THIBODAUX – With more than two decades of professional experience in communication, Tony Cook of New Orleans has been named assistant director of university relations at Nicholls State University.
Cook will oversee the creation of several Nicholls publications, including the award-winning annual magazine, VoilÃ¡!; the revamped, semiannual alumni magazine, The Colonel; the annual Nicholls Foundation newsletter, Allons; and the annual magazine of Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of South Carolina in history and journalism, Cook earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Toledo and a master’s degree in creative writing from Syracuse University.
“I call myself a â€˜professional communicator’ because my career includes writing and editing, public relations, fundraising and classroom teaching,” Cook said.
He launched his career at the University of Toledo as editorial fellow for The Historian, an academic journal, and later advanced to various public relations and teaching positions at the State University of New York campuses in Potsdam and Binghamton. Cook taught creative writing at SUNY-Binghamton and West Virginia University and served as university editor at West Virginia. Most recently, he held the position of advancement communications manager at Tulane University Health Sciences Center. In all, he has edited the alumni magazines and other key publications of four universities.
Cook is an accomplished writer, having published journalism, scholarship and creative nonfiction in numerous journals, magazines and newspapers. He has written a book of fiction, Summer Songs, published by the Toledo Poets Center Press, as well as numerous short stories, many of which have been published in magazines and literary journals.
“I stay active in the writing community by attending readings and conferences – and by continuing to write,” Cook said. “In my fiction, I write about people and places I’ve encountered during and since growing up along the South Carolina-Georgia coast. My work includes stories and tales about how hard it is to make it through life, and also how wonderful life can be. My father was a small-town police chief, and through his work I saw the high and the low at a very early age.”
Cook said he looks forward to applying his experience at Nicholls.
“I plan to serve as a resource for communications campus-wide, which includes helping people faced with the sometimes daunting task of putting words and images into print in a way that engages readers and builds goodwill for Nicholls,” Cook said. “I enjoy working with words, and I will try to help others enjoy communicating as much as I do.”
Cook lives in New Orleans with his wife, Donna, the director of technical services at Tulane University’s main library. Together they enjoy traveling and gardening, and he enjoys photography. A recent photo by Cook was part of the “New Orleans Cultures” exhibit at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
“Tony has an impressive 20-year history of success in higher education,” said Renee Piper, director of university relations. “I am delighted that he has joined the university relations team.”