Dr. Ben Cole is a lot of things: a deputy unexpected emergency administration director, fire department lieutenant and assistant city moderator. He’s also a partner, a father and a hiker. Extra a short while ago, he became the dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Schooling (SASE) at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
Coming from a qualifications of teaching political science and overseeing other packages within the social sciences and education disciplines, Cole reflected on his development as a leader, SNHU’s applications, the upcoming and much more.
1. Notify us a little bit about your qualified qualifications.
I’m a political scientist by coaching, and my to start with comprehensive-time instructing situation was as a lecturer in the Intercontinental Affairs system at UNH, the place I experienced completed my bachelor’s and master’s levels. I was nonetheless wrapping up my dissertation when I accepted a publish-doctoral fellowship at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Heart at Dartmouth, in which I helped operate the Policy Exploration Shop and taught courses in exploration strategies and U.S. community plan.
Right after I concluded my PhD, I took a tenure-observe position as assistant professor of political science and intercontinental relations at Simmons College in Boston in Drop 2012 and taught all throughout the sub-disciplines of political science when I was there. I was tenured and promoted in 2018, grew to become section chair, and then rapidly moved into positions of expanding accountability in university administration, serving as a division director for the social sciences and instruction, then affiliate dean for curriculum and academic applications, which led me to SASE at SNHU!
My general public policy diploma established me down a route into used features of that educational career, and I have designed a 2nd occupation, or perhaps avocation, in municipal support.
Right after a expression on the Kensington College Board, I was appointed by a judge to be an interim selectman in Kensington from 2018-19, and I at present provide the town as deputy crisis management director, assistant town moderator (overseeing elections) and as a lieutenant on Kensington’s fireplace division. I immediate a nonprofit organization that is restoring the town’s Union Meetinghouse, a culturally and architecturally important mid-19th century meetinghouse and church in the middle of town.
2. What first drew you to bigger schooling?
My mother and father did not go to university immediately after superior faculty but rather married, started off doing the job and experienced me and my brothers, so greater instruction was not truly on my radar till my mother went back again to college for a nursing degree when I was in junior significant.
I bear in mind my mother learning difficult to receive her RN and affiliate diploma, and I never try to remember college currently being a question just after that: I was likely. My mother is really an inspiration — she went back again to school two a lot more periods, once to receive her BSN, and earlier this summer, she graduated with a master’s diploma.
My route inside of bigger ed was circuitous, but once I found joy in unique research with a faculty mentor in my junior yr and recognized that people could get compensated to go through, produce and talk politics with younger men and women, I was hooked, and I never ever still left!
3. What elements of your personal schooling have been especially influential in shaping your experienced daily life in academia?
I located a adore for first investigation and information late in my undergraduate practical experience, but that has formed my scholarship and management and continues to influence my preference for knowledge-pushed final decision-making nowadays.
I have also been blessed with amazing, caring mentors and advisors all through my everyday living: from the professor in school who informed me to get my act with each other and begin earning A’s if I required to land a graduate fellowship, to graduate school advisors who pushed me to my limitations and served me crack them, and handled me as an equivalent, to office chairs and faculty leaders that I proceed to count on as skilled mentors.
One particular of the items that attracted me to SNHU was a comparable emphasis on making and sustaining these sorts of relationships and putting our college students to start with.
4. How do you keep on to discover and evolve as a leader in greater education?
I’m discovering all the time — from my college, the SASE dean’s business crew, my fellow deans Kyle (Viator) and Diego (Nocetti), and from the leaders and mentors I serve.
Whilst I assume my working experience and teaching have ready me for the part, it is fairly unique from any occupation I’ve held prior to. As a consequence, I’m studying new matters each and every working day. I adore that, actually. I think it’s vital (and humbling) to often be undertaking anything new — to be a rookie.
5. What provides you the greatest pleasure in your do the job as a dean?
The finest joy in my perform is producing a good difference for our learners and for our faculty. A lot more often, because they are brilliant, it’s in viewing my group, specially Affiliate Dean Shawn Powers and Assistant Dean Michael Glaeser, do this. They perform incredibly tricky to make miracles happen each and every day. I’m happy to operate with them.
