| Dru Falco

Board Spotlight: Dr. Ben “Coop” Cooper

We’re excited to introduce one of Cottonwood Institute’s new board members this fall, Dr. Ben “Coop” Cooper! Learn more about Coop below, and read our other staff and board profiles here.

Coop with his dog LucyHow did you find Cottonwood Institute and what inspired you to join the board?
I was introduced to Cottonwood Institute by a previous board member. I have worked in education for over 20 years and was greatly inspired by Cottonwood’s mission. As an avid fly fishing angler, I have been committed to being involved in the conservation of our rivers and protection of our fish populations. I want to help support bringing this same energy to our youth and sparking the desire to protect our environment.

Do you have any goals, hopes, or dreams for your time on the board?
I hope to contribute in any way that Cottonwood may need my help. I am particularly interested in helping support the development of ongoing connections with stakeholders and organizations that can help support Cottonwood’s sustainability and growth. I have an interest in exploring the possibility of Cottonwood programming in higher education.

What’s your “board superpower?”
I am a people person! My superpower is the ability to form connections and build relationships.

What do you do outside of Cottonwood?
I have been an Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Metropolitan State University of Denver for 22 years. I also hold a full time position at the university in the Student Care Center as the Program Coordinator for the HOPES Program. The HOPES Program supports students in overcoming barriers that may interfere with their ability to engage in school. I live in Boulder with my wife Cath and our golden retriever, Lucy. We enjoy all things in the Colorado outdoors, especially fly fishing. We hope to eventually live in Europe and travel the world.

Why is exploring the outdoors important to you?
The outdoors is where I am happiest. As a lifelong Coloradan, I have spent a lifetime exploring the Colorado mountains and it brings me peace.

What’s an unusual skill people might not know you have? Or a fun fact?
I enjoy playing hand drums, particularly bongos and cajon.

Categories: CI Shoutouts, Staff & Board Spotlights

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