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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Naufel’s regency: ‘It’s been absolutely phenomenal’

Sam Gross
Student Regent Mark Naufel during the Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, April 7. Naufel is nearing the end of his two-year regency.

Current Arizona Board of Regents student regent Mark Naufel will be graduating this year from Arizona State University for the third time.

Born and raised in Tempe, Naufel graduated from ASU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and science, then again last year when he earned his master’s degree in business analytics with a minor in political science. This May will be his final time donning a mortarboard when he earns his second master’s in system engineering.

Naufel’s regency: “It’s been absolutely phenomenal.”

“It’s gone by quick,” he said. “But I think that’s because it’s been so good. You get to experience so many things and meet so many great people.”

Naufel, who began his term with the regents on July 1, 2014, said he really enjoyed his first year as regent, which he spent taking his time to absorb everything.

This year he became the student regent with voting powers, where he used his knowledge and leadership skills to serve as a voice for Arizona students at all three public universities.

Student regents serve two-year terms. The first is spent observing and learning the ropes of the regents. The second and final year, they transition to a voting member of the board.

Naufel said he thinks his greatest accomplishment is successfully being a voice for the students because that’s really what the position is all about.

When in student government, one typically has a platform of ideas in which you work toward, he said, but the board is passing policy that is responsible for making over-arching changes at the universities.

“Having the student input on that is crucial,” Naufel said. “I’ve always seen my role as really getting a pulse of the university, really just being the bridge between the board, the community and the university itself.”

He acknowledged the one thing he could have done better during his term was to have traveled more to the other universities.

Naufel said he always did his best to spend extra time meeting with students every time he came to UA or Northern Arizona University for meetings, but it was mostly just with student government.

“I feel like I didn’t do as good of a job of just hearing about the average student at NAU or UA, but at the end of the day, you really hope the student governments are really bringing you the concerns of the population as a whole.” Naufel said. “I think that they really do. It just would of been nice to confirm that a little more.”

Where it all started

Naufel said his parents are both immigrants from Lebanon who worked hard their entire lives to support him and his sister. Watching them gave him a strong work ethic.

“None of this would of been possible if it wasn’t for the great upbringing they gave me,” Naufel said. “They’ve always pushed me to strive to do something with my life and give back to the community.”

Naufel said learning has always been his passion. But he has always been passionate about the business and technical things, too, thus leading to his career in student government.

Naufel ran for student body president at ASU’s Tempe campus his sophomore year, won, graduated early and came back to get his master’s degree. His third degree is just to round out his skills.

Advice for the new guard

Naufel said he almost didn’t apply for the regents position and that there are always amazing opportunities out there, but some people aren’t aware of them or are too nervous or intimidated to apply.

“I can’t really explain how much I’ve been able to experience and the people I’ve met and the opportunities that were open to me,” Naufel said.

He said students shouldn’t be intimidated, adding that he almost didn’t apply for the regents position. He also said students need to pay attention to the options they have, but easily overlook, every day.

“I would say pursue as much as you can, whether it’s an organization, or student government or even within your academic programs,” Naufel said. “Try to get as much out of the universities as you can in your short time here because when you’re out of the university and out in the real world, things really start to slow down.”

Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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