Senior Adam Saccardi has made the most of his opportunities during his tenure at Plattsburgh State. From being a part of the Student Association, fraternity and sorority life and being an admissions ambassador, he has tried to give back to the school that he said has given him so much.
Saccardi had a different opinion when he first came to PSUC.
“I don’t have a typical, ‘Oh I fell in love with Plattsburgh story,’” Saccardi said. “Honestly, when I got here, I didn’t like it. I was contemplating leaving the school.”
Saccardi said he decided to stay after he started to go to his classes and hanging out with people on his floor. He said he made some good friends in his first semester.
“I found that a lot of people on campus were very kind and welcoming,” he said. “My professors were very helpful and actually interested in getting to know me. Building those relationships really convinced me that this was a good place to be.”
Saccardi built off those relationships and has fallen in love with PSUC, so much so that he said he’s doing his senior thesis on the history of the school.
The Long Island native initially came to PSUC wanting to be a history teacher but quickly realized that it wasn’t for him. He said he still wanted declare a history major, as it was his first passion.
“I love learning about why something happened, why people did that, looking at questions like that,” Saccardi said. “I find that very interesting and rewarding.”
His love for history and learning also convinced him to add two more majors in political science and economics.
“I was always interested in politics and economics,” Saccardi said. “I just think learning about the civics of our country and how the government works and understand why they make some decisions is fascinating to me.”
PSUC Associate Professor of history Dr. Richard Schaefer said Saccardi has all the qualities a professor could ask for in a student.
“Adam is a very intelligent and hardworking person,” Schaefer said. “He’s particularly gifted. He’s always engaged and is a real treat to have in class.”
Schaefer said the fact that Saccardi brings political science, economics and history together shows that he wants to see things in “broad dimensions,” which he said is rare nowadays, as people want to specialize in one thing.
“He still believes in the art of big thinking,” he said. “I really want to see him reach out and see where he goes.” His desire to get more involved on campus during his freshman year led him to the Student Association.
“There became a vacancy in one of the positions and one of my friends who was already in the SA pressed me to run for it,” Saccardi said. “I won, and I’ve been involved with the SA ever since.”
Saccardi started as a senator, moved up to board of elections, then moved on to being chief justice. Most recently Saccardi was responsible with redrafting the constitution of the SA.
Besides joining the SA, Saccardi decided to join PSUC Fraternity and Sorority life by becoming a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon.
Saccardi said he was introduced to TKE through a friend who was in the Model UN club with him. He went to one of the events and decided to join with his roommate, Kevin Clayton.
There, Saccardi quickly amassed the vice president position of the fraternity, which he held for a year and a half. He is currently serving as the community service chairman of the organization.
“I really enjoyed being vice president because it gave me real life leadership experience,” he said. “It’s a unique challenge to lead your peers who are also your brothers.”
With all the responsibilities Saccardi holds, he said he had to come up with his own system to manage his time and school work.
“What I was doing my first semester of college was kind of just winging it,” he said. “It wasn’t working. So I started making index cards for the days of the week and wrote down what I needed to do for that day.”
Saccardi said he made a deal with himself that every day he had to get everything done on that index card before he did anything else.
PSUC senior political science major, friend and fraternity brother, Kevin Clayton, said that is exactly what Saccardi does.
“He works harder than anyone I’ve ever met,” Clayton said. “There’s a reason he does so well in school. Whether it’s his studies, TKE or Student Association, he puts more time than anyone else.”
Clayton, who has known Saccardi since freshman year, said students can use Saccardi as a role model for being involved on campus and doing well in school.
“People hear the joke that you can do three things in college — sleep, get good grades or a have a social life — and you can only pick two,” Clayton said. “It’s nice to know that you can actually do all three. Adam is a testament to that. If you do things right you can have it all.”
During his second semester at PSUC, Saccardi became an admissions ambassador and wanted to tell other people about the school he had fallen in love with.
Saccardi said he loves talking to prospective students and their families about his experiences.
“I love telling people my story, ‘I didn’t like it when I came here, but here are the things I discovered when I got here that made me love it,’” Saccardi said. “I want to make sure they are well aware of that before they get here.”
People who’ve gotten to know Saccardi over the years agree he made a lasting impression on them in one way or another.
“There’s a saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Clayton said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with Adam, and being around him has encouraged me to go for a lot of things.”
Email David Luces at firstname.lastname@example.org