October 4, 2023

Learning Partnership Student Spotlight

Zachary Cook, Mobile Fire Rescue, City of Mobile, Ala.

Learning Partner: City of Mobile, Ala.

  • Born and raised on the Gulf Coast where he resides with wife and daughter
  • Works as a firefighter for Mobile Fire Rescue
  • Enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2008 and became an aviation ordnance team leader and motor transportation vehicle operator.
  • In his third semester at CSU working on his bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health with a concentration in fire science
  • Projected graduation date: Spring 2015

What do you do in your free time?

“Outside the fire service, I have been practicing the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I trained a lot in self-defense and mixed martial arts while in the Marine Corps and received my green belt. It doesn’t come easy, and that’s what I like about it.”

How does your degree program relate to your everyday job?

“For my crew and I, safety is the most important aspect of what we do and it’s why we’re there. We run a lot of calls to shipyards and state docks and that’s all related to things I’m studying: maritime safety, OSHA regulations and hazardous materials. I’m learning and seeing it firsthand every day and it gives me an edge in my career.”

What impresses you about CSU?

“The professors are great. You send them an email with a question or statement and they can answer you publicly through a threaded discussion or contact you personally. Their credentials blow other professors I’ve had out of the water. They are not just teachers. They have a list of certifications and they are working in the field I’m studying.”

What was your first experience like with CSU?

“They were very on top of things during the application process. As soon as I sent in the application, within 24 hours, they were contacting me to let me know the process had begun and walked me through every step of the way. You guys have a system that has all the kinks worked out and it’s awesome!”


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