Student Profile: Andrew Clark '14

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Male Medaille student with backpack
        
March 19, 2012

Andrew ClarkFor Andrew Clark, it’s all about giving back.  As a student ambassador, resident assistant, TRiO peer mentor and psychology major, much of Clark’s time is focused on helping others.

"For me, college is more than what’s going on in the classroom," Clark said. He believes the social aspect of campus life is just as important as homework and tests, which is why he strives to make prospective and new students as comfortable as possible at the school. 

Describing his childhood in Philadelphia as "rough," Clark was ready for change when his father, a pastor, announced a move to Buffalo. 

"I wanted to have a chance at a fresh start - a better environment," he said.

A graduate of Buffalo’s Math, Science Technology Preparatory School, Clark admitted Medaille wasn’t on his initial list of colleges, as he had his sights set on going back to Philadelphia.  However, after encouragement from his guidance counselor, Clark met with an admissions counselor at Medaille, toured the school and was intrigued. 

"Besides the fact that Medaille is well-known for its psychology program, what really struck me was the overall atmosphere at the school," he said.  "Everyone here was so friendly and laid back.  I also knew I’d get opportunities here that I might not get at a larger university."

Clark was also grateful for how the admissions office went out of its way to advise him on the financial aid packages his high SAT score earned him. The staff also helped him find ways to lower the cost of living on campus, such as serving as an RA in the South Residence Hall.

"That really showed me the kind of dedication Medaille has for students," he said.

The idea to study psychology came after a friend’s younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia. Needing someone to listen, Clark empathized with her as she shared her fears and concerns. He found satisfaction in giving comfort to someone in need and decided to turn it into a career aspiration, hoping one day to become a doctor of psychiatry with a focus on childhood trauma.

"It’s something that’s needed and that I can provide," he said.

Clark is an avid supporter of the Student Success Center, going so far as to give his perspective in a presentation to Medaille’s Board of Trustees.  He finds the open space, continuously updated technology and abundance of support strategically geared to give students the resources they need to reach their full potential.

Life could have taken a different turn for Clark, and he knows it.  From the ease of assimilating into campus life and making friends to his involvement with the services offered by TRiO and the Student Success Center, Clark seizes every chance to share his enthusiasm about Medaille.

"If I can have the opportunity to talk about a school I enjoy being at and if I can help people discover the same positive experiences I’ve had and give back to the school, I will," he said. "Medaille has given me the chance to make the most of my education, both in and out of the classroom."                          

- Tara Erwin

This content originally appeared in the winter 2011-12 issue of the Medaille Magazine. 

photo by Bob Eisman

 

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