State Assemblyman Sean Kean joined interim Brookdale president David Stout on July 5 to swear in Austin Ridoux as the Brookdale Board of Trustees’ newest graduate trustee.
Ridoux, of Wall, graduated from Brookdale in May with a degree in business administration. This fall he will transfer to the Rutgers University Business School in New Brunswick, where he plans to double-major in marketing and philosophy with a concentration in sales. He will serve a one-year term on the board of trustees, beginning with his first official meeting on July 18.
“I am honored,” said Ridoux. “I owe a huge debt to Brookdale because of everything it has done for me and my family. I hope to be able to repay this debt by serving on the board to the best of my abilities.”
A former Student Ambassador and a regular campus volunteer, Ridoux served as founding vice president of Brookdale’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, a personal and professional development program that has since grown into one of the largest student organizations on campus.
Ridoux also founded The Speech Alliance Club, which worked to help students overcome their fear of public speaking by participating in organized debate activities.
The club, under Ridoux’s leadership, went on to participate in nationwide forensic tournaments and compete against schools such as Hofstra, Cornell, Seton Hall and Texas Tech universities.
The 21-year-old is also the founder and creative director of Filtermark Media, a social media advertising company based in Monmouth County.
Despite his achievements, Ridoux said he didn’t arrive at Brookdale with a plan to conquer the world of business. Only a few years ago he was studying percussion performance at Michigan State University, pursuing a lifelong passion for music and the drums. Over time, however, finances and changing interests brought him back home to Monmouth County, where he began looking for a new start.
“Brookdale gave me a second chance at succeeding in my academics,” said Ridoux. “The teachers, faculty and students uplifted me when I first came to Brookdale, a point in my life when I needed uplifting the most.”
Now, as a member of the board of trustees, Ridoux says he hopes to use his experiences to help future students discover their own Brookdale success story.
Ridoux replaces outgoing graduate trustee Kevin Przystawski, who completed his term this summer.