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THON Director Tuesday: Jake Criscuolo, OPPerations

Welcome to the first Tuesday edition of our Director series and the second-to-last profile on the Executive Committee. Since it’s officially the last week leading up to the big weekend, tons of anticipation is charging the devoted 15,000 volunteers as they prepare to dance for 46 straight.

After our lesson with Finance Director Delia Moran about the big weekend’s total budget and monetary donations process, it left us coveting more information dealing with the unsung heroes behind the scenes of the BJC and THON. That’s where OPPerations comes in, so we talked with director Jake Criscuolo as he outlined and explained the committee’s vital mantra: “First in and last out.”

Jake Criscuolo, OPPerations (OPP)

Year: Senior

Major: Supply Chain Management

Minor: Information Systems Management

Past THON Experience: 2013 Communications Committee Member, 2014 Communications Captain, 2015 OPPerations Captain

What’s an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about you? I can lick my elbow.

Onward State: What made you want to apply for the OPPerations Director position for THON 2016?

Jake Criscuolo: I had a great experience in THON throughout my past 3 years because of the amazing leaders and people I had around me and I wanted to return that experience to others while advancing THON’s mission.

OS: What are your responsibilities as the OPPerations Director?

JC: I lead the OPPerations Captain Committee, whose mission is to keep all pre-­THON and THON Weekend events safe and healthy for our volunteers and the Four Diamonds Families. We work often with the Bryce Jordan Center staff to prepare for our responsibilities THON Weekend.

OS: What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

JC: This year, the OPPerations Committee is really focusing on the training of our volunteers. The OPP Captains are working hard to enable their Committee Members to do the best possible job throughout the year.

OS: What do you think makes the OPPerations committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

JC: By far the best part of OPP are the people involved. Our Captains and Committee Members are the “First In and Last Out” at every event and love doing what they do.

OS: What are the overall goals you wish to reach within your specific position and committee for THON 2016?

JC: Our goal is to continue maintaining the safe and healthy environment we have provided in years past. The OPPerations committee is also looking to continue to grow as a professional organization through increased training and interaction with the BJC staff.

OS: Why do you THON, Jake?

JC: I THON so that no family ever has to worry about paying a bill when they are going through this fight. Everything that we do is part of an effort to help these children and their families with their battle. I THON in the hope that one day we will never have to worry about cancer when a cure is found.

OS: Can you tell us about your favorite THON memory?

JC: My favorite THON memory was my first water gun fight on the floor my freshman year. I had just gotten on the floor for my shift when a young boy came up with a giant squirt gun and started an epic battle that had us both racing around the floor. I was just so happy to share in a moment where he didn’t have to worry about anything but the game we were playing. It was such a powerful moment that really defined what THON Weekend is all about.

OS: Finally, an Onward State tradition. If you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

JC: I would be a Temnodontosaurus because it was basically a cross between a dolphin and a shark, and it dominated the ocean.

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About the Author

Kaitlyn Dividock

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Onward State who is entirely too enthusiastic about Pittsburgh sports, music festivals, and crude humor. She is a senior English major who concentrates in Professional and Media Writing and minors in Sociology. She is really fun and very cool, and her favorite color is red. If for some reason you can't find her, she's probably at Primanti's with an ice cold IC Light in her hand. You can follow her on Twitter (@kaitdivi) if you want quality #content, or contact her via email at [email protected]

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