Mark Lawrence – Class of 2004

marklawrence CHP Alumnus Mark Lawrence has spent the last three years working at Chapman University as a Resident Director, managing a residence hall and working with students. “I really enjoy seeing my students grow over their time at Chapman, and how capable they become as they’re graduating,” says Mark, “I love positively impacting future professionals.”

Mark has many interests that extend beyond student life. He is a member of the UCI sailing club, and enjoys most outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. He has also done some volunteering, and recently began doing side work in International Development. Mark has volunteered in Guatemala as well as advised the Chapman chapter of Oxfam America. “This work sparked my interest in traveling overseas to contribute,” Mark explains, “there is a vast opportunity gap between us and people in many developing countries, and I believe I have a responsibility and role in addressing that gap.”

Although Mark has enjoyed his time at Chapman, he is ready to fully embark on a new adventure. On July 8th, he will be flying to Guinea to begin a two year term with the Peace Corps. Guinea is an especially under-developed country in Western Africa. The national language is French, though many Guineans speak in their local languages. Mark will be teaching physics to 7th-10th graders…in French. But teaching in a foreign language doesn’t seem unreasonable to him: “I’m really looking forward to being immersed in the culture and languages of Guinea – it’ll really help me kick my French to the next level, and I’ll be learning at least one local language as well.”

Mark feels that the CHP and UCI had a strong influence on making him the person he is today. “The CHP has a great culture and promotes learning and understanding, and I am so appreciative of that,” shares Mark. Because of this, Mark pushes his students at Chapman to see learning as an opportunity, rather than a chore. Mark’s advice for current students would be for them to make the most of their time at UCI: “Take a chance on a class you don’t need but sounds interesting, join a club or organization, take a sailing class – whatever it is that will push your boundaries as much as you can.”

Mark doesn’t know yet what he will do after the Peace Corps, but that doesn’t bother him. In his words, “I’ll have to cross that bridge in a couple years!” In the meantime, he is looking forward to his time in Guinea. “I am really excited to go – this dream has been a long time coming!” Mark continues, “I’m sure nervousness will come, but so far I’m just excited – and doing all the preparation I can!”