Posted by: markatmcla | February 12, 2009

big impact

Senior Profile: Mark Richards
Garrick Otero
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The number 23 isn’t just a 2007 Jim Carrey movie. It’s also the number of MCLA related positions and activities on Mark Richards’ resume.

Richards, a senior, is currently the Events Coordinator for the Student Government Association and the Special Events Chair for the Student Activities Council. He was the student trustee last year, and has also held two internships on campus. He’s been an admissions ambassador, a building monitor and a member of several clubs and committees.

Richards credits the College with giving him opportunities he wouldn’t have at a bigger school, and expects that to help him after graduation.

“It makes you so marketable, because I’ve done so many different things. I’ve done television, I’ve done radio, I’ve worked for the newspaper,” he said. “I’ve done everything that I could’ve wanted in four years.”

Larissa Huda, also a senior, said she’s been friends with Richards since their freshman year. “I think he’s really excelled at this small school, because I think at a bigger school, he wouldn’t have been able to get his foot in the door right away, and really plan all these events by himself — really take charge,” she said.

As much as being at MCLA has helped Richards, Huda said he’s had a big impact on students’ lives — one she feels he doesn’t get enough credit for.

“What he does, people don’t really know the extent of it all, because he’s one of those people that works mostly behind the scenes,” she said.

Huda said most people take College events for granted. “They don’t think about how it had to be planned: how this person had to be called, how that person had to be called, how the event had to be set up, how it had to be cleaned up.

“You know, all those little, small details that make everything run? That’s what [Richards] does, and I don’t think people realize how much time and energy that takes,” she added.

Another friend, junior, Jade Prickett, also said Richards’ work often goes unnoticed. “I think that it’s important to stress just how important he is to the school. I think people underestimate that sometimes.”

Richards did receive one award for his contributions to the college, one that he keeps on his bedroom wall at home — he was given an MCLA Leader Achievement Award in May 2008.

“I don’t believe in getting recognition for the things I do, because I just do it out of the goodness of my heart,” he said. “But, it was nice to be recognized.”

“I don’t think people should live their lives needing to be recognized — to get a trophy, or a plaque, or a certificate at the end of the day. It doesn’t mean anything to me. You know, just a simple thank you, or a ‘nice job’ and a pat on the back is all I really need.”

Richards, in turn, wanted to thank the College and its students: “It’s been an amazing ride. I’ve done everything that I’ve wanted to do. The door was always open, the welcome mat was always out, and the light was always on. It really became my home away from home.”

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