Native Georgian Will Brooks is the Communications & Marketing Manager in the Life University Marketing Department. He and his wife Ashetin have been married almost nine years and have three boys. The couple first met in high school; however, they traveled in different friend groups and didn’t connect until years later. They later reacquainted when both attended a mutual friend’s birthday party and began dating soon after. They married two years later.
Brooks was born and raised in Dallas, Georgia. “I have lived my whole life in Dallas,” he said. “I live five miles from where I grew up, and my parents and sister also live in Dallas. Most of my family lives nearby, and we have always been very close. It is a great place to raise a family.”
Brooks graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2012 with a degree in English Education to teach middle and high school English. “After graduating, I became a supply teacher, a permanent sub, and at the same time, I was looking for full-time work. I was also working freelance in the Marketing Department for Life University writing for the rugby and basketball teams. As a huge sports fan, I loved this work.”
Brooks also played both baseball and basketball and is a huge Atlanta sports fan, which is why he initially wanted to pursue a career in sports journalism. He attended Georgia State University during his freshman year to study sports journalism, but decided it was not what he wanted to do with his life. “I found that the technicalities did not pique my interest like I had thought they would, so I shifted gears and went to KSU and narrowed my focus in on English Education.”
December 2012 brought two wonderful job offers. Brooks got a call from a local high school to teach English and coach baseball. He had also been approached by the Life U Marketing Department to apply for the Communications Coordinator position. Brooks decided to apply and interview for this position and received the job offer at Life University on the very day he was offered the second-semester teaching and coaching position at the local high school. Brooks decided that the best position for him was the opportunity at Life U, and this past January, Brooks celebrated his ninth anniversary at the University.
Today, Brooks’ job involves working with every department as a Communications Brand Ambassador on Life U’s campus. “I work with all departments on campus, external media outlets and I ensure the Life University brand stays consistent. My job is to assist different departments to achieve their goals with their projects. Whether an academic department needs me to create a brochure or to edit their copy and format it, I do whatever is needed to make their project a success.
Additionally, a big part of the day-to-day work is getting communications out through emails, press releases and making sure that any pressing needs are met immediately without overloading people’s inboxes too heavily. How often things go out to students, faculty and staff and balancing the needs of the departments and the wants of recipients is a carefully-managed balancing act. Brooks’ most extensive project is Your Extraordinary LIFE (YEL), and he is the project manager for this annual publication. This project takes approximately eight to nine months to produce, and Brooks is responsible for assigning the articles, interviews, photography and design management. “It is the project that I am most proud of,” he said. “It is the culmination of long workdays and teamwork between our Marketing team and many departments at Life University.”
Brooks is also as a member of Life U’s Emergency Action Task Force (EATF). He has served on this committee for his whole tenure at the University. “It keeps me connected as part of the Emergency Action Task Force on campus under the direction of Dr. Schneider, and communications are a vital component of this committee,” explained Brooks. “It may be a high stress role, but it also makes me feel valuable, and I like having that responsibility.” Even though these times can be high stress, and the committee needs to be on call 24/7, months can go by without an incident. However, the EATF keeps busy conducting annual drills, reviewing policies and introducing new technology to make the Life U campus safer (i.e., emergency key boxes in classrooms).
“I give Dr. Schneider and the entire EATF a lot of credit for very forward thinking and a lot of preparation for safety with multiple possible scenarios that we have been practicing for years,” notes Brooks.
Life University stands out for Brooks because of its close-knit community, which for him, sets Life U apart from other places. “The students all have a clear purpose, and I can see it when I interact with them. The best interactions I have had is with our students who are all trying to find their place in the world and are excited to be at Life U. Usually, it is not the first place that they have searched, but it is the first place that has been the right fit for their individual journeys. It is the faculty, staff and leadership we have. They have a good vision for the future and more importantly, a way of articulating that vision that inspires all who are involved at the University, making them feel valued with a clear direction for the future.”
Brooks’ biggest takeaway and advice to others is to remember kindness in all interactions with others. “If you bring with you a mindset of kindness, you can have a great rapport and build future relationships with one another. However, if you don’t approach your colleagues in that manner and attitude, then you will often not get the results you want. If you have tension and are not working together, you can set yourself up for failure in future workings with them. Kindness and respect go a long way.”
Faces of LIFE is a story campaign that showcases members of the dynamic Life U community, including faculty/staff, students, alumni and health science professionals. Interested in being featured or nominating a candidate? We want to hear from you! Email Marketing@LIFE.edu. Read more Faces of LIFE stories.