One of MCLA's more involved students on campus, Ashley Franco '12 of Swansea, Mass., wouldn't have it any other way. From helping newly arrived students on campus find their niche to keeping students throughout the nation informed and connected, Franco is making a difference in the lives of not only our undergraduates, but others attending colleges and universities throughout the United States.
In addition to serving on two Student Government Association committees and as a senate chairperson, Franco - who is majoring in English/communications with a concentration in creative writing - is the national communications coordinator.
"As the national communications coordinator, I have the opportunity to be a part of something national that affects all resident students on all college campuses and that's an amazing feeling. I am able to make a difference with others," Franco said. "I am responsible for keeping up the communication link to the school, to the region and the national organization, National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH). I am also in charge of preparing our MCLA's NEACURH delegations, to bring back amazing things to our campus."
Franco also is a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). In that position, she works to recognize MCLA's residence areas for their hard work and dedication to building community on campus. Her other activities include acting as a peer advisor, welcoming new students to MCLA and helping to guide them down the path that's right for them. "It's really rewarding," she said.
In addition, Franco is a member of the MCLA Dance Company and a student choreographer.
"I have learned a lot from being involved," Franco said. "I have really learned that, as an individual, you can make a difference. All it takes is a little elbow grease and motivation."
Once she found her niche, it was easy to become involved at MCLA. She fell in love with the campus on a tour when in high school. She enjoys the small-college environment and smaller class sizes.
"There is something here for everyone," Franco said. "I had a fairly easy time making friends, but that's because I am so outgoing and ambitious. I think that the close-knit community allows each student to grow into their own, and to make all kinds of friends and memories that they will never forget."
Through becoming an involved student, Franco says she has gained both confidence and time management skills. "I've also learned presentation skills, from doing two presentations at the past two MCLA leadership conferences. I have learned that with a little bit of a drive, you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to."
What's been the best thing about her MCLA experience thus far?
"All of the amazing connections that I have made, and the people who have truly impacted my life. I am thankful for what I have learned and the time that I have spent at MCLA," Franco said.