Hometown– Abbottstown, PA
HC: What was your first encounter with THON?
MR: My very first encounter with THON was when my cousin danced when I was very young. One of the first times I spent a long time at THON weekend was when my sister danced in 2007. Both of my sisters danced in THON, actually.
HC: What inspired you to apply for Director of Hospitality?
MR: I had been a captain for two years and I loved both of those experiences which were on different committees, Hospitality and Public Relations. I really felt like I had more to give to THON and I really wanted to be able to give back even more. I really felt that my time and talents would be spent best working with donors and leading a group of captains in HOS. I think I was just really inspired by all of the amazing things THON has accomplished so far and what THON can do for these families. It was an amazing experience.
HC: What has been the most challenging aspect of being Executive Director thus far?
MR: I think one of the biggest challenges is being able to view THON from many different perspectives at any given time. The executive committee has 15 different directors who have 15 different focuses and perspectives and I might need to meet with several of them throughout the day. So, essentially, I must be able to change my perspective to understand and accommodate everyone. You need to have a broad understanding of all of the different committees in THON and I think that’s been a really big learning curve, at least for me.
HC: What is your favorite THON memory?
MR: My favorite THON memory involves when my sister danced in 2007, which was the first year that THON was held in the Bryce Jordan Center. I really remember it being really powerful for me to see how much THON had grown over the past few years that THON had been a part of my life. It was cool to see how much we have grown and how much room we had to continue. It was an impactful moment to see that THON is continuing to reach new heights and the sky is the limit with what we can do.
HC: Getting a lot more attention in your day-to-day life is part of the territory that comes with being the Executive Director. How has that affected you?
MR: It hasn’t really been as apparent as it sometimes may seem. One of the biggest pieces of advice I got from my predecessor, Ryan Patrick, was to embrace everything and that’s what I really try to do. It’s really neat because I get to meet so many different committee members, captains and organization members. Another perk from this is that I am able to say hi to them as I walk across campus and that’s really cool with the mass amounts of students here. I get to form even just a little bit of a connection with so many of THON’s volunteers because of that.
HC: What are you looking forward to the most about THON 2015?
MR: Right now, we’re so focused on the execution of the plans of upcoming events that we’ve spent the last 6 months working on. That’s what I’m really excited for. All of those things we’ve been working towards are going to start to come into play and we’re going to start executing all of the plans we’ve made to improve events. I’m really excited to see everything play out and experience it from this perspective.