Meet a USAC Member: Andrew Maraniss
What department do you work in and what is your job title? I am the Director of Special Projects at the Vanderbilt Athletic Dept.
How long have you been a Vanderbilt employee? This is my second time working at Vanderbilt. After graduating from Vanderbilt in 1992, I worked here in the Athletic Department as a sports information director until 1997. After one year working in Major League Baseball and almost 20 years in public relations, I returned to Vanderbilt in 2017 and have been in this role since.
How long have you been a part of USAC and how has it impacted you? This is my second year on USAC. I enjoy learning about different initiatives at the university and making new connections across campus.
What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt? By the time I arrived at Vanderbilt as a freshman, I had already lived in seven states and I wasn’t quite sure how to answer the question, “Where are you from?” But Vanderbilt has become my home and it is the place where I feel most happy and comfortable. The campus is beautiful, the people are interesting and diverse, and this is a university that stands for the right things. I’m proud to be associated with this school.
What is the best perk you have ever had at a job? When I worked for the Tampa Bay Rays as their media relations manager in 1998, I got to take batting practice at Yankee Stadium with the team. For a baseball fan like me, that one is hard to top!
Are you more productive at night or in the morning? I feel like I’m definitely more productive in the morning. I like to wake up and check as many things off my list as quickly as possible. By the time my wife, Alison, and I get the kids to bed at night, I don’t have much more energy left!
What did you want to be when you grew up? I know this because I still have a paper I wrote in 3rd grade answering this question. At that time I said I wanted to either be a shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers, a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, or a political reporter at the Washington Post (like my dad).
What has been your favorite vacation you have ever been on? My wife and I went to Europe before we had our first child and visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. We rode the train everywhere and enjoyed a lot of great food and drinks. I’d love to go back to Europe.
What are you most proud of in your life thus far? Aside from the achievements of my kids? I wrote a biography of Perry Wallace called Strong Inside. That experience of getting to know Perry and writing about him changed my life in many ways and led me to write more books about sports, history, and social justice. I’m proud that I spent eight years writing that book and actually did it rather than just thinking about doing it.
Name two things you consider yourself to be good at? I am pretty good at very quickly guessing the pangram on the New York Times Spelling Bee game. I remind my wife of that all the time. I don’t think she appreciates it. On family road trips I am good at packing the car and estimating exactly what time we will arrive somewhere hundreds of miles later. Again, nobody cares.
What is something on your bucket list? Cheer on the Commodores, men or women, in the Final Four.