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Highlander Spotlight: Mark Heater

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Rarely around the College Athletics landscape do people get to witness “dual-sports athletes.”  Throughout the past 4 years, Cairn University Athletics has been graced with a supreme talent, one that will be remembered for years to come.

Enter Mark Heater, former soccer star and current standout golfer on the Cairn University Golf team.  Over the past 4 years, students have been able to enjoy Heater’s play on the pitch while also watching him tee it up in the spring on the golf course.  Mark’s tenacity plus his grit in both of the sports he plays has been received tremendously well by the fans.  I sat down with Mark to get his thoughts on his athletic career and his time as a student at Cairn.

Q: We all know your primary sport here at Cairn was soccer, what was your most memorable moment on the pitch as the keeper for the men’s soccer team?

A: I would have to say when we came from behind to beat LBC my senior year. Down 1-0, we scored 2 goals in the final 15 minutes to take down our long-time, out-of-conference rival.

Q: On top of being a standout athlete, it is well known that you are a business major here at Cairn. Who is your favorite professor from the business department and why?

A: Professor Gaspar. He has done an outstanding job elevating our business department in his short time here at Cairn. He has been a demanding professor that has prepared his students effectively for their careers and has always been available to help students in their post-college pursuits. We are truly fortunate to have him and his business experience.

Q: I’ve heard through the grapevine that you are a big fan of spicy foods; any truth behind this?

A: Nope. There is no truth behind that. Surprisingly enough, I am really not a fan of spicy food.

Q: Right now, you are currently in your final golf season as a Cairn University golfer.  In your last two matches, you carded a 144 to go along with a 130.  Is this the progression that you expected to have as a Cairn University golfer? What could you improve?

A: It was not how I expected my senior year of golf to go. I was quite unfortunate that I developed the shanks on the first day of 3 consecutive days of tournament golf without the chance to correct this debilitating condition to contract on the golf course. I think that some time on the range and leisure golf coupled with great coaching from our Assistant Coach Ian Zang will prove to put these days behind my quickly.

Q: Are you single? If so, would you be interested in dating during your final semester at Cairn?

A: Not exactly sure how this is relevant . . . I am single and busy finishing up these final graduation classes, the Capstone project and preparing for the beginning of my career. But if the situation presented itself I would find a way to make it work.

Q: It is known that you hold an internship at the local Chick-Fil-A in Oxford Valley.  How has that internship helped you improve your business prowess?

A: Chick-fil-A is a company that I will always think of fondly, and the staff that they have at this location is truly exceptional. They have been instrumental in my development as a leader, and I appreciate the work that Dave Heffernan does at this great company. I appreciate my time learning from him because of his commitment to efficiency and quality because not many companies holding themselves to the same standards. They have truly revolutionized fast food industry. To work in that environment was tremendous.

Q: Would you consider yourself a dedicated student, or do you do your fair share of procrastinating from time to time?

A: Why not both? I would consider myself dedicated to my studies here at Cairn, and I appreciate the value that these faculty members have brought into every individual’s life. I will forever cherish both the business and Bible classes I took here. I think that we will always look back and wish we had done more with the opportunities presented to us while we were at school, but I do not think I will ever take my time here for granted. I do wish I had not procrastinated so much during school because I was only robbing myself from opportunities to learn and grow more. I do not think that this reflects the importance I placed on the work in the classroom, but more on way I wanted to spend my time at school. I know that I will never be in an environment that is comparable to living on campus with so many like-minded people my own age. I did not want to squander those opportunities so the schoolwork sometimes had to wait, but it always got it done and done well. The main side-effect was in the amount of sleep that I was able to get, not in the time I spent on my work to produce a quality product.

Q: You are currently a 5th year senior and will be graduating this Fall, what is the final impression you want to leave on Cairn University?

A: Legacy is something that I think we should all be considering as we go throughout our lives, and I regret not being more focused on this earlier on in my time at Cairn. I want to be a person that is fondly remembered by students and faculty alike. I want to be a person that was approachable and person that gave a lending ear. I wish to seek out mentors and mentorship roles. I valued my time as a soccer player and the opportunities that brought to interact with elder statesmen and new recruits. I want to be a person that lived in a way for others to emulate and hope that I lived in a way that would be an effective role model for younger students. I would encourage all students alike no matter their grade level to be considering what they want to get out of their time at Cairn, whether that is 1 year or 5 years, and what value they can add to this community. It is something that is easy to look back on as a Senior when your time to make these goals happen is dwindling, but the earlier on one can consider these things the more they can actualize their goals. I want my final impression to be a God-fearing man that encouraged others to do the same and that these last 3 golf matches will be quickly forgotten.

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