6. What do you truly feel is exceptional about the school, learners and plans you oversee?
Throughout my job interview, I experienced the possibility to visit a match design and style course held in the Inkwell Studio, combining classes from sport programming and match artwork programs in an experiential learning environment exactly where they worked in teams to make a movie activity.
I have under no circumstances seen students made available this sort of encounter, nor college so gifted at educating in this kind of a arms-off, coach-like type, which normally takes a genuine leap of faith for the college member. The classroom atmosphere was warm, welcoming and inclusive, and college students ended up undertaking amazing work.
I have almost never been so amazed by college students, school and program, and I go on to be amazed by what our school and students are carrying out here at SNHU.
7. What assistance do you have for new and latest students?
I would persuade each individual pupil to get involved. Go to office hours and get to know your faculty. Go pay a visit to your advisor. Come across your people by signing up for a club, taking part in a activity or just hanging out at the e-athletics arena through the day.
There is so substantially going on at the SNHU campus, and you’ll get the most of this school encounter by acquiring engaged. It is one of the couple issues in lifetime where a responsible way to develop prosperity — of knowledge, pleasure, companionship — is to totally bankrupt oneself in offering.
8. When it will come to the potential of education, specially for courses in the arts, sciences and education, what is on your brain?
What is on my mind… far too a lot for a short response. We’re in a moment of fast progress in technology that vastly outstrip our skill, as a culture and as educators, to adapt. COVID upended instruction and students’ lives in profound ways, which we are even now noticing and are unlikely to be reversed.
The latest, a great deal-publicized developments in AI will have a profound outcome on education and learning, and we are mastering about this sort of equipment in real-time, with classroom insurance policies lagging months or decades guiding. We are just now knowing the potential risks of social media for young people, and the likely for its utility in a classroom placing.
There’s a inclination to default to a position of concern and nervousness, but I see a wonderful deal of hope and possibility as effectively, specifically for plans in SASE. In addition (to) the intrinsic advantages of researching artwork historical past or philosophy, society requirements learners skilled in those people fields extra than ever to assistance us recognize and answer to these changes.
We will need graphic style and design college students, interaction learners and instructors to assist us connect about these complex challenges with out driving men and women to paralyzing despair. We need pupils experienced in the social sciences to enable us evaluate and appraise their impact and suggest plan alternatives to mitigate injury. We need to have biologists, chemists and environmental experts to enable us locate a way to reverse weather improve and ensure a long term for our fantastic-grandchildren.
These are only a few illustrations, but SASE is central to the potential of education.
9. Why is training important to you and the entire world at big?
Schooling is the single finest, most price tag-productive software for improving human lifestyle.
10. Beyond operate, what’s a thing you’re passionate about or genuinely take pleasure in accomplishing?
Relatives, I guess, is the most crucial detail in my lifetime. My wife Shannon teaches 3rd quality, my daughter Maia is 15, and my son Wyatt is 13. When I’m not with them, I am exceptionally passionate about neighborhood company and shell out most of my absolutely free time doing the job for the town of Kensington, New Hampshire.
My largest dedication is to the Kensington Fire Rescue Office, where I’m a lieutenant, teaching officer and firefighter/EMT. It’s a great deal of entertaining, satisfies my adrenaline addiction, and I get the honor of leading an outstanding staff of ordinary men and women who give their time and electricity to assist their neighbors in times of disaster. Each and every simply call is a new problem, and I’m often mastering a thing new.
I also serve as assistant city moderator (encouraging lead/system our elections and city conferences) as properly as deputy emergency management director (primarily conducting drills relevant to the nuclear electrical power plant in Seabrook), and immediate a nonprofit committed to restoring the Union Meetinghouse, an architecturally substantial meetinghouse and church in the Kensington town middle. I served Kensington on the university board and board of selectmen in the past.
When I’m not executing local community stuff, I’m with my loved ones on our farm, taking part in online video online games with my kids or climbing with my superior faculty finest close friend Andy.
Online. On campus. Decide on your program from 200+ SNHU degrees that can choose you where by you want to go.
Rebecca LeBoeuf Blanchette ’18 ’22G is a writer at Southern New Hampshire University. Link with her on LinkedIn.