Staff Spotlight – Nina Valeo Cooke

Valeo CookeName: Nina Valeo Cooke

Pronouns: she | her

Hometown: Arlington Heights, IL

Educational/professional background: BA in Women’s Studies and Master of Social Work (MSW)

How long have worked at GWS?

For 18 years!!? I returned to the department as a teaching assistant in Gen&WS 103 in 2005 and became an academic staff member in 2008.

What is your role in the department?

I was the undergraduate advisor for ten years and taught the internship seminar, Gen&WS 660, for 13 years. Currently, I work as the Academic Program Director for the department. In my current role, I manage all parts of our curricular planning, including teaching assignments, course schedules, assessment and evaluation, and supervise our dynamite Student Services Team.

What do you like about working in GWS?

The people. My colleagues and our students are a really great bunch of dynamic, thoughtful, curious humans who care deeply about our work and our communities.

What books are on your nightstand?

Dolly Parton Songbook – My Life and Lyrics, The Emotional Lives of Teenagers, and Lessons in Chemistry

Do you have any media recommendations to share?

I love a good podcast. My regular rotation includes Smartless, The Daily, This American Life, You’re Wrong About, and What A Day.

Recently I enjoyed watching Righteous Gemstones, The Bear, and Only Murders in the Building.

What are your hobbies or interests?

How I enjoy spending my time includes paddling, biking, hiking, gardening, and spending as much time as I can in northern Wisconsin. How I actually get to spend a lot of my time is in the car driving my teen-ish kids and their friends to activities.