Where did you go to school?
I went to Slippery Rock University, which is a state school in Pennsylvania. I decided to get my Bachelor’s in Foreign Languages though I changed my major several times in the process. I went from Pre-Med to Elementary Education to finally, Foreign Languages. I needed to decide on something so I could graduate.
That’s understandable. I was also Pre-Med until I took Bio 101 here. Then I decided that my true passion was for History.
I know what you mean. So anyway, I decided to stay on at Slippery Rock after getting my BA to get my Master’s in Higher Education. I then worked at Slippery Rock in different areas, though they all centered around student activities. I then went to Olivette College in Michigan to take on the role of Student Activities Coordinator. I held that position until I came here to Williams.
Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from a small town in Pennsylvania.
Speaking of small towns, what do you think of Williamstown so far?
I love it here. My hometown is small so I’m used to living in this kind of environment. Actually, Williamstown is bigger than the town where I grew up.
No. I really do love it. I had wanted to move back to the Northeast for some time and this was a great opportunity for me.
How does the social scene at Slippery Rock compare to the thriving social life that Williams students enjoy?
Well, since Slippery Rock was a state school in Pennsylvania, we had a “dry campus.”
No way. This is college we’re talking about.
No, I’m serious. Alcohol was illegal on state college campuses in Pennsylvania. So most of the time, we’d just go off campus to friends’ places to party.
Why is your office so dark?
Where did you hear that?
I have my sources.
Well, I don’t like florescent lights so I just keep them off and have my smaller lights on all the time. I’ve been a bit stressed lately as this first week was kind of a transition period and so I’ve kept the florescent lights off because they just usually add to the stress.
What are your goals this year as the new Student Activities Coordinator?
I don’t have anything written in stone. Initially, I was told that I should have things planned but then I decided that to have a rigid plan would not be beneficial to the students. I don’t really know the students yet. I don’t know what’s important to them. That’s why I encourage students to stop by my office, located in Baxter Lounge, any time.
Will it be well lit?
I promise it will be.
If you were stranded on a small, liberal arts college campus in Northwestern Massachusetts, that was incidentally, far superior to Amherst College, and you could bring in one musical performer or band, which one would it be?
I didn’t expect that one.
I ask the tough questions. It’s my job.
That is a tough one. I listen to a wide variety of music. I listen to Pop, R & B, hip-hop. I can’t really decide on just one group or performer. I guess as long as it wasn’t opera, it would be fine.
I’m not going to let you sidestep this one…just the first name that pops into your head.
I guess it would be Madonna.
Madonna. There you go. Back in middle school, I was quite the fan myself.
Now people are going to say, “So who is this weird guy who likes Madonna?”
No, don’t worry about it. Tons of people like Madonna. Most people just don’t have the courage to admit it. Okay, I’ll finish up with this one. How does it feel to be the end product of an extensive search for an Activities Coordinator whose role it will be to revolutionize the manner in which students here at Williams have fun?
That’s quite a question.
Thanks. I thought of it all by myself.
I’m honored. I didn’t even know about Williams until I saw the advertisement and I decided to apply.
A lot of people haven’t heard about Williams. It’s okay as long as you didn’t think it was William and Mary in Virginia.
I went to talk to a Dean at my school about it, and he told me all about Williams. I decided that it might be a good opportunity so I applied. I hadn’t even known that it was a new position until I came here for an interview. I came here and really loved it. I just hope that I can live up to everybody’s expectations. I want the students to feel like they can approach me at any time with new ideas and I will definitely listen. I feel that it’s very important that the students play a major part in thinking of new activities.
That’s all I have.
That was relatively painless. I thought you might ask me some strange questions like you get asked on interviews sometimes. When I was on an interview once, they asked me, “If I were a donut hole, which kind of donut hole would I be?” Or, “If I were a certain kind of tree, what kind would I be?”
Well, I did think about asking you the last one, except I would have phrased it a bit differently. I would have said: “If you were a tree, what would your name be?”
It would still be Rich.