CUR’s National Office Team is composed of talented professionals who are passionate about the work they do and their commitment to providing the highest standard of service for CUR’s members and community. After all, our community is our family here at CUR. We have taken a moment to interview each of our National Office Staff and many of the consultants that work closely with us for you all to get to know them a little better.
Q: What is your full name, the name you wish to go by, and your organizational title at CUR?
Luke Thomas Howard Zimmer, my friends call me Luke, and I’m a freelance consultant working as the online community manager for CUR.
Q: Many people have fancy titles that don’t necessarily describe what they do for the organization to its fullest extent. Can you elaborate on what you do for CUR?
A: If you participated in the CUR Virtual Biennial Conference last year, I helped set up the website and discussion boards for that event. I did the same most recently for CUR Dialogues. I work closely with Heather Wakefield and other CUR staff to ensure that online/virtual content uploaded, organized, and easy to engage with.
Q: What is one thing that most people wouldn't know about you?
A: The summer between elementary school and middle school, my grandparents took me on a cross-country road trip for a full month—no parents. We followed the Lewis and Clark trail from St. Louis, Missouri, all the way to Seaside, Oregon, where it ends, and back. Nearly every day that month, we visited a monument or landmark, from the Gateway Arch to Mt. Hood, and throughout I got to see and learn about American history where it happened. It was also the first time I visited another country when we took a side trip to Banff, Alberta, to the Olympic park there. Not only did I learn a lot about the world, I learned a lot about myself, and to this day it’s one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.Q: Where did you go to school?A:
I grew up in Lagrange, Indiana, and went to school at Prairie Heights High School, which is famous for its school farm and its world-class auditorium. After graduating, I attended Indiana University, Bloomington, where I studied journalism and anthropology.
Q: Do you prefer tea or coffee and why? A: Coffee in the morning to keep me going. Tea in the afternoon to keep me from going too far.
Q: Were you involved in undergraduate research when you were in school or elsewhere?A: In a manner of speaking. In college, I participated in the Bateman Case Study Competition, sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America. While we weren’t published in any academic journals, our team of undergraduate public relations/journalism students was tasked with developing a PR campaign for the 2010 US Census that increased awareness of, and participation in, the decennial. We were excited on finding that we did, in fact, measurably increase student awareness and earned an honorable mention from PRSSA as a result!
Q: COVID-19 and being completely virtual has had a major impact on many in the US. Are there any positives you have found about being virtual; things that you have learned; new hobbies you have picked up; or something that you wouldn’t normally do if the world was pre-COVID?
A: During COVID, I’ve had more time for hobbies, and I recently got back into coin collecting, which I was obsessed with as a kid. The biggest difference now compared to then is that I can buy a coin if I really want one. But my favorite part has always been finding a rare or unusual coin in my pocket change or just laying around on the sidewalk. There’s nothing like finding a bit of treasure!
If you haven't already virtually met Luke in our past conferences, you will be seeing a lot more of him in our upcoming ones. Make sure to say hi!
If you would like to volunteer for a CUR Faculty, Student, or Mentor Spotlight interview, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.