When Rob Cochran was a senior in high school in Atlanta, Georgia, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do or where he wanted to go. After initiating an internet search for colleges, he came across the University of New Hampshire and became curious. Once the men's swim coach said he would give Rob a shot on the team, Rob decided to enroll. His story has grown ever since.
Rob is a Senior majoring in History with a minor in Geography and he is specifically interested in the ancient world. In fact, he spent this past summer working in central Turkey on an archaeological dig. "I was in a small, Muslim village with no running water, spotty electricity, and I didn't know anyone. But it was a wonderful experience. It gave me a lot of time to read, think, and soul search; it helped me gain perspective on what I wanted out of my last year of college."
Like many students at UNH, Rob started as an undeclared Liberal Arts major. After taking a course on History of the Ancient Near East, Rob knew history was for him; his passion for history is inspiring. "History allows you the chance to learn and analyze great stories from the past; I've learned to analyze things and develop my own educated view on a subject." One of Rob's great mentors at UNH has been History Professor, Greg McMahon, the very person who helped Rob get involved with the experience in Turkey. "I've taken every one of his classes. He relates history to movies and he encourages students to answer their own questions; he's a great speaker and he's very approachable."
Rob plans to earn a master's degree in History after graduating from UNH and then start a career in public service. This career choice would fit with Rob's passion for challenge and sacrifice. A member of the men's swim team, Rob has been a student athlete for four years here at UNH. His coach, Josh Willman, has been a positive influence on Rob during his time here. "Coach Willman took a chance on me as a new student here. He sat me down and challenged me to become better and I've been working hard for him since. He's taught me self-motivation, self-reliance, and that criticism is something that helps you become better. Swimming has been an essential part of my life here."
It's no surprise that when asked to name a leader whom Rob admires, the name George Patton comes right out of his mouth. '"He was so tenacious and he never quit; he didn't let mistakes slow him down." Rob exudes the same commitment and strength and his story certainly reflects the same. In offering advice for future UNH students, Rob encourages them to take full advantage of the wonderful human resources on this campus. "Talk to your professors. Getting to know my professors and my coach has enriched my experience. It even led to my experience in Turkey."
When reflecting on his college experience as a whole, Rob conveys a sense of growth. "College has taught me to be a better person and productive citizen. I'm much more able now to appreciate all the opportunities given to me and not squander them." Certainly, Rob's character, his service, his experiences, and his UNH story will inspire others to take advantage of their opportunities as well.