Todd Brown describes himself self as “a motivated person, but also fun.” He is a people-person the the type of guy who likes making to-do lists.
Brown was born in Japan, where his dad was working on an Air Force base. He lived the first 4 years of his life there before his family moved back to the United States. Brown’s family now lives in Hooper, Utah.
“(Todd Brown) is very goal-oriented, compassionate and determined,” said Edith Brown, Todd’s mother. “He’s also our middle child and so he likes to act as the peacemaker.”
Brown is currently the service vice president on the USUSA Executive Council. In this position, Brown helps run the Val. R Christensen Service Center, located in the TSC, and acts as a voting member on the council board.
One might say that the job of service VP is perfect for Brown, as his life is one that is characterized by service. When he was 16, Brown participated in a week-long humanitarian trip in Mexico. This was Brown’s first real experience with the world outside of Utah.
“I grew up in a small town and so I hadn’t been exposed to a lot of the world,” Brown said. “(The trip) was a cool experience to interact with people that are very different than me. I felt like it was a good age to see who I was, and to give for a week. I felt like I was more selfish before that.”
After that first trip, Brown knew that he didn’t want to stop serving. He told himself that he wanted to do anything that helped him serve his fellowmen. He took it upon himself to find various volunteering opportunities, like helping out at nursing homes.
His junior year in high school, Brown found an opportunity to go on a humanitarian trip for a month in India. Edith Brown said that Todd really showcased his determination to serve during this year. He had to make weekly trips down to Salt Lake City to attend leadership conferences to prepare for the trip.
“My dad says that I came back from India a different person,” Brown said, “I wanted to give a lot more.”
Following his senior year, Brown elected to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called to serve in the land of his birth: Japan. He spent the next two years serving the people in the Nagoya, Japan mission.
One thing Brown didn’t enjoy from that experience was the fact that spiders in Japan are huge.
“I hate spiders,” Brown said.
Following his mission, Brown returned home and decided to attend Utah State. Brown’s brother had been attending USU and had Brown come and stay with him a couple of times. After experiencing the campus for himself, Brown decided USU was right for him.
“I loved the atmosphere here,” Brown said. “Going to football or basketball games or even just walking around campus, people were friendly and they were smiling. I love the Aggie family feeling.”
Brown continued to serve at USU, volunteering and helping where he could. His freshman year, he volunteered at the HOWL, where he met Bridget Baldwin. They got married at the beginning of this semester and now her name is Bridget Brown. Moral of the story: service works for you.
Brown has also served as a swim coach for the Special Olympics. He said he loved the opportunity to swim with a special needs athlete each week because it was all about making it fun. To encourage his athlete, Brown would sometimes say that they were swimming to go and fight dragons.
“Completely forgetting yourself in the service of someone is the most valuable part of service,” Brown said.
Another service event that Brown has done at USU that has impacted him was Beards for Cancer, a fundraiser where students would grow beards and raise money for cancer patients in the Logan area.
“Seeing how appreciative people were was phenomenal,” Brown said. “Many of them didn’t want to accept help at first, but once they received it and had so much gratitude was a really unique experience.”
Service, to Brown, is just as much as helping yourself as it is helping each other.
You’re getting that good feeling, and you have that all the time if you’re serving and you become a better person because of it,” Brown said. “That’s why I like service and that’s why I try to give other people the opportunity to serve.”
As part of his job as service VP, Brown oversees the efforts of 14 service directors. Brown follows up with each of them and their committees to ensure they are doing their jobs in planning events.
He also serves as a service liaison between the Executive Council and Academic Senate, providing them with service opportunities when they request it.
“It’s a lot of behind the scenes work,” Brown said.
Brown said the favorite part of his job is hearing the success of his directors.
“When we have our meetings, they’ll tell things that they’ve been doing or how successful an event was that we we’re working on,” Brown said. “Hearing about their success makes me very happy.”
Brown also said he enjoys working with the Executive Council because the people on the council are “inspiring.” He also enjoys the fact his wife sits on the council.
“We don’t generally have that interaction of being around each other on a professional level, so that’s fun,” Brown said.
Even after college, Brown hopes to continue to serve people. He is currently majoring in human movement science and hopes to attend medical school next fall. His current ambition is to become a doctor.
Brown made this decision when he started shadowing various medical professionals after he returned from his mission.
“There was something about (the idea of) being a doctor that I loved,” Brown said.
From what he has seen, Brown said people go into the doctor when they’re vulnerable and need help.
“Being the person that is there for the patient, whether that is just listening to them or giving them medication or being there for the family, I really like that aspect and seeing people get better,” Brown said.
Brown is able to tie everything in his life back to serving others. He hopes his time as the service VP has been beneficial to USU.
Brown also asked that a plug for the service center be put into this article. Those wanting to serve more can visit the Val. R Christensen Service Center in TSC room 332 or visit AggieSync.