“If you are engaged with material and taking classes you want to take that leads to you
asking a lot of questions of the professors.”

Mark’s engagement in his classes and with his professors is fueled by a unique passion. “Every semester I have managed to take at least one class that I really want to take . . . it seems like every time I take one class it leads me to another or back into the same topic.”

As a Philosophy and English double major, active participation in his education has been essential. “For a lot of my classes you stop by office hours because there is something you don’t understand . . . a lot of professors love when you come to office hours.” Mark has developed some very close relationships with some of his professors in a variety of departments. His interests have truly driven the courses he takes and the fields he has chosen to study. Taking Professor Nick Smith’s Twentieth Century European Philosophy class got Mark thinking about the amount of natural resources left which led him to take Ecological Resources & Values and that led him to take a forest ecology class.

Professor Lisa Miller, who had Mark as a student in a couple of journalism classes says “[Mark] chose classes hoping he’d learn things that would help him reach his goal.” Mark’s goal seems to be to make the world a better place, though he says, “It’s not about saving the world, it’s about bringing yourself to the world.” Mark’s academic pursuits are very intertwined with his activities and involvements outside of the classroom. In his four years at UNH he has brought his time, talents, and passion to numerous campus and community activities. Mark has served as a leader in the Socratic Society, a club that brings Philosophy students together to have discussions and enhance their learning. He has also combined his English and Philosophy disciplines as an editor of The Dialectic, UNH’s undergraduate philosophy journal.

Furthermore, Mark has been active in the Catholic Student Organization as the Service Chair. As a part of this organization, Mark has committed time each week for the last three years to going to St. Charles Home for Children in Rochester, NH, where he reads and goes running with children. He has also volunteered serving meals at Cross Roads Homeless Shelter in Portsmouth, NH. Perhaps his most profound experiences with the Catholic Student Organization have been two trips to Honduras during spring break of his sophomore and junior year. “After those two trips I wasn’t the same . . . it was then that my two things: Social Justice and Ecological Justice came to the fore [front].” The Honduras trips focused on projects planting trees to combat deforestation, while at the same time creating sustainable agricultural programs to feed those in poverty. While in Honduras, Mark’s group lived very simply alongside the native people. Mark observed “there is a difference for [me] between reading about poverty and experiencing it first hand. If you read about it you can sympathize but if you live it you can empathize.”

Marks involvement in sustainable and organic agriculture has also been a part of his pursuits here in Durham. As part of the Organic Gardening Club, he has started community dinners which are free to the public every month at the Waysmeet Center. The dinners are prepared by the club using locally grown and purchased produce. Mark’s work in sustainable agriculture shows that students do not need to complete their degree before they can make an impact and live out their highest ideals.

With all of these activities Mark remains very busy but still finds time to hold down a job
at Dimond Library as well as Woodman Farm. He has attempted to take five classes per semester to maximize his investment in his education. “I have tried to have as meaningful an experience here as I could.” His advice to new students is to “take classes you have a passion for.” Mark has a number of possible paths to follow. After graduation he plans to work on an organic farm and to pursue other service opportunities domestically or abroad. Whatever he does it will be done with passion. “It’s the little things you do that are heroic . . . we all
have different challenges that we must face.”

2013 - 2014 CYOS Honorees:Emily Dickman, Nyomi Guzman, Sid Nigam, Kathryn Sattora, Timothy Marquis, Peter Wilkinson, Lauren McCandless, Evan Beal, Annie Crossman, Ahmad Kahloon
 
 
“Students are the focus of everything we do.”

Dept of Residential Life
13A Hitchcock Hall, 5 Quad Way-UNH
Durham, NH 03824
last updated 04/28/2014
Need More Information?
Ruth Abelmann, Associate Director
Department of Residential Life
University of New Hampshire
Phone (603) 862-2268