If you were asked to think of some general qualities that would describe a Jasper, you would probably come up with ones that we all, as Jaspers, should strive to emulate. Intelligence, compassion, friendliness, leadership ability, the list goes on and on.
Matt Clark exemplifies them all.
A sophomore dual major in business management and computer information systems, Clark is involved in many aspects on campus, including Lasallian Collegians, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the L.O.V.E. program, Just Peace and Student Government.
Clark’s passion for helping the community, as well as the rest of the world, has deep roots in the Lasallian tradition, as he also attended a Lasallian high school prior to coming to Manhattan College.
“I went to a Lasallian high school. They made us do a lot of service, we had a minimum service requirement and I ended up leading a couple clubs there and it ended up carrying over to college,” Clark said. “I was the president of our Lasallian youth group, so very similar to Lasallian Collegians.”
Clark definitely got himself involved in as many service-based clubs and organizations as possible here at MC, and has moved up to many leadership positions just as a sophomore.
He currently leads the Food Security committee for CRS and is a first year ambassador as well.
“I work with Matt in the CRS campus ambassadors program where he actually is a first year ambassador and was recently selected to serve as the liaison for the upcoming year,” Kelly Douglas, a senior Business Management major, said. “There is the regular level of ambassadors and then there are the liaisons who micromanage a small group, so he really stood out as a leader.”
On top of his work with CRS on campus, Clark is highly involved with the Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.) program.
As a freshman last summer, he travelled to Camp Reynal in Texas with the school to act as a counselor for children with kidney disease. This summer, Clark is returning to Camp Reynal and is leading the L.O.V.E. group this time.
“It was life changing,” Clark said in regards to the trip. “We go to a camp, it’s called Camp Reynal, and we serve as counselors to kids who have had or currently have some kind of kidney failure. Some are on medication, some are on dialysis, it depends on their situation if they’ve had a transplant or not.”
Hailing from Staten Island, NY, Clark stood out in high school as well. His current roommate, Robert Durante, knows him well, as they both attended the same school, St. Peter’s Boys High School.
“Matt has always been a nice, outgoing person who has always liked to be involved in school. Since high school he has been running clubs, he played sports in high school, now in college he is actually really involved in so many different clubs,” Durante, a sophomore Economics major, said. “He likes to be someone who is always helping out and doing something.”
Clark’s character and personality traits draw people to him. He exudes compassion and genuinely enjoys helping others.
“Matt really has a thing for helping people. I think that has always been his greatest attribute,” Durante said.
Perhaps one of the most impressive things about Clark is his ability to multitask, as he is involved in so many different areas on campus.
“The thing that impresses me the most about Matt is how many different things he is able to handle at once because he has so many different jobs. He is working and he works so many different clubs and he is still doing really well in all of his classes,” Durante said. “Just being able to handle all of that pressure and responsibility on campus has just always impressed me about him.”
Clark is also involved in Student Government and is on the Student Court.
“At Student Court we handle cases of appeals, mostly parking tickets that students bring to our attention. So we decide whether they pay or get a reduction,” he said.
While he is involved in all of these things on campus, he is still able to maintain a social life and is a friend to many. It is very hard not to like Clark.
“Matt is hysterical! His sense of humor is very unique. It’s dry, it’s witty, it’s quick and he will always have you on your toes,” Douglas said. “He is very sarcastic, but he is still extremely caring and compassionate and he would do anything for anyone.”
He is also wholly dedicated to everything he commits himself to on campus, and this reliability that he exhibits makes people like him and trust him even more.
“He is extremely hardworking and he is good for his word,” Douglas said. “If he says he is going to be there, you know he is going to be there and that is something I have really grown to appreciate in Matt.”
Clark has already made his mark on campus as a sophomore and still has two more years to do even more.
“I believe whole-heartedly that Matt will do great things during his time here at Manhattan College,” Douglas said.
“He really truly exemplifies what it means to be a Jasper. He is involved in many different aspects on campus. He is dedicated to his studies but also to his family and friends and the MC community as a whole,” she said.