How do you feel about being the recipient of the Support Staff Member of the Year Award?
I am very proud of the recent award I’ve been granted. … [I] was very proud to receive that and very honored. I wasn’t really sure if I would win it or not. I’d heard a couple people had nominated me, and I was honored just to be nominated. Then, when I got an email saying that I won, it was a very humbling experience.
What is your background?
I’ve been an institutional security officer here at the college for the past ten years. … I graduated from Westfield State with a bachelor’s in criminal justice. After college, I found a position here and stuck with it since then. Right now, I’m the current advisor to several clubs on campus – the FSU Gaming Club and the Anime Club. So I work with them a lot to try and help them put on events and make sure that everything is running smoothly.
How did you get involved with the clubs on campus?
I happened to run into them working late at night. They’d be in rooms either practicing games or playing board games or stuff, which I have an interest in. I kind of just [started] talking to them on a nightly basis. They decided to re-establish the Gaming Club, which had been dormant and kind of off the books for a while. So they ended up getting that back up and running. Then, a couple years after having it run, they asked me if I would be their club advisor for it. I agreed – that was about a year and a half ago when I accepted the position. After I did that, the Anime Club lost their advisor and were looking for somebody to fill in the place – which I agreed to. … I’ve helped out in other clubs as well. Comic Book Club needed a chaperone for one of their events to go to the Rhode Island Comic Con, which was a lot of fun. … Gaming Club puts on an event every year, ‘The Last Night On Earth,’ which is usually pretty popular. They run ideas by me, and I give them some suggestions as well as to who they need to talk to for funding for a project.
What inspired you to go into law enforcement?
I just kind of liked helping people out. When I was in high school, it’s kind of what I saw myself doing. I went through college with a bachelor’s in criminal justice, as well as a minor in psychology and a minor in history. I liked working at a college campus. I was an RA for a year and a half as well as [working] for student security at Westfield State. That interested me because I liked working in a smaller, closer-knit community where I could meet more people. I felt like I could affect more change than if I was working in a town or a city where you don’t get to meet as many people in a day-to-day environment. So when I saw a position open up at Framingham State, I thought it would be pretty interesting and stuck with it since.
What were you like as an undergraduate?
I was kind of a big nerd back then – still a big nerd now. Still like playing board games and everything. Talking to people about comic books and movies and lots of fun things like that. … It is a growing culture. I’m really happy to see it. I’ve seen some of the events and the comic book conventions and things like that really take off. More and more of them are being created now, which I think is a really excellent way to spend some time, get to meet new people and get to meet creators of new comic books as well as new games and movies. I’ve met some movie actors along the way, too.
What was your favorite experience when you were an undergraduate?
A lot of it was some of the friends I made. It was really nice having friends who lived down the hall – people who I established a bond with and still talk to now. It was really convenient then when you all lived on campus. You could call up some of your friends and be like, “Hey, let’s go get lunch. Let’s go to the dining commons.”… That was really a great time. When I got out of school, it was a little bit harder to meet up with people because we all had our separate lives. A lot of my friends are all over the state now, so it takes a bit more planning than just calling up and saying, “Hey, what are you doing?”
What is one piece of advice you would give to students?
Find a professor that you enjoy taking classes with and keep following them. If you find a class that they’re teaching that sounds interesting, take it. You’re going to learn a lot more from a professor that you enjoy rather than just on a subject you may enjoy but the professor doesn’t connect with you as well. Also, it helps to build a rapport with that professor so they can write recommendations for internships. They can write recommendations for job opportunities after school. It can help get you a leg up when you graduate and try to look for a job yourself.