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10 questions with … Anthony Mam

Anthony Mam, our college success coach at the University of Rhode Island, graduated from Bryant University with a Bachelor’s of Science in actuarial mathematics and Master of Science in college student personnel from the University of Rhode Island. He was the first in his family to earn a college degree and wanted to be that same support system for first-gen students. He previously served as a high school advisor in Woonsocket.

1. What is your favorite part of your job?

Witnessing the sigh of relief and gratefulness a student feels after I coached them through academic, financial or social issues. Recently, a student expressed immense gratitude to me after receiving a laptop for her schoolwork through the Emergency Fund. It made me smile from ear to ear and lightened up my day.

2. Most of us know you’re a big Harry Potter fan. Do you have a favorite character, book and/or movie?

My favorite Harry Potter movie is “Deathly Hallows Part II” because I love action, and that movie is definitely jampacked with it.

3. When it’s safe to travel again, what’s on the top of your travel bucket list?

I would love to backpack throughout Italy. I am semi-fluent in Italian and would love to use it before I lose it. Rome, Venice and Florence are a definite must.

4. What two or three people would you love to meet for coffee?

I would love to meet my late grandfather for coffee. He was a family hero for getting my family away to America from the Khmer Rouge while sacrificing life. I wish I got to know him, since he’s the spitting image of me. The second one is Hilary Duff, my childhood celebrity crush since “Casper Meets Wendy”!!

5. If you could immediately gain one skill, what would it be?

I would love to truly practice mindfulness. I would love to tune out everything and focus on the now.

6. What is one thing most people might not know about you?

I’m very impulsive in my personal life. Once I think I want to do something, I do it. One day I woke up and decided to drive to Provincetown for the day, and when I was there, I decided to stay overnight.

7. You’ve mentioned your mentor. How important has it been to have a mentor and what’s the best advice she ever gave you?

My mentor has always had my back no matter what. She has affirmed my worth and supported my future goals by sharing opportunities that will develop me further. The best advice she has given me was to be authentic and unapologetically me. I don’t have to change who I am to appease others.

8. If you could listen to only one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

It definitely has to be John Mayer’s “Room for Square” (standout songs like “No Such Thing” and “Your Body is a Wonderland”). It brings me back to a time when life was simple.

9. What meal or restaurant visit are you looking forward to once things open up a bit more?

I’m looking forward to going to Blu on the Water on the deck with a large group of friends, enjoying the raw bar and wine.

10. What’s your life motto or favorite saying?

“Celebrate. Educate. Advocate.” I actually have this tattooed on my arm. I am very committed to diversity and social justice. I want everyone to celebrate diversity, educate each other about differences, and advocate for the voices of the unheard.