Originally from the Chicagoland area in Illinois, Layton Cooper has been helping students succeed with achieving their academic and career goals for 15 years. Before becoming the Director of Admissions at Northern State University, Layton was a Career Counselor, Employability Coordinator, Career Development Manager, Career Advisor, Employer Relations/Internship Coordinator, and Admissions Counselor. These roles have all had one thing in common – helping students reach their full potential.
“Some of the most rewarding parts of these positions are when students graduate or when they land an internship or a job in their field of study. I truly enjoy working with like-minded faculty and staff who are equally passionate about helping all of our students achieve success in their academic and career goals,” Layton said.
Q: How did you decide to become involved in academic admissions?
A: This fall will mark 15 years that I have worked in the higher education field. In total, I have worked in education and vocational training for the last 20 years. My previous experience in higher education was on the student services side of the house, in Career Services/Development. When my family and I moved to Aberdeen about 5 years ago, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to continue working in the college setting at Northern State University in the Admissions office.
Q: How does your work reflect your passion?
A: One of the things that I am most passionate about in my professional and personal life is helping people. In my current role and former roles working within education, I have had the privilege of using this passion to assist students with getting connected with the tools, resources and people needed to help them succeed at realizing and achieving their academic and career goals.
Q: What is something that you love about the Aberdeen community?
A: I truly love how tight-knit the Aberdeen community is especially when it comes to the support that the Aberdeen community gives to NSU. I also love how common it is to meet someone for the very first time and then discover that you both know some of the same people. Lastly, I love how generous Aberdeen and the surrounding communities are when it comes to giving, fundraising or donating to others who are in need or less fortunate.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Spending time with my family and friends is by far what I enjoy doing the most. We enjoy attending NSU events throughout the year. We also look forward to attending our kids’ extracurricular activities throughout the year.
Q: Where is one of your favorite places to go in Aberdeen? Why?
A: It’s hard to narrow down just one of my favorite places to go in Aberdeen. I enjoy the restaurants, movie theater, parks, and other local spots that can only be found in Aberdeen! One of my favorite new places to go is Dacotah Bank Stadium, home of the NSU Wolves football team. They led the NSIC in home attendance this past season.
Q: What is one word you would use to describe yourself?
A: Friendly. I would say that being friendly and approachable is a natural part of my personality. It’s who I am. I believe that this quality has also served me well in my line of work as a first point of contact for prospective students and their parents/supporters on behalf of Northern.
Q: Why is community involvement important to you?
A: Community involvement is what makes Aberdeen the special place it is to live. It is the secret sauce for this town. Also, the traditions and experiences that Aberdeen offers to its community and guests would cease to exist without the ongoing support and involvement of the community.
Q: What other programs are you involved with at NSU?
A: As the Director of Admission at NSU, I am directly or indirectly involved with all programs or programming that impact/support student recruitment, enrollment and retention efforts. //