Senior business administration student Frankie Delapas, a West Virginia native, has aspirations to enact change within his beloved home state through a future career in politics.
“I love West Virginia, and never plan on leaving,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential here and I want to see it grow and thrive.”
And as president of Fairmont State’s Student Government Association, Delapas has learned a fair share about public service and representing his constituents – who, in this case, are his fellow Falcons.
“Every day, I hear from students voicing their concerns and thoughts about things on campus,” said Delapas. “As soon as I hear from them, I make sure to address their issues and find a resolution as soon as possible.”
When the student body expressed the desire for Starbuck’s in the Falcon Center to expand and adjust hours to better fit class schedules, Delapas delivered. And when the COVID-19 pandemic upended life as we knew it, Delapas saw that as an opportunity to use his platform to lend a hand to those in need.
“I never pictured serving as SGA President during a global pandemic, but when it happened, I knew a great way for our organization to utilize our resources was by helping the greater community,” he said.
Through their organization of the inaugural Christmas with a Falcon program last semester, Delapas and his fellow student leaders within SGA raised more than $13,000 to help provide Christmas gifts to elementary school children throughout Marion County. Not only that, but SGA also organized multiple food drives and even delivered Easter baskets to local nursing homes.
And when he wasn’t busy addressing the needs of the student body or finding new ways to serve within the Fairmont community, Delapas spent his time working as a student employee in the Falcon Center weight room and absorbing as much knowledge as he could from his teacher-mentors.
“Our campus really has a family atmosphere,” Delapas said. “I love the small classroom sizes and the opportunity to build professional relationships with the professors and staff.”
Delapas said his professors showed a genuine interest and investment in his learning and facilitated internship experiences that will serve him well in his future pursuits. Closing this chapter in his life and academic career brings with it a time of reflection for Delapas.
“It’s a mixed bag of emotions,” he said. “I’m saddened it’s coming to an end, but I’m grateful the experience happened.”
Luckily, Delapas won’t have to say goodbye to his home on the hilltop for too long after he officially becomes an alumnus at this weekend’s Spring Commencement ceremony, as he plans to pursue a master’s degree in healthcare management through Fairmont State this fall – a decision that was a seemingly natural encore to his successful and rewarding undergraduate career.
“I learned a lot during the last four years here at Fairmont State,” Delapas said. “I’ve made lifelong friends and just had a great experience overall.”