Ep 7: Dr. DeAnne Davis Brooks ◆ Associate Professor, Salem College

Dr. DeAnne Davis Brooks is an Associate Professor in the Exercise Science department at Salem College, a liberal arts women's college in North Carolina. She’s also a track coach and is married with three daughters.

In this episode, we discuss…

  • How limiting her educational options served DeAnne well.
  • How DeAnne uses her social skills to be memorable at work.
  • The tough but needed feedback a professor gave her that changed how she prioritized her studies while pursuing her doctorate.



Listen to an update of DeAnne's story here.

Find DeAnne online


The Path: How DeAnne Did It

Career advice to her three daughters

Make decisions early that will give you freedom later on. When it comes to choosing a college, make smart financial decisions so that you’re not strapped financially any more than you need to be so that you have freedom to take chances, to take internships, and to travel to opportunities when you graduate.

Meet as many people as possible. Follow up (email/phone call). Mentors are out there and ready to mentor; they just need to know what you need. So have an elevator pitch.

Really and truly follow your interests. Don't pursue a job, pursue an interest (things you want to learn more about).

My Thoughts After the Conversation

More, please

In the 33-minute mark of the episode, DeAnne explained why she approaches her role as a researcher, practitioner, and educator from a Womanist perspective. I wish I would have asked her more about the end game or goal of doing it this way. Does she want to change things institutionally, does she want to create a separate movement, or is there something else?

What I learned

DeAnne chose to get an Ed.D. – instead of a Ph.D. – because she wasn't interested in doing research and want to be more of a practitioner (applying knowledge).

Up-level your game

When DeAnne worked at Cisco and at the Cardia Rehab Center in graduate school, she used her social skills to keep her clients coming back. She recognized they came to socialize and if she could keep them talking she could keep them exercising.

If DeAnne was a song, she would be…



Mentioned in the Episode

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Music Credit: ballet by Ryan Little

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