Western Carolina University is proud to be having one of our own starting his fifth term as the state Senate representative for Davie and Rowan counties. Andrew Brock won the primary election in early May, and will continue his political career in January 2011. Brock graduated from Western in December of 1997 with a double major in political science and economics.
After attending Appalachian State University his freshmen year, Brock transferred to WCU to continue his education. When describing the difference between our rival university and his alma mater Brock confessed, “I had to travel through hell to be able to realize how good heaven was.” Admitting he first transferred to WCU for a girl, Brock is now able to thank professors such as Dr. Livingston and Dr. Mercer for validating his choice. Brock said, “Dr. Livingston and Dr. Mercer were the first professors I had that wanted to actively engage students in their classes and opened themselves up on a personal level, which encouraged me to want to learn and progress.”
Brock was adamant in crediting the dedication of his WCU’s professors and their ability to detect his strengths and weakness for challenging him as a student and ultimately driving him to excel in his career.
When he wasn’t hard at work in his classes, Brock was busy with intramural sports such as flag football and ultimate Frisbee. Brock joked about the ultimate Frisbee championship, “We had a pretty good team, probably the best on campus; on the day of the championship only two of us showed up to play. We were a little confused at first on where the rest of our team was, until we remembered it was the first day of trout season. Everyone else spent the day fishing; the fish tasted too good later that night to stay mad.”
Indicative to Brock’s career, he spent a lot of his time working with the Student Government Association; he was a senator for the SGA as well as vice president and president of the student body. While Brock was president, Chancellor Bardo began his first year at WCU. Brock was grateful for Bardo because he “raised the bar” for all students by pushing them to their limits in order to make them better. During Bardo’s first year he constantly preached about the importance of “raising the bar”, which is a phrase that Brock is proud to say he still uses and lives by every day.
When asked what advice he would give to students, Brock was enthusiastic in explaining the importance of internships during your college career. He believes in the importance of internships so much that he has implemented an internship program for the North Carolina Senate offices. When he began working the Senate only had four intern opportunities; with Brock’s help, they now offer over 100 different intern positions. Brock said, “The people you meet and the experience you gain during an internship will benefit you for the rest of your career in ways you couldn’t ever imagine.” Brock also advises students to take things slow or as he put it, “don’t get your cart before the horse.” He explained that if students take things one year at a time it’s less overwhelming and they will do better in the long run.
In the future Brock plans to stay close to his home in Raleigh. He enjoys his job and wants to continue representing our state for as long as the citizens allow him to; he said he will be taking his own advice and take things one year at a time and, “see what happens.”