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Mitchell Parks

Associate Professor of Classics

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999

309-341-7651

mhparks@​knox.edu

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East entry to Ford Center for the Fine Arts.

Sarah Colangelo ’10
Director of Regional Recruitment

What is your favorite thing about working at Knox?

The community! I tell prospective Knox students all the time that people at Knox are "interesting and interested" and it's true. I really love being a part of a community that works together to make the world a better place (and to educate other people who want to make the world a better place). Working at Knox is always learning things—from students, from faculty, from colleagues— and that feels really joyful and lively.

What year did you start at Knox?

I started at Knox as a student in 2006. I started working at Knox a few months after I graduated in 2010.

What is your favorite Knox story?

I have a ton, but I think my favorite right now is kind of not even mine to tell. The Colorado Knox Club co-hosts a Colorado Alumni Scholarship with the Admissions Office each February. Every year, preparing for the event is really stressful, but reconnecting with the alumni is so much fun—it feels like a family reunion. Last year, I left right after the event, but one of my colleagues who is also an alum met up with a small group of folks from the Colorado Knox Club (who graduated from Knox decades apart) after dropping me off at the airport. They went out, gossiped, chatted, giggled, had a great time and they still text! Attending and working at Knox has taught me to keep my heart open to conversations and friendships always—and that I have a really incredible extended community in the mountains and beyond.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?

I was a first-generation college student, only child, and eldest kid in my extended family, so graduating from Knox was a big deal. I think I'm most proud of the way I've grown since, especially the way I've learned to handle mistakes and missteps. I take a lot of pride in learning like, home maintenance skills and fixing things, but I'm much better than I used to be at asking for help and learning from wrong turns. 

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Either the library or the Gizmo patio. I love the patio in the spring and summer because it's a great place to appreciate the trees on the South Lawn. But the library is undeniable.

Where is the best place to eat in Galesburg?

Jalisco's

Where are you originally from? If you are not from Galesburg, what brought you here?

I'm from a very small town outside of Mendota, Illinois. Mendota is also a railroad town and home of a pretty impressive Sweet Corn Festival. I moved to Galesburg to attend Knox right after high school and lived here for ten years after graduation. About three years ago, I moved to the exurbs of Chicago to be closer to my family. But I'm around a lot because I just can't stay away!

What has been the best vacation you have ever taken?

This is tough! We travel so much in the Admissions Office that I think I'm kind of bad at vacationing away from home, ha! But I always think back to a weird little day trip that I made to Fort Wayne, Indiana with my parents. My dad was a ham radio operator and bought an antenna from someone in Fort Wayne, so we drove there and back as a family, ate at IHOP, listened to the radio, and talked. It was just a really nice time together.

What TV show, series, movie or book do you recommend or are you watching right now?

Oooo, it's travel season in Admissions so I've done a lot of listening lately! I just finished the most recent season of the Heavyweight podcast and it was very good, but at times very sad. Over the winter, my partner and I watched all of the early 2000s sci-fi mystery show Fringe and it was a lot of fun. 

Do you have a talent that no one knows about? What is it?

Not really a talent, but I'm re-learning to sew which has been super rewarding. I'm bad at it, but it kind of feels nice to be bad at something and be ok with it? I could probably hem your pants for you, though.

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Printed on Thursday, April 25, 2024