Andrew J. Cobos ‘2L can handle a war zone and a challenging joint J.D./ M.B.A. program at the University of Houston – and he will soon earn his stripes as a student regent on the UH Board of Trustees. Gov. Rick Perry recently appointed Cobos, 30, as the student representative to the Board of Regents for a one-year term starting June 1.
Cobos says he is laser-guiding his academic career toward a well-defined goal: to establish a non-profit organization to help troubled youth overcome their fears and gain the confidence they need to meet life’s challenges. As that battle plan unfolds, he believes he can serve as an effective student voice as the University of Houston marches toward Tier One status.
“One of the great things about the University of Houston is the phenomenal growth that has taken place in the last couple of years,” he said. “I want to be a force on the board that works for continued growth and continued opportunities for students as we approach Tier One status.”
Cobos is confident he can juggle two rigorous post-graduate degree programs as well as the demands of serving on the board of regents. “West Point and five years in the Army, including two tours in Iraq, taught me great time-management skills,” he said with a smile.
He noted how the challenges of war and education aren’t as different as they might seem. “Both require everything from you. One of the challenges in Iraq was constantly living up to the expectations I had for myself. The Law Center is exactly the same: ‘Am I doing what I need to do to accomplish my goals?’”
Cobos earned a B.A. in geography from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and attained the rank of captain during tours that included deployment to Tikrit and Baghdad. He is a member of the Houston Young Lawyers Association and Veterans of Foreign Wars; a Harris County court appointed mediator; and president of the Houston Military Law Society. He is also a member of the Advocates Society and a volunteer for The People's Law School.
He said credit for serving as a mediator and his work for the Law Center’s Consumer Complaint Center will help him complete his M.B.A. requirements at the Bauer College of Business at UH in three years instead of the usual four. Next up: pursuit of a master’s degree in finance.
The El Paso native and his wife, Casie, a Ph.D. candidate in rhetoric at Texas A&M University, hope to stay in the Houston area. They split the difference now, living in Tomball. “Every morning she goes one way and I go the other,” he said. After earning his law degree, he plans to start a small practice to fund his ultimate goal of helping troubled youth. He believes an outreach program of skydiving, scuba diving and other adventure sports will help kids reach inside themselves and find the potential they will need to overcome the many obstacles they will face in life.