Political science student: MCLA is 'the best place'


Lucas McDiarmid (center) with other MCLA students at 'State Appreciation Day' in Boston, Mass.

Originally from San Pedro Sula in Cortes, Honduras, Lucas McDiarmid '15, now of Palmer, Mass., decided in high school that he wanted to work with government: he plans to become a federal agent in the human trafficking and child exploitations division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

"Today, I know how flexible a degree in political science is," McDiarmid said. "After my career at ICE, I'd like to be a political science professor at a small liberal arts college - MCLA would be great - and to get involved in local politics to serve the people of Northern Berkshire County.

Last fall, he participated in "State Appreciation Day," when he traveled with a delegation of other students to Beacon Hill in Boston, Mass., to express his gratitude to members of the local legislature. The experience, McDiarmid said, not only presented a great opportunity to do some networking, it also showed him other career paths in political science that he could pursue after he graduates.

Back at MCLA, he is taking advantage of other opportunities that provide him with the type of leadership experience he needs as he prepares for a career within the field of political science.

A senator with MCLA's Student Government Association (SGA) for the past year, McDiarmid sits on the Constitution Committee. He recently was invited to join the Who's Who of American College and University Students' selection committee. In addition, he works in the Residential Programs and Services (RPS) office, and as an admissions ambassador, where he serves as the coordinator for all the students who volunteer to help out during MCLA's Admissions events.

"Through these positions and activities, I have grown as an individual and gained valuable work experience," McDiarmid said.

"The best part of being an MCLA student is the range of experience gained here," he continued. "MCLA prepares its students for real-life scenarios, and the College teaches us how to be independent thinkers. There is a great community feeling here that is so rare and hard to find at other colleges."

A second-generation MCLA student, McDiarmid's mother graduated from the College when it was known as North Adams State. Because of this, he admits he's "a little biased" when it comes to MCLA. However, he chose the College because, when he first visited, he immediately loved the campus and the surrounding Berkshires area.

"I love MCLA because I truly feel that it is the best place to get a quality education. The professors here at MCLA are top notch," he said. "The opportunities here are numerous. The classes are great and I'm never bored. MCLA is the kind of place that lends itself to great success on a both a personal and academic levels."

What would he tell prospective students who are considering the College?

"I would recommend MCLA in a heartbeat," McDiarmid said. "It's the kind of place I only ever dreamed of attending for higher education. I can truly say I feel that, when I graduate, I will be ready for my future careers and any detours I will make along the way."