Name: Ian Brooking
Hometown: Somerset, Ky.
Year in School: Senior
Ian Brooking recently heard something that resonated with him. Reflecting on the experience and development that CCU offers its students, an administrator at Coastal said #TEALnation is a place where you can come as a nobody and leave as a somebody.
Not to say that Ian was a “nobody” when he arrived on campus, but the senior from Somerset, Ky., won’t hesitate to explain how small he felt at the beginning of his college career. After a disappointing freshman year, Ian was ready to call it quits. Discouraged by emotional and physical setbacks, he considered returning to Kentucky for good. But Ian’s own will, combined with the urging of his Coastal friends to stick it out, kept him in Conway. We never had to worry about losing him again.
It didn’t take long for things to start clicking. Ian became more involved and he embraced a different academic path. Switching from marine science to communication proved to be a major moment for Ian’s undergraduate development and career outlook. It didn’t take long for him to become involved with The Chanticleer, Coastal Carolina’s student newspaper. He gave the publication his complete dedication and his hard work paid off – he is now the editor-in-chief.
“Being the editor-in-chief has taught me a lot about responsibility,” Ian says about his position with The Chanticleer. “It has put me in a lot of situations that taught me some big life lessons.”
Adding that his favorite part of the position is telling the stories of others, we are glad to finally have the chance to tell Ian’s story. A tireless worker with a passion for sports, especially soccer, he finds time for pursuits outside of the student newspaper. He works at WPDE ABC15 as a news editor and also writes for a popular soccer blog in the state. But his involvement goes outside the journalism realm. For example, he is part of the Coastal Elasmobranch Society and also performs filming work for the football team.
“Coastal has given me a lot of opportunities I honestly don’t think I would have gotten at any other college,” Ian says. “So it definitely made me feel a lot better about myself and has gotten me to where I am today.”
The guy who almost left early now wants to stay late. Ian plans to enroll in Coastal’s new Master of Arts in Communication program when it opens next year. He loves the Grand Strand area and would like to work as a reporter for WPDE. But he is not looking too far ahead. Ian wants to enjoy his senior year, commenting that he is trying to take it “one day at a time.” We are thrilled that Ian has found a home and plenty of success at Coastal – we know it will continue to just get better.
Q&A with Ian
How did you hear about Coastal?: I heard about Coastal through a family friend who ran a college finance and planning business back home in Kentucky. I originally wanted to graduate from CCU with a degree in marine science and this was one of my top colleges for that specific major.
Why did you come to Coastal?: I originally came to Coastal for marine science. It was a toss-up between the University of South Carolina and CCU. What sold me on Coastal was the fact that I had the ability to get hands on experience in major in my first year as an undergrad whereas I might have had to wait about a year to two years to take part in research if I went to USC. Plus the beach made it easily accessible to do research.
Favorite professor: My favorite professor is Deborah Breede, Ph.D., from the Department of Communication, Media and Culture. I had the opportunity to take her Comm Theory class last spring and the way she connected with students was great and her delivery of her lectures was just something I thoroughly enjoyed.
Favorite class: My favorite class had to be my Psychology 101 class. As someone who suffers from anxiety, depression and who was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) at such a young age, that class really helped me understand how my own mind works and helped me with certain coping mechanisms.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: One of the things that I heard about Coastal through our new dean of students is that Coastal is a place where you can come as a nobody and leave as a somebody. I think that is the perfect thing to say about Coastal Carolina because when I came here I was just a kid from Kentucky, one of 12 kids from the state in a freshman class of over 2,000 new students. Despite no longer being a marine science major, I am still well-connected with my former professors and fellow marine science classmates. And I honestly feel that when I walk across that stage, I will have left a legacy here at Coastal Carolina University.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: My favorite aspect about living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area is that it reminds me of my hometowns back in Kentucky. Myrtle Beach reminds me of my place of birth, Lexington, Ky. It has all the traffic, shopping and tourist attractions. Conway reminds me of the place that I call my hometown, Somerset, Ky. It has that small town feel with local hotspots and it seems like everyone knows each other.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: I am currently involved in a few clubs. I am the editor-in-chief of the Chanticleer Newspaper, the student newspaper of Coastal Carolina. I am also part of the Coastal Elasmobranch Society (aka the Shark Club). I also help out the Coastal Carolina football team with filming practices and games.
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: While also being the editor of the paper and working with the football team, I am a news editor/prompter for WPDE ABC15 here in Horry County. I help cut and edit news packages for select shows and run the prompter for the anchor. I also am a writer for a soccer blog called Soccer ‘n’ Sweet Tea. We cover soccer throughout the Carolinas at all levels from college to semi-pro to professional.
Plans after graduation?: After I graduate in May 2019, I plan to stay in the area. I hope to be a part of the new Master of Arts in Communication program that will begin in fall 2019 and continue my education in communication. I also plan to eventually become a reporter at WPDE. Long-term I hope to become an anchor or field reporter for a major market like Boston, Miami or New York – preferably the East Coast.
What are your hobbies?: I love playing and watching soccer. I have been playing soccer since I was 3 and I love every second of it. I sometimes stay up late the night before I have a 5 a.m. shift just to watch my favorite MLS team, the Portland Timbers, play. I also enjoy reading, writing, watching television and talking on the phone with my friends and family across the country.
Do you have any hidden talents?: I am not sure you would consider this talent hidden but photography. All of my student-athlete friends call me “the man with the cam” because of the pictures that I take. I fell in love with photography while walking around the Biltmore Estate my junior year of high school (2013). I think being able to spot a moment and capture it in a still image is something that everyone can do but it takes a lot of time to master. My first sports photos I took here at CCU are garbage compared to the photos I am taking now.
Bonus Info: I have been through a lot here at Coastal. I have dealt with personal and emotional issues as well as physical setbacks. If anything, I am blessed to have my CCU family along for the ride with me. I graduated high school with an advanced diploma and with honors. After my freshman year, I was put on academic probation and I was so close to packing my things up here at CCU and going back to Kentucky to finish my education there. But with the help of my friends here, I pushed on. A lot of people close to me like to throw my failures back in my face but I just look at where I am now and what I went through to get here and I am very grateful for those who helped me along this journey. If there is one thing I can say to students out there, whether they are at CCU or not, is that you are the author of your own story. You have the power to be something great and don’t let someone or something get in your way of being what you were put on this earth to do - and that’s being the best version of yourself.