Q&A with alumnus Brandon Brackett
Brandon Brackett (’05 BA, ’09 MA history) is the director of Housing and Residence Life at WSU Pullman. The unit’s goal is to provide a residential student experience that is safe, supportive, and memorable, including dining options that meet a wide range of dietary needs.
How did WSU prepare you for your career?
“I went into college expecting to become a history/music teacher. I learned the skills to do that, but I really think the lessons I learned the most in, the ones I really needed, happened outside of the classroom.
I went into my first year an awkward, silent and insecure person, focused on not standing out, and came out of WSU with a foundation of sorts as to who I wanted to be as a leader. I learned to live with others, I learned to lead groups both large and small, and I learned how to care for others.”
What were your favorite classes at WSU & why?
“I loved my history classes most of all. I took Vietnam History and was blown away with the depth with which the class provided.
I also loved Dr. Raymond Sun‘s WWII classes and my early American History class.
I took Middle Eastern history after 9/11, as I wanted to learn more about the history of the region and better understand what was going on. I think my favorite part of the class was that it didn’t just focus on the history of the Middle East but also on the culture. The professor made it a point to make sure we [see] the people of the Middle East as people…beautiful people.”
What advice do you have for current WSU Pullman students?
“There is a tendency for students to get distracted by things that are ultimately small, things that won’t make or break their experience such as which residence hall they get into, which classes they are able to schedule, if they can bring a car, etc.
The reality is that the thing that will have the biggest impact on your college experience is your willingness to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Classes are important, and I don’t mean to preach that they aren’t, but my decisions to do things I was scared to do at first laid the foundation that the rest of my life is built upon.”
What’s your favorite WSU memory?
“I met my wife at WSU Pullman. I went and asked her out during Week of Welcome (I was so scared) and she said yes. After that, I kept trying to find ways to spend more time with her. She was an executive with the Residence Hall Association (RHA), so I decided to re-join the exec board.
Three months later, I proposed to my wife at a RHA meeting. I know that sounds dumb…when you are in love, dumb things have a way of sounding better in your head.
I passed out candles with instructions to the board and audience, she was the only one who didn’t know what was going to happen. My Stimson Hall staff came to help distribute and facilitate the event and I played a song I wrote for her and proposed…in the middle of the meeting.
I think, looking back, beyond the birth of my kids, it is perhaps the best moment of my life, even though it’s corny.
Top images: Brandon Brackett
Adapted from WSU Pullman’s #FacultyFriday Facebook feature.