“I believe that everyone has the potential to be more than they are,” Says Mark Parisi, DSU Director of Counseling.

Darren Torain

Mark L. Parisi is a Counseling Services Executive Director at Delaware State University. He has been at this school for quite a while now and has worked hard at his job. I, Darren Torain, had the chance to sit down and interview an important DSU staff member to ask questions about his life. He has had a significant impact on people who are having problems with mental health or any other issues in their lives.

Mark Parisi, DSU Executive Director, Counseling Services.

Q1-Where were you born, and what was your upbringing like? 

A- I am Mark Parisi, and I was born in Central New Jersey. My life was typical, and I lived a good life. 

Q2- Who has been the greatest influence in your life that has impacted the man/woman you are today?

A- The one person I was influenced by was my high school Latin teacher. She inspired me because she was passionate about what she was teaching.

Q3-What about your family?

A- I love that everyone in my family has a good sense of humor and everyone can make each other laugh. Each person has their personality, and I feel like that’s unique.

Mark Parisi, DSU Executive Director, Counseling Services.

Q4- Can you tell us your education history and what your goals or life ambition was when you were a student in High School/College?

A- In high school, I was attracted to studying foreign languages. That led me to go to college and explore the field of linguistics, which is the field that studies language as a phenomenon. 

Q5- Can you tell us about your job/education experience prior to what you’re doing now?

A- After college, I continued to study Psychology and became a psychologist interested in college mental health. I worked for many years in college and university centers. Eventually, I became the director of those centers, which is my current job, the Executive Director of counseling services. 

Q6- What was the most memorable point at that job/school?

A- In high school, I was involved in the theater program. I remember performing in the musical Greece, a momentous event. 

Q7- Is this where you thought you’d be five or so years ago?

A- I felt like I would be a counselor now. I like working with college students. I taught for a while as an instructor, and I wanted to help with their challenges.

Q8- What informed your decision to do what you’re doing now?

A- My job is working with the students. My career allows me to continue directing the services for students’ mental health needs. 

Q9- What are your plans for the future?

A- I imagine that I would be involved with the community. I want to volunteer to help students with mental health issues since people are still struggling with that problem now. 

Q10-What kind of advice would you offer a student who is undecided on his or her career path?

A- I would recommend that students try different things. Students try other subjects to see what’s out there and find something they would enjoy doing in the future. Opportunities are everywhere, so you have to look for them.

Q11- How would you describe the state of higher education in America today? 

A- I feel like it’s very dynamic, and a lot is changing. Students’ needs are changing regarding what they need in terms of a degree. The way that education is changing is because programs are being eliminated in specific fields. There is more demand for college students to pursue the degree they want.

Q12-How are you responding to online teaching and learning? Which is better: face-to-face or virtual learning, and why?

A- I don’t think one is better; both have benefits. All students learn differently. It’s about matching up the right approach since each student has different ways of catching on to things.

Q13- Have you ever traveled outside of the United States? Where and how does life outside compare to that in the US?

A- I have never traveled outside the U.S. Depending on what you look at outside the United States, some countries aren’t as developed as us. Being able to grow food and meet the needs of the community has been a challenge for countries like ours.

Q14- Are you interested in politics? If not, why not? What is your take on the state of politics and the future of American democracy?

A- I am not a person who follows politics that much. I feel like it’s something that doesn’t interest me 

Q15- What does the future hold for America?

A- I hope that Americans have the potential to be diverse. Diversity brings different perspectives, and being they have different opinions, I am hopeful that America finds a way to improve from its current state. People have different cultures, which makes The United States unique.

Q16-What are your hobbies or extracurricular activities?

A- I like to walk and read; I enjoy listening to music and camping occasionally.

Q17- How would you describe your philosophy of life? That is, how do you see this life, and what principles get you grounded and moving forward?

A- I believe that everyone has the potential to be more than they are. I believe in the power of change; things can change for the better. There is always hope for tomorrow.

Q18-Let us end this interview with a memorable quote from you. How would you describe yourself to the world?

A- I am “happy to be here; now tell me about yourself.”

Mark Parisi is happy to be working at Delaware State University. He feels like he can impact anyone’s life whenever they are struggling or need help with anything. He is a school veteran, so he has been around long enough to know whenever a person has mental health issues. If you are a student dealing with a problem, the best person to contact would be the Executive Director Of Counseling Services, Mark Parisi. 

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