Featured Friar: Victoria Haak ’20
by Hannah Langley ’21
Looking back four years ago, Victoria Haak ’20 probably would have never guessed she would end up becoming so involved at Providence College. Haak knew early on she wanted to be a biology major, but where she was going to pursue this interest, she was not sure. “Throughout the college process, I knew what I wanted to do, but I had no idea where I wanted to go. I applied to Providence College before I visited and did not expect it to be my final decision.”
However, Haak now ultimately knows why she decided to come to PC. She said“I chose Providence College because of the Friar Family,” and she has been an extremely active part of the Friar family ever since.
Since that decision four years ago, Haak has become involved in various clubs and organizations on campus, including working as a residence assistant (RA), orientation leader (OL), and the editor-in-chief of the PC yearbook since her sophomore year. She works as a social media ambassador for PC, and as a lab manager in Fr. Nicanor Austriaco’s, O.P., research lab. Haak is also the president of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), a member of the pre-health honors society (Alpha Epsilon Delta), and a member of the research honors society (Sigmi Xi).
When asked what Haak loves most about being an RA, she says it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. As a hall RA in Meagher Hall, Suites Hall, and currently McVinney Hall, Haak stated, “Being an RA has given me the opportunity to be an advisor to first year students, to be a support system, and to grow as a person. I have seen some of the lowest and hardest times in a student’s time at Providence College, but I have been able to see the growth that results from these experiences.” She said she feels blessed to see her residents grow and is proud to even call some of her former residents’ friends.
Not only has Haak become great friends with her residents, but she has also formed connections with her fellow RAs over the years. “The countless people I have met through being an RA is one of my favorite things, those being the residents and the other RAs,” Haak stated. “No one quite understands what you have to deal with as an RA except for other RAs, so it brings us extremely close. I want to thank all of those RAs who have been there for me.”
As an OL, Haak has also formed close connections and bonds with students and leaders. When talking about the various great qualities her fellow leaders have, Haak stated, “My fellow orientation leaders all have different styles and personalities which taught me the love and acceptance among the orientation staff. You want students to feel welcomed and supported once they stand on campus.”
Haak acknowledges that many people dread orientation, but she does not mind it, saying, “As an orientation leader, you have the opportunity to make something mandatory into something extraordinary,” which is something she is very proud of as in being an OL.
Haak leads a busy lifestyle as a biology major and RA during the year, but she still finds time to partake in activities she is passionate about. Haak began working on the PC yearbook, Veritas, in her freshman year and became the editor-in-chief during her sophomore year. “Coming into college, I knew being a biology major would take a lot of my time,” said Haak. “Something I did not want to lose was my creative side. Yearbook became my creative outlet.”
Haak also uses her free time by giving tours around campus as a member of the Friars Club. Joining Friars Club in her junior year, Haak is appreciative of the fact that it allows her to not only interact with students already at PC, but to meet and talk with perspective students and families, as well. “I have so much pride and excitement every time I put on my jacket to give a tour or stand at a post,” stated Haak.
“This club has allowed me to share my love for our school and show prospective students what it means to be a Friar. Being able to show someone the place where they belong and where they can be at home surrounded by the people they love is something that I am blessed to be a part of.”
As Haak closes in on her final semester here at PC, she talked about how she is not ready to leave the Friar Family yet. However, she is thankful and appreciative of all the memories she has been able to make over the past four years. Between Late Night Madness, Black and White Ball, Senior Ring Weekend, the spring concerts, and even working late nights in Fr. Nic’s lab, Haak would not take any of it back.
As Haak departs from PC in May to pursue a job in research before attending medical school for pediatrics, Haak is looking forward to seeing “who takes over after me, who will follow in my footsteps.” When asked to give advice for freshmen, and especially biology majors, Haak responded, “Find your passion and find people who share that same passion. Never give up. Not every path is the same, but we can all accomplish what we set our minds to.”
Since she is from Buffalo, NY, Haak is extremely appreciative and thankful that she has found a home in PC. “Having my family close to eight hours away,” Haak stated, “I would not have been able to survive college without the love and support of the Friar Family. Providence College has become my home, and I love meeting past Friars, current Friars, and prospective Friars. I am grateful and blessed to be able to call Providence College home, and those who are here, my family. ”
Haak would like to thank her family in Buffalo, her friends, and all those who have pushed her to do more and to continue working hard.