‘I thrive on pressure’

By Josh Albrecht

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series featuring NIU students and staff who volunteer time to organizations.

Mike Corelli averages three-and-a-half to four hours of sleep a night, but that doesn’t slow him down at all.

Instead, the senior health administration major tries to pack as much as he can into every day.

“I thrive on pressure, it seems to keep me focused and organized,” Corelli said. “Come next year, I won’t have all the opportunities that I do now.”

Corelli, whose list of organizations he is involved in and the awards he has won is as long as a shopping list for a family of four, doesn’t even look at what he does as taking on a lot of responsibilities.

“It’s fun,” he said. “By getting involved you get to meet lots of people, and it makes your college experience worthwhile and more entertaining and enjoyable. I don’t realize how much I’m involved in until I sit down and write it out.”

Corelli said he first realized how many opportunities were out there when he joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

“I love the Greek life, so I make time for that, and the residence halls,” he said. “But it’s not that I like any one thing I do more because they each have their own level of importance, and they play off of each other, so it’s like it’s one whole thing.”

Nicholas Kantas, Campus Activities Board president, has worked with Corelli for the past two years and sees him as a tremendous asset to CAB, especially now, as Corelli is the CAB Springfest coordinator.

“He is a really great team player, and everyone likes working with him,” Kantas said.

Margie Cook, the University Programming and Activities Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender program coordinator, added that Corelli’s commitment to the Safe Zone Program shows that he is willing to help other students.

“Mike models a really open and positive attitude, and he is a warm and approachable person,” Cook said. “He tries to relate to people wherever they come from.”

Corelli, who is set to graduate this May, appreciates the opportunities given to him as a student at NIU, with one of the more memorable moments being when he was Homecoming King two years in a row.

“It’s developed me into the individual that I am and has given and introduced me to a lot of leadership roles,” he said.

Corelli hopes to use his experiences in the future as he plans to go to graduate school and continue working in student affairs.

For others who are looking to get involved on campus, Corelli has a few tips.

“They should find something that they really enjoy doing and can really have input on and get heavily involved with,” he said. “Time management is the biggest factor.”

And while he wishes that he could have found time to be a member of the Student Association because it is directly related to students, Corelli said he wouldn’t change a thing about his time at NIU.

Corelli says he will miss the uniqueness and diversity of the campus. Plus, he will miss Homecoming, the cold winters, the wind tunnel near the Holmes Student Center and the chalkings on the ground.

But it isn’t over until he puts on his cap and gown.

“That brings everything I’ve done to a conclusion, but it’s another door opening in my life,” he said.