After a recent campus program concluded, staff had to turn the space around quickly for another event. Rather than wait for a team from Physical Plant to arrive, Aidan Sinclair ’22 took charge, leaning into his role as campus recreation intern leader.
“He was out there, giving direction and leading with love,” says Drew Guay, director of campus recreation and student life. “When facilities arrived, the job was three quarters done and everyone wondered, ‘Who was that guy?’ Aidan’s an incredible role model.”
Guay says Sinclair arrived on campus as a shy student four years ago, and he’s grown into an all-star who draws others into the fold and nurtures them to lead by focusing on their strengths. “We strive to give students a transformative experience working for Campus Recreation,” Guay adds. “Aidan really found his fit.”
Sinclair came to Plymouth State to study criminology and psychology, and he hopes to land a position in which he can help others. Certainly, he has been a mentor on campus.
After two years as a recreation assistant, Sinclair turned his work-study role into an internship with Campus Recreation, helping to brainstorm, organize, and host student events. His natural desire to help out propelled him to the top, and he now oversees a team of roughly 30 students and is responsible for hiring and general management. Sinclair also recently cofounded a student leadership committee, which he will continue to help launch.
“I’ve had the opportunity to create a group of incredible people here to have a positive impact on the community,” says Sinclair. “My work has been about staff development and management and making sure students feel they have a home. We have a unique opportunity to host fun events that get people engaged, and that starts with them feeling positive. A lot of my time goes to building a culture people want to be a part of.”
Sinclair says he feeds on positivity and aims to pass it on. After he led several days of all-day training at the start of the semester, students commented that the format worked for them because of Sinclair’s high energy and encouragement.
A Maine native, Sinclair chose PSU because it was far enough from home to give him independence, and he was invested in the outdoors, so living in the foothills of the White Mountains was an obvious choice.
He will graduate in December, continue working in the Campus Recreation Office as intern leader, and walk with his class at graduation in the spring. In the short-term, Sinclair plans to draw on his psychology studies and get certified to counsel so he can work at his uncle’s counseling center in Maine.
Eventually, he hopes to attend law school and become a lawyer focused on crime prevention, rather than incarceration. “I’ve always had an overwhelming desire to help people and see them achieve their goals,” he says. “I’m interested in why people commit crime and how to prevent it.”
In addition to his four years in campus recreation, highlights of Sinclair’s PSU experience also include rock climbing on Rumney Mountain, writing his senior capstone paper on the ways in which the War on Drugs targeted minorities and the underprivileged, and expanding his social circle with like-minded students.
He says one key learning he’s experienced is to grow through your failures. “To have a setback determine how you move forward is crippling,” he says. “To see that things sometimes don’t work, and then to overcome and work through them has made me a better leader and professional.”
Sinclair recommends all students get involved. He says, “Try to meet people, even if it feels like you’re nervous or anxious. You might find people who will help you get involved and find a place to connect on campus. If you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll get the benefit.”