.” 

Dorothy is currently loving her experiences in the education program. “I love all the classes I’m taking. There’s so much that goes into being a teacher, and the methods we’re learning to do this job correctly are based on research, which I really appreciate. The professors in this department are phenomenal."

Many students can appreciate the character of Concordia professors in the predicted challenging times, such as finals, but Dorothy has been able to see her professors' true character from their actions during unexpected, trying situations. "I've had some scary health problems recently, and it's caused me to miss a lot of classes. The support from my professors during this difficult time has been incredible. They all worked so hard to make sure I didn't get left behind. They all prayed for me."

Dorothy would argue that this is one of the best parts of Concordia’s culture. “To be honest, I’m not really a big Jesus person. I mean I think he’s cool, but I don’t go to church every week or anything. Even so, Concordia has shown me the benefits of integrating faith into my life, and that’s been very important for me.” 

When it comes to experiencing the benefits of this community, Dorothy has a suggestion. “Take college one day at a time. It goes by in the blink of an eye, and you definitely don’t want to miss the view.”