Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Daniel Padilla
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Educational Institution: Clark University
Course of Studies: Economics and Spanish
Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Extracurricular Involvement: Residence Hall Association, Founding Board of Clark’s NRHH, Global Scholars Program, Spanish Language Partner, Selected Residence Advisor for year 2014-2015, selected Teacher Assistant for a Spanish course for year 2014-2015.
A Conversation with Daniel:
SW: Describe the future you envision for yourself.
DP: I became a very passionate soccer fan in 7th grade, but I could never develop enough stamina to be able to play in my school’s varsity team. For this reason, I want to become involved in the administrative management of a professional soccer team or league, whether it is in Honduras or in the US.
SW: What is your course of study and what drew you to it?
DP: Economics and Spanish. I was drawn into Economics because, coming from a developing country, I have always been interested to learn about allocating resources efficiently, and all the politics behind that. Also, knowledge of Economics goes hand in hand with business management, which will hopefully open many doors for me.
As for Spanish, my high school Spanish classes introduced me to Latin American “magic realism,” a literary genre with which I immediately fell in love—so much so that I wanted to make it as much a part of my life as Economics.
SW: What is your most memorable course to date?
DP: The most memorable course I have taken at Clark so far is definitely Factual Film and Television, taught by Professor Hugh Manon. The course entailed analyzing films under the “found footage” genre—such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity—and writing a weekly 700-word paper on them. The final project—the most interesting part of the whole course—was to create our own “found footage” film.
SW: What leadership roles have you taken on campus?
DP: I was elected president of the Residence Hall Association E-Board for the year 2013-2014. I was a Spanish Language Partner during the Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 semesters.
I have been selected Resident Advisor and Teacher Assistant for a Spanish course for the year 2014-2015
SW: What are you passionate about?
DP: I am passionate about my family, for whom I would do absolutely anything. I am passionate about being a role model to my peers. I am passionate about my favorite soccer team in the world, Real España from the Honduran professional soccer league. I am passionate about music, and I love playing the guitar and the drums. I am passionate about movies and videogames. I am also passionate about food, even if my size might not showcase that.
SW: What is one thing you have learned about yourself since becoming a college student?
DP: I have learned that I love my country and my family even more than I thought I did.
I have also learned that I always have to make a name for myself. I did my twelve years of schooling in the same school (Macris School in Tegucigalpa), and I was an honor roll student ever since the first grade, so most of the teachers in the school would hear about me and would already know what to expect from me. Coming to college in a different country, in a totally different environment, was therefore extremely hard for me. I was used to teachers already knowing what I was capable of, even if sometimes I did not put all the effort I could. Here, I realized that I had to work a lot harder to earn my professors’ respect in all of the classes that I was to take.
SW: Where do you go and what do you do when you leave campus?
DP: If I need time for myself, I would borrow a bike from Clark’s Bike Share and ride to the That’s Entertainment store on Park Ave., and I would look around at all the funky stuff they have; from the biggest collection of comics that I have ever seen in any store, to all the memorabilia and retro merchandise that I loved to play with when I was a kid.
Besides that, I love going on dates with my girlfriend Stephanie. We like doing all sorts of things, from a grocery shopping date to getting “fro yo” at Yoway or travelling to Boston to see the Red Sox, the Celtics, or the New England Revolution.
SW: What is your favorite quote?
DP: “When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!” –Winston Zeddemore, Ghostbusters
SW: What is your favorite book or movie?
DP: My favorite books are 1984, Of Mice and Men and The Giver. My favorite movies are Ghostbusters and Dead Poets Society.
SW: What or who has had the greatest influence on you to date? Why?
DP: It would probably be my older brother Marco Vinicio. He graduated from med school in August last year, and seeing the effort he put into the whole eight years of his college career despite harsh the med school environment can be in Honduras (from a collapsing healthcare system to delayed paydays and hospitals which are falling apart) is pretty much all the motivation anyone would ever need to get through life. His lectures on being a growing, young man have also helped me to learn a great deal about life.
SW: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
DP: I can reach the tip of my nose with my tongue. Also, I have never seen any of the Lord of the Rings or the Godfather movies.
SW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
DP: I see myself as an administrative manager of the New England Revolution, or, if I can be more ambitious, the whole Major League Soccer.
SW: If you could do just one thing, locally, nationally or globally to make a difference, what would it be?
DP: I would remind everyone that it is always a good time to be a role model.
GoLocalWorcester presents Central MA College Standout, a weekly feature that profiles college and university students in Central MA. Join us every Tuesday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of today’s local college student.
Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.
If you have suggestions for a profile, please email [email protected].
Related Slideshow: New England Colleges With the Best Undergraduate Teaching
U.S. News & World Report released a survey conducted in 2013 of college administrators on the best schools for undergraduate teaching. Several New England made their lists for best National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Universities. See which schools made the lists in the slides below: