Matthew Clark ’22 wrote his 100th article as a student worker for University Relations just days before commencement, the culmination of his journey as a Newman University student.
A unique path to discovering his passion
Clark started his college career with hopes of becoming a research oncologist. After exploring his interests and passions, Clark eventually graduated as a double-major in English and theater. He chose these majors because he said he believes that the two are at the center of humanity.
“English and theater are the culmination of storytelling, and the art of story is the heartbeat of humanity. Even if we are not immortal, our stories are. Beyond us, there will still be echoes of love, fear, laughter and tears,” Clark said.
Clark was a student worker for University Relations during his sophomore, junior and senior years, where he wrote many stories for the Newman Today news site.
“Writing 100 articles is one of my greatest professional achievements so far. Over the course of three years, I learned so much about AP (Associated Press) style and journalism as a whole. I learned how to give readers the information they need or want as efficiently and enjoyably as possible,” Clark said. “But, most importantly, I got to meet so many interesting individuals with their own stories to tell, which is truly the best part of the job.”
Clark said working for University Relations was an incredible experience and was especially valuable to him as a writer. His work on various articles helped hone his skills by giving him the chance to seek out stories and quotes from people. He said some of his favorite stories to write were ones about the arts, but his No. 1 favorite is actually science-related.
“I loved (writing) promotional stories about plays, music events and art pieces, but my favorite article was with Karen Noel, administrative assistant for the School of Social Work, to revisit and celebrate her illustration of a new grasshopper species. The story was as fun to research as it was to write, and it ended up reminding me of the poignant, beautiful connection between the arts and the sciences,” Clark said.
Forming the whole person at Newman University
During his time at Newman, Clark also participated in many other academic and extracurricular activities. He was a member of the Gardening Club and the Sloppy Joes, as well as being the emcee of Open Mic Poetry and a participant or facilitator for a variety of academic panels. Toward the end of his time at Newman, he had an internship with Guadalupe Clinic, an online job as a social media evaluator, a role in “Mary, Queen of Scots” and an imaginative capstone project utilizing the Dungeons & Dragons game.
Clark said although he enjoyed every bit of everything he was involved in, his favorite memory was when he met his now girlfriend through assisting one of his professors.
“My favorite memory involves one of my extracurricular activities. For the past few semesters, I have assisted Dr. Susan Crane-Laracuente, associate professor of English, with her theater unit in Literature & Criticism,” Clark said. “Toward the end of my sophomore year, as I was helping with the 10-minute plays, I met Madeleine Dellinger ’20.”
After chatting for weeks over the phone, the two had their very first date the evening of graduation.
“We recently celebrated our two-year anniversary, and we have our alma mater — and Dr. Crane — to thank for it.”
A man of many hats
In Clark’s junior year, he picked up a hobby: making jewelry such as rings and earrings out of copper wire. He even had the chance of showcasing his work at a booth during the 2022 MultiCultural Leadership Organization (MCLO) Extravaganza, where he was able to sell some handmade earrings as well as make rings on the spot.
This interest of his ties into his new job as he will now be working at Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design.
“The hobby of mine has since evolved, and I am proud to say that it will soon become my whole world. This August, I will be joining the team as their apprentice, taking on the role of a bench jeweler,” Clark said. “I am excited beyond measure for such an opportunity, and thrilled that I will be learning and working as an artist of metals and gemstones.”
Clark said he is thankful for his time at Newman and all the great people he has met. In addition, he said he’s very thankful for what his mentors taught him as it means the world to him.
“I could say so many things about what I learned at Newman. I studied, directed, acted, wrote and read relentlessly in my four years. But ultimately, I learned how to be patient and kind to myself from Dr. Marguerite Regan (associate professor of English); I learned to watch and to listen for the story in everything from Dr. Susan Crane-Laracuente (associate professor of English); I learned that not all hauntings are bad from Dr. Bryan Dietrich (professor of English); I learned to expect the unexpected from Mark Mannette (associate professor and director of theater); I learned to never forget our past from Dr. Kelly McFall (professor of history and director of the Honors Program). I learned more about myself and about humanity as a whole than any one book or essay. And I think our namesake would agree with me when I say: That is exactly what education should be,” Clark said.
As Clark is ready to start the next chapters of his story, he has one piece of advice to current and future students of Newman.
“When you wake up every day, knowing that you carry the world on your shoulders, it’s easy to be scared of your future and your responsibilities. Take a moment for yourself. Breathe. Cry. There will be times when you want to give up on everything. But you will persevere; it’s what humans are meant to do,” Clark said.
Earn a degree in Arts & Humanities
Programs in the School of Arts and Sciences prepare graduates for their desired careers by developing the reflective and critical thinking, communication and research skills needed to be successful and transform society.