Tell us about a life change that seemed risky at the time, but turned out positive.
I was a junior faculty member (and Head Debate Coach) at the United States Naval Academy. I wanted to prove to myself and my students that a lot of years studying Political Science was useful beyond the classroom, and “change my stars” so to speak. I opted not to renew my contract as I pursued analytic jobs in both the political polling and government contracting worlds. One of those two worked out – thankfully. I am sure most of my family thought I was crazy at the time since it led to a brief period of “uncertainty” but if they did, they never said it. Looking back, my wife was one heck of a good sport during that time.
Who is your most significant role model?
My maternal grandfather, Sylvester Minnick (or “Boopy”) is my most significant role model. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps during World War II. Upon coming home from the war, he used his military training in electronics to transition from working on the family farm to a career as an electrician. He was a hard worker, believed in serving the community, and was always up for a good laugh. But family always came first.
What is your favorite motto?
“In the end the great truth will have been learned that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer than the prize (or rather, that the effort is the prize), the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game.” – Justice Benjamin Cardozo