David Stout’s first trip to the Brookdale campus in Lincroft was a lasting one. He was 10 years old and on a school trip, but remembers being smitten. “I loved being here,” he said. Thirteen years later, when he landed his first job here as a learning assistant, he said it felt like he was coming home.
Beginning July 16, the professor and chair of the college’s Department of Psychology and Human Services, has a new campus location to call home– Brookdale’s Freehold campus, where he will serve as its first dean.
In his new position, Stout will serve as senior academic officer and oversee the financial, administrative, and operational affairs at Freehold. He will serve as advisor to the executive vice president on policy, procedure, and financial and operational issues. Among his responsibilities will be designing and implementing programs that foster college growth and ensure financial security.
Being tapped as Freehold’s dean is more than a career move for Stout. It’s a natural evolution.
“I have grown as a person right with the institution,” he noted. “I feel it’s a part of who I am as a person.”
Stout said it was a friend who told him about a position being advertised for a learning assistant at Brookdale in 1997. A recent psychology graduate from Richard Stockton College, Stout said he was intrigued by the opportunity to utilize his degree and his love of the subject matter. “I wanted to do something that was related to my passion,” he recalled. Since then, he has served in a variety of capacities at Brookdale. Prior to joining the psychology faculty, he worked as a student development specialist. He earned a master’s in psychological counseling from Monmouth University in 1998 and a doctorate in behavioral medicine and health psychology from Northcentral University in 2010.
The love affair that started as a boy continued to blossom along with his career.
As Stout explains, “Brookdale transforms lives,” he said. “It’s capable of igniting passions or motivation in individuals who have been away from school for a while or disengaged from academics. They find their motivation here.”
Early on in career, Stout said he made a commitment to serve in any Brookdale leadership capacity he could. He remembers attending a committee meeting and on the first day being appointed chair. He has been an active member of college Governance, serving as chair in 2005-2006 and vice chair in 2004-2005 and 2012-2013. He has also been an active member of the Faculty Association.
Until recently, he was chair of the Psychology Five-year Program Review Committee. He currently serves on the Governance Steering Committee and the President’s Jubilee Commission. In 2001, he received the award for Outstanding Colleague. Stout is also active in community service and is a Freeholder-appointed member of the Monmouth County Health Board.
Stout views his new position as the “next step” in leadership at Brookdale. More importantly, he sees it as a way to make an impact.
“It’s a step in my professional growth, but it’s also an opportunity to really help to shape the future direction of the institution,” he said.
Stout noted that the western Monmouth region has grown by nine percent since 2000 and constitutes 28 percent of the county’s population. The area furthest west, called the panhandle, has seen a 23 percent growth since 2000 and makes up another five percent of the county’s population. He sees his appointment as dean as tangible evidence of the college’s commitment to serve this area.
Stout’s goals for the Freehold campus stress the development of the campus as a fully-functioning campus.
“I would like to build on the student activities and services that are currently available so they meet the demand that we foresee in the future,” he said.
“I think Brookdale has a very bright future ahead,” Stout added. “We have exciting leadership, innovative staff and faculty. Because of the quality of the employees we have, ranging from our hourly and part-time employees to our full-time employees, and the level of commitment that every single person has to the institution, we have a very bright future ahead.”
Stout lives in Wall Township with his wife, Heather, and two children, Jane and Tatum.