Cooke Conversations: 5 Questions With Carrie Moore

CMoore_headshot.jpgWe’re kicking off a new series of alumni profiles by interviewing Cooke Scholars from across our scholarship programs. We hope to inspire current and future Cooke Scholars by highlighting the incredible range of personalities, ambitions, and accomplishments of this talented group!

Cooke Scholar Carrie Moore was selected for the Young Scholars Program in 2001, and matriculated through higher education as a College Scholar in 2006 and a Graduate Scholar in 2011. Here are her thoughts:

I consider myself extremely blessed to have spent my high school, undergraduate, and graduate school years as a Cooke Scholar. With the Cooke Foundation’s support, I left the world of classical ballet training to attend Cedar Crest College where I became a proud women’s college graduate. I later earned an MBA and hope to pursue a doctorate in educational leadership in the future. I’ve been happily working in education administration since 2010 and enjoy the cross-country travel it allows me. When I’m not working, I can be found cooking, running, or playing with any furry, four-legged creature I meet.

1. What does being a Cooke Scholar mean to you?

Being a Cooke Scholar means that I am part of something bigger than my own abilities. It means that I am connected to and supported by some of the most inspiring people in the world, with the greatest minds and the most humble hearts. Because of one man’s generosity, I will never be without an education. More importantly, I will never be without a support system! I will be forever thankful for the fellow scholars, alumni, and staff that have come into my life through the Cooke Foundation. They inspire me every day.


2. What was the best advice given to you as an undergraduate in college?

Several professors encouraged me to venture out of my comfort zone, and my undergraduate career was the perfect time to do so. I entered college having never really stepped outside of the strict life that comes with serious dance training. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree I branched not only into new movement styles (everything from Limón to belly dancing), but other pursuits such as theatre, public speaking, and voice-over work. I took a job in college admissions and realized working in higher education might be right for me. I also branched out by enrolling in non-required courses like health psychology, Buddhism, and nutrition. Looking back, it feels like 80 percent of what I gained from my undergraduate career took place outside of the little box that was my actual dance major.


3. What is one thing you did to help you transition to your first year out of college (undergrad)?

Strengthening my relationship with my mother was a major thing. By the time I had graduated with my bachelor’s, I was an entirely new person in many ways. I had just ended an eight year battle with bulimia, and I was figuring everything out for what felt like the first time – from what my body type really was to how to have legitimate relationships outside of my own head. It was my mother, an eating disorder survivor herself, who helped me through the contradictory feelings of guilt and rediscovery. The friendship we developed as two single, adult women is the most precious relationship in my life today.

Oh, and ladies – you CAN negotiate your starting salary. Many people, but women in particular, feel as if they can’t do this. You most certainly can. I did!


4. What is a recent book that you enjoyed reading?

The last book I read cover to cover was at the suggestion of a fellow Cooke Scholar, Yuriy Bronshteyn, who heard about “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. in a podcast and recommended it to me because of my career as a fundraiser. I suppose it sounds rather bland, but I genuinely enjoy my work, and it was a great read for me! I recommend the book to anyone interested in or employed in a persuasion-focused field like fundraising or marketing as well as to anyone with an interest in psychology.


5. If you were to create your own cookie, what would it consist of and what name would you give it?

Oh this is a funny question, and it reminds me of one of the first conversations I ever had, many years ago, with fellow Cooke alumnus Harun Mehmedinović. He wasn’t sure what to say to me, I think, and randomly asked what kind of cookie (dessert item) I’m most like. (Gentlemen – this is not a good pick-up line in most situations.) Dumbfounded, I said that I was more of a salty-snack person than a sweet-snack person, so it would have to be a savory cookie instead of a sugary one. He said “oh, like a dog biscuit.” For the next several years, my nickname was “Dog Biscuit”. So I suppose if I was creating a cookie, it would be a tasty treat I could give to my pups, flavored with bacon, cheese, or peanut butter!