Alumni Spotlight

Sep 21, 2017 4:30 PM

eNews Alumni Spotlight highlights alumni who give back to Frostburg in some way – time, talent, treasure or any combination. This edition of eNews will feature bookkeeper (and much more) Mark Prokop ’86.

Current City: Chapel Hill, N.C.

Current Occupation: Bookkeeper (but I am the bookkeeper, accountant, payroll manager, human resource manager, grants manager and office supply manager for a nonprofit in downtown Durham, N.C.).

Why do you love FSU?

I love FSU because it allowed me to go from a boy to a man. I learned to become more outgoing, make new friends and even enjoy doing things by myself. From classmates, professors, staff, pastors and even campus security, I met so many people who helped me grow.

Why do you give back (time, talent and/or treasure) to FSU? 

Since FSU (actually FSC) catapulted me into the real world, I want to help other students and athletes rise up as well.

Tell us about a person or persons from FSU who had an impact on your life.

Randy Bandura (professor) helped me, as well as other accounting students, and empowered us to find our full potential. Rich Repac (now associate vice president for Finance and comptroller) motivated me to figure out problems by myself when I was interning in the comptroller’s office. John Alcorn (student) had an impact too. We not only had, and still have, a friendly sports rivalry (John roots for Syracuse and I root for Pitt), but John was also my best man at our wedding.

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy taking walks, cycling 10-25 miles, visiting sick Catholic patients at UNC Hospitals, attending Frostburg State athletic events in southern Virginia and North Carolina, spending time with my wife, posting about Frostburg State on social media and helping the homeless. Since my wife is a nurse and works most weekends, I have been enjoying being Mr. Mom for our two children who are 15 and 18 years old.

Tell us about a class or activity at FSU that has had a surprising effect on your life.

I ended up with shin splints and had to stop running cross country at the end of my first semester at FSC. That led me to a new activity, and I ended up becoming one of the disc jockeys at WFSC (now called WFWM).

Favorite TV show?

“Real Life Catholic” (with Chris Stefanik on the EWTN Network) and “The Middle” (Hallmark Channel/ABC).

What is your favorite memory of your time as a Frostburg student? Walking into town on Super Bowl Sunday 1985 when the temperature outside was 30 below and the wind chill made it feel even colder, like 50-60 below.

Favorite comfort food? 

Maryland crab cakes and North Carolina BBQ.

Favorite vacation spot? 

Anywhere there is a Frostburg State sporting event. For example, every February, the Frostburg State Baseball team comes to North Carolina two weekends in a row. I try to attend at least one or more baseball games each season.

Who is your doppelganger (famous person you resemble)? 

Weird Al Yankovic. Actually, Weird Al was one of my nicknames at Frostburg State since I looked exactly like Weird Al.

What is a cause dear to your heart? 

The homeless. I actually keep food, water and toiletries in my car to give to the homeless when I see them at local intersections in Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I would love to be the executive director of HELP Maryland and HELP North Carolina. The idea behind those organizations would be to transform people in all sorts of ways, including myself. Those organizations don’t actually exist (except in my head), but they could be started if I find a person, foundation, place of worship, etc., that can fund it.